Friday, March 30, 2018

First Line Fridays (Week 46): Courting the Cowboy

Happy Friday!

Welcome to First Line Friday's hosted by Hoarding Books.
Today's book is: Courting the Cowboy by Liz Isaacson

Courting the Cowboy
First (few) lines:
"May Sotheby escaped the truck and hurried up her front steps,
with barley a wave over her shoulder at the cowboy that had taken
her to dinner. Barbeque. Again. Stale conversation. Again.
Wandering hands. Again."

I had to share more than the first line with you so you could see the rut that May seems to be in. And do really one or two words count as a line? This is the book I most recently finished. It officially releases next Tuesday April 3rd (my review will be up Wednesday). 

Now it's your turn!
Let me know your first line in the comments and then head over
to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

C Reviews: Rescue Me by Susan May Warren

Series: Montana Rescue # 2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Revell
Released: Jan. 31, 2017
337 pages
About the Book:
When Deputy Sam Brooks commits to something, nothing can sway him--not just on the job as liaison between the Mercy Falls sheriff's department and PEAK Rescue, but in his private life. He's the one who stuck around to take care of his mother after his father's accidental death. And he's the one--perhaps the only one--who believes Sierra Rose is the perfect girl for him. Safe, practical, and organized, she's nothing like her hippie, impulsive, bleeding heart sister, Willow.

Willow, however, has been in love with Sam Brooks for as long as she can remember. But she wants her sister to have a happy ending. Besides, Willow has other things to focus on--namely, nabbing the job as youth pastor for her small-town church. Best thing for her to do is to purge Sam from her heart.

Neither can predict the events that will bring them together in a fight for their lives in the forbidding wilderness of Glacier National Park. Stranded, injured, and with the winter weather closing in, Sam and Willow will have to work together to save a crew of terrified teenagers. As they fight to survive, they might just discover a new hope for love.

My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟    (4 stars)

This is quite the story.  We have brothers, Sam and Pete, who have a strained relationship and also a pair of sisters, Willow and Sierra.  Throw in some grizzly bears, an unexpected kiss, a car crash leading to being stranded on a mountain, and we have lots of action and I could not put this book down.

I enjoyed seeing more of Sierra’s story, and I really loved the story of Willow and Sam, right from the beginning. I loved how their characteristics worked so well together and really complimented each other.  Willow was just what Sam needed as he worked towards letting God in and letting God heal him.  Just as they need to be rescued from the mountain, much more, Sam needs God to rescue him from the darkness.  This was portrayed through this story so well. 

There was a development to the story of Esme and her disappearance, a story began in the prequel to this series, and ended this book with immediately starting book 3 of this series.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: May 27, 2014
346 pages
About the Book:
When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead?

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole's father has always focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father's rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole's plans.

After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family's legacy?

Full Steam Ahead Quote 1

My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟    (4 stars)

First I have to say - I loved Darius. His caring nature along with his quirks drew me right in. Nicole and Darius were both enduring characters on their own but when they were together they were perfect. They complimented each other really well.
The opening scene was heart-breaking, I could totally understand what motivated Darius when we see him again later on. Nikki has always struggled with the fact that she is a girl rather than a son for her father to have an heir. Her father is now sick and their family rivals are trying to steal a family heirloom. Nikki is sent to New Orleans in hopes of finding a husband who can become the heir that her father needs but her plans are amended and she ends up in Liberty instead with little money. It is here that she meets Darius and she is able to convince him to hire her as his secretary. He is hesitant to hire a woman but she passes the test he gives her. I enjoyed following along with these two learning to work together and getting to know one another. The way they overcame the challenges that were presented to them and the affection that grew for one another was delightful. I loved the little twist where something was revealed about Darius that Nicole didn’t know and ended up changing the situation for the better. As readers we knew his secret but to experience Nicole finding out was delightful.

I enjoyed that Nicole was able to help Darius overcome the guilt he battled and in exchange Darius was able to fulfil Nicole’s quest. The secondary characters of little Jacob and Mr. and Mrs. Wellborn added a depth to the story that I enjoyed.

I found it interesting to learn about the steam engines and the challenges with the boilers back in the day. I was intrigued with seeing how Darius was working on making them safer. The authors note at the end about this time in history taught me things I didn’t know. My only negative thought is that I was left at the end with the question how did they find Nicole?
The ultimate message I take away from the story was learning to forgive ourselves and overcome the past. I recommend adding this one to your to read pile.

Full Steam Ahead Quote 2

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


Other Books By Karen:

Monday, March 26, 2018

Monday's RSU: March 26th

 Welcome to Monday's RSU. Every Monday I share an update of my reading status - what book (or books) I finished since last Monday, what book I am currently reading and what I am planning on reading next. 

Just Finished:
Full Steam Ahead  High Cotton
After the intense mystery I finished last week a lighter read was calling me, these two fit that bill. One took me to Texas in the 1850's and the other took me to the southern states. Review for both will be up in the next week.
Currently Reading: 
Courting the CowboyThis is the book I am just starting today. I am looking forward to returning to Grape Seed Falls and see what Ms. Isaacson has in store for this story.



Reading Next:
Pelican PointI have been anticipating this book ever since finishing Sandpiper Cove last May and finally it will be out soon. My bff has just finished this book and hasn't told me anything about it other than fact that she still loves this series. I can't wait to read it so I can discuss with her.



What are you books are you currently reading or have recently enjoyed?
If you wish to join in on this feature, please let me know.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn

Series: Dive Team Investigations #1
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: Revell
Released: March 6, 2018
352 pages
About the Book:
After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she'd left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff's Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer--one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new voice in romantic suspense. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go until the final heart-pounding page.

