The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill


Summary:

When her best friend vanishes without so much as a good-bye, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail takes on the role of amateur sleuth in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. Given that Piper’s tendency has always been to butt heads with high-society’s expectations of her, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t give a second thought to searching for answers to Lydia’s abduction from their privileged neighborhood.

As Piper discovers that those answers might stem from the corruption strangling 1924 Chicago—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.

My Thoughts:

I had heard a lot of good things about this book, so I requested it at the library and was excited when they ordered it!  I really love the setting of this story.  The Chicago Jazz age was the perfect backdrop for this book.  As a reader you are transported back to a time with prohibition, speakeasys, mobsters and gin fizz! There were so many little things that make you suspect anyone and everyone as Piper goes about investigating her friend’s disappearance.  The story itself was intriguing and held my attention throughout the book.  I really enjoyed Pipers character.  She was honest, no nonsense, but bold. The mystery element in this story was well done.  There were enough clues hidden within the story to keep you guessing, but not so many as to completely give away all the answers.  I like a surprise ending, but not one that comes out of left field and the conclusion of this story was well done and satisfying.  I struggled a bit with the first person, present tense POV, but that is a personal preference.  I enjoyed the book and was glad to see a hint that there would be future books following Piper and her investigative skills.  I love a good historical fiction book, add a little mystery and its even better!  This one delivered and I thourougly enjoyed it! 

To purchase a copy of The Lost Girl of Astor Street visit one of the links below:
Amazon: The Lost Girl of Astor Street
Stephanie Morrill’s Website

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason


Summary:

Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her–and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories–and the depths of the heart–Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley’s past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won’t quit.

My Thoughts:

This was my first Lynette Eason book and I loved it!  Chasing Secrets was fast paced, exciting, and full of suspense!  I was grabbed from the very first pages as the reader is introduced to a very intense scene of an attack involving a 5 year old Aileen Burke.  Literally could not stop turning the pages!  I loved Hayley!  I really enjoyed how Hayley and Steven were able to cultivate a friendship even in the midst of some very stressful situations.  They just seemed to click right from the start and I really enjoyed thier shared sarcasm and humor.  Their relationship added just the right amount of levity to this story.  The plot line of this story was intriging and kept my attention until the end.  I have not read a lot of suspense recently, however I really enjoyed this book and now I plan to go back and read the previous books in this series.  I thought this book had the perfect mixture of characters who entice you into the story, suspense, action, and a few twists to keep you guessing.  So great! 

To order a your own copy of Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason visit one of the links below!
Amazon: Chasing Secrets
Lynetteeason.com

A Name Unknown by Roseanna White


Summary:

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?
Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered. 
But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?
My Thoughts:

First of all, this cover is fabulous!  I just love it!  I knew I wanted to read this book based on the cover alone!  And I am so happy to report I loved the inside just as much!  This is without a doubt my favorite Roseanna White novel to date.  The characters in this book make it memorable, combined with the most insteresting and fun plot.  There is humor, mystery, spies, lies, danger, and characters that you cant help but love and admire.  I wasn’t sure I would grow to love Rosemary, but she won me over with her outspoken nature and her loyalty to Peter.  I thought her background and her line of work were such an interesting and brilliantly unique change of pace for a heroine of a story.  I loved it!  Peter was imperfectly perfect.  I was instantly a fan of his character, but I wasn’t expecting his sense of humor.  It was the best surprise of his character, and he was full of surprises!  I so enjoyed this book because the plot was different than anything I had read before in a historical fiction, the characters were unique and fun, and the mystery element in the story kept you guessing until the end.  I cannot wait to see where this series goes!  I am a definite fan! 

To purchase a copy of A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White visit the links below:

Amazon: A Name Unknown
Roseannamwhite.com

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

Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh


Summary:

After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home—a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work—something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.
Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along—if only she’d just look up.

My Thoughts:

I saved this book for my vacation because I anticipated really enjoying this book! I was expecting a fun, lighthearted, contemporary romance, and while it delivered in all those areas, I didn’t expect to identify so much with the characters. You cannot walk away from this book without taking a hard look at your priorities.  Lane struggles to be present in the moment, and to disconnect from work.  She pours herself into her job because she is trying to get validation and acceptance.You can literally feel the stress and tension leaping off the pages with every chime and tweet from Lane’s cell phone.  Lane and Ryan both deal with things from their past that end up shaping their views and how they approach life.  I don’t think you can read this book and not completely love Ryan’s character.  He is the guy who noticed and loved the girl before she loved herself.  Reading about Ryan’s past and what he had to overcome was so heartbreaking, but it gave me such an appreciation for who he had become in spite of his past. I loved getting a glimpse of Lane and Ryan’s childhood through memories and seeing how different their perception was of the same situations.   I loved this book and loved that it had depth that I wasn’t expecting.  It is a definite must read!

