Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Monthly Reflections ~ January 2018

Monthly Reflections, where we take the time to reflect on the previous month.

It's been a while since my last Monthly Reflections post (ahem, about 15 months), but I thought it was time to bring this feature back and I'm hoping to do these consistently in 2018. :))

Books Read In January:

Monday, January 29, 2018

Review: Captured By Love by Jody Hedlund



About the book:
Michigan Territory, 1814 
A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger discover firsthand the high price of freedom. 

The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders.

Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who's grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley.

As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they'll risk for love.

My rating:
5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Weekend Wrap-Up + Kindle Deals Spotlight


Weekend Wrap-up is where I share what I read this past week, am currently reading, and my reading plans for the coming week. 

Feel free to join along and post your own Weekend Wrap-up on your blog/site (if you do, please leave the link in a comment so I can stop by) or, in a comment, share what you've read this past week. :)

Never Alone: Exchanging Your Tender Hurts for God’s Healing Grace



About the book:
No matter what you are going through, you are never alone. 

From the time we’re little girls, we long to be loved and accepted—from the playground to the lunchroom to the places where we live and work as grown women. We do our best to prove we’re lovable and to avoid being left all alone. But the truth is that it’s impossible to walk through life without experiencing the pain and loneliness of betrayal, shame, guilt, loss, judgment, or rejection. These wounds can shape our views of ourselves, others, and God and even make us question if we are worthy of love and acceptance. Whether old or new, our heartache can convince us there’s no one who understands or cares. Yet Jesus tells us a different story.

In Never Alone, author Tiffany Bluhm offers hope and encouragement that as our plans, hearts, and lives change, God does not miss a beat. What we may have mistaken for absence was only our mind questioning his goodness and grace. Tiffany reveals the depth and healing power of Jesus’ unconditional love for us and how we will never escape his love. We do not possess that kind of power. If we are willing, we can discover the sacred truth that we indeed, are never alone. 

Accept your invitation to find healing for your deepest hurts as we experience the unfailing companionship of Jesus—the Rescuer and Redeemer of broken lives and wounded hearts.

My rating:
5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Review: The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White



About the book:
Will Fleeing the Scottish Highlands Only Leave Her in More Danger? 

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she's never felt good enough--not for her father, not for the man she thought she'd marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she's willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping those threatening her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, yet the last thing he needs is the distraction of the newly introduced Lady Rowena. He has enough on his plate having recently come into possession of a rare treasure for which many would kill, yet those around him seem intent on pairing him with this desperate but beguiling girl.

Rowena is reluctant to marry this notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she'll end up in more danger than she fled.


My rating:
5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Friday, January 12, 2018

Weekend Wrap-Up (January 12) + Kindle Deals Spotlight


Weekend Wrap-up is where I share what I read this past week, am currently reading, and my reading plans for the coming week. 

Feel free to join along and post your own Weekend Wrap-up on your blog/site (if you do, please leave the link in a comment so I can stop by) or, in a comment, share what you've read this past week. :)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Review: Blind Spot (Chesapeake Valor Book #3) by Dani Pettrey



About the book:
The Wrath Is Coming. But They Don't Know Where--Or When. 

"The wrath is coming" were the final words that FBI agent Declan Grey heard the suicide bomber say. Now Declan is in the chase of his life--but isn't sure exactly what he's chasing after or when the threat will be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation's best clue leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw for assistance. She's sought justice for refugees and the displaced around the world, and if there's anyone who can help him, it's Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. As they work together to uncover the mounting threat, the tension between them also includes a spark she can't deny--and she's pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything more can develop, they find themselves in a race against time to stop the coming "wrath" that could cost thousands their lives.


My rating:
4.5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Review: To Laugh Once More by Sherri Wilson Johnson



About the book:
To Laugh Once More is a Victorian Inspirational Romance set in Florida and Georgia in 1895.

The War may be over, but the battles still rage. A dissatisfied wife. A misunderstood husband. Three tragedies will alter their path forever. Will their choices tear them apart, or will they allow them To Laugh Once More? Three years after her marriage to Hamilton, former debutante Lydia Barrington Scarbrough is dissatisfied with life. She has yet to have children, and she spends most of her days sitting in a circle of women chatting about homemaking. She thought life would be more than what it's turned out to be. Hamilton travels on business and never takes her with him. What's a lonely wife to do when she has no children to raise? She longs for adventure and romance, and really, she longs for the fulfillment of her purpose in life. A purpose beyond being a wife and raising children. Lydia faces a series of hardships that stretch her faith beyond capacity. Leaving her childhood home in Florida for Georgia proves to be more difficult than she ever imagined, and her marriage may not survive the trials. Lydia's own personal battles drive a wedge between them. What will it take to make Hamilton attempt to save their marriage and draw Lydia back to him? As Lydia strives to etch out a place for herself in a new world full of unfamiliar prejudice and attempts to overcome her private battles, she must help Hamilton understand her deepest longings and learn the true meaning of joy. Will she surrender her will in order to find her purpose? Will her future hold a happier marriage, motherhood, and a calling greater than she could ever have imagined?

