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Archive for the ‘Romance’ Category

The Rose of Winslow Street

Elizabeth CamdenThe Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden

Who owns the house on Winslow Street?

It’s the only house Libby Sawyer has ever called home, but now Michael Dobrescu has arrived from Romania with his family in tow and seems to hold documents showing that the house was willed to him decades ago.  What makes matters worse is that the Dobrescu’s moved  into the house while Libby’s family was vacationing.

With neither family willing to give up their claim the legal battle quickly becomes heated.  When important documents go missing Libby’s father is determined to have Michael charged with the crime.  Libby isn’t sure who is right, but when she realizes she is quickly losing her heart to Michael she despairs at having to choose between him and her family.  What can she do when both families seem to have valid claims?

This book is no piece of fluff.  It is a thoroughly enjoyable read that is well researched and has a fully developed plot.  Although it is  a historical romance there is enough mystery and uncertainty to keep the reader turning pages.  I was completely drawn into the story. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 stars

 

A Lasting Impression (and a chance to win a Kindle Fire)

Tamera AlexanderUpon picking up a copy of a lasting impression by Tamera Alexander I was immediately impressed by the intensely beautiful cover work.  Turning  the cover over and reading the back, I was equally intrigued and eager to begin reading.

A Lasting Impression brings us into the life of Claire Laurent, a talented artist who’s father has  forced  her to be a copyist–a forger of master artists.  More than anything Claire dreams of painting her own masterpieces, but her father forbids her from following her dream.  Over and over he tells her that she has no talent of her own, and that this life is the best she can hope for.

When Claire is forced to flee New Orleans after her father is robbed and wounded, she ends up in Nashville, and  her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe.  She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities when he finds her just waking up from spending the night sleeping on a church pew.  But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she’s sorely misjudged the man.

A year after the war between the states has ended, Nashville is still reeling from the impact of the war.  When opportunity befalls Claire  to become personal liaison to Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, one of the only Nashville citizens to make it through the war relatively better off than she entered it, Claire believes her dreams may one day come true.  Adelicia is an art enthusiast and collector of highest regard.  She even hosts an art auction that includes place for new artists to showcase their work each year.  If only Claire can find time to create a worthy painting and enter it without the truth of her past coming to light.

When Claire finds a forgery among the master paintings to be sold she faces her worst nightmare.  Does she let the painting go unnoticed, or will she risk losing the love and friendship she has found  to admit that the painting is a forgery–and that she knows because she’s the one who painted it.

A sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves–and each other–for who they really are, A Lasting Impression is a one of a kind read and fully worthy of 5 stars.


 A Lasting ImpressionTamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don’t forget Jack, their precious–and precocious–silky terrier.


For more information about Tamera please visit www.tameraalexander.com

Enter to win one of Tamera’s fabulous prizes and RSVP for Facebook Party on 11/15!

Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party from Tamera Alexander!

While Tamera and her book,  A Lasting Impression, are traveling across the country virtually
(with a few international stops as well!), she will be hosting a Kindle
Fire Giveaway
(11/4 – 11/15) and preparing for a lavish Southern-Style Facebook Party (11/15) (dripping
with hospitality, of course). She will be giving away Southern Food
Baskets, books, and an array of other fabulous freebies! Don’t miss a
minute of the fun. Swoon!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Brand New Kindle Fire (shipped as soon as it releases)
  • A copy of A Lasting Impression and 3 other special books Tamera wants you to have (for Kindle)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 15th. Winner will be announced at A Lasting Impression Facebook Party on the 15th. Tamera will be wrapping up the A Lasting Impression celebration
with an author chat and giving away Southern Food Baskets (Loveless
Cafe Food Baskets, books, Amazon & Starbucks gift certificates, and
copies of Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate cookbook), six gift certificates to Starbucks and Amazon.com, and copies of A Lasting Impression! So grab your copy of A Lasting Impression (it’s
okay if you don’t have one yet- you might win one!) and join Tamera on
the evening of November 15th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How
much do you know about the 1860’s?) and lots of Southern-inspired
giveaways (complete listing here).

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 15th!

