Thursday, December 31, 2020

Looking Back On 2020 | First/Last Reads | Monthly Reflections (Dec. 2020)

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: The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano

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.
About the book:
Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings--mostly negative ones--about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa's search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words.

Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.
My rating:
5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

The Love Note is my first read by Joanna Davidson Politano and I definitely plan on reading more of her books. This was a slower historical romance...I'm not sure if it was just because I was dealing with a reading slump or the storyline, but it felt like the story had a slower pace (which was NOT a bad thing - I actually really enjoyed that).

The characters were amazing. I felt like I truly got to know them and couldn't help feeling happy for the good moments and sad for the unhappy events. The romance was so good! I felt like the progression was believable and I just absolutely loved it!

All in all, The Love Note was a fantastic read and I highly recommend if you enjoy historical romance. I am eager to read more of this author's stories.
 
 
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
Amazon (aff link), Goodreads

Monday, December 28, 2020

Review: His Daughter's Prayer by Danielle Thorne

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.

Amazon (aff link), Goodreads

About the book:
One little girl has a very big wish…
A mother is all his daughter wants…
Might an old love be the answer to her prayers?
Struggling to keep his antiques store open, single dad Mark Chatham can’t turn down his high school sweetheart, Callie Hargrove, when she offers her assistance in the shop. But his daughter is wishing for a mommy, and she’s convinced that Callie is the perfect match. As they work to save the business, will their little matchmaker reunite Mark and Callie for good?
My rating:
4 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

His Daughter's Prayer was an adorable Love Inspired read. I loved the characters and romance story. I thought Mark's daughter was precious and loved that aspect of the story.

All in all, His Daughter's Prayer was a great read and I recommend it. It was a quick read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I thought the author wrote the story well and I look forward to reading more of her books.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Friday, December 25, 2020

Weekend Wrap-Up (December 25th) - Merry Christmas!! 🎄


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. :)


~
Books I Finished This Past Week:

While I didn't finish any books this week, I DID make some decent progress on some books, which makes me happy. :) 

What I'm Currently Reading: 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Review: The Price of Valor by Susan May Warren


About the book:
A high-octane mix of love and adventure

Kidnapped by rebels while serving as a humanitarian aid worker in Chechnya, Signe Kincaid has spent the past decade secreting out valuable information about Russian assets in the US to her CIA handler. Fearing for her daughter after being discovered as an operative, Signe sends her to former Navy SEAL Hamilton Jones for safekeeping. Signe is ready to give her life for her country, and she can hardly expect Ham to rescue her after breaking his heart over and over.

Hamilton Jones has never forgotten the only woman he loved--and he can't believe after all these years she's shown up alive. But can he forgive her for her secrets? And, when Ham discovers the reason Signe has kept her distance, he must choose between love for her and love for the nation he has vowed to protect.

Will he save the many? Or the few? And what is the price of valor?

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

The Price of Valor is the third book in Susan May Warren's Global Search and Rescue series. I really enjoyed finally getting to read Ham and Signe's story, even if it wasn't a very easy read. 

The story has suspense, danger, and romance. The characters had some deep issues that made them much more realistic and I felt for them. 

All in all, The Price of Valor was a good read. I only recommend this series for mature readers as there are some elements that might not be suitable for younger readers.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
Amazon (aff link), Goodreads

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, December 23, 2020

Review: Nothing Short of Wondrous by Regina Scott

About the book:
It is 1886, and the government has given the US Cavalry control of Yellowstone. For widowed hotelier Kate Tremaine, the change is a welcome one. She knows every inch of her wilderness home like the back of her hand and wants to see it protected from poachers and vandals.
Refused a guide by Congress, Lieutenant William Prescott must enlist Kate's aid to help him navigate the sprawling park and track down the troublemakers. But a secret from his past makes him wary of the tender feelings the capable and comely widow raises in him. As they work together to protect the park and stand firm through injustice and tragedy, they may just find that two wounded hearts can share one powerful love when God is in control.

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

Nothing Short of Wondrous was an interesting story. I enjoyed the setting and thought the characters were realistic. Kate was a wonderful main character. She was strong and in charge of her life. I loved how she knew the land so well and wasn't afraid to protect it.

The romance was good. I thought the characters were well-matched and the ending was satisfying. 

All in all, with romance, good characters, and a little danger, Nothing Short of Wondrous was a very nice read and one I think fans of historical romance will enjoy.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
Amazon (aff link), Goodreads

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.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Top Ten Books On My Christmas Wishlist

After seeing the upcoming topics for Top Ten Tuesday, I'm hoping to participate in most of them as they sound so fun and I've missed doing these posts. I hope you will enjoy them. :)


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.

Top Ten Books On My Christmas Wishlist

I actually don't have a "real" Christmas book wishlist, so these are just books I'd like to acquire eventually. :)

#1, #2, & #3


The Supper Club series by Carla Laureano. I've heard wonderful things about this series and have been wanting to read it ever since.

