The Sisters of Sea View – (On Devonshire Shores – Book 1) by Julie Klassen ~ Book Tour and Review

QUICK FACTS:

  • Title: The Sisters of Sea View
  • Series: On Devonshire Shores (Book 1)
  • Author: Julie Klassen
  • Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
  • Publisher: ‎Bethany House Publishers (December 6, 2022)
  • Length: (448) pages
  • Format: hardcover, trade paperback, & eBook
  • ISBN: 978-0764234262
  • Tour Dates: November 28 – December 12, 2022

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Some guests have come for a holiday, others for hidden reasons of their own . . .

When their father’s death leaves them impoverished, Sarah Summers and her genteel sisters fear they will be forced to sell the house and separate to earn livelihoods as governesses or companions. Determined to stay together, Sarah convinces them to open their seaside home to guests to make ends meet and provide for their ailing mother. Instead of the elderly invalids they expect to receive, however, they find themselves hosting eligible gentlemen. Sarah is soon torn between a growing attraction to a mysterious Scottish widower and duty to her family.

Viola Summers wears a veil to cover her scar. When forced to choose between helping in her family’s new guest house and earning money to hire a maid to do her share, she chooses the latter. She reluctantly agrees to read to some of Sidmouth’s many invalids, preferring the company of a few elders with failing eyesight to the fashionable guests staying in their home. But when her first client turns out to be a wounded officer in his thirties, Viola soon wishes she had chosen differently. Her new situation exposes her scars–both visible and those hidden deep within–and her cloistered heart will never be the same.

Join the Summers sisters on the Devonshire coast, where they discover the power of friendship, loyalty, love, and new beginnings.

MY REVIEW

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 – 4.5 stars

The situation confronting the Summers sisters is a dire one. Their father has died and the estate has been entailed to some fairly unknown relative. Their ailing mother, Eugenia Summers, is unable to maintain the Sea View residence and care for her daughters. The suggestion of their solicitor to consider becoming governesses to supplement their income elicits ghastly expressions and is promptly dismissed. However, making Sea View available to paying guests is a more palatable solution. They imagine their clientele to be elderly invalids visiting to take in the sea air for their health. In this assumption they were wrong.

Twin sister Viola will be earning her keep by reading to the poor-sighted elderly. A childhood defect makes her more inclined to solitary pursuits. Viola makes it clear that entertaining guests and cleaning rooms at home is not an option. However, she’s surprised when her first client is a petulant, wounded officer in his thirties.

Although the Summers sisters seem to be getting more than what they bargained for, might the payoff be unlike anything they could have ever imagined?

Reading The Sisters of Sea View was like taking a gentle, leisurely stroll down Regency lane. From the initial pages I was intrigued. Julie Klassen writes engrossing, realistic historical fiction that awakens each of the five senses, and The Sisters of Sea View was no exception. I savored the pages and enjoyed the details of many fine characters, including the genteel Summers sisters—each possessing their own unique qualities. In addition, I was thoroughly entertained by: an eccentric guest and his stuffed parrot; a widowed Scotsman and his temperamental stepdaughter; a salty, wounded officer and his faithful friend; a lovely former ladies maid; friendly fishermen; a fault-finding lodger; a kind old lady with a sorrowful past, and so many more. The wonderfully developed characters deeply enhanced my enjoyment of the book, along with the mystery of an absent sister, a doctor’s folly and the perilous storm that lead to Sea View’s becoming a refuge for many. So many things to love about this book. The happy, satisfying ending makes me eager to read the next installment in this delightful new series. Loved it!

Thank you Julie Klassen, Bethany House Publishers, and Austenprose PR for a complimentary copy of The Sisters of Sea View.

