Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck
#3 Women of the West Series 

Kathleen Y'Barbo

Unlikely romance is sometimes just an inconvenient marriage away…
Charlotte Beck may be entering adulthood, but she can’t seem to keep to her stubborn, independent spirit from bucking social protocol. Fed up with her behavior, Charlotte’s father Daniel pressures her to settle into a nice marriage despite knowing she is set on going to college.
Then Daniel sees Charlotte with the handsome but annoying English astronomer Alex Hambly, and everything changes.
Though Alex and Charlotte can barely stand one another, Daniel offers them a deal they can’t refuse: if they agree to marry, he will save Alex’s family from financial ruin and grant Charlotte the freedom to go to college. Reluctantly the couple agrees, but in private they plot to annul the marriage as soon as possible.
But when Alex’s feelings change and he refuses to dissolve their contract, will Charlotte find a way out of her vows? Or will she discover that maybe this marriage isn’t so inconvenient after all?

My review:
Way to funny!!  The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck (book #3 in the Women of the West Series) by Kathleen Y'Barbo is fantastic and I read it in one day. It is filled with romance and a whole lot of fun. Charlotte is a character that will keep you smiling and Alex is the perfect hero. If I could have lived in this time period, I would want to be Charlotte Beck. She is a very independent young women for her time. I can't wait to read the first two books in this series. This one easily stands on its own, I just can't get enough of Kathleen Y'Barbo books. She is on my all time favorite author list.  I love historical romance with a bit of fun and lots of giggles thrown in and this book has all that and more.

The other two book in the series are, The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper, book #1 and Anna Finch and the Hired Gun, book #2.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for my honest review.

The first two books in the series. 

You can purchase this book at the below links:


You can learn more about Kathleen and her book at her website.

RITA and Carol award nominee Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish, to name a few.
Kathleen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She holds a BBA from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and a certification in Paralegal Studies, and is a former member of the Texas Bar Association’s Paralegal Division.
A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has four children of her own as well as seven bonus kids she gladly inherited when she married her own hero in combat boots (read about their real-life romance here!). Kathleen is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: Through Mountians Fall by Dale Cramer

Though Mountains Fall
Dale Cramer

Bethany House Publishers
Pub Date   Jan 1 2013

Inspired by Actual Events!

"I want you to promise you will always be my sister."   There were tears in Miriam's eyes as their foreheads touched and Rachel whispered, "No matter what. Always."

Now in its fourth year, the Amish settlement in Mexico is thriving. But as new settlers arrive, sons and daughters marry, babies are born, and crops grow thick, a storm looms on the horizon. And Caleb Bender knows--perhaps better than anyone--that the worst of storms don't come from the western skies.   They come on horseback.   When their very existence is threatened, the Amish turn to the Mexican government for help, only to discover that the rulers of men are fickle and security is an illusion. Tried by fire and riven by war, Caleb and Domingo come to understand that the kingdom of God is not to be found in land or buildings or gold or armies, but in the hearts of peaceful men trying to feed their families.   Watching helplessly as daughters Rachel, Miriam, and Emma are drawn inexorably toward their separate destinies, Caleb is forced to confront the most important decision of his life.

My review:
I was very surprised to see that Though Mountains Fall by Dale  Cramer, Book 3 in the Daughters of Calab Bender series was set in Mexico.  I have not read the two previous books in the series, but
after reading this one will be reading those as well.  This title can easily stand on its own though. The other two book in the series are, Paradise Valley – The Daughters of Caleb Bender – Book 1 and
The Captive Heart – The Daughters of Caleb Bender – Book 2. The characters in Though Mountains Fall were well developed and even though I at times wished the Amish community would fight to protect themselves,  I understood that is not the Amish way. I enjoyed learning more about the Amish culture in the 1925 time period. This book is based on an actual Amish settlement in Mexico during that time.

This book is full of adventure and would be a great read for male readers out there also. This was the
first book by Dale I have read and I did not realize at first that it was a male author. I usually don't
read fiction books by men, but Dale has changed my mind on that score.  I recommend reading the  full series. Hats off to you Dale, this one is a winner.
I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book from Net Galley and Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.

You can purchase Though Mountains Fall at the below links:

You can read more about Dale on this website.

