Saturday, April 20, 2024

Windswept Way by Irene Hannon (Review)

Series: Hope Harbor #9
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Revell
Released: April 4, 2023
330 pages

About the Book:

Buying a haunted house was never in Ashley Scott's plans, but when an intriguing opportunity drops into her lap after a major setback, she finds herself trekking cross-country to Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast to launch a new life.

Wounded warrior Jonathan Gray isn't sure what to make of the attractive woman on his reclusive older neighbor's isolated property, but her presence is none of his business--until she enlists his help with an ambitious project. When Jonathan finds his interest in the new arrival becoming more personal than professional, however, his defenses go up. There's no room in his life--or his heart--for romance.

Yet, as these three hurting people join forces to restore life, laughter, and love to a historic estate that has known too much sadness, they may also find healing, hope, and happiness for themselves.

My Rating & Thoughts:    ⭐⭐

We finally get to meet the elusive Rose, who keeps to herself at Edgewood and see the home and grounds. We are following Ashely - who hopes to partner with Rose to turn Edgewood into an event venue, Jonathan - a landscaper and wounded war veteran who limits contact with others, and Rose - the owner of Edgewood who is known as a recluse. Each character was unique, and I wanted to get to know each of them. I especially enjoyed the way certain characters would tease and push other ones. The friendships felt genuine. Charlie's knowledge of happenings felt more believable than it has in previous books. I really enjoyed following the storyline of letting people see the real you, and what's on the inside is what matters, not your outward appearance. We see each of three main characters grow and open up to new possibilities. I've fallen in love with the community of Hope Harbor and its residents, love the community feel, and how they all accept and encourage one another.
Favourite Quote: 

“Putting fears and concerns on the table is better than spending sleepless nights trying to guess how another person feels.” 

(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

Friday, April 19, 2024

From A Distance by Tamera Alexander (Review)

Series: Timber Ridge Reflections #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bethany House 
Released: June 1, 2008
377 pages
About the Book:

What happens when the realization of a dream isn't what you imagined... and the secret you've spent a lifetime guarding is finally laid bare?

Determined to become one of the country's premier newspaper photographers, Elizabeth Westbrook travels to the Colorado Territory to capture the grandeur of the mountains surrounding the remote town of Timber Ridge. She hopes, too, that the cool, dry air of Colorado, and its renowned hot springs, will cure the mysterious illness that threatens her career, and her life.

Daniel Ranslett is a man shackled by his Confederate past, and he'll do anything to protect his land, and his solitude. When an outspoken Yankee photographer captures an image that appears key to solving a murder, putting herself in danger, Daniel is called upon to repay a debt. He's a man of his word, but repaying that debt could reveal secrets from his past he would prefer remain buried.

Forced on a perilous journey together, Daniel and Elizabeth's lives intertwine in ways neither could have imagined when first they met from a distance.

My Rating & Thoughts:    

I seriously debated dnfing this book. I was bored for most of the book and didn't find myself caring for the characters, in particular the main character, Elizabeth. She is lying to everyone around her for most of the time, including her father. We never actually see her come clean with her father either. Some of the stuff that happens or actions of the characters felt off for the time period. I was also bothered by the way the darker skin people were referred to, even if it was acceptable for the time period. It did make me appreciate how much easier taking a picture is nowadays, compared to the early years of photography.

(I borrowed this book from my library; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Calculated Revenge by Jill Elizabeth Nelson (Review)

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Love Inspired 
Released: April 13, 2010
212 pages
About the Book:

It's been eighteen years since Laney Thompson's sister was abducted and killed, but the pain Laney feels has never faded. And now the murderer is back, taunting Laney with mementos of her sister and threatening Laney's young daughter. School principal Noah Ryder is her best hope for protecting her daughter— if she can convince the former investigator to take the case. As the threats accelerate, a string of clues leads Laney to uncover old secrets. But without Noah's help, how can she piece together the puzzle before her child—like her sister—is lost to a killer's revenge?