To purchase a copy of Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh visit one of the links below:
Amazon: Just Look Up
Courtneywalshwrites.com

The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller


Summary:

Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility when she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.

William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte’s father’s pick, not the young lady’s own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return–and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte’s sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.
Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace?

My Thoughts:

The Captivating Lady Charlotte is the second book in the Regency Brides A Legacy of Grace Series from Carolyn Miller.  I always enjoy a good Regency story. I think this book was extremely well written.  It really captured the tone and setting of the Regency period.  I liked that this story had layers beyond just a typical romance between the characters.  Individually, Charlotte and William each had issues that they were battling to overcome, which affected their lives and relationship.  Heartache, forgiveness, trust, acceptance and a recognition of love over infatuation are some of the things these characters confront in this story.  Usually I am more drawn to the heroine of a book, however in this particular story, I found myself admiring William’s character. He was kind, protective, thoughtful and his direct manner with Charlotte was something I appreciated.  I looked at this book as somewhat of a coming of age story about Charlotte.  She was young and naive about life and love, but I felt that would be typical of someone of her age during their first season.  I did have trouble connecting with Charlotte’s character.  She tended to be superficial and dismissive to William because he wasn’t as young or as attractive as her ideal suitor.  However, time and circumstances allowed her character to grow and mature throughout the story.  A little bit of mystery is hidden in this story, making for an exciting and dangerous conclusion that will keep you turning the pages.  Historical fiction fans and readers who particularly enjoy Regency novels will enjoy this latest book from Carolyn Miller.  

To purchase a copy of The Captivating Lady Charlotte visit one of the links below:

Amazon: The Captivating Lady Charlotte
Carolyn Miller

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade


Summary:

Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks Kate to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance, takes a leave of absence from her job as a social worker, and the two of them set off.

Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man her grandmother has hired to renovate the house. From the first moment she meets Matt, Kate can’t help but be attracted to him–he’s got a combination of good looks and charisma that draw and tug at her. But she knows there’s zero chance of a romance between them. Matt’s in love with his dead wife, and even if he weren’t, Kate realizes that she’s way too ordinary for him. For Matt Jarreau is no ordinary guy. Kate discovers that he was once a great NHL hockey player who left the sport when his wife–an honest-to-goodness former Miss America–was diagnosed with brain cancer. Matt’s been hiding from people, from God, and from his past ever since. Yet Kate is absolutely determined to befriend him, to try to reach him, to help him in some small way.

No, Kate’s not looking for love. She knows better than that by now. But when the stilted, uncomfortable interactions between Kate and Matt slowly shift into something more, is God finally answering the longing of her heart? Or will Kate be required to give up more than she ever dreamed?
My Thoughts:

I thouroughly enjoyed this book.  This book traveled with me on vacation and it was the perfect choice!  I was fully engrossed in this story, which kept me distracted from long airport layovers and airplane turbulence. I have oddly enough worked my way backwards through Becky Wade’s books.  I loved True to You and decided I would basically binge read every Becky Wade story I could get my hands on.  I lucked into My Stubborn Heart in the bargain section and snactched it up!  This story had so much life, and spunk and humor!  I thought the characters were excellent and I had such a love for the little Senior group in this story.  They added so much charm and humor!  I thought Matt’s character was such an honest picture of someone dealing with grief and guilt.  It was so hard to read, but that is what made it so good.  You could feel the hurt and grief through the pages and it kept you invested in this story until the end.  I loved Kate’s honesty and persistence.  I loved seeing all of the things the characters experienced to lead them to where the story concludes.  Such a rollercoaster of emotions during the last few chapters.  Loved this from start to finish.

To purchase a copy of my Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade visit one of the links below!

Amazon: My Stubborn Heart
BeckyWade.com

A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren


Summary:

Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he’s remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana’s rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can’t seem to find his footing–or forget the woman he loved, who betrayed him. 

Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the limelight as the second-youngest senator in the country. But she has a secret–one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track. 
When Ella’s brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park’s most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn’t so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he’ll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother, a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain. 
But old sparks relight as they search for the missing snowboarder–and suddenly, they are faced with emotions neither can deny. But when Ella’s secret is revealed, can they learn to trust each other–even when disaster happens again?

My Thoughts:

This book was packed with action from start to finish!  I enjoyed the fast pace of this book and was in eager suspense during the entire second half of this story.  I did find this book a little hard to get into at the beginning.  There were a lot of characters on the PEAK rescue team and not having read any previous books in the series it was a little hard to follow.  I did enjoy the action and suspense that this story delivered.  The details about being trapped in an avalanche were chilling.  I enjoyed that the extreme situations the characters were placed in gave them an opportunity to sort out their feelings and communicate, while also providing a sense of danger and suspense.  This was a fast and easy read.  If you are a fan of stories with action and romance you will enjoy this one! 

To order a copy of A Matter of Trust visit one of the links below.

Amazon: A Matter of Trust
www.susanmaywarren.com
*I recieved a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.