Thursday, June 28, 2018

Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines—until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path . . . as a conductor in the Underground Railroad.

MY THOUGHTS:
The last few months have been so very busy for me, and it has been hard to find time to read. When I am able to carve out some time to indulge in a book, I have found that the last few I have chosen haven't captured my attention from the get-go, and I plod the remaining way through the story.

Whoa! Not Engraved on the Heart! What an amazing debut novel by Tara!! I sat down to start the book, and I must have been interrupted by a child, but as I checked my Kindle, I was 29% through the book! By my criteria, that must mean a good 'un! I was totally captivated by Tara's descriptions and characters, and she swept me right into the heart of the story without any effort on my part.

Engraved on the Heart had everything I love in a Civil War setting: the conflict, the suspense, the fear, the courage, the love! Tara captured it all, and I would definitely pick up her next book...whatever it is!

I don't want to give spoilers, but the fight climax had some confusing issues. I couldn't quite figure out how it actually occurred (because of the disability of one of the characters) or was resolved...but, the rest of the book was too good to wonder about it for too very long.

Well done, Tara! I loved it!

Thank you to Tara and Tyndale Blog Network for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter



ABOUT THE BOOK:
When Katherine "Kit" FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she's forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend's missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she's telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can't matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. And as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn't worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger.

MY THOUGHTS:
I really, really, really enjoy Kristi's writing style. Her books are engaging, and her characters are realistic and emotive.

This new series starts out with a bored earl-to-be who, after meeting an out-of-place woman at a ball, is challenged to make a difference in the lives of forgotten children. These forgotten children are illegitimate, which may or may not make you uncomfortable. Kristi is very tasteful in her descriptions, but the whole book does deal with the difficult, historic subject - of children born out of wedlock and the beginnings of informal adoptions.

I loved seeing Jess in this story (the spy turned maid from the Hawthorne House series)! I hope Kristi is going to tell her story next!! I am so curious as to how she ended up at Haven House!

If you've read Kristi's past books, you won't want to miss A Defense of Honor!

Thank you to Kristi and Bethany House through NetGalley for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke



ABOUT THE BOOK:
For American Claire Stewart, joining the French Resistance sounded as romantic as the storylines she hopes will one day grace the novels she wants to write. But when she finds herself stranded on English shores, with five French Jewish children she smuggled across the channel before Nazis stormed Paris, reality feels more akin to fear.

With nowhere to go, Claire throws herself on the mercy of an estranged aunt, begging Lady Miranda Langford to take the children into her magnificent estate. Heavily weighted with grief of her own, Miranda reluctantly agrees . . . if Claire will stay to help.

MY THOUGHTS:
I have really enjoyed Cathy's past books. I also love anything set in WWII. So, I jumped at the chance to read the story of Claire and her little French refugees.

Any avid reader knows that not all books written by a favorite author or set in a favorite era 'hit the spot.' Unfortunately, that was the case for me with Until We Find Home. That's not to say there weren't parts I enjoyed. The end accelerated into some excitement with the escaped Nazi soldier and some of the children. It was interesting to learn aspects of the Britain homefront I had not previously known.

But for me, the problem was Claire. I just couldn't relate or connect with her. And, again, any reader knows that if you don't like the main character...well, that makes it pretty difficult to like the book. I tried to like her. I tried by restarting the book three different times!! I got 1/3 of the way through the book, and just did not like her. Even Aunt Miranda didn't endear herself to me.

Ack!

So, the book is definitely worth a try. Just because Claire wasn't easy for me to understand, doesn't mean you won't love her. ;-) Especially if you already enjoy Cathy's books or WWII settings.

Thank you to Cathy and Tyndale through Tyndale Blog Network for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. He's certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, but while Frederica is strangely elusive, he can't seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, her uncle will only help them if she'll use her beauty to assist him in his political aims. Already uncomfortable with this agreement, the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation.

Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?

MY THOUGHTS:
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole Hawthorne House series. I've been waiting for this fourth book to see who would be good enough for Griffith, the Duke of Riverton, to marry.

It was refreshing that Frederica was not awed enough by a very eligible, pursuing duke to give up true love. I know that times were different back then, with such focus for young ladies to make worthy matches for financial and familial security, but I still felt badly for Isabella. Because of her uncle's intimidation, I had a difficult time connecting with her at first. But, by the time Bella 'visits the trees,' I liked her and could see a little more of the real Miss Breckenridge.

I was a little surprised at the manipulation by Griffith's family. Then again, I've seen close families do all they can to matchmake – with the best of intentions, of course! Obviously, in the fictitious Hawthorne House, it all worked to their advantage and showed Griffith just what they wanted to show him! That the other girls were wrong...and true love is the only right!

The book includes the rest of the family from the first three books: Miranda, Trent, Georgina and their spouses. Though you could probably read this book as a stand-a-lone, it is best if you read the entire series in order.

A satisfying conclusion to the series!

Thank you to Kristi and Bethany House through NetGalley for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**
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