Tag Archives: contemporary romance fiction

Book Review (+ Giveaway): True to You

29 May

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he’s diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John’s already dating someone and Nora’s not sure she’s ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they’re seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

 

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, took time off to raise her children, then felt God nudging her to pursue contemporary Christian fiction. Becky is the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and International Reader’s Choice Award winning author of the Porter Family Novels.

Find out more about Becky at http://beckywade.com.

 

My Impressions:

Great Scott! What a great book! Seriously, one of the best books I’ve read all year. True to You, the first book in Becky Wade’s new Bradford Sisters Romance series, is a contemporary romance with a lot going for it. This is not your typical fluffy, boy-meets-girl love story, but a deeply moving, thought-provoking novel that will touch your heart as it feeds your reading soul. This one gets the rare very highly recommended designation from me!

Nora Bradford is the bookish and quirky middle sister between two gorgeous and talented sisters. She has defined herself as the brainy one, and after a disastrous engagement and break-up, she is now the single one who relishes her self-imposed status. She thinks she is content watching period dramas on TV, immersing herself in fiction, and staging an historic village, that is, until she meets the very hunky ex-Navy Seal, John Lawson. While their relationship gets off to an awkward start, they begin a business arrangement that grows into a deep friendship. But ugly truths from their pasts may derail what could be a very beautiful love story.

Becky Wade has created a beautifully crafted story injected with wit and humor. The writing is exquisite, the plotting complex, and the characterization unique and masterful. I loved, loved, loved this book! While I had lots of grins, giggles and guffaws during the course of reading, True to You has a depth not often found in contemporary romance fiction. The characters have real struggles that make them incredibly relatable. The search for the truth behind John’s birth is the catalyst for the story which leads to the discovery of the ultimate truth for the main characters — their true identity in Christ. The story is mostly told in third person narrative, but glimpses of the motivations and emotions of the characters are displayed in various forms of communication — texts, FB messages, letters, and emails. One letter in particular that the main characters are not privy to, lets the reader in on the wonder of God’s working through trial and pain. True to You is also a romance, and there is plenty of heat between Nora and John presented in a realistic way. Physical desire is real. It’s the reining in of those passions with the help of God, that keeps the characters from regrets and heartache.

I fell in love with Nora and John’s story from the first chapter. If you are looking for an outstanding novel to kick off your Summer reading, then look no farther than True to You.

Very Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Giveaway

Celebrate the launch of Becky Wade’s new series by entering to win a fabulous prize pack and $100 cash card!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of True to You
  • A $100 Visa cash card
  • A prize pack hand-picked by Becky

 

Enter today by clicking HERE, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 30. The winner will be announced May 31 on the Litfuse blog.

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Summer Reading!

23 May

Summer is upon us, although here in the sunny South, we have had temps in the 90s for a few weeks now! When the weather is hot do you prefer a sizzling romance, a suspense-filled mystery, a riveting historical, or thoughtful literary fiction? All of the above? Me too! I love to read across all genres, and summer is a great time to abandon yourself in a good book. The folks at The Broke And The Bookish are hosting Summer Reads this week in their Top 10 Tuesday. Find out what other bloggers are packing in their weekender and beach totes HERE.

 

This week’s list is a mixture of books I’ve read that would be good take-alongs on your summer adventures and books that I will be reading this summer. More than 10? Maybe! LOL! But it’s summer. Indulge!

Top 10 Books for Summer Reading

 

What I’ve Read

If I Run/If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock (suspense)

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin (literary fiction)

The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry (literary fiction)

Vendetta/Missing/Pursued by Lisa Harris (suspense)

The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton (historical)

What I’ll Be Reading

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason (romantic suspense)

Deep Extraction by DiAnn Mills (romantic suspense)

Driver Confessional by David L. Winters (political thriller)

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson (historical romance)

Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett (historical fiction)

The Runaway by Claire Wong (mystery)

Sailing out of Darkness by Normandie Fischer (women’s fiction)

True to You by Becky Wade (contemporary romance)

With You Always by Jody Hedlund (historical romance)

What will you read this summer?

Becky Wade’s “True To You” Author Chat Party!