A Vacation to Remember Forever

Lisa T. BergrenWaterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

reviewed by Megan–a teen who devours books

Teenage sisters Gabi and Lia Betarrini are spending the summer in Italy.  Sounds like fun right?  It would be, except that they’re spending it with their mom at an archaeological sit–the same thing they do every summer.  Because they’re bored, Gabi and Lia start exploring an ancient tomb when they come across a hand print. When they touch it, somehow the hand print tosses them back in time to  the fourteenth  century.

Getting separated from Lia, Gabi finds herself in a the middle of a war between two families.  She meets  Sir Marcello Forelli who takes her back to his family’s castle.  Not sure how to explain what has happened, Gabi explains that she has been separated from her family.  Unsure of how to get home, she begins to discover life in fourteenth century Italy, with long fancy dresses, no indoor plumping, and being called Lady Betarrini.  But when Gabi discovers herself falling for both the time period and Sir Marcello  she begins to wonder if she will ever find her sister or get to go back to the twenty-first century.

I really enjoyed this book, even though I usually prefer action and suspense over romance.  It felt like I had really been transported to fourteenth century Italy.  It felt very real. I would definitely recommend this to my friends.  It was very well written.     4 stars

This book was provided to me by the publisher, David C. Cook  All opinions rendered are my own.

Pompeii: City on Fire by T.L. Higley

Pompeii: City on Fire   By  T.L. Higley

From the fires of Jerusalem’s destruction Ariella flees only to find herself enslaved to a powerful and evil Roman politician.    Nine years of horrific abuse and degregation later  Ariella flees when opportunity arises, and attaches herself to a group of gladiators by tricking them into thinking she is a young man. Cato leaves politics and Rome behind to build a new life in Pompeii as a winemaker.  Before he has a chance to see his dream fulfilled he finds himself an enemy of the elected tyrant, and pursued by others to be the one who takes down the tyrant. Through circumstance and providence, their lives are thrust together, but what can ever break the barrier between a Roman patrician and a Jewish slave?  And what will happen when Mt.Vesuvius bursts forth? If I would describe this book in one word it would be ‘complete’.  When finishing the book I did not find myself thinking “Well what about…”.  The book is wonderfully written just like all of T.L. Higley’s recent work.  The story flows easily on the pages and is an enjoyable read.  The descriptions of Pompeii and life during this time period are well researched and allow the reader to sit back and immerse themself in the journey along with the characters.  I especially enjoyed the portion of the book where the characters are in the midst of the erupting volcano and it’s aftermath.  Altogether this is a very worthwhile read, and to give it another plug, it is also on my daughter’s Honors World History reading list. 5 Stars

Abandoned Baby Found Adrift at Sea

Stephanie NewtonThe Baby’s Body Guard

by Stephanie Newton

Love Inspired Suspense, August 2011 

Ethan Clark  was expecting a trap when he was texted gps coordinates that lead him to an abandoned boat.   Although his job had him regularly policing the waters off this section of Florida coast, the text came to his personal line.  He dealt with some pretty dangerous criminals back when he was undercover with the FBI, and there were more than a few who might want to exact revenge.  The last thing he expected to find under the tarp covering the boat was a screaming toddler.

Local social worker Kelsey Rodgers waited by the shore to take the toddler until it’s parents could be found.  Not that she held out much hope of that happening since the little girl seemed be one of the many orphans from Eastern Europe she’d come across over the last few years.

Searching the little girl’s diaper bag for any clues to her identity,  Ethan comes across a hand-print and a photograph of a baby.  The photo sends shock-waves through his system.  A picture of his deceased son stares back at him–only the baby is months older than his son was when he died.  There’s no way this could be his son.  He’d seen his wife and son blown to bits with his own eyes when they were caught in the explosion that ended his last undercover assignment.  Ethan’s phone signals another text coming in, and the four words he reads change his world forever:  YOUR SON IS ALIVE

As Kelsi and Ethan race to find answers bullets race towards them and sparks fly between them.  Will love will win before it’s too late?

I really enjoyed the strong plot and inviting characters in this story, but I think the story would have greatly benefited by adding an extra 20,000 words–unfortunately the constraints of the Love Inspired series do not allow for this.  I found myself wanting more detail, and greater depth throughout the book.  There was just too much story crammed into too small a book.

