Echoes Among The Stones by Jaime Jo Wright

Book Summary:

After Aggie Dunkirk’s career is unceremoniously ended by her own mistakes, she finds herself traveling to Wisconsin, where her grandmother, Mumsie, lives alone in her rambling old home. She didn’t plan for how eccentric Mumsie has become, obsessing over an old, unsolved crime scene–even going so far as to re-create it in the dollhouse. 

Mystery seems to follow her when she finds work as a secretary helping to restore the flooded historical part of the cemetery. Forced to work with the cemetery’s puzzling, yet attractive archeologist, she exhumes the past’s secrets and unwittingly uncovers a crime that some will go to any length to keep quiet–even if it means silencing Aggie. 

In 1946, Imogene Flannigan works in a local factory and has eyes on owning her own beauty salon. But coming home to discover her younger sister’s body in the attic changes everything. Unfamiliar with the newly burgeoning world of criminal forensics and not particularly welcomed as a woman, Imogene is nonetheless determined to stay involved. As her sister’s case grows cold, Imogene vows to find justice . . . even if it costs her everything.

My Thoughts:

Jaime Jo Wright has delivered another gripping mystery that kept me guessing until the last pages. This split time story flowed effortlessly back and forth and really kept the mystery element intriguing even when jumping from the 1940’s into modern day. This particular plot, although unique, was a bit haunting and definitely did not have a lot of levity or brightness. Collin seemed to be the one character that provided a bit of humor and it was a much needed diversion from a lot of the darker and difficult aspects of this story. I think that both of the timelines were so interconnected that it is hard to say which one I preferred. As far as characters go, I had a hard time connecting with Imogene. I was really creeped out by a lot of her actions and I found her to be a frustrating at times. Aggie was also a tough pill to swallow. Her life circumstances left her bitter and grief stricken and her character had to work through those issues. I think her character was genuine to her situation, however she wasn’t Susie Sunshine because she was in a difficult life situation and grieving. As always the writing in this book was really outstanding. Jaime Jo Wright has an almost poetic way with words that really captures the emotion of what she is trying to convey to the reader. While I would recommend this book to readers, I would also say that it has a very somber tone, it doesn’t have a lot of romance, and the subject matter might be unsettling in some places. The mystery is captivating and is well executed, so be prepared to be turning the pages trying to solve it!

If you would like to purchase a copy of Echoes Among the Stones, visit the link below.

Amazon: Echoes Among The Stones

*I was given a copy of this book by the Publisher, however I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Major’s Daughter by Regina Jennings

Book Summary:

Caroline Adams returns to Indian Territory after tiring of confining society life. She wants adventure, and when she and her friend Amber come across swaggering outlaw Frisco Smith, they find his dreams for the new territory are very persuasive. With the much-anticipated land run pending, they may just join the rush. 

Growing up parentless, all Frisco Smith wanted was a place to call his own. It’s no wonder that he fought to open the Unassigned Lands. After years of sneaking across the border, he’s even managed to put in a dugout house on a hidden piece of property he’s poised to claim. 

When the gun sounds, everyone’s best plans are thrown out the window in the chaos of the run. Caroline and Frisco soon find themselves battling over a claim–and both dig in their heels. Settling the rightful ownership will bring these two closer than they ever expected and change their ideas of what a true home looks like.

My Thoughts:

This was such an an adventure! I absolutely loved the setting of this book! I found all of the historical details surrounding this time period to be so interesting! It really gave you a great idea of the challenges that one would face when starting a new homestead or a new town. I was completely invested in the outcome of this book! I really didn’t know how things would be settled, but I was happy with the conclusion. Both Caroline and Frisco were a little hard to root for at times. They both had some hurdles to overcome and they didn’t see eye to eye for the majority of the book. I was a fan of their romance by the end of the book. I’ve really enjoyed this series and this book is the perfect addition!

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Major’s Daughter, visit the link below!

Amazon: The Major’s Daughter

*I was given a copy of this book by the Publisher, however I was not required to leave a positive review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Above The Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel

Book Summary:

After losing the love of her life to a big city journalism job, Elissa Tillman pours herself into the suffragette movement and her secretarial work helping keep her father’s Pittsburgh newspaper afloat.

Cole Parker returns to the steel city with the phantom failures of his past nipping his heels. All he asks of the future is a second chance with the woman he once spurned.

The murder of a millionaire offers the perfect chance for Elissa to prove to her father and the world that she’s a serious journalist. But there’s a catch—she has to compete for the story. Against none other than Cole Parker, the very man who shattered her heart.