Review: Goodbye To Yesterday by Wanda E. Brunstetter

 Goodbye to Yesterday  
by Wanda E. Brunstetter

The Discovery—A Six-Part Serial Novel Series from NY Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter

Wanda E. Brunstetter delivers a fresh take on Amish romance with her one-of-a-kind Discovery series. Releasing as a serial novel, the compelling love story will be broken into 6 short books releasing consecutively over a six-month period. Each novel will end in a heart-wrenching cliffhanger that will leave readers dying to know what happens next. The story follows a newlywed Amish couple in Lancaster County whose relationship faces insurmountable odds.

Book #1: Goodbye to Yesterday
Join Meredith and Luke Stoltzfus, an Amish couple who are faced with the greatest challenge of their young lives. Financial struggles. Arguments. A suspected pregnancy. A last-minute trip to Middlebury, Indiana. A drug addict on the run. A deadly encounter at a Philadelphia bus station. Will their love and faith be enough?

My review:
Goodbye To Yesterday,  part 1 of 6 in the Lancaster County Saga by Wanda Brunstetter looks to be
an good series. If your do not like for each of the separate books to leave you hanging on and needing the next one right away, this one is not for you. They do appear to be coming out one per month at Amazon. Part #1 is packed with story lines in just 63 short pages. I give this one a 3 out of 5 stars only because I felt that this should have at least wrapped up on of the story lines for the reader.  

I received this ebook from Net Galley and Barbour Publishing, Inc. for my honest review.

Review: Vanished by Irene Hannon

Irene Hannon
Baker Publishing

Pub Date   Jan 1 2013

In her newest romantic-suspense novel, critically-acclaimed author Irene Hannon asks herself what would happen if the victim of a deadly car crash on a secluded country road simply disappeared? Vanished, set in St. Louis, is the gripping first novel in Hannon’s Private Justice series. It opens with a shadowy figure caught in the beam of reporter Moira Harrison’s headlights – followed by a solid thump before she loses control and crashes into a tree. But when Moira regains consciousness, the victim is nowhere to be seen.

My review:
Fantastic suspense, drama and romance are packed into Vanished, book #1 in the Private Justice series  by Irene Hannon.  The attention to detail and research for Vanished makes this one a winner. The hero, Cal was tough and still tender, the perfect combination. I felt pity for Dr. Blaine, but at the same time mad as his storyline was developed. Moira was a honest and very likable heroine from the start of the book. She knew what she saw and did not give in until the truth came out. Vanished is a keeper. Thanks for the enjoyable read Irene. Excellent book that I give 5 out of 5 stars.
I received this book from Net Galley and Baker Publishing for my honest review.

Irene Hannon is a bestselling, award-winning author who took the publishing world by storm at the tender age of 10 with a sparkling piece of fiction that received national attention.
Okay…maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But she was one of the honorees in a complete-the-story contest conducted by a national children’s magazine. And she likes to think of that as her “official” fiction-writing debut!
Since then, she has written more than 40 romance and romantic suspense novels. Her books have been honored with two RITA awards—the “Oscar” of romantic fiction—and she is a six-time finalist for that prestigious honor. Her books have also won a Daphne du Maurier award, a Carol award, a HOLT Medallion, a National Readers’ Choice Award, a Retailers Choice Award and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. One of her novels was also named by Booklist as one of the top 10 inspirational fiction books of 2011.

You can purchase Vanished at these links:

Review: The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen

The Tutor's Daughter
Julie Klassen

Bethany House Publishers
Pub Date   Jan 1 2013

Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes?   The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her....   When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart?
  Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor's Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast--a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions--where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits

My Review:
This seemed like a really long book to me while I waited for the romance to unfold. That being said,
The Tudor's Daughter by Julie Klassen had plenty of mystery and historical accuracy to keep me reading until the end.  This was an overall enjoyable book.  I loved Emma as she discovered that
Phillip and Henry were not who she had at first thought them to be as men. The lesson being what you see in a persons outward character is not always who a person is on the inside.  The hero in The Tudor's Daughter was shown to be the perfect man for Emma in the end.  No spoilers on who that man is, it will be more fun for you to learn that for yourself.  I give The Tudor's Daughter 4 out of 5 stars.

I received an ebook copy of this book from Net Galley and Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.

