Tuesday, April 24, 2018

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: A Highlander's Hidden Heart by Julie Coulter Bellon


ABOUT THE BOOK

From the Timeless Romance Singles line comes the new novella A HIGHLANDER'S HIDDEN HEART by Julie Coulter Bellon:

Despite being the daughter of a duke, shy Elizabeth Barrington becomes a target for the cruel whisperings of the ton. She would rather stay at home with her sketchbook indefinitely than give them more to gossip about, but when a dashing new earl arrives, everything changes. His Scottish brogue and easy acceptance draw her in and she finds herself falling in love. Before she can act on her feelings, however, her father promises her to a man who hides his cruel behavior behind a mask of civility. With her future at stake, Elizabeth must make a choice—do her duty or choose a love that could cost her everything.

Alec Ramsay never expected to inherit an earldom or settle in England, but he leaves behind his life in the Scottish Highlands and comes to London. After meeting his new neighbor, the beautiful and soft-spoken Lady Elizabeth, Alec can’t wait to further their acquaintance. It doesn’t take long in her company, however, for Alec to see he’s in danger of losing his heart. But when long-held prejudices rear their ugly head, Alec is caught between doing what is right and his new role as an English gentleman. Has he finally found the love he’s waited his whole life for, only to lose her in the web of unfair judgments and proper English traditions? 


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REVIEW
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Thursday, April 19, 2018

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: My Dearest Enemy by Jennifer Moore


ABOUT THE BOOK

Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, 1812
 
Struggling alone on the family farm, Abigail Tidwell knows exactly who is to blame for her hardships: the Americans. If it weren't for their part in the war, her father and brothers would be home rather than fighting abroad. But no amount of antipathy could have prepared her for the shocking sight of a wounded American soldier on her property, a man in dire need of her help. Grudgingly, Abigail tends to the soldier's injuries and anticipates the satisfaction of turning him over to the authorities once he is healed. But fate has other plans.

Captain Emmett Prescott remembers little of the ambush on his men by a group of Shawnee Indians and even less about how he arrived in the unfamiliar barn. After being nursed back to health by beautiful, if reluctant, Abigail, Emmett would do anything to save the men he left behind—including forcibly enlisting Abigail's help. Soon, Abigail finds herself caught between two countries at war. And as her attraction for Emmett grows, her conflicted heart engages in its own silent battle. But when she is accused of treason for her actions, her survival rests in the hands of the very man she once considered her enemy.

REVIEW

While I haven't finished the book yet, I am immensely enjoying it so far.  Abigail and Emmett are both interesting characters and their attraction certainly cares a great deal of tension considering their situation (opposite sides in a war). One of the things that I enjoy most about Jennifer Moore's books is her attention to detail, everything from clothing worn to doctoring details shines through in such a fascinating way.  But it's her characters that really capture me every time I pick up one of her books.  I can't help but care about what happens to them and how.

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*April 20th: https://brightlystreet.com/, http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/, http://www.iamareader.com/, http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/, http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/, http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/, http://sweetlymadejustforyou.com/blog/


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Sweet Mercy by Donald S. Smurthwaite


ABOUT THE BOOK

What do you remember, what is important, what do you simply let go, sand piling on sand, until only the important events and memories are left?

Much to the delight and good fortune of Arthur and Mary Bell, they were the proud parents of four strapping sons. Such a stroke of luck was vital to their survival on the Idaho plain, where every able-bodied young man was desperately needed to work the land. So when Mary gave birth to a baby girl, the family was befuddled. But they suffered no distress at the loss of another boy to help around the farm—they felt only absolute delight in their sweet Mercy May.

Now, a lifetime later, Mercy recounts with poignant fondness the tales of her childhood in her rugged Idaho town. Experience with the Bell family, friends, and neighbors and devastation of the Great Depression and the impact of years of war. From a dedicated farmer hit hard by despair to a good-hearted reverend to the gentle brothers who brought light during the darkest of times, each individual's story weaves a vital thread into the rich tapestry of one woman's incredible life.

REVIEW

To be honest, I wasn't really into this book at first.  It seemed kind of slow and the writing felt different.  But as I kept reading, I realized that this book isn't so much about Mercy May, although she's the main character, as it is about the community where she grew up during the Great Depression.  The story switches back and forth between the present day, where a 93-year-old Mercy May lives in a retirement community she calls a resort, and her childhood experiences of the past.  But along with telling Mercy May's story, the reader also gets to know her neighbors, her teacher, and her family.  The book really feels like the story of a time long ago when communities were full of people who actually knew and helped each other, rather than the individualistic societies of today.  As I continued to read I couldn't help but be touched by the struggles of these people on the Idaho plains.  Life was a struggle before the Great Depression, and become even more of one afterword.  But those who stayed still found a way to help each other, despite their own suffering and pain.  I couldn't help but be touched by their caring acts of kindness despite having very little themselves.  The book almost reads like a collection of short stories about the history of a hard time and place that was still home for those who lived there.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Ashes on the Moore by Sarah M. Eden


ABOUT THE BOOK

The life of an impoverished schoolteacher is not one Evangeline Blake would have chosen for herself. Torn from her home and her beloved sister and sent to work in the gritty factory town of Smeatley, Evangeline must prove herself to her grandfather, a man who values self-reliance above all else, before he will grant her access to her inheritance. Raised to be a lady of refinement, she hasn't any of the skills necessary to manage on her own nor does she have the first idea how to be a teacher. But failure means never being with her sister again.

Alone and overwhelmed, she turns to the one person in town who seems to know how she feels—Dermot McCormick, an Irish brick mason who is as far from home and as out of place as she is. Despite the difference in their classes and backgrounds, Evangeline and Dermot's tentative friendship deepens and grows. Her determination and compassion slowly earn her the faith and confidence of the skeptical residents of Smeatley, who become like the family she has lost.

But when a secret from her past comes to light, Evangeline faces an impossible choice: seize the opportunity to reclaim her former life and rejoin her sister or fight for the new life she has struggled to build for herself—a life that includes Dermot.

Ashes on the Moor is the inspiring love story of one Victorian woman's courage to fight against all odds, and the man whose quiet strength gives her the confidence to keep trying.

REVIEW

Sarah Eden has written another great book.  This one revolves around the experiences of a young lady who's recently lost most of her family.  Her remaining family, including her aunt and uncle and her grandfather, force her into accepting a teaching position.  But her sister Lucy is sent away to boarding school further breaking both girls' hearts.  Even worse, Evangeline discovers the schoolhouse and attached living quarters in shambles and she is unprepared to take care of herself.  So she reaches out to the only other person in town she knows: Dermot McCormick, who despite his grumpiness reluctantly agrees to help her.  With Dermot's help, Evangeline slowly begins to find her way in teaching and living.  But her aunt's hostility continues to undermine her work and she struggles to fight off the despair.  But with Dermot's encouragement, Evangeline develops a growing determination to fight for what she wants and to do right by her students, regardless of the cost. 

Once again Eden has created characters that I couldn't help but fall in love with, and not just Dermot and Evangeline, but also the secondary characters as well.  Lucy, Ronan, and the students and their families just worked their way into my heart.  I couldn't help but cheer for Evangeline every time she stood up for herself and her students.  And the romance between Evangeline and Dermot is at times amusing as well as touching.  I love how realistic Sarah Eden's books are.  Not only are they delightful to read but they stick with you long after you're done. 


 
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