In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson

Summary:

On her way to San Francisco to find her brother, Caleb, who went missing three months ago, Camriann Coulter meets Judith and Kenzie, who both have their own mysteries to solve in the booming West Coast city. The women decide to help each other, including rooming together and working at Kenzie’s cousin’s chocolate factory.

Camri’s search for her brother, an attorney, leads her deep into the political corruption of the city–and into the acquaintance of Patrick Murdock, a handsome Irishman who was saved from a false murder charge by Caleb. Patrick challenges all of Camri’s privileged beliefs, but he knows more about what happened to her brother than anyone else. Together, they move closer to the truth behind Caleb’s disappearance. But as the stakes rise and threats loom, will Patrick be able to protect Camri from the dangers he knows lie in the hidden places of the city?

My Thoughts:

One of the reasons I chose to review this book is that I was excited about the setting of San Francisco in the early 1900’s. I also was intrigued by the mystery element of this book. A missing brother, political corruption and other characters with their own mysteries to solve. All that said I did struggle with this book. After diving in, I really did not connect with the main character, Camri. She came across as rude, condescending, and very self absorbed. Camri’s ideas about how women should value education over love or marriage were preachy and narrow minded. It was hard for me to get past a heroine that I just did not care for. Another issue I had with this book is that things were so convenient for all the characters in this story and it just made things seem unrealistic. Camri’s brother just happened to live in a nice, seemingly large house, in a nice neighborhood, with servants. Camri also just happened to have a key to his place because she had visited him once. The girls all managed to get jobs together. It was like any sort of hardship or issue was taken care of. I also had a hard time believing that anyone who was truly worried about a relative disappearing would go to plays, visit friends in their spare time, and really even find a job and basically set up a new life in a new city under someone else’s roof. I felt like Camri said she wanted to find her brother, but basically put no effort into doing so. By the time pieces started falling into place I had such a lack of interest in the actual mystery that I did not really care much about the conclusion. This book just wasn’t for me. Some books just don’t click with certain readers and this one just did not click for me.

To purchase a copy of this book or learn more about the author visit the links below.

Amazon: In Places Hidden

http://traciepetersonbooks.com/

*I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

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A Borrowed Dream by Amanda Cabot

Summary:

Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the town doctor’s excessive bleeding treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life without love or family, a life where dreams rarely come true.

Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.

With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.

My Thoughts:

A Borrowed Dream is the second book in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy. I did not realize before I started this book that it was the second in a series and had not read the previous book. I did feel a bit lost starting out. There seemed to be a little bit of back story from the previous book that I missed out on, but it was not impossible to fill in the gaps.

I enjoyed the interaction between the characters in this story. There was also enough of a mystery element to keep my interest. I think my main issue with this book is that I found the plot to be a little unrealistic for this time period. I don’t want to offer any spoilers, so I will just say that I found Austin’s previous background and job to be highly unbelievable for his station in life and the time period in which the book was set. I am positive that it was possible, it just seemed a little out of reach for who he was. There were some issues of grief to be worked through, also issues with trust and guilt. The pace of this book seemed to move fairly slowly until the last several chapters and then a few crazy things seemed to happen all at once. It seemed a little disjointed. All in all it definitely was not a plot that I had read before and everything was concluded nicely for the characters by the end of this book. There are also a few sample chapters of the next book in the series at the end of this book which is always fun to read!

To purchase a copy of this book or learn more about the author visit the links below.

Amazon: A Borrowed Dream

http://www.amandacabot.com/

*I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

Summary:

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas–a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

My Thoughts:

Another beautiful vintage cover from Karen Barnett in Where the Fire Falls! Karen’s writing is so descriptive that you can actually visualize walking through Yosemite. This book was another event filled adventure through the beautiful setting of a National Park. Again, after reading this book I really want to just pack up and go see Yosemite! Clark and his caring nature for his pack mules really added a smile to my face as I read this book. Clark and Olivia were both dealing with past hurts and had to work through those issues during this story. I had a hard time connecting with Olivia as a character. She lacked a lot of integrity in my opinion by hiding her identity and pretending to be something that she wasn’t, and that was hard for me to get past. I did not understand the attraction that Clark had to her for those reasons as well. All that said, the mystery element was exciting and I absolutely love all of the details and information about the places and things within Yosemite.