VIDEO INTRODUCTION TO THE SISTERS OF SEA VIEW BY JULIE KLASSEN

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR JULIE KLASSEN

ADVANCE PRAISE

• “Jane Austen fans will delight in this nimble series launch…Klassen excels at weaving her various story lines, each emphasizing the colorful qualities of her characters and allowing them the space to shine. Readers will be eager for the next installment.” —Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF JULIE KLASSEN

• “Julie Klassen delights with a winsome love story…” —Publisher’s Weekly, on A Castaway in Cornwall

• “I couldn’t put it down! It you are a historical fiction fan you need this one on your radar! It was a spooky delight full of heart. ”—Anne Mendez, The Lit Bitch, on Shadows of Swanford Abbey

• “…a wonderfully engaging novel full of intriguing characters and storylines. I highly recommend it and can’t wait for more in the series.” —Laura Gerold, Laura’s Reviews, on The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP | GOODREADS

AUTHOR BIO

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold over a million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

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Beneath His Silence by Hannah Linder – Book Tour ~ REVIEW

QUICK FACTS

  • Title: Beneath His Silence
  • Author: Hannah Linder
  • Genre: Historical Suspense, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
  • Publisher: ‎Barbour Publishing (November 1, 2022)
  • Length: (320) pages
  • Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook
  • ISBN: 978-1636094366
  • Tour Dates: October 31 – November 13, 2022

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Will Seeking Justice Lead to Her Own Demise?

A Gothic-Style Regency Romance from a Promising Young Author

Second daughter of a baron—and a little on the mischievous side—Ella Pemberton is no governess. But the pretense is a necessity if she ever wishes to get inside of Wyckhorn Manor and attain the truth. Exposing the man who killed her sister is all that matters.

Lord Sedgewick knows there’s blood on his hands. Lies have been conceived, then more lies, but the price of truth would be too great. All he has left now is his son—and his hatred. Yet as the charming governess invades his home, his safe cocoon of bitterness begins to tear away.

Could Ella, despite the lingering questions of his guilt, fall in love with such a man? Or is she falling prey to him—just as her dead sister?

BOOK TRAILER

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR HANNAH LINDER

MY REVIEW:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4 stars

Ella Pemberton is determined to find out what happened to her precious, beautiful sister, Lucy. Her father went to his grave trying to find out who was responsible for his eldest daughter’s death. Now Ella is following in his footsteps and her first stop is Wyckhorn Manor, home to Lord Henry Sedgewick, Lucy’s husband. Ella can’t expect him to confess outright, so she’ll have to resort to cunning to achieve her goal. She’ll do whatever it takes, even if it means spending time in the home where Lucy took her last breath, working for the despicable man who took her sister’s life away.

Ella expresses herself openly without restraint. She’s been repeatedly admonished to hold her tongue, but she can’t seem to tame it. Her impertinence would shock and infuriate any proper gentleman, and yet Lord Sedgewick is astonished by the words that escape Ella’s mouth. He somehow feels a hint of admiration for the Lady’s uncharacteristic behavior and assertive spirit. The deft way in which she handles his young son hasn’t escaped his notice; neither has her beauty. Who is this woman who seems familiar to him, and why is he concerned about her welfare and comfort when he’s determined not to attach himself to another woman?

Ella has come to Wyckhorn manor with preconceived feelings of disdain and contempt for Lord Sedgewick. But why does he speak to her so tenderly? And why does she feel the need to come to his defense so readily? Is she observing him praying with his little son? Why would a murderer waste time praying?

Things are not always as they seem. Ella’s made a discovery that sheds greater light on her sister—who she really was. But there’s a dark presence in Wyckhorn manner that may be after Ella. Can she find out the whole truth of what happened to Lucy before something sinister claims her life, too?

While reading Beneath his Silence I envisioned a gothic manor house full of secrets. There were secrets indeed, but also lies, deceit, peril, adventure, suspense, romance, redemption and finally, forgiveness. I enjoyed learning of what really happened to Ella’s sister and how tenacious Ella was in her attempts to unveil the truth. Lord Sedgewick was a brooding enigma of a man. On a few occasions I felt pity for him and wanted him to find the peace he so desperately needed, and deserved. His subtle attempts to help Ella to establish faith in God was touching.

Beneath His Silence was a concoction of various elements that kept me intrigued to the final page, with a satisfying, heartwarming ending.