You can purchased this book at these links:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review: A Home In Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer

 A Home In Drayton Valley
by Kim Vogel Sawyer

From Bethany House Publishers (October 2012)

A HOME IN DRAYTON VALLEY -- Fed up with the poor quality of life in 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines encourages her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher to move with their two children to Drayton Valley, Kansas, a booming town hailed in the guidebook as the land of opportunity. She offers to help with expenses and to care for Mary and the children as they travel west by wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into an arrangement with Joss that leaves both of them questioning God and their dreams for the future. As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will Tarsie and Joss give up and go their separate ways, or will God use their time in Drayton Valley to turn their hearts toward Him?

My Review:
I really loved A Home In Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Set in 1880, this book takes the reader from New York City to a beautiful valley in Kansas. Tarsie Raines was a women of high morals and plenty of love to share. Joss was a man who was influenced by his own non-Christian upbringing and has to learn what it means to be a real father to his children. It was good to watch
God use Simon a man of color to influenced him in so many ways. Tarsie was a wonderful example of Christian love to her friends as well as to Mary's children.  The friendship between Ruth and Tarise was one of my favorite parts of the book. I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book from Bethany House for my honest review.

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of nineteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren. She invites you to visit her Web site at for more information.

Publishers Site:
Baker Publishing Group

Purchased this book at these links:
Bethany House

Review: A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano

A Change of Fortune
by Jen Turano


Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. Her fortune was the last thing she had left after losing her father, her fiance, and her faith. Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess-at-large, she's determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London.Mr. Hamilton Beckett, much to his chagrin, is the catch of the season, and all the eyes of New York society--all the female ones, at least--are on him. He has no plans to marry again, especially since his hands are full keeping his business afloat while raising his two children alone.
Eliza's hapless attempts to regain her fortune unexpectedly put her right in Hamilton's path. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces and, before she knows it, Eliza has a whole retinue of people helping her. Eliza's determination not to trust anyone weakens when everyone's antics and bumbling efforts to assist her make her wonder if there might be more important things than her fortune and independence. When all of Hamilton's and Eliza's best-laid plans fall by the wayside, it will take a riot of complications for them to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.

My Review:

I  love, love, loved this book!  A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano is an fun book that I could not put down.  Lady Eliza Sumner and Mr. Hamilton Beckett instantly reached into my heart and did not let go even after I read the last page. The cover of this book totally captures the personality of Lady Eliza.  I hope to see these character re-appear in a series, as well as future love stories for Mr. Zayne Beckett, Miss Agatha Watson, Grayson and Arabella.  I have heard that Theodore Wilders story is due out in May 2013.  I love these character so much that I hope Jen will also write love stories for the children of these families.

I don't like to read spoilers, so therefore I do not write them, but I highly recommend this wonderful book by Jen Turano.  I look forward to more great books from the pen of Jen Turano in the future and I am a now a lifetime fan. I give this one a 5++ out of 5 stars.

I received this book from Bethany House for my honest review.


About the Author:

Jen Turano is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Clothing and Textiles. She pursued a career in management for nine years before switching to full-time motherhood after the birth of her son. When she's not writing, Jen can be found watching her teenage son participate in various activities, taking long walks with her husband and dog, socializing with friends, or delving into a good book. She lives in suburban Denver, Colorado. Learn more at

 You can purchase A Change of Heart at these links:
Bethany House

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Re: sick, sick, sick

I have been busy reading, but have been way to sick to be on my computer. Hopefully I will get my 6 other book reviews posted in a few days. Off to bed now as my mind is foggy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Review: Leaving by Karen Kingsbury

Bailey Flanigan Series: Book 1
Karen Kingbury


The Bailey Flanigan series begins with Bailey leaving Bloomington for the adventure of a lifetime. She has won an audition for the ensemble of a Broadway musical in New York City. 

Bailey is determined to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but is she really ready to leave family and friends for the loneliness of the city? And what of Cody? His disappearance has her worried about their future and praying that their love can survive. 

In order to be closer to his mother in jail, Cody takes a coaching job in a small community outside Indianapolis. New friends, distance, and circumstances expose cracks in his relationship with Bailey Flanigan. 

Love, loneliness, big opportunities, and even bigger decisions highlight the first book in the new Bailey Flanigan series that features members of the popular Baxter family and finally completes the Bailey Flanigan/Cody Coleman story.