Beneath the Surface Quote 1

My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟    (5 stars)

I was hooked right from the beginning. What begins with a discovery of a dead body leads to much more when Leigh’s life is threatened multiple times. Homicide investigator Ryan Parker sets out to protect his best friend’s sister and figure out who is behind the attacks on her. He doesn’t realize how this interaction is going to change his future. Ryan and Leigh have been friends for years through his relationship with her brother, but neither knows that they both have more than friendship feelings towards one another. Will they take a chance to see where these feelings take them? Will Ryan be able to protect Leigh and solve his murder case?  

The mystery and suspense kept me captivated. Ryan is investigating one murder case, a fellow cop is investigating another case and then there are the attacks on Leigh. So much going on and keeping the cops busy searching for answers and providing protection but very few leads in any of the cases making their work frustratingly slow for them. Just like the investigators I was trying to figure out if the cases were connected or not. I liked that Ms. Blackburn had me guessing and that I was unable to figure out who the villain was before it was revealed.
 I am drawn to romance stories that are between people who have known each other for quite a while, so the romance in this story was right up my alley. Both characters were hesitant about acting on their feelings, not knowing how the other felt. I loved the way it developed slowly, but the bold moments have me cheering for them.

I loved this group of characters; each one was unique and had their own personality. Ryan tried to protect Leigh without suffocating her. The teasing that Gabe gave Ryan made me look forward to scenes that included Gabe. The fact that Leigh did not let the threats keep her down made me love her. One of my favourite scenes that made me love Ryan even more was the confrontation between him and Leigh’s brother, Kirk.

The group worked really well together, each bringing different strengths and being open to hearing out other perspectives. I look forward to spending more time with these characters and can’t wait for book two to be released. 
Beneath the Surface Quote 2

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.) 


Friday, March 23, 2018

First Line Fridays (Week 45): High Cotton

Happy Friday!

Welcome to First Line Friday's hosted by Hoarding Books.
Today's book is: High Cotton by Debby Mayne

High Cotton
First (two) lines:
"When someone mentions family, I think of unconditional love, hearth, home and all things safe and wonderful. That is, until the word "reunion" is added to it."

This is the book I am curently reading. Ms. Mayne had me smiling just after reading the first couple lines that I couldn't wait to read further and see where this story would take me. So far I am enjoying getting to know these characters.

Now it's your turn!
Let me know your first line in the comments and then head over
to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

C Reviews: Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren

Series: Montana Rescue # 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Revell
Released: Oct. 18, 2016
352 pages
About the Book:
Search and rescue pilot Kacey Fairing is home on leave in Mercy Falls, Montana, twelve years after she joined the military to escape the mistakes of her past. With a job waiting for her as the new lead pilot of Peak Rescue in Glacier National Park, Kacey hopes to reconnect with the now-teenage daughter she sees only between deployments. What she doesn't realize is that someone else is also back in town.

Ben King has been building his country music career since the day Kacey shut him out of her life. Now all of that's on hold when his injured father calls him home to help run Peak Rescue until he's fully recovered. It doesn't take long, though, to discover his father's ulterior motives as Kacey Fairing walks into the house and back into his heart.

With Mercy Falls in a state of emergency due to flash floods, Kacey and Ben are forced to work together to save lives. But when floodwaters turn personal, can they put aside the past to save their future?
                                                       Susan May Warren's Website

My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟    (4 stars)

I really enjoyed this story.  I was pulled into the story at the beginning of the book and could not put the book down until the end.  Ben and Kacey unknowingly get themselves into a situation where they are working together and given their past history, they are forced to get to know each other again and trust each other as they journey towards forgiveness and pick up the pieces of their lives and the mistakes of their past.  I liked the quotes of scripture used throughout the book as we see their journey of faith and forgiveness. 

I enjoyed that we caught up with the ongoing storyline that began in the prequel to this book, Esme’s disappearance as well as the tensions between Ian and Sierra.  I look forward to more of the Esme storyline as this series continues and the rest of the story between Ian and Sierra coming up in a future book. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Justice by Emily Conrad

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Pelican Book Group
Released: March 9, 2018
220 pages
About the Book:
Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. As Brooklyn wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake, she can't bring herself to tell him the truth.To make matters worse, if the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God's love and in each other?

Justice Quote 1

My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟    (4 stars) 

This story deals with a difficult issue and shows how gossip and judgement can really hurt people. It also shows how keeping the focus on God and trusting Him will help you persevere through and bring you out on the other side stronger. God can use any situation for His glory.
I hurt for Brooklyn, I hated the she felt so ashamed and felt like she had to go through this alone when she was innocent. But thankfully she had people around her who showed her she didn’t have to be alone and supported her. Her faith in God helped her move forward and she found that forgiveness gave her a peace she needed. Her and Jack have been friends forever, both having deeper feelings for one another but neither really knowing how to move forward into more now because of Brook’s current situation. Once Jack got over his initial shock and anger he stood by her. But he was blinded by his feelings for Brooklyn to be able to see how others would respond to her situation. This created a barrier in their relationship that they needed to learn how to overcome if they are going to move forward. Jack is also dealing with business challenges from fellow business owner and he must decide the best way to respond. His whole life has been shaken, how will he respond?
I did really like Jack at the beginning and the end but I was a disappointed with some of his attitude and actions in the middle part. However this made him feel real, as people are not perfect and make mistakes. It was through these mistakes that he grew, learning more about God’s desire for his life. My favourite characters were Jack’s mom and Caleb. These two were there for Jack & Brooklyn but they also challenged them to think about their actions and feelings.
Overall I enjoyed the message of the story and felt it was done well. I liked how the author did not back down from dealing with a difficult matter and incorporated scripture without it feeling forced. This was a wonderful debut novel and I look forward to more from Ms. Conrad.

Justice Quote 2

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from Pelican Book Group through NetGalley.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)