Monday, February 11, 2019

I Choose You: the Boxed Set

I Choose You
Seven of Mountain Brook Ink's contemporary Christian romance authors have come together to give you the first books in their series! My Finding Love in Friday Harbor, Washington, novel is included. You get all seven for 99 cents! You can't beat that! 

If you'd like to help out, we're looking for reviews, even if you've only read one or two of the novels. Please leave your review at: Thank you! Happy reading!

Here are more details: 

Finding Love in Eureka, California by Angela Ruth Strong

Raised in a family of adopted siblings, Genevieve works to keep her family together. If she isn’t good enough to keep her parents from giving her up then no way she’ll be enough to have a lasting relationship.

Matt’s life is easy until he starts hanging out with Genevieve more than his girlfriend. He tells himself he’s intrigued by Gen’s quirkiness, but nobody makes him smile the way she does. Can Matt give up his plan and Gen risk her heart?

The Broken Trail by Christa MacDonald

Katherine takes a job in smalltown Maine to break away from the toll of secrets she’s buried. With evidence of shady dealings on her job, there’s nothing relaxing about it. Maybe it would be easier if she wasn’t so distracted by Captain MacAlister.

Mac has enough to deal with from poachers to drug crime. But when he meets Katherine, he’s drawn in by her intelligence and strength, despite getting burned by her quick temper. If only their scars didn’t threaten to tear them apart. Two wary hearts must soften to have any hope of making it down the broken trail to love.

An Anchor on Her Heart by Patricia Lee

McKenna, abandoned by her husband for his work, is left alone to raise their autistic child. When circumstances drive a wedge in their marriage and Dane chooses to escape, how long can she be strong? Can she remain faithful to her marriage vows when tempted by the friendship of an unlikely stranger? 

Rudy Taylor, who senses McKenna's loneliness, struggles to keep his concern for the young woman pure. Will McKenna’s faith in God and Rudy’s commitment to his Lord keep their relationship simple until McKenna's husband one day returns?

A Love to Treasure by Kimberly Rose Johnson

Nicole’s Grandmother’s final wish lands Nicole in a mysterious scavenger hunt. She finds a fellow sleuth in handsome police officer, Mark Stone. Mark is hoping for a quiet summer in Sunriver as he considers his future in law enforcement.

To complicate matters, Nicole is in danger, and Mark knows his growing feelings for her could cloud his judgment. Will their differing career goals be the end of their summer romance—or just the beginning of forever after? 

Finding Love in Friday Harbor, Washington by Annette M. Irby

Professor Mikaela Rhoads wants to help an old friend’s whale touring business stay afloat. The challenge? The tour captain is her first love and ex-fiancĂ©, Hunter Cahill. Mikaela longs to help, but she’s keeping secrets. She’ll have to face her past to make it through the summer.

Hunter has taken over the family touring business. He’s drowning in debt and hoping the incoming professor will resurrect the business, but he’s not prepared when it turns out to be his former fiancĂ©e. How much will it cost him to spend the summer romancing Mikaela?


Runaway Romance by Miralee Ferrell

Ann Stanway had it all—a reality show and a sparkling future. Until that life no longer existed. She flees L.A., lands in Kentucky at an Amish inn, and realizes what was missing--peace, friendship and a man who accepts her for who she is--or who he thinks she is.

Hunter is intrigued by the woman staying at the inn. Annie is secretive and won’t open up. He’s been burned by a woman before. His interest in Ann grows, and the attraction is mutual—Dare he risk his heart, when he’s sure Ann is keeping secrets? Or will Ann run again?

Come Next Winter by Deborah Dulworth and Linda Hanna

When tragedy hits, Carol struggles to forge a new life. She finds a friend in her cousin Millie as she puts the pieces of her shattered life back together.

Frank, a local pastor, is everything she would look for in a spouse. If she were looking. But she discovers that Millie has set her hopes on becoming the pastor’s wife. Aunt Penny’s outrageous attempts to ensure that Millie wins Frank’s heart might destroy any chance she has at a happy future. Can love find a way to break through?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A Love Most Worthy by Sandra Ardoin

A Love Most Worthy

Today’s novella includes interesting elements, like the setting of Seattle and then Alaska, and the topic of mail-order brides, with a twist.

Let’s begin with the summary:

She didn’t know which was colder, an Arctic winter or her new husband’s heart.