#4


One Final Breath is the only book in this series I haven't read. 

#5


#6


#7


#8


#9


#10





What are some books on your Christmas wishlist? Please share. :)

My Favorite Reads of 2020 + Social Media

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.

2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Melanie has completed her goal of reading 100 books in 2020!
hide

2020 has been quite a memorable year. I didn't read as many books as I did in prior years, but I did read some amazing stories and that makes me happy.

Here are my favorite reads of the year (in no particular order):

Friday, December 18, 2020

Weekend Wrap-Up (December 18th)


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. :)


~
Books I Finished This Past Week:

None. Still in my slump. I'm thinking about starting a contemporary story to try and get me back to reading. 

What I'm Currently Reading: 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Bookish Wishlist + Gift List

This post contains “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.



I don't know about you, but I can't believe Christmas is just around the corner. I thought it would be fun to share a list of things that are either on my bookish wishlist (most of these ;)) or things I think book lovers would enjoy. What are some things on your bookish wishlist?

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Monthly Reflections ~ November 2020

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.

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

Monday, November 23, 2020

Review: Point of Danger by Irene Hannon

About the book:
Hate mail was one thing. This was quite another.

Radio talk show host Eve Reilly is used to backlash from her pot-stirring on-air commentary and interviews. But now it seems a disgruntled listener is resorting to more than angry words to express their displeasure. When a suspicious package arrives on her doorstep, Eve turns to law enforcement for help.

Police detective Brent Lange can't find any evidence to link the string of unsettling incidents that follows, but he's convinced they're connected. As the harassment grows more menacing, it becomes clear someone wants Eve's voice silenced--permanently. 

But unless he can track down her elusive foe, the gutsy woman who is willing to take risks for what she believes--and who is swiftly winning his heart--may not survive.

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

It's been a while since I've read an Irene Hannon novel, so I was excited to start this new release...and it was even better than I was anticipating! 

I loved the characters! I've never read a story where the main character is a conservative talk show host. It was fascinating to see the details of her life and, wow, what danger she encountered! I liked how I couldn't easily guess any of the twists. 

All in all, Point of Danger is going on my list of 2020 favorite reads - it was THAT good. I highly recommend it to fans of romantic suspense. 

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
Amazon (aff link), Goodreads

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: Until I Met You by Tari Faris

About the book:
Welcome back to Heritage, Michigan--the small town with a big heart

When she hears that the town of Heritage is looking for a new librarian, Libby Kingsley jumps at the opportunity. Little did she know the library is barely more than a basement room stuffed with dusty, outdated books. What the community really needs is a new building. But the only funds available are those being channeled into the new town square, and the landscape architect in charge of the project wants nothing to do with her plans.

All Austin Williams wants to do is get the town square project finished, and he hopes it is enough to save the family business. Then he can extricate himself from the town that reveres the brother who cost him so much. But the local media and the town's new librarian seem to be conspiring against him at every turn. Will the determined bookworm find her way into his blueprints--and possibly even his heart?

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

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Review + Tour Giveaway: Saving Grace by D.M. Barr

Saving Grace by D.M. Barr Banner

 

 

Saving Grace

A Psychological Thriller

by D.M. Barr

on Tour October 12 - November 13, 2020

Synopsis:

Saving Grace by D.M. Barr

Grace Pierrepoint Rendell, the only child of an ailing billionaire, has been treated for paranoia since childhood. When she secretly quits her meds, she begins to suspect that once her father passes, her husband will murder her for her inheritance. Realizing that no one will believe the ravings of a supposed psychotic, she devises a creative way to save herself – she will write herself out of danger, authoring a novel with the heroine in exactly the same circumstances, thus subtly exposing her husband's scheme to the world. She hires acclaimed author Lynn Andrews to help edit her literary insurance policy, but when Lynn is murdered, Grace is discovered standing over the bloody remains. The clock is ticking: can she write and publish her manuscript before she is strapped into a straitjacket, accused of homicide, or lowered six feet under?

With a cast of secondary characters whose challenges mirror Grace's own, Saving Grace is, at it's core, an allegory for the struggle of the marginalized to be heard and live life on their own terms.

"A psychological thriller with more than enough twists, turns, and misdirection to keep even the most jaded reader turning pages all night long."

–Lori Robbins, author of the Silver Falchion Award-winning novel, Lesson Plan for Murder

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Domestic Suspense
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: October 15th 2020
Number of Pages: 255
ISBN: 978-1684335565
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BlackRose Writing | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

One felony was all it took to convince Andrea Lin she was better suited to committing crime on paper than in person. As renowned mystery author Lynn Andrews, she understood conflict equaled good drama. Like her readers, she should have expected the hiccups, even relished them. What she hadn’t counted on was the accompanying agita, especially while sitting in her Bergen County kitchen, far from the action at the Bitcoin Teller Machine.

Her one job had been to place a single phone call when the money hit and tell the hacker to lift the encryption on Grace’s computer. Trouble was, her dozen calls remained unanswered until a few minutes ago, throwing their meticulous plan off schedule.