1 May

Raise your hand if you’re ready for Becky Wade’s new series! Celebrate the release of book one, True to You, with Becky and other readers on Facebook on May 4th during a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that’s 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Becky will be chatting about the book and answering your questions about the new series, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too!

Pre-order your copy of True to You so you’re ready for a fun book discussion. Find out more about the book here.

Hope to see you on May 4 for Becky’s True to You Facebook Party!

Book Review: Sandpiper Cove

20 Apr

Hope Harbor police chief Lexie Graham has plenty on her plate raising her son alone and dealing with a sudden rash of petty theft and vandalism in her coastal Oregon hometown. As a result, she has zero time for extracurricular activities–including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn’t looking for love either–but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief? Yet wishing for things that can never be is foolish.

Nevertheless, when Lexie enlists Adam’s help to keep a young man from falling into a life of crime, sparks begin to fly. And as they work together, it soon becomes apparent that God may have a different–and better–future planned for them than either could imagine.

 

Irene Hannon is the best-selling author of more than 35 novels. Her books have been honored with the coveted RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, the HOLT Medallion, the Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine and the Daphne du Maurier Award for mystery/suspense. Irene and her husband make their home in Missouri, USA. Irene invites you to visit her at her website, http://www.irenehannon.com.

 

My Impressions:

A return trip to Hope Harbor, Oregon? Sign me up! Irene Hannon’s contemporary romance series set in a small coastal town has everything I like — relatable characters, beautiful setting, and stories filled with heart and hope. In book 3 of the series, Sandpiper Cove, an unlikely couple discovers that you really can have a second chance.

Old friends and new are part of Sandpiper Cove. The novel focuses on police chief, Lexie, and ex-con Adam. A unique couple to be sure and more than an opposites attract story line. Hannon handles the obstacles that face this couple realistically. The emphasis is on second chances in life and love, and more than one character learns that God can indeed make things new. I loved the community aspect of this novel, with most willing to look at present actions rather than past mistakes. I also really liked that the main characters focus was not just on themselves, but on others that need a helping hand. For fans of this genre, the romance is sweet, with a big dose of sizzle.

Hope Harbor is a place I would love to visit, and I am pleased that I’ll be able to do just that in future books. A bit of a mystery for the next book is hinted at, and of course I just have to know what Charlie the taco man is up to. I have a few theories about this angelic minor character.

Easily read as a standalone, you really do need to start at the beginning of this series — it is just too good to miss.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday: 2016 Releases I Didn’t Read (But Should)

10 Jan

My TBR pile has reached staggering heights since I started blogging. Is it possible to have too many books? I think the problem is really not enough time to read — stuff like laundry and work just keeps getting in the way! In an effort to read what is on my shelves in 2017, I am practicing saying no to shiny new books. We’ll see how long that lasts. 😉 In the meantime, here is a list of the books that were released in 2016 that I failed to read, but really, really plan to. Can we put a freeze on 2017 releases until I get caught up?

For other bloggers woefully behind on their reading, check out The Broke And The Bookish this week.

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2016 Books That I Need to Read

The Cottage by Michael Phillips

Delilah by Angela Hunt

Dressed for Death by Julianna Deering

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The End of Law by Therese Down

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hall by Julie Klassen

Lead Me Home by Amy Sorrells

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The Shattered Vigil by Patrick Carr

Sins of The Past by Dee Henderson/Dani Pettrey/Lynette Eason

You’re The One That I Want by Susan May Warren

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Have you read any of these 2016 releases?

Which one should I read first?

Book Review + Guest Post: A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

19 Dec

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To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book

Genre: Christian Romance/Christmas

Release Date: October 18, 2016

Book Format: Paperback & Ebook

a-royal-christmas-wedding-kd2-rev1-197x300Avery Truitt aches for true love—the kind she once shared with Prince Colin. Can she dare to hope for happily ever after, or is a fairy-tale ending beyond reach?

College volleyball star Avery Truitt has not seen her former flame, Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom, since he suddenly pushed her away five years ago. But now, the sadness of losing her father and the joy of her sister Susanna’s pregnancy have brought Avery back to Brighton just in time for Cathedral City’s enchanting Christmas season.