My Review:

Bailey Flanigan is a wonderful role model for young women today. I am
so happy that Karen Kingsbury has given Bailey a series of her own.  We have "watched" Bailey grow up though out several other series by Mrs. Kingsbury.  Leaving is book #1 in the Bailey Flanigan Series and was well worth the wait. This book will touch the hearts of all mothers who are watching, waiting or have already seen there daughters grow up and leave home. It was wonderful to watch Bailey pray and listen to God's will for her life.  The story line for Cody was also used to show his spiritual growth and the redeeming power of the Lord. I look forward to reading, Learning(book #2), Longing(book #3) and Loving(book #4) in this series. 

I was great to see Landon and Ashley's story continue in this book also.  This couple models a Christian marriage as it should be in a world gone crazy.  Through many heartaches this family has grown and become even more faithful to the Lord. I am praying that these characters will have the happy ending I am hoping for, but then again, God is in charge and the story line will go His way.

Keep the books coming, Karen as you continue to let God use you to make a difference in this world through your writing.  You have a fan for life.

I received this book from Zondervan for my honest review. 

About the author:

Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational novelist. There are more than 20 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including several million copies sold in the past year. Karen’s recent dozen titles have all debuted at or near the top of the New York Times Bestseller’s list. She is also a public speaker, reaching more than 100,000 women annually through various national events. Karen lives and works outside Nashville, Tenn., with her husband, Don, and their five sons, three of whom were adopted from Haiti. Also living nearby is their only daughter, Kelsey, an actress in inspirational films and married to Christian recording artist Kyle Kupecky. For more information visit her website Karen is also on Facebook and Twitter, where she regularly interacts with nearly half a million reader friends.

Links to purchase Leaving:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Review: 'Til Grits Do Us Part by Jennifer Rogers Spinola

"Til Grits Do Us Part
Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Christian Romance Mystery


It’s all coming up roses.
Or it should be. Engaged to the last man she’d ever thought possible, Shiloh Jacobs is making a go of small-town life in rural Staunton, Virginia—writing again, planning a wedding, and about to sell the house that will make her dreams come true.
But instead of pre-wedded bliss, Shiloh finds herself virtually alone in Redneckville with no family to help her, no money, and no time to plan a wedding. Especially a wedding to a man as different as Adam Carter.
While covering an unsolved news case about a missing woman, things go from bad to worse for Shiloh—starting with mysterious rose bouquets and disturbing letters that link to her mother’s past. The more Shiloh tries to put her mother’s troubled history behind her, the more tangled in the case—and in the stalker’s sights—Shiloh becomes.
Forced to face her past secrets while on the run from a madman, can Shiloh identify the stalker before he strikes again? And as one dream after another falls flat, can she and Adam put aside their differences before it’s too late?

Authors Website 

Jennifer Rogers Spinola lives in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, with her Brazilian husband, Athos, and four-year-old son, Ethan. She has lived in Brazil for nearly eight years and served as a missionary to Japan for two years. Jenny is the author of Barbour Books' "Southern Fried Sushi" series (first book released October 2011!) and an upcoming romance novella collection based on Yellowstone National Park (also with Barbour Books).

Southern Fried Sushi Series

My Review:

'Til Grits Do Us Part is the third book in the Southern Fried Sushi Series by Jennifer Rogers Spinola.
This was the first book I have read by Jennifer and it will not be the last. This one made my smile, laugh out loud and at times want to cry with Shiloh the main character in the book. It can stand on its own, but I would suggest reading books #1 and #2 before this one. You get clues to the plot lines in book #1, Southern Fried Sushi and book #2 Sweet Potato Pie, but I found myself wanting to know the previous stories as well.

Shiloh is a big city girl who has been transplanted in a small town in Virginia, which adds a whole lot of fun to her adventures in 'Til Grits Do Us Part.  The "cow tipping" scene in the first chapter was so funny and took me back to when I fell in love and married a small town Virginia boy myself.  The characters are well developed and the mystery aspect of ‘Til Grits Do Us Part is brilliantly executed.  If you are looking for a mystery, love story,  and lots of quirky laugh out load moments then the Southern Fried Sushi series is for you.  I just bought the other two books and plan to read them soon.

I received this book from Net Galley and Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

You may purchase this book and the below links: