Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Review: To Treasure an Heiress by Roseanna M White

Beth Tremayne has always been drawn to adventure. During her childhood, she fed that desire by exploring every inch of the Isles of Scilly. As an adolescent, she dreamed of love in London's ballrooms. Now, stumbling across an old map on her family's property, she's found more adventure than she ever craved in the hunt for pirate treasure. Unfortunately, Beth can't escape the attentions of her family's guest, Lord Sheridan.

Sheridan has spent years pursuing whatever archaeological interests caught his imagination. And when he discovers that Beth's search connects with one of his favorite pirates of history, he can't help getting involved. Plus, he finds her irresistible, even though she insists he stole a prized possession of hers.

As they work together following different clues and drawing closer to danger, they start to piece together a story of tragic love and piratical adventure. But the true surprise is the treasure they discover in each other.

 I promise, this is the last Roseanna M White review for at least two posts. But when my GORGEOUS print copy of To Treasure an Heiress came in the mail, I couldn't NOT read it, now could I? Especially a signed copy! Once again, I am in love. This book takes place literally right after book one in the series, and picks up right where we left off. The main difference is we get to follow flighty but fierce Beth around the isles, and laugh together over Sheridan's sense of humor. (Full confession, I made the dog very upset by laughing too hard while reading this one...) Some of Sheridan's views may seem a bit... well, wrong, on the surface, but I find that he is such a real character. Someone who is shocked when no one else sees that he isn't a heathen. Someone who cares deeply. Someone who just can't stand up to his crazy older sisters. One who is inexplicably best friends with the character I was determined to hate after his behavior in book one, but who may or may not be growing on me just in time for his own book. (Looking at you, Telly...) Mamm-wynn is once again, amazing and just exactly what she needs to be. Senara took the third POV character, and I loved the wisdom that Ainsley and Senara's mam both poured into her. There were so many good things that happened in this story, even through the bad things, that I couldn't stop reading. (Even gave myself two migraines trying to read it on kindle before my print copy came...) If you're ready for some pirate treasure hunting in the most beautiful place you could be in 1906, then this book is definitely where it's at.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Review: The Nature of a Lady by Roseanna M White

Lady Elizabeth "Libby" Sinclair, with her love of microscopes and nature, isn't favored in society. She flees to the beautiful Isles of Scilly for the summer and stumbles into the dangerous secrets left behind by her holiday cottage's former occupant, also named Elizabeth, who mysteriously vanished. 

Oliver Tremayne--gentleman and clergyman--is determined to discover what happened to his sister, and he's happy to accept the help of the girl now living in what should have been Beth's summer cottage . . . especially when he realizes it's the curious young lady he met briefly two years ago, who shares his love of botany and biology. But the hunt for his sister involves far more than nature walks, and he can't quite believe all the secrets Beth had been keeping from him.

As Libby and Oliver work together, they find ancient legends, pirate wrecks, betrayal, and the most mysterious phenomenon of all: love.

 It's not often that I review the same author here twice in a row. Much less two days in a row, but I must. When I started this book, I was determined that I would NOT like it. It was so very opposite of everything that I had read from Roseanna M White so far. Not set in London. Not set in the 1920s. No sneak appearances of Brook. No, not something I was prepared to like. But oh, I was wrong. Despite myself, I fell for the characters. I fell for the place. I fell for the time. I fell, first, for Mamm-wynn. By the second half, I was laughing so hard. As many tears as A Portrait of Loyalty brought me, this brought me laughter. What's more, something mon papa is so quick to say to me was written almost word for word. "Always a choice." I showed him, and he approved. I honestly didn't know where Libby's obsession with Darwin was going, but I don't think it went too far, though I was nervous for a minute or two. Yes, this is just the lovely sort of tale I needed, but didn't know. I can't wait to read Beth's story next. Unexpected, but not surprising, this new series is a hit!

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Review: A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna M White

Zivon Marin was one of Russia's top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father's connections in propaganda, she's recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they're unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon's loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple's future dreams--it becomes a matter of ending the war.

 I can't believe that it took me this long to read this book. I knew I loved everything I had read by this author, but at the same time, I wasn't in the mood, I thought. Yesterday, I decided to make this my first read of the new year and I am devastated. This book absolutely broke my heart. I had to stop reading in the middle and take five to sob my heart out. The artistry in this book is just beyond. I haven't cried so hard over a book in years. Each and every character was perfect, and somehow even the people I hated became people I loved, which I sure didn't think would happen the first time I saw them. I love how characters from the previous books were woven in: Brook, Margot, Barclay, Camden and Ara, Blinker Hall. At first, I didn't think there would be enough chemistry between the MCs but I was so very wrong. This may have been the perfect ending to a world I've come to love over the past several years. But following all of WWI from beginning to end had such a feeling of accomplishment. I absolutely recommend this book, this series, all three series that cover this basic time period and locale. I can already see this book being one of my top for all of 2022.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

My Top 5 Reads of 2021!