Avery knows she can’t avoid seeing Colin—now the Kingdom’s most eligible bachelor—whether or not her heart is ready to relive the pain. But seeing him again might bring her the closure she needs after all this time.

When Colin finds himself at the center of a centuries-old Brighton tradition, he must decide whether to follow the path laid out before him or follow his heart to the only woman for whom he would ring the Pembroke Chapel Bell.

Can Colin convince Avery to meet him at the chapel on Christmas morning—as tradition dictates—or will Avery run back to her St. Simons home and pursue a coaching career as planned?

In the fourth installment of the Royal Wedding Series, New York Times bestselling novelist, Rachel Hauck, weaves a charming story of holiday romance as two broken hearts seek the love they once knew.

About the Author

rachel-hauck-hr-1-731x1024Rachel Hauck is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and award-winning author.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.

She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker.

Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets, and writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I don’t think we can ever get enough of royals or Christmas, do you? The two just seem to go together.

The Bible tells us eternity is written on our hearts. (Ecc. 3:11) I wonder if it’s also written on our hearts to be princesses in a grand, beautiful, perfect kingdom.

That being said, welcome to The Royal Christmas Wedding blog tour. My deepest thanks to all the bloggers, reviewers, and readers for hosting and visiting this tour. I’m excited to share this story with you all.

The hero and heroine, Prince Colin and Avery Truitt, first met in Once Upon A Prince at King Nathaniel’s coronation.

I hadn’t planned to write a spinoff story with the two of them. In fact, I didn’t even know Prince Colin existed until Avery walked into the abbey for the coronation and glanced across the sanctuary into his eyes.

Here’s his introduction:

Lean, aristocratic with an outdoorsman ruddiness, he nearly made Susanna swoon when he winked at Avery.

I liked Colin immediately. So did Avery. As well as a lot of you.

When my publisher asked me to write their story, it would be two years before the book would release. Plenty of time, right?

But “time crunch” is the name of the game with most writers. Between life, rewrites, edits, and promotional activity, we often find ourselves hurrying toward a deadline. Well, at least I do.

In the fall of 2015 I was writing The Wedding Shop and A Royal Christmas Wedding at the same time.

I’d also dealt with a physical issue that left me shaky. Could I write two books in five months? Did I want to even make the attempt?

If I said no, publication dates would be pushed out, causing a year delay on A Royal Christmas Wedding. And I knew that was something I did not want to do.

Publishing is a long game. Books are contracted and due 12 to 18, even 24 months, before release dates. Time must be carved out for rewrites and editing, marketing and promotion. Review copies go out at least five months in advance.

So I agreed to write both books. I told my editor, “Diamonds come from pressure.”

Coming up with Avery and Prince Colin’s story wasn’t as easy as I’d planned. Since they met in Once Upon A Prince as teenagers, I struggled with how to advance their age and relationship, and how to present them as the book opened.

Where had their relationship gone “between the books?”

When I came up with the idea of the Pembroke Chapel bell, the story magic began to happen. One of the things I love in the royal wedding books is the fairytale aspect. Looking for something out of the ordinary.

Even though my writing time was tight, writing Avery and Colin’s story was a joy. Once again I wish I could visit Brighton, eat a puff, and royal watch for the Strattons!

I hope you found a few sweet spots in the story, all wrapped in Christmas holiday cheer, and enjoyed your time with me in Brighton Kingdom.

Merry Christmas!

Blog Stops

December 8: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

December 8: New Horizon Reviews

December 8: inklings and notions

December 9: Reading Is My SuperPower

December 9: Redeemed Hope Dweller

December 9: Book by Book

December 10: His Grace is Sufficient

December 10: Blossoms and Blessings

December 10: Pause for Tales

December 11: Quiet Quilter

December 11: Ashley’s Bookshelf

December 11: Reviewing Novels Online

December 12: Bibliophile Reviews

December 12: Lights in a Dark World

December 12: Splashes of Joy

December 13: Moments Dipped in Ink

December 13: Neverending Stories

December 13: Through the Open Window

December 14: The Power of Words

December 14: Counting Pinecones

December 14: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

December 15: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

December 15: Genesis 5020

December 15: CTF Devourer

December 16: Lighthouse Academy

December 16: God’s Little Bookworm

December 16: Christian Bookaholic

December 17: Smiling Book Reviews

December 17: God is Love

December 17: A Simple Life, really?!