My rating:
4 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Monday, January 8, 2018

Bout of Books // Sign-Up

Bout of Books

I'm a little late with signing up, but I finally decided that I wanted to participate. ;) I don't think I will have a ton of reading time this week, but I'm hoping to finish at least three fiction books and maybe one nonfiction...I'm already over 70% done with Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey.

The Wrath Is Coming. But They Don't Know Where--Or When. 

"The wrath is coming" were the final words that FBI agent Declan Grey heard the suicide bomber say. Now Declan is in the chase of his life--but isn't sure exactly what he's chasing after or when the threat will be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation's best clue leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw for assistance. She's sought justice for refugees and the displaced around the world, and if there's anyone who can help him, it's Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. As they work together to uncover the mounting threat, the tension between them also includes a spark she can't deny--and she's pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything more can develop, they find themselves in a race against time to stop the coming "wrath" that could cost thousands their lives.

---


Will Fleeing the Scottish Highlands Only Leave Her in More Danger? 

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she's never felt good enough--not for her father, not for the man she thought she'd marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she's willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping those threatening her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, yet the last thing he needs is the distraction of the newly introduced Lady Rowena. He has enough on his plate having recently come into possession of a rare treasure for which many would kill, yet those around him seem intent on pairing him with this desperate but beguiling girl.

Rowena is reluctant to marry this notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she'll end up in more danger than she fled.

---

Amid the Unforgettable Cotswolds, the Final Grasp for the Fire Eyes Diamonds Could Threaten Them All 

Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile--even if it's just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well how the dangerous Fire Eyes diamonds have haunted her brother and their friends, and she won't wait for peril to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.

Lord James Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he's determined to live a better life . . . but that proves complicated when old acquaintances pull Cayton into their desperate attempt to seize the jewels. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won't budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her--and his daughter--from those intent on destroying them all?

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Review: You're the One That I Want by Susan May Warren



About the book:
Owen Christiansen has been in a downward spiral since an injury ended his NHL career. But a job on an Alaskan crabbing boat offers a fresh start . . . maybe even a shot at romance with Elise “Scotty” McFlynn, the captain’s daughter.

Used to being one of the guys, to never relying on anyone, Scotty doesn’t believe in happily ever after—especially with someone like Owen. Her instinct is confirmed when Casper Christiansen arrives to drag his prodigal brother home, bringing with him a truckload of family drama—and even worse, the news that Casper is wanted for questioning in connection to a crime back in Minnesota.

But Owen is more than the sum of his mistakes, a truth both he and Scotty discover when she escorts both brothers to Deep Haven as part of her new job on the Anchorage police force. Thrust into an unfamiliar world of family, faith, and fresh starts, Scotty begins to see potential for a happy ending . . . if she’s brave enough to embrace it.



My rating:
5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Thursday, January 4, 2018

2018 Bookish Resolutions/Goals

A new year, a new set of bookish goals! I didn't do too well with last year's resolutions, but I'm hopeful that I will be able to complete these. :D

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  • Get NetGalley ratio to 65%. 
Last year the goal was 80%, but I've realized how difficult that is. I'm currently in the low 50s, so I might be able to get it up to 65. We shall see.
  •  Finish at least 12 nonfiction books (hopefully 1 each month).

Last year I wanted to read at least one nonfiction book each month. This year, I want to be a little more flexible and just read at least 12 in 2018.


  • Finish at least 5 series.
I have so many series that I started and have yet to finish. Some I only have one book left to read, others four or more. I would like to finish at least five series that I've already started.

  • Finish at least 20 Love Inspired books.

I have way too many Love Inspired novels on my TBR, so I would like to get at least 20 read this year.

--

A couple non-bookish goals: start drinking at least 72 ounces of water a day. Work out at least 3 times a week. This doesn't seem like much, but I've been really slacking lately and need to get better. :))

There you have it. Those are my goals for 2018. Please let me know yours. 

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Review: Calico Spy by Margaret Brownley



About the book:

Pinkerton operative Katie Madison’s newest case takes her to Calico, Kansas, where two Harvey House restaurant waitresses were murdered in mysterious circumstances. Calico’s sheriff, Branch Whitman, has never met a Pink he liked and is stunned to learn the pretty redhead’s true identity as she works undercover as a Harvey girl. A tornado hits town, and a past deception puts Branch’s eight-year-old-son in danger. Now the Sheriff has no choice but to work with Katie—or chance losing everything he holds dear.


My rating:
4 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Some of the links in my blog posts, tweets, social media posts, etc. contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
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