To purchase a copy of Where the Fire Falls or learn more about the Author visit the links below!

Amazon: Where the Fire Falls

http://www.karenbarnettbooks.com/

*I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason

Summary:

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 that once their marriage is sanctioned by God, 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 pleasing Hannah and living up to his father’s demanding expectations.

At every turn, forces work to keep the couple apart, and a solution to remain together seems further and further away. With Nolan’s new life pulling him irrevocably away from the woman he loves, it seems only a miracle will bring them back together.

My Thoughts:

I am always excited to discover a new to me Historical Romance Author. I am fairly certain I will never grow tired of reading Historical Romances. Or watching them on BBC! But, back to the book! First of all it is nice to see a gentleman on the cover of a book occasionally. I enjoyed that since most of the storyline really follows Nolan’s transition from stable hand to son of an Earl. I mistakenly thought that this book had a very straightforward plot and I had predicted most of the conflict and resolution before reading past the first several chapters. I was actually wrong. I was in for several surprises. I really enjoy when a book is able to surprise me with either a plot twist or an unexpected villain. That being said, I was not sure how the story would progress and that kept me reading! The characters in this book seem to be tried and tested as they approach a life different than what they had planned, due to the discovery that Nolan is actually heir to Lord Stainsby. Trust, forgiveness and a recognition of who and what God has called us to do seem to be the main themes apparent in this book. A few plot twists and a bit of mystery keep the story moving at a good pace. Fans of Historical Romance will enjoy this latest book from Susan Anne Mason.

To purchase a copy of A Most Noble Heir or learn more about the author visit the links below!

Amazon: A Most Noble Heir

http://susanannemason.net/

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper Basham

Summary:

When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looked as good as it did on Rainey Mitchell.

Rainey Mitchell does not need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptation wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne. When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again?

“Rainey Mitchell is doing just fine. She has a great job helping children in need, her family is around her, she is mother to a fabulous little girl, and is getting over the betrayal of her ex-husband. Dr. Alex Murdock is not doing so well, as he is forced to work at a rural university, his life is full of secrets surrounding his family, and he has to start over in a new town. Luckily, Rainey, the daughter of his landlord, is there to get him settled. Rainey just wants to stay away from the new professor, who has the same charm as her ex. Unfortunately, they seem to need each other. Rainey needs his grant-writing ability to save her program, and Alex is terrible at the lecturing at which Rainey excels. The two must work together to fulfill their goals, but will they be able to do it? Rainey’s insecurities and Alex’s obsession with protecting his family could be their undoing. A well-written love story filled with suspense, mystery, and a loving family.”

My Thoughts:

This book has been on my “to be read” list ever since I finished A Twist of Faith, the first book in the Mitchell’s Crossroad series. Pepper Basham’s writing is everything I love in a book. Humor, sincerity, genuinely likable characters, great plots and romance are all balanced perfectly to create the most enjoyable story. Charming the Troublemaker had me hooked from the start. Alex is without a doubt, charming. His flirtatious nature and lighthearted demeanor really made his character one of my favorites. The chemistry between Alex and Rainy really brought this book to life. It was just fun and funny. Im not going to give any spoilers for this book, but there is a scene with a car, a cell phone, and a lot of mud that literally had me laughing out loud. I am convinced that Hallmark needs to snatch all of Pepper Basham’s books up and make them into movies. Because they are just that good! While this book had somewhat of a lighthearted feel there were deeper issues that Rainy and Alex were dealing with individually. A lot was revealed about Alex’s past which explained a lot about his behavior. I loved to see that the growth in his character matured him, but he still had those charming and fun things about his personality that made him a great character to read about! This book had a few surprises and a little bit of a mystery that added a lot of interest and some suspenseful moments as well! I loved it! And y’all the epilogue has the cutest, sweetest thing. I can’t spoil it, so you will just have to read it and then we will chat. But, melt my heart. If you need me I will just be sitting here waiting for the next book. Just kidding, kind of.

