The Reckoning At Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

gossamer pond

Summary:

For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant facade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she’s wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she’ll uncover.

A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father’s newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon’s son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town–but it isn’t until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they’ve waded into.

Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it’s too late and they lose their future–or their very souls.

My Thoughts:

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this book!  The Reckoning At Gossamer Pond is another mysterious, suspense filled, split time novel.  A good split time novel is the best of both worlds for a lover of Historical Fiction and Modern day stories.  I absolutely love the cover of this book.  It is definitely a reflection of the story within and the overall atmosphere that the author sets for this novel.  Jaime Jo Wright is ridiculously talented at writing a descriptive atmosphere in her novels.  I was intrigued by the mysterious elements to this story, and was equally invested in both the modern and historical story lines.  Several chapters would end in a bit of a cliffhanger type moment and I couldn’t wait to pick up the story line again.

Both story lines kept me guessing until the end and weaved together to connect these characters in spite of the time gap between their stories.  This book was great at delivering two totally different types of suspense.  The Libby’s story, the Historical one, offered a ominous type of suspense where I didn’t know who to trust or what direction the story would turn.  It was the kind of suspense where you know something is about to happen, but you can’t quite predict what it is.  Annalise’s story was a little more direct in its suspenseful moments.  Annalise had to deal with several circumstances in which her safety, emotions, and daily routine were shattered.  It is the heart pounding kind of suspense that keeps a reader on the edge of their seat, turning the pages.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a novel with mystery and suspense.  If you don’t often read historical fiction a split time novel is the perfect way to dive into a Historical fiction story.  Jaime Jo Wright has delivered another gripping split time novel that balances the historical and modern day time periods perfectly.

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Reckoning At Gossamer Pond or learn more about Jaime Jo Wright, visit the links below!

Amazon: The Reckoning At Gossamer Pond

jaimewrightbooks.com

 

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

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Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

sons of blackbird

Summary:

After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of nineteenth-century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred-acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.

But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.

As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?

A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.

 

My Thoughts:

I have been anxiously awaiting the release day of Joanne Bischof’s next novel, The Sons of Blackbird Mountain. The cover of this book is perfection!  It is dreamy and romantic, and has so many elements that are within the actual story.  If the cover doesn’t suck you in the first few chapters will!  I prepared myself for this to be a different type of story than her previous release, The Lady and the Lionheart.  I absolutely loved that book and Charlie has my heart forever.  I am not going to lie, I was skeptical beginning this story.  Not because I thought that the author wasn’t going to craft a moving story, but because my affection for her last book was so great.  How could it be better? Or even equal?  Here is what I think after reading and finishing The Sons of Blackbird Mountain, they are so different and unique in their own way that there is no comparison.  I looked up from reading and I was halfway done with the book.  I had no idea where the time had gone, it was effortless.  The story moved at exactly the perfect pace.  I was intrigued, surprised, and captivated by the story and the characters.  I think as Aven slowly fell in love with Thor, so did I.  Joanne Bischof’s writing is so descriptive that you can almost smell the apples in the cider house, you can imagine the trees in the orchard.   You can identify with the characters because their hurts and hopes are written so eloquently that you feel like you are experiencing their triumphs and pain right alongside them.  This story was one of redemption, love and family and it was beautifully told.  Joanne Bischof almost casts a spell over the reader as you open the first page.  You are transported to this Mountain and are completely immersed in this story.  I loved this story.  I am so glad this this story was unique and different.  It was eye opening to another way of life, and communication.  I highly recommend this book!  I am looking forward to the next book in this series!  Here’s my little side note:  Trust your authors friends!  If you have some favorite authors, trust that they will write new stories in the style that you know and love them for. Much love for this author and her books!

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Sons of Blackbird Mountain or learn more about Joanne Bischof, visit the links below!