Hallie Russell believes life should be lived to the fullest. For that reason, she sails to the gold rush town of Nome, Alaska, to take her cousin’s place as the mail-order bride of a respected shopkeeper. But when her aloof husband’s wedding-night announcement rocks her plans for their marriage, Hallie sees her desire for a family to call her own vanish as quickly as the dreams of hopeful miners.

Tragedy led Rance Preston to regret his rowdy ways and open a general store for the miners in Nome. He’s content in his bachelorhood, but his two orphaned nephews deserve a proper and serious-minded mother. Duped once by a vivacious female, he’s determined to never again let his heart overrule his head…until the high spirits of his new bride threaten his resolve.

When a misunderstanding comes to light, will they allow the gale force winds of insecurity to destroy what they each need most?

And now, my review:

Sandra’s prose is top-notch. The story kept me engaged and I was hooked, waiting to see how things worked out. She understands how to weave a strong story and never let the plot drag. I did notice some of the emotions and reactions were overstated, given some of the situations, and I had a hard time connecting to the emotions because they sometimes seemed exaggerated. Still, I found strong storytelling and wordsmithing throughout. The story reads very fast.

The hero has been betrayed in the past, and part of his healing involves forgiveness. The heroine longs for a family of her own and to belong. She’ll need to find her place in the chilly north. 

I liked the sense of hope and adventure in the story. The heroine is strong. Her insecurities only add to her layers. She’s likable, and I rooted for her. The hero believes he’s being noble, and in many ways he is, which makes him sympathetic as well. 

I recommend this well-written novella.

Healing Hearts by Sarah M. Eden

Healing Hearts by Sarah M. Eden

Sarah is one of my new favorite authors. She writes historicals, and I love her storytelling. Healing Hearts is another Proper Romance from Shadow Mountain. This book follows the novel, The Sheriff of Savage Wells, also by Sarah M. Eden. (By the way, if you're interested in reading clean romances, check out the rest of Shadow Mountain's Proper Romances. I enjoy this line of books!)

Let's begin with the summary:

A fan favorite character from The Sheriff of Savage Wells is the focus of this story about a forward-thinking doctor on the Wyoming frontier who sends away for a mail-order bride with nursing experience. 

Miriam steps off the train looking for a job, not a husband. She refuses to be wed, and Gideon is unspeakably embarrassed by the misunderstanding. Stranded in Savage Wells, Miriam has nowhere else to go and a secret that she’s determined to keep from everyone. She has epilepsy, a condition that other doctors had claimed was symptomatic of madness, a diagnosis which prompted her family to have her committed to an asylum. Miriam is afraid that if Dr. MacNamara finds out the truth, he will send her back to the asylum, a place that is little better than a prison. But Gideon is not like the other doctors she has encountered, and he offers Miriam the nursing position anyway. 

When illness sweeps through the town, Gideon and Miriam work together to care for the growing number of sick people. As they do so, their relationship slowly grows into something deeper. When Miriam's former doctor arrives in town to take her back to the asylum, Gideon, along with some familiar faces in Savage Wells, including Cade, Paisley, and Hawk, must rally around Miriam to protect her from a dangerous fate. And for Gideon, it might mean risking his heart one more time for a chance at love.

And now, my review:

This is a “mail-order bride” romance with a twist, which I loved. I didn’t read the summary first, so I was deducing, based on the symptoms, what the heroine faced. Well written! 

Our heroine longs for freedom as she’s just come from a prison. I found her plight relatable in some ways—she didn’t leave one prison to land in another. I sympathized with her and rooted for her right away.

The hero is caught off guard when what he anticipated happening is interrupted, in several ways. He remains heroic and acts nobly in spite of his disappointments. I love that he was a "forward-thinking" doctor. That gave me hope throughout the story, letting readers see what he thought. (Which didn't always match what the heroine feared.)

I enjoyed reading the medical aspects of the West in the 1880s. The research seemed well done. I learned men could have their female family members committed to an asylum at any time, for any reason, and that women didn’t have the power or right to choose and live in freedom. That might be oversimplifying it, but I was surprised (and irritated—ha!) to read about this aspect. On the other hand, it provides a fantastic conflict for the heroine. 

Sarah has a great writing voice. Her stories have strong pacing and delicious prose. I loved the humor. I’ve decided to track down more of Sarah’s novels because I consistently enjoy her work. At this moment, I have several of her books on loan from the library. 

I enjoyed this book more than book one. (You can find my review of The Sheriff of Savage Wells here.) I recommend reading them in order, but since there is little mention of the personal lives of the characters from book one, you’ll probably be able to follow without having read book one first.