 Taking all the books that I read for the first time this year (there are several honorable mentions that were not first time reads- Looking at all of Roseanna M White's books here...) here are my top five reads for this year.

In fifth place, the most recent book in the Rizkaland Legends series by Kendra E Ardnek, Love and Memory. Love and Memory is a massive, I mean MASSIVE, tome of a portal fantasy and I adored every moment of it. The characters are complex, the world building is awesome, and can we have a moment of appreciation for Laura, who has to be the best character ever written ever. While some things can get a little confusing sometimes, Kendra does an amazing job with this series, which is Indie published, something I'm excited to share with you because that's impressive to get in the top five considering how many books I've devoured this year. 

Coming up next, in fourth place Hope Between the Pages by Pepper Basham. I absolutely love Pepper because she takes me to the Blue Ridge in the most perfect way each and every time. This dual timeline story swept me right into the Biltmore estate, a place I've visited several times, and I couldn't have been more pleased with the special insight she brought to a place I already love. While it did take me a second to get into the dual timeline, I was hooked long before the ending, and definitely recommend it.

And on the podium, we have our third place, The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen. This was a new author for me, but I absolutely couldn't have asked for more. I adored the story, even spending my entire day off one week this summer reading it straight through. What's more, I even posted a review immediately, which generally only happens when I'm overwhelmed with how perfectly a story ended. I need to get my hands on more by this author in 2022.

Second place (Silver medal, anyone?) goes to A Deep Divide by Kimberley Woodhouse, whose new series explores the Harvey Girls in the southwest US. Emma's story resonated with me in a way I didn't expect, and Emma's verse was a verse that at that moment in my life, was already pulsing through my entire being, which just proves that God works in mysterious ways that include historical fiction. From Psalm 34- I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

And my top read of 2021 goes to... (((I really hope y'all are drumrolling)))

The Thief of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep. This wasn't the first of her books I've read, but I think it's my favorite so far. I was so into the story and my goodness the plot just did exactly what I wanted it to (with of course a few frightening setbacks along the way...) and the characters were so real to me that I didn't want to book to end. Ever. I wanted to stay with them forever. I want a sequel. NOW. I absolutely adore this book, and you should definitely read it if you have time. (AKA make time...)

What about you? What were your favorite reads this year? Let me know in the comments. Anyone loving the same ones I do?

Friday, December 17, 2021

Series Review: Millie Maven by Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker

Millie Maven, a fearful orphan girl who lives with her strict, evil aunt is trapped in a life of cruel punishment without any friends. So on the night of her twelfth birthday, when old Aggie of the woods invites her to take a journey that can change her life forever, Millie knows she has to go. Unsure but desperate, Millie embarks on a great adventure that takes her to the distant, mysterious world of FIGS, the FarPointe Institute for Gifted Students, where she might discover her true value through gifts that defy belief. 

I was not actually expecting these books to be as good as they were. There are three books in the trilogy, and they didn't take long for me to read. (Mainly because they're for 8-12 year olds... which I am not) I ordered these for my classroom during a Black Friday sale. I love the idea of a Christian portal fantasy aimed at kids, and I was hoping the storytelling wouldn't be too hokey, as sometimes happens in this sort of genre. Thankfully, I enjoyed the series. My one complaint is that I feel like the books could have been longer. They didn't really thresh out the depth of all the characters they were trying to spotlight. The worldbuilding also suffered from the lack of length, leaving somewhat to be desired with the world of FIGS. It felt rushed. So much happened, what could have taken a whole year at magical otherworld boarding school, and it only took three weeks or less from what I can tell. However, when I finished the last page of the last book, I wanted to go back and enjoy the adventure again, and I wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to FIGS. I think the world of Millie Maven is a good choice for the age group, however, there are some spooky parts that the younger end of the range might be creeped out about. I enjoyed delving into the message of the series though and I think it's awesome for a children's series to so heavily emphasize that God's love, infinite, eternal, will strengthen us through every trial we face. I would say the theme of the series is that our identity is found in Christ, not feelings. I would recommend this series if your children enjoy fantasy type settings and you're looking for a clean but still magical story.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

CelebrateLit Tour: Review: A Warrior's Heart by Misty M. Beller

 Brielle Durand still feels haunted by the massacre that killed her mother a dozen years before. Vowing to never let it happen again, she’s risen to be the key defender for her people’s peace-loving French settlement living in hidden caves in the Canadian Rockies. When a foreigner wanders too near to their secret homes, she has no choice but to disarm and capture him. But now, what to do with this man who looks at her in a strange way and insists he can be trusted?

Hoping to escape past regrets, Evan MacManus ventured into the unknown, assigned to discover if the northern mountains contain an explosive mineral that might help America win the War of 1812. Despite being taken prisoner, Evan is determined to complete his mission. But when that assignment becomes at odds with his growing appreciation of the villagers and Brielle, does he follow through on the promise he’s made to his government or take a risk on the path his heart is leading him down? Either choice will cause harm to someone.

Brielle and Evan must reconcile the warring in their hearts, if they’ve any hope to find the peace the seek.