December 18: A Holland Reads

December 18: The Scribbler

December 18: Faith * Love * Books

December 19: By The Book

December 19: Karen Sue Hadley

December 19: Southern Chelle

December 20: Faithfully Bookish

December 20: Books. Books. And More Books

December 20: A Baker’s Perspective

December 21: ASC Book Reviews

December 21: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card plus a copy of A Royal Christmas Wedding and a copy of The Wedding Shop. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/aaeb

My Impressions:

Christmas + a fairy tale = great reading! That’s the equation for Rachel Hauck’s A Royal Christmas Wedding, the final book in her Royal Wedding series. Readers met Avery Truett and Prince Colin in the first book in the series, and their whirlwind romance turned heartbreak finally comes full circle as Avery and her recently widowed mother join the royal family of Brighton Kingdom for the Christmas holidays. Neither characters have forgotten the sweetness of their time together nor the bitter taste of separation. But trust is hard to rebuild even when the heart longs for it.

I have loved all of Hauck’s books in this series. There is a sense of the magical both in the settings and in the tales that unfold. In A Royal Christmas Wedding, God intervenes when a Colin sends his heart’s desire heavenward. Who needs a fairy godmother when you have God on your side? And while the course of their love isn’t without obstacles, you know in the end there will be a happily-ever-after. In the Epilogue, Hauck also includes a wrap-up to all the love stories that took place throughout the series. A perfect ending for a wonderful series!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Restoring Christmas

15 Dec

618chyzgjql-_sx343_bo1204203200_Alexis Blake has one chance to land her own show on the Home Project Network and nothing, not an uncooperative client, a job site without indoor plumbing, or a challenging videographer, is going to stand in her way. Elsie, at seventy-plus, is far from the ideal client, but she knows exactly what she wants her fieldstone house to look like, and no designer can tell her otherwise. Gabe Langley, the man with the camera, is caught in the middle and it is his wisdom and warmth that just may be the bridge that will bring these two women together. Can they restore more than just a house and bring about special, almost lost forever Christmas memories?

 

cynthia-ruchti_green_couch1-1024x819Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope through her novels, novellas, devotions, and nonfiction, and through speaking for women’s events/retreats and writers’ conferences/workshops. She draws from 33 years of experience writing and producing the 15-minute daily radio broadcast, The Heartbeat of the Home. Her books have received recognition from RT Reviewers’ Choice, PW Starred Review, Selah Awards, Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, CLASSeminars Award of Excellence, Golden Scroll Awards, and more. She serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, is a board member of the Deliver Hope ministry, and is part of the worship team at her church. She and her husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

 

My Impressions:

Cynthia Ruchti’s latest Christmas-themed novella is the perfect addition for your holiday reading this year. Restoring Christmas is a story filled with humor, heart and hope. Alexis is a designer with dreams of a big break in television. She travels to small town Wisconsin to take on the challenge of restoring a home in just 8 weeks before Christmas. She soon finds that her plans must take a backseat to the story of the home and its owner, Elsie. Amidst obstacles, the project bumpily progresses, and Alexis grows in her appreciation for a true restoration.

While Restoring Christmas is a novella, I never felt short-changed in character development. Alexis is a woman driven to be the very best despite insecurities brought on my her childhood experiences. Cameraman Gabe has overcome a past as well, and his irritating enthusiasm and perkiness is the perfect foil for Alexis. It is their pasts and the past of the home they are restoring that points to the overall theme of how the past often comes to define us, unless we let God remake and restore us. One of my favorite lines in the book reflects the way God overcomes and makes new out of a mess — Our past converted into something more suitable for how we live today. (p. 211). Ruchti also uses setting to great effect. I now have Door County and its environs on my travel bucket list!

Restoring Christmas is a quick read, but it is one that will stay with you for a long time. Pick it up for your Christmas reading fix!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Worthy Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)