Thank you Austenprose and Barbour Publishing for a Complimentary copy of Beneath His Silence. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

ADVANCE PRAISE

• “Fast-paced danger and suspense from an exciting newcomer to Regency fiction.”— Julie Klassen, award-winning author of A Castaway in Cornwall

• “A strong story of loss and forgiveness, resentment surrendered to faith, and the mercy of God. Readers will enjoy this turbulent mystery with a smile-worthy ending.”— Kristen Heitzmann, Christy Award-winning author of Secrets and The Breath of Dawn

• “This book has everything I love…a dark and broody hero, a spunky heroine on a mission, and a deeply delicious creepy manor home. Beneath His Silence is a rather gothic tale set in Regency England, filled with plenty of intrigue, danger, and romance to make for a very satisfying read.”— Michelle Griep, Christy Award-winning author of Lost in Darkness

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP | GOODREADS

AUTHOR BIO

Hannah Linder resides in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. Represented by Books & Such, she writes Regency romantic suspense novels. She is a double 2021 Selah Award winner, a 2022 Selah Award finalist, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Hannah is a Graphic Design Associates Degree graduate who specializes in professional book cover design. She designs for both traditional publishing houses and individual authors, including New York Times, USA Today, and international bestsellers. She is also a local photographer and a self-portrait photographer. When Hannah is not writing, she enjoys playing her instruments–piano, guitar, and ukulele–songwriting, painting still life, walking in the rain, and sitting on the front porch of her 1800s farmhouse. 

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | BOOKBUB |GOODREADS

Crossfire – (Extreme Measures – Book 2) by Lynette Eason ~ Audiobook ~ Tantor Audio

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4 stars

Former police officer turned FBI Negotiator, Juliana Jameson, is called in to handle a hostage situation involving the perpetrator, a federal judge and a full courtroom. Juliana prides herself on having never lost a hostage and she feels the pressure to maintain that record especially since School Resource Officer Clay Fox’s sister is in there. The situation is tense, and when a seemingly copycat situation arises on its heels, Juliana’s skills are further put to the test. It appears that someone is out to get her, but even more alarming is that her teenage sister, Dottie, of whom Juliana is guardian, could also be a target. And if Juliana and Clay think they’ve got things all figured out they’d better think again because the worst is yet to come.

I‘m enjoying this series. It’s action packed and clean, no profanity. In Crossfire we meet Juliana Jameson who’s in law enforcement due to an incident from her past that she tries hard to suppress but doesn’t always succeed. Clay Fox, the SRO at Dottie’s school has a similar problem so it was nice to see how he and Juliana grew close enough to support one another through their trauma. Both have younger sisters that they are trying to protect from various threats, including a bully and some unstable individuals. There was a twist that I didn’t see coming. I liked how some of the characters from the first book in the series, Life Flight, were present in the story, especially Life Flight pilot, Penny Carlton. The Charlotte, NC, setting was great, too.

I had a niggle regarding the portrayal of one of the characters, André Wilson. Perhaps it is my own sensitivity so I won’t comment further about that.

The audiobook narrator, Sara Sheckells, does an excellent job!! Her narrating skills is one of the reasons why I was so eager to read this next book in the series. She brings the characters, including the villains, to life.

Thank you, Tantor Audio, for a free download of Crossfire.

A Home for Her Daughter by Jill Weatherholt

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 5 Stars

Janie Edmiston and Drew Brennan haven’t seen each other since High School. They couldn’t have predicted they’d be brought together in such an odd way so many years later, but now they share a responsibility that requires them to work closely together. Even though they’d always been just friends, the chemistry between them is evident. However, both Janie and Drew have a past that keeps them from wanting to commit to a relationship. Janie knows in her heart that her young daughter, Riley, could use a stable home and family, but after enduring a mentally and physically abusive marriage, she’s not sure if she can trust any man. After a tragedy for which Drew blames himself, shattered his hopes and dreams to pieces, the thought of a new family is out of the question. How could he protect them when he couldn’t even keep his late wife and daughter safe?