My Thoughts:

This book was such a treat! What a fabulous debut novel! An exciting plot combined with characters that felt real made this book a page turner for me. I absolutely loved the writing style and the plot kept me guessing until the final pages! Twists and turns, oh my! Cole is my hero! His confidence and sense of humor were the perfect combination! Elissa was passionate and driven, and while I might have wanted to thump her pretty head a time or two, she was a solid character that I was able to connect with in spite of her flaws. Cole and Elissa’s chemistry was a fun and frustrating mixture providing plenty of entertainment whenever they matched wits. The mystery aspect of this story was intriguing and the faith elements woven into the story felt natural and not forced, so I felt like there was a great balance! I loved this story! I would definitely recommend it!

I’m absolutely looking forward to future novels by Rachel Scott McDaniel!

If you would like to purchase a copy of Above The Fold or learn more about Rachel Scott McDaniel, visit the links below!

Amazon: Above The Fold

https://rachelmcdaniel.net/

*I was given a copy of this book by the Publisher, however I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Love You, Truly by Susan L. Tuttle

Book Summary:

Blake Carlton, the camera-shy son of Hollywood’s Darling, dodges the invasive limelight and scripted relationships that so often accompany fame. But when his mother’s popularity declines and she falls into a depression, he offers himself up as the next bachelor on a reality show, hoping to reignite interest in her career while creating a way for them to finally connect.

After her fiancé dumps her for her best friend, aspiring photographer Harlow Tucker is done with romance–until her beloved, disabled sister requests her aid to start a nonprofit. Harlow agrees to do whatever is needed to raise funds, even reluctantly costarring on a dating show with a notorious womanizer who distrusts anyone behind a lens.

As Blake and Harlow navigate the superficiality of a reality show, their preconceived notions of love are challenged. Deciding to trust each other feels like the ultimate risk, but taking that chance could lead to a love truly picture-perfect, worth both of their hearts.

My Thoughts:

I absolutely fell in love with this book! I was totally sucked in by this plot!  My confession: I am a total ABC The Bachelor fan!  So when there is a story with a premise that even remotely resembles The Bachelor,you can sign me up!  One of the things that I love about Susan Tuttle’s writing is that she is great at creating characters that have excellent chemistry, but also dive deeper into some really thought provoking issues. This book was no exception!  Susan Tuttle has created characters that are just magic on the pages! Not only do these characters provide fun and flirty dialogue, but they each have their own vulnerabilities that really tug at your heart strings and keep you rooting for them until the conclusion.  Harlow and Blake are perfection!  One of the things that I really loved and appreciated about this book is that it is completely balanced.  Just the right amount of humor, romance, and conflict.  There were a few scenes that really just broke me as Blake wrestled with God and as Harlow had to make some tough decisions about the future.  Susan Tuttle really captured the feeling of those hard moments we all go through, where we feel raw and battered, but ultimately they lead us to the bigger and brighter future that God had waiting for us all along.  This book is so good!  I really loved it and it is going to be one of my top 10 reads of the year.  Not exaggerating!  It really clicked with me!

If you would like to purchase a copy of Love You, Truly or learn more about Susan Tuttle, check out the links below!

Amazon: Love You, Truly

Susan Tuttle’s Blog

*I was given a copy of this book by the Publisher, however I was not required to write an positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A Pursuit of Home by Kristi Ann Hunter

Book Summary:

In early 1800s England, Jess Beauchene has spent most of her life in hiding and always on the move in an effort to leave her past far behind her. But when she learns the family she thought had died just might be alive and in danger, she knows her secrets can only stay buried for so long.

Derek Thornbury loves the past, which has led him to become an expert in history and artifacts. He knows Jess has never liked him, but when she requests his help deciphering the clues laid out in an old family diary, he can’t resist the urge to solve the puzzle. 

As Jess and Derek race to find the hidden artifact before her family’s enemies, they learn as much about each other as they do about the past. But can their search to uncover the truth and set history right lead to a future together?

My Thoughts:

A pursuit of home has been much anticipated and I can hardly believe it’s finally a reality! The character of Jess practically leapt off of the pages in Kristi Ann Hunter’s debut series, even as a side character. I felt as though she stole every single scene in each Haven Manor book where she appeared, and now she has her own story!

This book was like an adventurous scavenger hunt through art and a cryptic journal. Jess and Derek were an quite the mismatched pair. She is action and boldness and he is caution and intellect and together they endeavored to solve a mystery while slowly breaking down barriers and forming a friendship. A few beloved characters from the previous series make an appearance and I couldn’t get enough of them!! It was the perfect way to tie these series loosely together. I won’t give spoilers, but I was satisfied with the conclusion of this one and wasn’t a bit mad about a happy ending for one of the most memorable characters of Kristi Ann Hunter’s novels!