Andrea stroked the blue-gray Nebulung purring on her lap and tried to ignore the churning in her stomach. “Denver, the next time I consider helping a sibling with some crazy scheme, you have my permission to use my leg as a scratching post until I come to my senses. Agreed?”

Denver looked up, his green eyes filled with innocence, and answered with a single meow before leaping onto the table toward her plate of shortbread cookies.

“I’ll take that as a yes.” She sipped her tea, willing the sugar to sweeten the acrid taste in her mouth. The phone interrupted her meditation. No doubt a check-in from her brother, the extorter-in-chief.

“I figured you’d have called by now. Everything on track?” Joe’s strained voice conveyed his own jangled nerves. They’d agreed to be vague when communicating. In these days of Siri and Alexa, anyone could be listening.

“Finally. Took forever to get through to our friend, but she said she’d take care of ‘our project’ as soon as her meetings wrapped up. From here on out though, I’m sticking to fiction. Real-life intrigue is too stressful.”

Andrea missed Joe’s response, instead perplexed by her cats’ sudden change of behavior. Denver had tilted his head and leapt from the table; Vail and Aspen sat frozen, ears perked, staring toward the foyer. Then she heard it too, the sound of papers shuffling in the living room. She leaned forward, muscles taut, hackles raised, ready to pounce. “Joe, hold on a sec. I think someone’s in the house. I’ll call you back later.”

***

“Wait, what? Andrea??” Silence. The connection was dead.

After twenty minutes of weaving in and out of rush-hour traffic to travel one mile, Joe “Hack” Hackford pulled up outside his sister’s Ridgewood home. Adrenaline pumping on overdrive, he jumped from his car and sprinted toward the house. Door wide open—not an encouraging sign. He steeled his nerves and hastened inside. The living room looked like a hurricane’s aftermath, with furniture overturned and papers littering the carpets and floor.

“Andrea? Are you here?” He rushed into the kitchen, which lacked any signs of their celebratory dinner—no spaghetti boiling on the stove, no cake rising in the oven. Only the door to the backyard ajar and a shriek emanating from the next room, piercing the eerie silence. Hair stiffening at the back of his neck, he raced into the dining room where a redheaded woman stood frozen, staring across the room.

“Who the hell are you?” he growled.

The stranger remained wide-eyed and unresponsive. He followed her gaze to the floor, where he witnessed the unthinkable. His beloved sister lay in the corner, surrounded by a pool of blood, a kitchen knife stuck in her chest. Her eyes remained fixed on the ceiling. A trio of feline guards circled her lifeless body.

Hack’s knees turned to jelly, and he grabbed onto a chair for support, forcing back the remains of the snack he’d consumed only minutes earlier. Once the initial shock waned, he reverted his attention back to the intruder. At second glance, she did look somewhat familiar, though the woman he’d met a few weeks back—the missing heiress whose computer they’d just hacked—was brunette. Had she uncovered their con? With a bolt of fury, he reached forward and pulled the wig from her head. A thousand questions zigzagged in his brain, but only one forced its way past his lips:

“Oh my God. Grace. Oh my God. What the hell have you done?”

***

Excerpt from Saving Grace by D.M. Barr. Copyright 2020 by D.M. Barr. Reproduced with permission from D.M. Barr. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

D.M. Barr

By day, a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire.

My background includes stints in travel marketing, travel journalism, meeting planning, public relations and real estate. I was, for a long and happy time, an award-winning magazine writer and editor. Then kids happened. And I needed to actually make money. Now they're off doing whatever it is they do (of which I have no idea since they won't friend me on Facebook) and I can spend my spare time weaving tales of debauchery and whatever else tickles my fancy.

The main thing to remember about my work is that I am NOT one of my characters. For example, as a real estate broker, I've never played Bondage Bingo in one of my empty listings or offed anyone at my local diet clinic. And I haven't run away from home in fear that my husband was planning to off me.

But that's not to say that I haven't wanted to…

Catch Up With Our Author On:
www.DMBarr.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!


Rating: 2.5 stars

 Review:


Saving Grace was a unique psychological thriller. I found myself questioning what was going on often and enjoyed the twists in the story. I liked how the MC was writing a novel based on her life in order to save her life, or at least document what would happen. 


I was surprised by one twist in the story, but that was actually the missing piece to make everything make sense. I did guess the ending, but it was still good.

I do need to mention that I was disappointed in some of the content, mainly the explicit language. I wasn't expecting that at all, so it kind of ruined a story I otherwise would have really enjoyed. So if you are like me and prefer clean reads, I don't recommend this one.


*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!



 

 

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for D.M. Barr. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on October 12, 2020 and runs through November 15, 2020. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

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.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Weekend Wrap-Up (November 6th)


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. :)


~
Books I Finished This Past Week:

None. Been in a bit of a reading slump...again.

What I'm Currently Reading: 

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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