The characters in this book are so gripping. The setting is cool, the plot is interesting, but it's the characters that make the book so enjoyable. The internal struggles of each, the relationships that are built or examined. I love Brielle and Evan. They're the type of characters that make you want to stay up past your bedtime to finish the story. (May or may not be speaking from experience here) I've been in a bit of a funk lately and haven't been wanting to read as much, but this story kept me engaged and searching for more. Definitely recommend picking up a copy if you enjoy a great historical romance that is truly character driven. I really am in awe over the way the motivation holds up and the story moves along. 

While I did receive a copy of this book for free, all opinions expressed are my own.

Click here to get your copy!
About the Author

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.
She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.
More from Misty
A secret village living in hidden caves for a century…
One of the fun things about being a writer is letting your imagine run away with itself at times. In general, I’ve never considered myself a creative person. Not like my grandmother, who’s an amazing artist and decorator. She can look at something plain and normal and, with a little paint, create something truly beautiful.
But little by little, I’ve finally learned that just because I don’t feel creative like she is, I still have an imagination that can come up with intriguing ideas.
For example, I was listening to a historical podcast a few years ago that talked about the Vikings and the female warriors who would sometimes gain fame among them. As the hosts talked about the first Viking raids to North America, I started thinking… “What if one of those groups went farther west than any of us thought? What if they found the Rocky Mountains and lived there in a hidden community for centuries?” The thought took hold, and little by little, the idea for the Brides of Laurent series came to life.
I eventually changed the village to be a French settlement named Laurent. The village’s primary warrior was a woman named Brielle Durand, who’d worked hard to win her place as Le Commandant, leader of the Guards and Hunters. I love Brielle’s strength and wit, but also how real her personal struggles became as I wrote her character.
Add in a mountain man spy working for the United States government, and you have the secret for a romance with sparks to light up the mountain sky!
I pray you love A Warrior’s Heart, the first book in this new series. And keep an eye on some of the other characters in the book who might get their own stories soon!


To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 30

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 30

An Author’s Take, September 30

Remembrancy, October 1

Bigreadersite, October 1

lakesidelivingsite, October 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 2

Joanna Bair, October 2

Inklings and notions, October 3

To Everything There Is A Season, October 3

Reviewingbooksplusmore, October 3

Wishful Endings, October 4

For Him and My Family, October 4

Mary Hake, October 4

deb’s Book Review, October 5

Life of Literature, October 5

Betti Mace, October 6

Blossoms and Blessings, October 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 6

Blessed & Bookish, October 7

Connie’s History Classroom, October 7

For the Love of Literature, October 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 8

Connect in Fiction, October 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 9

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 10

Through the Fire Blogs, October 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 10

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 11

Simple Harvest Reads, October 11 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 12

Pause for Tales, October 12

Live. Love. Read., October 12 ((you are here))

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Review: A Deep Divide by Kimberley Woodhouse

With her past behind her, she has nothing--and everything--to lose.

After being kidnapped as a child, heiress Emma Grace McMurray has seen firsthand the devastation that greed causes in the world, and she wants nothing to do with it. When she discovers her father has offered her up as a bargaining chip to expand his empire, she disappears into the night. Determined to stay hidden, even if it means always looking over her shoulder, she finds herself working as a Harvey Girl at the El Tovar Hotel.

When Ray Watkins arrives at the hotel on business, he is immediately captivated by the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Though his fame-seeking father aims to lure new investors to the Arizona Territory, Ray dreams of one day taking over the family business and doing good with the profits.

Ray immediately admires Emma Grace, and though an attraction begins to form, she can't let go of the deep-rooted fear that he's just like every other wealthy man she's known. When suspicious activity follows Emma Grace and Ray to the El Tovar, they are pulled into a mystery that stirs up their worst fears. And as shocking revelations come to light, they are left to question all they thought to be true. 

When I started this book, I had no clue how pointed it would be. I mean, I should have, because I find Kim's books are often like that, but I wasn't prepared. Emma Grace, our lovely heroine, and might I add, bitter heiress, struggles with trusting others, especially men, because of past hurts in her life. She would rather build walls than friendships, and she finds that when she does let her guard down and accept friendship, it grows like wildfire without her consent. I found myself relating an uncomfy lot to her. What I thought was extra special was that recently I've been listening to this song every morning, and the verse that Emma Grace says to herself over and over throughout the book is from Psalm 34. 

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
I love everything that Kim writes. She does such a good job with setting and picture painting. She makes memorable characters and scenarios. I get so invested. I caught myself making worried sounds out loud while reading it. I laughed a tad bit loudly. I fought back the tears. Once I really sat down, I didn't move until I finished it, which is saying something because I've been in a funk for a few weeks and not felt like reading anything at all. I highly recommend this new one, and I'm just a tiny bit impatient for book two next October. I hope that Ruth and Frank get a book, because they sure as all get out deserve one!!!

While I did receive a gratis copy of this book, my opinions are, per usual, my own.

This book releases October 5th! Be sure to snag your copy wherever books are sold!

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