Monday, March 26, 2018

A Most Noble Heir- Susan Anne Mason- Giveaway

My Rating: 3 Stars

Description: When stable hand Nolan Price learns from his dying mother that he is actually the son of the Earl of Stainsby, his plans for a future with kitchen maid Hannah Burnham are shattered. Once he is officially acknowledged as the earl’s heir, Nolan will be forbidden to marry beneath his station.

Unwilling to give up the girl he loves, he devises a plan to elope--believing once their marriage is sanctioned by God that Lord Stainsby will be forced to accept their union. However, as Nolan struggles to learn the ways of the aristocracy, he finds himself caught between his dreams for tomorrow and his father’s demanding expectations.

Forces work to keep the couple apart at every turn, and a solution to remain together seems farther and farther away. With Nolan’s new life pulling him irrevocably away from Hannah, it seems only a miracle will bring them back together.

My Thoughts: Something I am always looking to read is a romance with a couple who marries for love in or near the beginning of the book. It occurs far too infrequently in my opinion, so I was pleased to learn that was the case in this novel. And though this took away the will-they-wont-they tension which is very nearly a hallmark of the genre, it was still a nice change of pace to find conflict originating elsewhere.

In this case, the tension was meant to come from the difference in social class and obligation. However, the story itself shows little of that society, instead relying on Edward's (Nolan's father) word as to what society would think of Nolan and Hannah's marriage. And though this is historically accurate, that fact did not pay off as well as it should have in the book, instead casting Edward as the sole obstacle to their relationship. Which in turn made Edward an unlikeable character even toward the end.

This created a conundrum for me, as I enjoyed the romance and relationship between Nolan and Hannah while also being frustrated with the source of tension in the novel. Ultimately, I felt that the story would have been better if we had at least seen a hint of Edward's fears for his son becoming a reality. Those fears being that the aristocracy would reject Nolan and his servant-wife, the pressure of which would break Hannah's spirit and ruin the Fairchild legacy. Without seeing that, the story was sweet but with a conflict which was weak and unfounded. And this disappointed me, as I was simply unable to relate at that point to the characters.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of this book from the publisher.

Author Information:

Susan Anne Mason’s debut historical novel, Irish Meadows, won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA. Also a member of ACFW, Susan lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children. She can be found online at

What Others Are Saying:

“Beautifully balancing sweet forbidden love with a father-son battle of wills, Mason proves to be a highest caliber author in historical inspirational romance. Set in England in 1884, this is a marvelously entertaining story of the search for identity and a struggle for acceptance for both Nolan and Hannah. The purity and tenacity of their love will leave readers tingling, and fans of Roseanne M. White will enjoy Mason’s web of nobility drama and breathlessly exciting conclusion.”—Booklist starred review

“This is a sweet story full of the historical details fans of Victorian fiction will appreciate. There is also plenty of faith and love leading this young couple to their happily ever after.”—RT Book Reviews

“An immersive narrative and sympathetic characters are highlights of this heartwarming novel from Mason about the importance of family, the power of love, and the faith to pursue your heart’s desire.”—Library Journal


If you’d like to enter for a chance to win Susan Anne Mason’s Courage to Dream series, plus A Most Noble Heir, here’s your chance!

Monday, March 19, 2018

A Song Unheard- Roseanna M. White

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Description: Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which make her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he's won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father's work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is in meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn't—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as he has.

My Thoughts: Oddly, though I have been a follower of this author for years, I've never actually read one of her books. And now that I have read this one, I'm kind of kicking myself for the negligence.

Something that has always been my favorite part of any novel is the characters. For me, good characters can cover over a multitude of errors and plotholes, and A Song Unheard has great characters. Perhaps my favorite was Lukas, that man trying to forge a better future than he had already been moving toward. From the moment he first asked Willa to marry him, I knew that he was going to be an interesting hero. Willa was another great character, though I am sure I would have appreciated her more had I read the previous book about her sister.

Beyond the characters, I loved the way that Roseanna brought them together. Though I have no real knowledge about music, I know what it is like to be dedicated to an art that frames the way you look at the world. And more than that, Roseanna set up this couple's love of music as a way for Lukas to support Willa even though she could outshine him. That willingness to put her ahead of himself was what ultimately made him such an awesome hero.

The one downside to the novel, and really the only thing that I had trouble looking past, was the amount of repetition. Though this did not take place as it typically does in novels, with characters restating the same thoughts and ideas over and over, it was none the less a little bothersome when the characters would repeat words and phrase close together for emphasis. Maybe this is part of the author's writing style, but it did happen a few too many times for me to give this a perfect rating. Despite that, I absolutely loved this book and can't wait to go back and read others by this author.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of the book from the publisher.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sage- Blog Tour and Giveaway




About the Book

Ancient elementals awaken, fracturing a dying world to its core. Teravyn Aetherswift returns to the land of the living, but everything seems unfamiliar… including her little brother. Zekk offers help, but can an alluring Lynx be trusted? Sorvashti finally has everything she ever wanted, so the last thing she wants to do is run after traitors. But she won’t leave Jet’s side—unless the horrifying truth about his mother tears them apart. Darien is sick of being used and lied to. But if he stands up for what’s right, he’ll pay the price with his life… or the lives of those he loves.
Purchase on Amazon or a signed paperback


About the Author

Jamie Foley loves strategy games, home-grown berries, and Texas winters. She’s terrified of plot holes and red wasps. Her husband is her manly cowboy astronaut muse. They live between Austin, TX and their family cattle ranch, where their hyperactive spawnling and wolfpack can run free.