If you would like to purchase a copy of A Pursuit of Home or learn more about Kristi Ann Hunter, visit the links below!

Amazon: A Pursuit of Home

https://www.kristiannhunter.com/

*I was given a copy of this book by the Publisher, however I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A Match For Emma by Pepper Basham

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Book Summary:

Emma Mitchell may enjoy sprinkling romance into the lives of others, but her own plans involve a single first-class ticket to culinary school in Europe.

When her best friend, Jon Noble, suddenly moves back to Ransom, Emma’s fairly certain her life can’t get any better…until her matchmaking schemes nosedive, her culinary future falls flat, and a life-long friendship begins to teeter on the brink of something unexpected.

With a little inspiration from Jane Austen’s classic and a touch of Blue Ridge charm, will Jon and Emma discover that what they need the most may be the last thing they’re trying to find?

My Thoughts:

Do you love friendship turned romance stories?  I absolutely do!  I was super excited to dive into another Mitchell’s Crossroads book, and even more excited that it features two best friends who might, perhaps, fall in love.  Pepper Basham’s books are filled with heart, humor, and feature really genuine characters that are easy to identify with as their story unfolds.  This one was no different!  Emma and Jon were both completely adorable!  Their romance wasn’t  fast and furious, it was slow and steady and I loved how it came together.  The reader is given glimpses of Emma and Jon’s chemistry that the characters don’t even recognize.  It was like knowing a secret that they hadn’t found out yet!  The Mitchell family has a great dynamic and there are several scenes in the book where the family is gathered and we get to see the closeness that they share.  The family bond is another reason that I love these books.

Time for my favorite scene!  There is a scene that features a church closet and a kiss.  That is all.  No one writes a romantic kiss like Pepper Basham!  It was epic and memorable and I loved it!

I loved the way theme’s from Jane Austen’s Emma were woven into this story.  It wasn’t necessarily a retelling, but there were definite themes and they were easy to recognize and it added a fun aspect to this romance.

As always Pepper delivered a delightful romance that totally satisfied!  Don’t even think about skipping the Epilogue!  It is complete perfection!

If you would like to purchase a copy of A Match For Emma or learn more about Pepper Basham, check out the links below!

Amazon: A Match for Emma

https://pepperdbasham.com/

*I was given a copy of this book by the author, however I was not required to post a positive review.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

One Royal Christmas by Melissa Tagg

 

Book Summary:

His Majesty Jonah Harrison Archer Davis VI has just endured the worst year of his life . . . and he’s convinced he’s no longer fit to rule Concordia. Not now . . . but maybe someday. Taking advantage of an obscure law that allows him to temporarily abdicate his throne, he transfers short-term power to his younger brother and retreats to Tinsel, Vermont. Perhaps in this tucked-away town, with its enchanting Christmas decorations and unusual media ban, Jonah will discover the peace and privacy he needs to heal, find his vision for his country . . . and somehow believe himself worthy of the crown.

Eight years ago, Rowan Bell dropped out of college and sacrificed her dream of traveling the world to keep a promise to her dying grandmother—to care for Tinsel’s charming library. But the antiquated Cape Cod cottage that has housed the library for decades is falling apart around her, and Tinsel’s city leaders have arranged to relocate the library. Desperate to keep her grandmother’s legacy alive—and hopefully hush the longings of her restless heart in the process—Rowan hatches a plan to preserve the historic house. Help comes in the most unexpected form when a handsome bookworm—a king!—appears in Rowan’s life.

Drawn together under Tinsel’s Christmastime spell, Rowan and Jonah work to secure the library’s future, even as they grapple with all the uncertainty in their own futures. But when a national crisis calls Jonah home, it’s not only his claim to the throne that’s in danger, but their two hearts which had only begun to hope again.

 

My Thoughts:

If I had to describe this novella in one word it would be charming. It was absolutely charming! I was completely captivated with the setting of this story! The town of Tinsel was the perfect setting and I adored the small town charm! Rowen and Jonah were both easy to like and they had such great natural chemistry! I felt like this story was so well developed for the limited amount of pages that we get in a novella. It was balanced, and had great depth! Have I mentioned how much I love novellas? I do! Melissa Tagg was able to capture things about these characters pasts and give the reader a well rounded view of who they are and the struggles they were trying to overcome. It made me love them even more! The banter between Jonah and Rowen was magic and Jonah’s secret messages and they way he delivered them was perfection. The conclusion of this novella was everything that I could have hoped for. Seriously, so good! Loved every single word of this one!

If you would like to purchase a copy of Royally Yours or learn more about the author, visit the links below!

Amazon: Royally Yours

http://www.melissatagg.com/

*I was given a copy of this book by the author, however I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.