Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Jane Reviews: Things Left Unsaid by Courtney Walsh

Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Waterfall Press
Released: October 30, 2018
349 pages
About the Book:

Lyndie St. James is thrilled that her best friend, Elle, is getting married but unprepared for the emotional storm of the wedding week and returning to her childhood summer home of Sweethaven. The idyllic cottage community harbors some of her best—and worst—memories. It’s not only the tragic death of her childhood friend Cassie that has haunted her for ten years, it’s the other secrets she’s buried that have kept her from moving on.

But Lyndie isn’t the only one with secrets.

Cassie’s mother, father and brother, still struggling with the loss, have been drifting further and further apart. And Elle herself, the last to see Cassie alive, carries an impossible burden of guilt. Now reunited, each of them has a choice: to reveal the truths of that night or continue to live in its shadow. That means embarking on a personal journey of the heart—to escape the darkness and all its regrets and to finally come to terms with the past and, especially, with each other.

Things Left Unsaid Quote

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

I chose to read this book without reading the book summary because it was by Courtney Walsh. She has become one of my go to authors. I knew to expect an emotional journey, but I was still taken by surprise with this one. A particular incident happened 10 years ago that has affected each one of the characters and as the 10th anniversary approaches they are forced to deal with the secrets and emotional impact of the day. The details of this day are revealed slowly through various characters and at the beginning I was so confused. I felt like I was almost half way through before I really knew what had happened. (If I had read the summary beforehand, it probably wouldn’t have taken me so long to get there.)

The cast was a diverse mix of people, married and single characters, younger and older, some strong Christians and some just finding their faith. Each character was well written and I connected with each one in different ways. I felt for Lyndie, she has closed herself off to feelings and this is holding her back in her career. Karen feels like a fraud and fears she is losing her relationship with her husband. Elle has found love but feels like it could come crashing down on her any minute if her secret is revealed. Since avoiding Sweethaven is not an option Tucker decides he will follow his pastor’s advice and try to heal from the hurt by addressing it, this is easier said than done. There is so much pain for each character to deal with but if they can get through the fear of sharing their inner thoughts and pain they can find the healing they need most. The main theme I took from the story was learning to forgive yourself for mistakes made in the past.

I especially loved how each man showed the ladies what true love looks like. Two of my favourite moments were the pivotal moment between Elle and Travis, when he shows her just how much he loves her and the scene with Lyndie and Tucker after the church service once Tucker knew the secret Lyndie had been keeping. I was in tears through both of the scenes feeling the pain of the moment. This story definitely took me on an emotional journey but the ending left me feeling like these characters were going to be okay.

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterfall Press through NetGalley. 
Opinions expressed in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Monday's RSU: October 29th


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:

Becoming Mrs. Lewis  Catching Christmas

Currently Reading: 

Chosen People
  

Reading Next:

Shadow of Intrigue


What are you books are you currently reading or have recently enjoyed?

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Jane Reviews: A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer

Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: June 2, 2015
341 pages
About the Book:

A teacher on the run. A bounty hunter in pursuit. Can two enemies learn to trust each other before they both lose what they hold most dear?

Stone Hammond is the best tracker in Texas. He never comes home empty-handed. So when a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, Stone eagerly accepts.

Charlotte Atherton, former headmistress of Sullivan's Academy for Exceptional Youths, will do anything to keep her charges safe, especially the orphaned girl entrusted to her care. Charlotte promised Lily's mother she'd keep the girl away from her unscrupulous grandfather, and nothing will stop Charlotte from fulfilling that pledge. Not even the handsome bounty hunter with surprisingly honest eyes who comes looking for them.

When Miss Atherton produces documentation that shows her to be Lily's legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he's been led to believe. Is she villain or victim?

Then a new danger forces Charlotte to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone vows to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he's ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte's heart. 

A Worthy Pursuit Quote 1

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

Charlotte fears for three of her students after their school closes unexpectedly and sets out to protect them by disappearing with them in the middle of the night. Lily’s mom gave custody of Lily to Charlotte in her will, but Lily’s grandfather is determined to get her. Stone is hired to find Lily and bring her back to the grandfather. As a bounty hunter Stone always fulfills his duties. However once he meets Charlotte and sees they way she cares for Lily and the two boys, the picture of her in his mind and the one in front of him do not mesh. In desperation Charlotte is able to convince Stone to do some research before acting out his job duties. Stone refuses to allow himself to be taken by a woman but agrees to seek out who is telling the truth before he acts. It doesn’t take long for Stone to realize that Charlotte is the one in the right but he has never not completed a job and knows that if he doesn’t follow through on his duties someone else will. Can Stone protect Lily and Charlotte?