I’m giving this book 3 stars

Miss Foolish Heart

Susan May WarrenEveryone in Deep Haven knows Isadora Presley is the town recluse.  What they don’t know is that she’s also Miss Foolish Heart, the popular syndicated talk radio show host.   Listeners to her show love taking her relationship advice but what they don’t know as they’re  is that Miss Foolish Heart has never even been on a date.

Isadora, known as Issy to her friends, has barely left her neighborhood since the accident that took her mother’s life and left her father a quadriplegic.  The world just seems so dangerous–why anything could happen.  Just look at all that has happened since the handsome new neighbor moved in next door.  That dog of his has been causing constant trouble not to mention that he insists on parking his huge truck right on top of her flowers.

Things have been going a bit crazy on the Miss Foolish Heart show too.  First the Governor of California’s daughter decides to settle for an imperfect man because she’s tired of waiting for Mr. Right, and she calls in to invite Miss Foolish Heart to the wedding.  If Issy can’t even make it  to  her best friend Lucy’s World’s Best Donuts’ shop right in town, how could she ever get on a plane.

Then a sweet young man calls the show trying to get advice for wooing his neighbor.  The listeners love this young man, and her ratings skyrocket.  Issy finds herself falling for this sweet young man even as she gives him advice on how to win another girls heart.  Oh, why can’t Issy find someone that perfect?

My Foolish Heart is the third installment in Susan May Warren’s Deep Haven series.  It is a perfectly delightful  read.  The pace keeps you moving right along, and you grow to love the characters more and more throughout the story.  As with all of Susan’s books, the descriptions and settings have the ability to transport you right into the scene.  I hope she plans to bring us more stories about the endearing people of Deep Haven.

I enthusiastically give this book 5 Stars.

The Hawaii That Was

Hawaiian Crosswinds                                            by Linda Lee Chaikin

The tropical vacationers paradise we know today as our 50th state is but a gleam in the eye of Rafe Easton and fellow annexation supporters.  The royal government is not only corrupted by money being offered by the drug lords, but Hawaii is in danger of falling to whatever country decides to overtake the small island nation.  Rafe knows it is crucial to gain the backing of the Unites States Constitution and Military.

Rafe’s fiance Eden Derrington, a nurse,  is part of one of the most influential families in Hawaii.  She longs to go with her physician father, to work on the leper colony island of Molokai.  She has learned that her mother, once thought dead, is actually living–and dying in the colony.  Eden desires more than anything to spend time with the mother she barely remembers before it is too late.

Eden and her father need permission from Queen Liliuokalani to begin a clinic on the island.  Rafe needs to make sure the queen learns nothing of the plans for annexation, or those behind it.  When the plans for annexation go missing and Rafe learns that both Eden and her father were in the vicinity of the theft, will he be able to trust the woman he loves, or will mistrust tear them apart for good.

Written in a classic literary style with lots of dialogue between the characters telling much of the story,  Chaikin really brings to life the struggles to bring Hawaii to what we know it as today.   Well done character development is balanced with an intricate, yet easy to follow plot.   Hawaiian Crossroads was an enjoyable read.  This is the second book in the Dawn of Hawaii series, and although not essential, it is probably a good idea to begin with the first –The Spoils of Eden.

Fans of Chaikin’s work may recognize characters in this beautiful story from earlier book For Whom the Stars Shine.  Having read that book a number of years ago, I asked if it was technically a part of this series and here is Chaikins reply:

“We can call For Whom the Stars Shine a prequel to Spoils of Eden and Hawaiian Crosswinds.  Stars deals with Rafe and Eden when they were younger and sets the stage for the big mystery of what happened to Eden’s mother, Rebecca.  The Dawn of Hawaii trilogy follows and builds on Stars after Eden realizes her mother is a leper.   For Whom the Stars Shine is out of print right now and I’m hoping Moody may want to reprint it to go with the present trilogy.”

This book is a definite 4 star read.

I received a review copy of this book  from the publisher, Moody Press, through the NetGalley service.  All opinions rendered are my own.

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