This story drew me right in from the atmospheric setting to the complicated lives of the characters. I love how Jill Weatherholt incorporates adventure into her inspirational tales.  It really amps up the storyline and increases the entertainment factor. Either I was on the edge of my seat during the perilous scenes or I was imagining the beautiful surroundings during the more peaceful times. Not only was I getting an engaging emotional story, but the dappling of dramatic elements kept me fully alert while fervently turning pages. The angst appears at all the right times and propels the story forward. I was invested in the MC’s, Drew and Janie. Janie was guarded because of her insecurities brought about by her ex-husband’s abuse. Drew lived in isolation and blamed himself for the accident that claimed the lives of his wife and daughter. And yet, the two found peace and healing in each other’s presence. They only needed to realize together is where they belonged.

I loved everything about this book! The length, dialog, scenery, animals, intrigue, Janie’s sweet daughter, the main characters—EVERYTHING. There was just the right amount of conflict, emotional elements and the perfect setting to inspire me. And it also reminded me of one of my favorite movies, so that was a plus, too. I definitely recommend it.

A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 – 4.5 stars

Circa 1870’s. What is a Buffalo, NY, girl doing in Penance, Dakota Territory? Agnes Pratt is running away from the man she loves, that’s what. Why? Because she doesn’t want to reveal a secret that’s sure to ruin their chances of ever being together. Accepting a teaching job in a remote territory where James Harris could never find her seemed the best option. But Agnes is no frontier woman, or so she thought. She’s managed to establish herself in Penance; gaining the admiration and respect of many of the residents in the small town. Just maybe she can say goodbye to the life she once dreamed of and hello to this new life. It’s been six years since she left NY. Surely she can accept her fate and embrace her role as teacher and spinster. That is until the new doctor shows up in Penance and threatens to change the trajectory of her future.

A Life Once Dreamed can be summed up with one word: delightful. It was a gentle read that took me on a journey to the Midwest and gave me Little House on the Prairie vibes that put me in a good mental space during this pandemic. It was well written with rugged, endearing characters and enough calamities and adventures to keep the story moving forward. I enjoyed reading it.

Thank you, Revell Books, for the gifted copy of A Life Once Dreamed. My review of it is entirely my own.

The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4 stars

After losing her job and her boyfriend, Dillon Michaels heads back to the place she’s always known as home, her grandparents’ farm in Oregon where she grew up. Her grandpa lives there alone since her grandma passed away about a year earlier. Deciding that her grandpa could use some help and cheering up, she says goodbye to her roommates and heads to Oregon where she plans to spend quality time with her grandfather while figuring out what she should do with her life. But when she gets there she discovers that her elusive mother has beaten her to it. Dillon’s comfy little room has been taken over by her mom who’s experiencing relationship troubles of her own, and Dillon is relegated to the lumpy couch. This, she decides, will not work. As she contemplates leaving the farm, her grandfather surprises her with an old, rundown camper that Dillon sees as a diamond in the rough that she can fix up and live in while staying on the farm. She’s beginning to feel super excited about fixing up her camper, the handsome hardware store owner, and the progress she’s making on the strained relationship she has with her mother. Things are looking up. But when her ex-boyfriend shows up unexpectedly, proclaiming his undying love at a very inopportune time, could his crazy antics cause Dillon to lose out on the prospect of a new love?

I truly enjoyed The Happy Camper. It didn’t hurt that I love everything associated with RVing and cute little vintage campers. So when I saw this book I knew I had to read it, and I was not disappointed. It contained so much that made my little heart happy—sweet romance, camp trailers, a farm, an adoring grandfather, a contrite mother, a cute set of young twin girls and so much more. I read intently and envisioned one old, neglected camp trailer carefully restored, inside and out, and then meticulously decorated to appease the new owner, who made it into a cozy, cute living space for herself. I could picture the interior with its turquoise and orange accessories and original appliances. It was a vintage camper-lover’s dream book! The pace of the book was even with many sweet scenes that brought a smile to my face. And although it ended a bit abruptly, it contained all the makings for a lovely story that was fun and uplifting.