I loved Stone, he is a big strong man able to protect those under his care but he has a softer side he allows the kids and Charlotte to see. Lily’s energy and enthusiasm for her books made her stand out to me, I could feel her excitement when she met not one but two of her heroes from her books.

I enjoyed stepping back in time to Texas, and feeling like I was a part of an old western that had a romance I wanted to cheer for. The elements of danger and suspense, along with the blooming romance made me not want to put this book down until the very end.


A Worthy Pursuit Quote 2

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

Friday, October 26, 2018

First Line Friday (Week 76): A Sparkle of Silver


Happy Friday!

Welcome to First Line Friday's hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today's book is: A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson
    
A Sparkle of Silver
First Line:
"There were some things Millie Sullivan would rather forget."


The start of a new series by Liz Johnson. I loved Liz's PEI series and was so excited when I found out she was beginning a new series. Then when I learned it was set in Georgia (a state I am drawn to), I got even more anxious to read it.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book (it has been added to my re-read pile). I posted my review earlier this month (find it here).
  
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, October 25, 2018

Jane Reviews: A Side of Faith by Krista Phillips

Series: Sandwich #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: OWD Publishing
Released: Aug. 12, 2014
126 pages
About the Book:
He is everything she never wanted
Rachel Carter is on top of the world. A new job in a new town, friends, and a house to call her own. Men? Eh, someday. And when the time comes, she’ll go for a nice safe geek or something. She will NOT be repeating the mistakes of her youth.

But then Cameron Foster comes knocking on her door, reminding her of the man she vows never to think of again.
God wouldn’t send her a man who reminds her of everything she is trying to put behind her...would He?


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

This novella picks up 3 years after ‘Sandwich, with a Side of Romance’ ends. Maddie is playing matchmaker to friends Rachel and Cameron. However Rachel wants nothing to do with Cameron as he reminds her too much of her ex. Through her work Rachel is teamed up with Cam to organize the Fall Festival for the youth and the more time they spend together the more she finds herself drawn to Cam. She continues to fight it but when Cam comes to her rescue during a crisis she realizes he is not like her ex. I found it easy to like both characters and enjoyed their interactions. After having just recently finished the first book in this series, it was great to catch up with Maddie and Rueben, I got a kick out of their part in this story. This story contains suspense along with the romance and shows the importance of having faith and learning to trust God’s plan.

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

JaneReads_thumb1_thumb

Other Books by Krista Phillips:
  
The Engagement Plot_thumb  Sandwich, with a Side of Romance  A Side of Hope  A Side of Love

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Jane Reviews: Sandwich, With a Side of Romance by Krista Phillips

Series: Sandwich #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Released: Sept. 1, 2012
320 pages
About the Book:
Sandwich represents hope for twenty-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle, the eleven-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care. Then she loses her new job after less than an hour on the clock. It's all Reuben-the-Jerk's fault, and she's determined to make him right the wrong. He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant, The Sandwich Shop. Then crazy things start happening at the restaurant, and Kyle's foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process. And she'd rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.

Sandwich with a Side of Romance Quote 1
My Rating & Thoughts:  🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟   (5 stars)  

Maddie has had a rough upbringing and comes to the town of Sandwich with dreams of establishing herself so she can take her younger brother, Kyle, out of foster care and come live with her. But she gets fired from her job on her first day all because Rueben fell asleep in her chair. She forces Rueben to get her a new job, and when waitressing at his restaurant doesn’t work out she becomes his office assistant. After a chance encounter with Rueben’s niece reveals a secret Maddie has been keeping the family takes Maddie in and showers her with love. Maddie is reluctant to receive charity and tries her best to stop them, but they are determined. Meanwhile there is one character that is determined to bring Maddie down. Can Maddie achieve her goal and maybe discover much more along the way?

I loved Rueben’s family, they opened their hearts and home to her, showing her generosity like she had never experienced. She is a relatively new Christian and continues to grow in her relationship with God, learning to lean on and trust Him.

Rueben and Maddie’s relationship has a rocky start and with them both being stubborn they tend to clash quite a bit. But they learn from one another and even start developing feelings for the other. However there are obstacles in their way and just when it seems they will overcome the obstacles an incident transpires that creates a huge wedge between them and they no longer interact. Months later the truth comes out and there is hope for reconciliation.

This story is filled with witty dialogue, characters you want to root for (except Livy), and a family you want to be around. There were so many times I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the antics that happened. I was very pleased with the way the story ended and I didn’t want to leave the town of Sandwich.

Sandwich with a Side of Romance Quote 2
(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

JaneReads_thumb1

Other Books by Krista Phillips:
  
The Engagement Plot  A Side of Faith  A Side of Hope  A Side of Love