To purchase a copy of Charming the Troublemaker or learn more about Pepper Basham visit the links below!

Amazon: Charming the Troublemaker

https://pepperdbasham.com/

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

Summary:

Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a young boy left in her care, who some suspect to be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement, Azilum, offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate the land of his hard-won farm near Azilum, but soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they will be drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.

My Thoughts:

This book was fantastic from start to finish! The descriptions are vivid and raw and really make you feel like you are there an experiencing this world with the characters. I was on edge while reading most of this book. There is so much tension due to opposing political views and also Vivienne must be careful who she trusts because of her past. I loved Vivienne’s character and her resiliency after her world is turned upside down. Liam and Vivienne’s relationship was another reason I loved this book. Their relationship went through various natural stages which made it believable, and kept me holding out hope that these two would have a future together someday. I was completely engrossed in this story, captivated by the very first pages. The writing is just so good. This is the kind of book I think of when I think of really great Historical Fiction. No spoilers, but the end of this book was a little mind blowing in the good kind of way. I love it when a book is able to surprise me as a reader. That is when you know it was good! I definitely recommend reading this book! It hits so elements that a good Historical Fiction should! Rich, captivating, tense and tragic, with danger and a bit of romance. Just excellent!

To purchase a copy of A Refuge Assured or learn more about Jocelyn Green visit the links below!

Amazon: A Refuge Assured

http://www.jocelyngreen.com/

*I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Heart’s Appeal by Jennifer Delamere

Summary:

Strong-minded and independent Julia Bernay comes to London to study medicine and become a doctor–a profession that has only just opened up to women. She witnesses a serious accident, and through her quick actions saves the life of an ambitious young barrister named Michael Stephenson.

Coming from a family that long ago lost its money and its respectability, Michael Stephenson has achieved what many would have thought was impossible. Hard work and an aptitude for the law have enabled him to rise above his family’s stigma and set him on the path to wealth and recognition. But his well-laid plans are upended when the accident brings Julia into his life.

Michael soon discovers he’s met a woman every bit as stubborn and determined to make her mark on the world as he is. Sparks fly–but will they find common ground?

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in Jennifer Delamere’s London Beginnings series and I really enjoyed it. I am always drawn to anything Historical set in London! This book starts off with an unexpected accident that I didn’t see coming! That part really took me by surprise and held my attention! I connected with this particular book more than the first in this series, and I think it really is because I enjoyed Julia’s character so much. She had confidence but was not prideful, she was direct, but not bossy, and she was devoted to her beliefs, but was never self righteous or condescending. I am always a fan of a strong female character! I have a hard time with some heroines who are too overbearing or self righteous, however Julia was the perfect balance of kindness and intelligence, which made her very likable. I also enjoyed Michael’s character. He had integrity and remained honest throughout his involvement with the trial and I admired that about him. I really appreciated that I never had to question his character. He had a bit of a sense of humor as well that peeked through at times which was nice. One of the things that I most enjoyed about this book was seeing Julia discover her calling and how events and circumstances shaped where the Lord was calling her to work. I thought that weaving that subtly throughout the story was very true to life. This book was great! I am actually going to go back and read the first book again. I enjoyed this one so much that I want a refresher of The Captain’s Daughter! I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Inspirational Historical Fiction. It can definitely be read as a stand alone book, but will feel much more complete if you read The Captain’s Daughter first. Looking forward to the next one in this series! While this book has a definite conclusion, there is a certain aspect that ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Say what? I was certain there would be another page, or sentence or two. So, the wait is on! You can bet I am going to grab up the next book as soon as it releases! Way to hook me! Job well done! I am not mad about it one bit! I love it!

To purchase a copy of The Heart’s Appeal or learn more about Jennifer Delamere visit the links below!

Amazon: The Heart’s Appeal

http://www.jenniferdelamere.com/

*I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.