Thank you, Revell Books, for an ARC of The Happy Camper. All opinions expressed about it are my own.

Have a great weekend everyone! 😊

On a Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 – 3.5 stars

Paul Grayson has decided that he needs to unite his family. He feels that his three daughters are somewhat estranged from one another. Not intentionally, but nevertheless they don’t spend enough time together. So he decides to buy the island where he met his wife at camp decades ago, and who is now deceased, in order to bring his children back together again. His daughters think he is suffering from Dementia proposing this scheme and are initially resistant to the thought of helping him get situated on this delapidated island. The project of reconstituting the old Camp Kicking Moose seems immense. But as they all begin assisting and becoming more intimately acquainted with the real assets of the island, its people, each sister will not only help to mend one another, but also themselves in the process.

On a Summer Tide started off strong. It was full of laughs and drew me in, but for some reason the momentum didn’t hold up for me and I was having trouble getting through it. The book flashes back to when the sisters were young; each sister’s part gives us a glimpse into her life and what shaped her into who she is present day. The focus was mainly on the oldest sister, Cam. Those snippets were enlightening but somehow came across to me as haphazardly included. Also, there were a couple of parts in the book that seemed implausible to me and I couldn’t suspend disbelief in order to accept those occurrences as believable. From that point on I truly struggled to finish the book. I enjoyed a few of the characters, including the sisters, but I felt like something was missing, and that the book concluded somewhat abruptly, leaving some untidy loose ends.

Overall, I truly enjoyed parts of the book, but it didn’t keep me glued to its pages.

Thank you, Revell Books, for a complimentary copy of On a Summer Tide. In exchange I have provided my honest review.

A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 – 4.5 stars

Thank you, Baker Publishing Group and Revell Books, for a complimentary paperback copy of A Sparkle of Silver.

And Tantor Audio, for the free audio download.

This pairing made for a perfect book reader experience. ☺️


Camilla “Millie” Sullivan is heartbroken. She’s being forced to move her beloved grandma Joy from the assisted living facility where she’s being cared for because her memory loss has worsened, necessitating more specialized care. Millie is strapped financially and can hardly afford to take care of herself. She’s out of options and feeling hopeless and dejected until her grandma mutters details about a long-held family secret that might help Millie to get the funds she needs. It involves her great grandmother, Ruth, an opulent Chateau and a diary containing a treasure map that’s hidden somewhere within the Chateau’s walls. Fortunate to get part-time employment at the Chateau, Millie sets about snooping to locate Ruth’s diary. Her efforts are thwarted when security guard, Ben Thornton, catches her and threatens to expose her. Desperate to escape dismissal, Millie recruits Ben to help her, promising to split whatever treasure she finds with him. Ben, carrying his own load and in need of money as much as Millie, agrees to help her. Together, Ben and Millie become a formidable team, uncovering more than a few secrets, and in the process, learning that love is more valuable than money.

In this book we find treasure hunts, thefts, homicide, scandal, romance, and lots of mystery. I enjoyed the dual narrative aspect, taking us from the present and back to 1929, just before the Great Depression when Millie’s great-grandmother, Ruth, and her friend, Jane, both bank tellers, were invited to be summer guests at the Dawkins Chateau on St. Simons Island, GA, by Mr. Dawkins’s “particular friend,” 🙄 Lucille Globe. (Mr. Dawkins’s wife and child were back in Chicago at their permanent residence.) The elusive diary describes Ruth’s activities in and around the Chateau during her visit.

The juxtaposition of high-society socialites and the working class guests mingling at the Chateau was fun to observe—the common folks enamored with the lives of the elite. Ruth was a poor farm girl from Central Georgia. Nineteen at the time, she was a fickle young girl who was confused about where she should direct her affection. I anxiously awaited which way Ruth’s heart would steer her. Would it be towards the lowly, solicitous gardener, George? Or the handsome, debonair, wealthy Claude?

This book is categorized as Christian fiction, but it is not strewn with bible verses or dominated by the author’s own interpretations of scripture, which I appreciated. It was not didactic at all, but simply lacked foul language, violence and immoral activity.