Giveaway Time!

Want to dive into a new world or in need of a good book? Enter to win a digital $10 Amazon gift card (3 winners) by signing up for Jamie’s newsletter via the form.

>>> Entry-Form <<<


Blog Tour Schedule

Saturday, March 10th
Monday, March 12th
Tuesday, March 13th
Wednesday, March 14th
Thursday, March 15th
Friday, March 16th
Saturday, March 17th
Monday, March 19th
Tuesday, March 20th
Wednesday, March 21st
Thursday, March 22nd
Friday, March 23rd
Saturday, March 24th

Monday, March 12, 2018

Blue Ridge Sunrise- Denise Hunter

My Rating: 3 Stars

Description: Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe--a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.

As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.

My Thoughts: The first thing I thought when I started this book was, "Holy backstory, Batman!" (I don't know why I referenced Batman at the time, but I did), because the dialogue of the first chapter is laden with characters telling each other things that they already know, just so that we, the reader, are aware of their history as well. The next few chapters build other character relationships in much the same way: telling us about the issues Brady has with his and Zoe's Dad instead of showing it along with the father's disappointment in Zoe, telling us what their grandmother was like, rather than showing it in flashback chapters which come soon after.

That is not to say that I disliked the book. Though both Zoe and Cruz had a past that I personally found unrelatable, their current fears in the story were something I understood. I sympathized with Cruz' anger over being lied too and his fear of not being good enough as well as Zoe's fear of loosing her daughter and her own hurt of being told by her own father that she wasn't good enough. Since I knew that these characters could support each other, I wanted them to get over their hurts and reconcile. And though that reconciliation came about far too simply in my mind, I was happy to get time to see them as an actual couple dealing with the struggles of life, something that I believe does not happen often enough in fiction.

As to the faith element of the novel, which I have seen numerous other reviews comment on, I will agree that the faith is pretty watered down. Though Cruz and Zoe both attend church and Zoe makes a remark about how far she had fallen, there is no real grapple with their beliefs or mention of what change God has brought to their lives. And the sexual relationship that they had had is only addressed so far as the fact that they had been keeping it a secret, not that they shouldn't have been engaging in that behavior in the first place. While this was not a sticking point for me, as I do not require the characters in books I read to hold to the same moral standards that I do (I just don't want to READ a sex scene), it is something that I think should be mentioned when discussing the merits of a novel advertised as "Christian".

This is definitely a book that I believe will appeal one group of people while repelling another. For Christians seeking for a romance that mirrors their personal beliefs on sex and faith, then this is probably not for them. However, for others who are looking for a strong romance without all the sex scenes or else preaching, then this is a good fit despite the initial bits of telling.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of the book through the Fiction Guild.

Monday, March 5, 2018

How to Be a Perfect Christian- The Babylon Bee

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Description: With a biting, satirical style reminiscent of The Onion, How to Be a Perfect Christian takes a humorous look at the quirks of cultural Christianity while subtly challenging the reader to search for more than a cultural faith.

Written in the trademark style of The Babylon Bee, this book humorously satirizes cultural Christianity while peppering in subtle challenges to the reader. Through humor and sarcasm (and a handy meter to rank your "holiness" as you progress through the book), readers will be called to find a more biblical understanding of the Christian faith, all while poking fun at the quirks of the modern, American Christian community.

My Thoughts: The Babylon Bee has always been one of the few websites whose articles I have clicked on whenever they crossed my dash. Though not always funny, they often hit on subjects that challenged Christians to think deeper about why they did or else believed something. So, when I saw this, I knew that it was likely to be a humorous read, peppered with critique of Christian culture. And I was far from disappointed.

Beginning with the Introduction, How to Be a Perfect Christian satirizes the very idea that you even can be perfect. And so often, the striving for perfection can blind us to others and to God. Using a Holiness Meter, the book tracks with each chapter our attempts to outshine Christian leaders such as Peter as well as Christ himself. From the very first chapter, it highlights the outward things we often look to as a marker of holiness, from church bulletins to Christian music.

The satire will not be for everyone. While I appreciated the jab at many Christians' understanding of the Holy Spirit by comparing it to the Force in Star Wars, not everyone will. Nor will everyone appreciate the tongue in cheek critiques of the most popular denominations and Biblical translations. However, for those who are willing to be made fun of through humor and sarcasm, this book may challenge you to look at the outward things you hold onto and maybe not worry so much as to whether or not your church has a full service coffee bar.

Was the book perfect? No. There were some critiques that I felt could have been more humorous and others that fell flat. And while I intend to read certain snippets to friends from my church, it isn't one that I will read over and over again. However, it is one I will recommend to those who I believe would appreciate its sense of humor.

I have provided an honest review after receiving an ARC from the publisher.