My Rating & Thoughts:    ⭐⭐

Laney discovers a backpack on the school playground that was owned by her sister, who disappeared 18 years ago. How did it get there and why? I was sucked right into this story and couldn't put it down. The case kept me guessing who was responsible. The romance did develop kind of quickly, but it helped knowing that they had worked alongside one another for almost a year before anything happened. The 8 year old daughter had some great lines and made me smile. The reveal of the villain shocked me. Very well done.

(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Dear Henry, Love Edith by Becca Kinzer (Review)

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Tyndale House
Released: January 31, 2023
359 pages
About the Book:

After a short and difficult marriage, recently widowed Edith Sherman has learned her lesson. Forget love. Forget marriage. She plans to fill her thirties with adventure. As she awaits the final paperwork for a humanitarian trip to South Africa, she accepts a short-term nursing position in a small Midwestern town. The last thing she needs is a handsome local catching her eye. How inconvenient is that?

Henry Hobbes isn't exactly thrilled to have Edith, who he assumes is an elderly widow, dumped on him as a houseguest for the summer. But he'd do almost anything for his niece, who is practically like a sister to him given how close they are in age. Especially since Edith will be working nights and Henry works most days. When he and Edith keep missing each other in person, they begin exchanging notes--short messages at first, then longer letters, sharing increasingly personal parts of their lives.

By the time Henry realizes his mistake--that Edith is actually the brown-eyed beauty he keeps bumping into around town--their hearts are so intertwined he hopes they never unravel. But with her departure date rapidly approaching, and Henry's roots firmly planted at home, Edith must ultimately decide if the adventure of her dreams is the one right in front of her.

My Rating & Thoughts:    

I will admit there were some funny scenes that made me laugh, but due to the characters' choices, I could not root for this relationship. Edith moves in to the upper floor of Henry's house after her summer accommodations fall through. She believes Henry to be an old man and Henry believes that Edith is an old woman. They keep missing each other and therefore exchange notes instead. In these notes they do bare a bit of their souls. They do meet outside the house but they don't know who each other are at that time until much later. Henry lies to Edith about who he is for a while and also kisses Edith a few times while still dating someone else. Because of this I could not root for him. Edith also keeps information from Henry at one point as well. I felt like there were bunch of crazy scenes (fluff) that went on much longer than necessary and didn't really add to the story.

(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Fragments of Fear by Carrie Stuart Parks (Review)

Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: July 23, 2019
313 pages
About the Book:

Stolen art. A New Mexico archaeological dig. An abandoned dog. And a secret that’s worth killing for.

Evelyn McTavish’s world came crashing down with the suicide of her fiancĂ©. As she struggles to put her life back together and make a living from her art, she receives a call that her dog is about to be destroyed at the pound. Except she doesn’t own a dog. The shelter is adamant that the microchip embedded in the canine with her name and address makes it hers.

Evelyn recognizes the dog as one owned by archaeologist John Coyote because she was commissioned to draw the two of them. The simple solution is to return the dog to his owner—but she arrives only to discover John’s murdered body.

As Evelyn herself becomes a target, she crosses paths with undercover FBI agent Sawyer Price. The more he gets to know her, the more personally invested he becomes in keeping her safe. Together, they’re desperate to find the links between so many disparate pieces.

And the clock is ticking.

My Rating & Thoughts:    

I was fully invested in this mystery. I found myself connecting to Tavish quickly, she did not come across as someone extremely wealthy but felt relatable. I wanted to know what was going on as soon as the mystery with the dog began. This kicks of the beginning of quite a few other strange happenings. I was hooked. This is suspense filled and kept me guessing. The twist at the end shocked me. We watch Tavish transform from a person dealing with panic attacks to someone who learns to depend on God and push through tough situations. There is a little bit of a romance happening but it is very light. I am not into art but I was able to follow the art related discussions fairy well. The only part I struggled with was when a character spoke Spanish, but Tavish also didn't understand what was being said. I will definitely pick up more by this author.

(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)