Audiobook: The audio narrator’s sugary sweet southern accent took some getting used to initially, but once I acclimated myself to it I was able to relax and enjoy her performance. She did a very good job with the characters’ voices and her pace was just right.

I loved this story that required me to suspend disbelief; to accept the far-fetched plot and coincidences. I liked the balance of unscrupulous characters and benevolent ones throughout the story, and how the romances within were convincingly developed. Recommended.

Thanks for visiting everyone! Have a beautiful day. 😊

Review: Seek and Find

Seek and Find
Seek and Find by Dana Mentink
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 Another great love-inspired suspense story by Dana Mentink. I was thoroughly entertained by Seek and Find – on the edge of my seat wondering who the perpetrator was. I always enjoy Dana Mentink’s suspense books. She writes them so skillfully.  If I didn’t know better I’d think she was a cop.

Madison Coles is a reporter intent on finding out why there is a string of homicides being committed in the town of Desert Valley.  With three attempts on her own life it’s clear that someone doesn’t appreciate her inquisitiveness. Rookie K-9 officer James Harrison, along with his lovable bloodhound Hawk, have to keep an eye on her, but that’s not easy when Madison prefers to be left alone to pursue her intentions, and James has little respect for reporters since they’ve more or less ruined his family’s life.  Only, while both are annoyed by each others’ assigned duties, they can’t deny the attraction that’s forming between them.  But both James and Madison have deeply-rooted trust issues that keep getting in the way.  Will they learn to let down their guard and allow love to blossom while at the same time joining forces to catch a killer, or will their stubborn resolve interfere with the investigation and drive them apart?

Seek and Find is a great little suspense novel that will hold your attention through to the end. The characters were relatable, and I found myself sympathizing with their personal plights. This made the story even more engaging because I wanted to know how things would turn out for both the main characters and a few of the secondary ones. Hawk was a joy to envision and I loved his presence in the book. There were a couple of small parts within the story that I was left feeling a little curious about, but since this book is part of a mini-series written by several different authors, I presume some of my questions could be answered in the next installment. Other than that, Seek and Find was a great book, and if you like fast moving suspense novels, you’re sure to be pleased with this one.

Thank you Dana Mentink for an ARC of Seek and Find. In exchange I have provided an honest review.

View all my reviews

Review: Sit, Stay, Love

Sit, Stay, Love
Sit, Stay, Love by Dana Mentink
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Cal Crawford, professional baseball pitcher, has just learned that he’s inherited his mother’s overweight geriatric pooch, Tippy. He’s not in the least bit happy about this revelation.  With travel commitments and training how could he possibly care for an old dog?  He doesn’t even like dogs, or so he thinks. Reminded that he has enough money to hire someone to like and care for the dog for him, that’s just what he does.  Gina Palmer’s very different from Cal Crawford.  She drives a beat up car, eats fattening doughnuts, loves dogs and is as free spirited as he is taciturn. Nevertheless, he’s in a bind and can use her help immediately and so he hires her.  Although their arrangement gets off to a rocky start, Gina and Tippy help Cal to learn the true meaning of a successful life, and it has very little to do with baseball or money.
I enjoyed Sit, Stay, Love.  It was refreshing seeing the transformation of Cal Crawford from a somewhat arrogant, cynical and faithless man to one who learned the meaning of redemption and compassion.  It was interesting watching the relationship between Cal and his absentee father, Mitch, unfold. The family dynamic kept me engrossed in parts of the book. The secondary characters were a nice addition to the story, and of course Tippy just steals your heart.  Overall, Sit, Stay, Love was a pleasant and satisfying read that I would recommend.

I received this book free from Harvest House Publishers in exchange for an honest review which I have given.

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Review: A Noble Masquerade

A Noble Masquerade
A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Lady Miranda Hawthorne, sister of Griffith Hawthorne, Duke of Riverton, fears that she will never secure a suitable marriage mate and as a consequence will be relegated to a life of spinsterhood. Her younger and decidedly prettier sister, Georgina, is about to embark on her first Season, while Miranda is heading to her fourth. Miranda has survived her mother’s harrowing “lady lessons” over the years by writing letters which she never intends to mail to her brother’s friend the Duke of Marshington, who Griffith always spoke of when corresponding with Miranda while he was away at school. Affectionately known as Marsh, the Duke was more than a friend, he was Griffith’s protector, and his character appealed to Miranda. The letters she wrote and kept hidden away provided an escape. She could pour out her heart and release the anguish, discouragement and discontent she endured to a man who she had come to know and respect through Griffith’s missives; ever careful not to mail the letters, which would be committing the ultimate breach in the rules of etiquette, that of writing to a man of whom she has no family relation. Her brother Griffith is home now and he has brought a most interesting new valet, Marlow, to replace old Herbert. While Miranda has practically accepted her fate as a future doting aunt, and not wife and mother, she begins to admit to herself that Marlow is quite captivating indeed. But there’s a niggling feeling that something is amiss, and when she finds out the truth about this mysterious man all of the lady lessons involving rules of gentility, propriety and decorum will be tossed to the wind.

Smart, witty, suspenseful, intriguing, illustrative, endearing and inspiring are all words that readily come to mind when describing A Noble Masquerade, a delightfully charming read. There was sufficient historical knowledge and verbiage to keep me stimulated and informed about the time period, but not to the point where a dictionary was constantly needed. And although this book is labeled inspirational fiction, it is not at all preachy or oversaturated with scriptural texts. I prefer this sort of mild christian fiction because I don’t have to be concerned about gratuitous violence, sex or foul language. I can safely enjoy the story without those distasteful elements. Also, I become highly perturbed when scriptures are misapplied or spiritual anecdotes seem to be thrown in for good measure, without any real basis for them. This was not the case with A Noble Masquerade. In fact I was only subtly reminded of its Christian aspects throughout reading, which was a plus for me.

In conclusion, Kristi Ann Hunter’s prose was a welcoming diversion to the pressures of everyday life and consumed me until forced to abandon it until the next opportune reading time. A great book that’s highly recommended. In fact, I was so pleased by it I immediately visited her website and then downloaded a novella that she’s written based on a couple who were secondary characters in A Noble Masquerade.

Thank you Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this lovely book in exchange for an honest review which I have given.

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Hazardous Homecoming by Dana Mentink

IMG_3410.JPG ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️   Oooohhh….this was a good one, a great love-inspired suspense story. The suspense aspect kept me guessing to the very end, and I was both shocked and surprised by the outcome. Ruby’s friend goes missing and 20 years later she finds key evidence that could lead to what actually happened to her. However, this finding has the potential to negatively impact the lives of cherished loved ones, and in the midst of it all could ulimately shatter and destroy the bond of love between Ruby and Cooper, who seem destined to be together. I enjoyed this story of love and loss; and Ruby’s struggle to exercise faith in God was both moving and realistic given the trials she was faced with. More often than not I am hesitant to read inspirational fiction, not because I am not a believer, but because I AM. Oftentimes I find this particular genre of books to be too preachy, with the spiritual message often forced into the dialogue at seemingly inopportune times, and in an unnatural way. I can be happily reading along and suddently I’m barraged with a heavy dose of scripture and the author’s interpretation thereof. Isn’t that what inspirational fiction is? Perhaps to some, but not all. For those of us who are religious and possess scriptural knowledge interpretations are taken quite seriously, and if the reader perceives it as incorrect or misinterpreted the reaction can be one of annoyance rather than satisfying. The inspirational fiction category can be tricky in this regard. A writer may be attempting to upbuild readers when in actuality they may be accomplishing the opposite effect, offending the readers’s own cherished belief system and doctrinal interpretations. Dana Mentink handled this superbly in Hazardous Homecoming. She used just enough inspiration to render the book encouraging. It was not overly saturated or laced with scriptural doctrine so as to conflict with my own Christian beliefs. It was for this reason, and the fact that the story was suspenseful and intriguing that I gave Hazardous Homecoming 5 stars. I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review which I have given.