Amazon: Sons of Blackbird Mountain

joannebischof.com

 

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

 

 

Loving Grace by April Smith

loving graceSummary:Grace Summer lands herself in a melon load of trouble when she becomes torn between the boy of her dreams and the boy almost next door. As the newly crowned Watermelon Queen, she is thrust into the spotlight, meets the dreamy Warren Hartley, and continues trying to get over an accident that rocked her world. Mix in working with Beau Baron who Grace happens to fight with just about as much as breathing and the metaphorical sparks fly.
Like most things in life, Grace must learn to take the good with the bad. While the good is the handsome and fun Warren Hartley, the bad is Beau Baron—or at least being around his annoying and rude self way more than she would like. For Beau, Grace is nothing more than aggravating and an irritating reminder from the night of the accident. Tensions soar as Grace and Beau fight to love themselves and maybe, just maybe, each other. My Thoughts:I was so excited to get to read Loving Grace by April Smith.  I don’t typically come across a lot of chances to read and review a YA novel, but I am so glad that I did!  This story was sweet, fun, funny, and perfect for summer.  I loved reading about Grace and her summer being the Watermelon Queen.  I loved Grace’s confidence and the way she approached her responsibilities.  She was positive, self assured and tackled anything that same her way.  And then there is Beau.  I loved sweet Beau.  Always there, hiding behind his grumpy exterior trying to mask his feelings.  So sweet.  I enjoyed that this story focused on Grace’s experience during her summer and that it didn’t dabble only in the area of of “which boy should she choose?”  There were some deep and challenging conversations between Grace and Beau that were hard, but also allowed them to grow and I thought that it added a lot of realness to this story.  Hearing about Beau’s experience of Grace’s families accident was heart wrenching, but showed a lot of what made him who he was.  It was fun reading about the festivals and appearances that Grace and the Baron’s attended, it kept things interesting.  I am positive that you cannot read this book without craving watermelon before the end of it.  Its literally on every page and I just think that anyone who reads this book should enjoy a slice or two while reading it!  Loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a YA novel that has a little bit of fun, sweet romance, and yes, watermelon!To purchase a copy of Loving Grace by April Smith or learn more about this author, visit the links below.Amazon: Loving Graceaprilsmithbooks.com*I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Beneath The Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn

 

beneath the surface

Summary:

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she’d left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer–one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

 

My Thoughts:

I love, love, loved this book.  I have discovered that I really have a thing for romantic suspense.  And this book delivered.  I initially picked it up at the Library because all of my Instagram book friends have been raving about it.  They were not wrong.  It was great.  Let’s get my one complaint out of the way first: Why do I have to wait to read book 2? There is a little teaser of book 2 at the end of this fabulous story and I read it.  And I wanted more. Instantly.  Because it already sounds amazing.  OK, back to the review at hand.  This book was so action packed that any time I was about to take a break, something would happen to suck me back in.

The characters in this book were great as well! I loved that Leigh and Ryan had grown up together and were friends. I thought it was cute that each of them had been interested in the other when they were younger, but they had no idea of each others feelings.  Leigh and Ryan were very genuine and I liked the interactions with other team members who I foresee being in future books in the series.  All in all this book ticked all the boxes of a good thriller or romantic suspense.  I am definitely hooked for this series!  I cannot wait to see what this author writes next!  I am a fast fan!

To purchase a copy of Beneath The Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn or learn more about this author, visit the links below!

Amazon: Beneath The Surface

Lynnblackburn.com

Lone Witness by Rachel Dylan

lone witness

Summary:

Prosecutor Sophie Dawson’s first job in the White Collar division of the Fulton County D.A.’s office is to build a case against a local bank employee who may be cheating clients. But when circumstances beyond her control leave her as the only witness to a double homicide involving a vengeful gang, her world is turned upside down.

Former Atlanta police officer turned private security guard Cooper Knight is hired to ensure that Sophie is kept safe. But as threats escalate, they don’t know who they can trust.

Sophie is determined not to back down, but her bank case gets more complicated by the day, and the gang will stop at nothing to keep her from testifying. Sophie wants to take a stand for what’s right–but can Cooper, who is determined not to be distracted by their growing attraction, keep her safe so that she can finish her pursuit for justice?

 

My Thoughts:

This book definitely grabbed my attention from the very first pages! I admittedly have not read many legal thrillers.  I tend to enjoy more of the thriller aspect and less of the legal.  However, this series, and this particular book, gives just the right amount of each.  I instantly liked Sophie!  I mean, who can’t identify with a hard working gal who unashamedly stops to grab junk food in place of dinner? I liked Sophie’s character because she was just the right amount of everything to make her likable.  Sometimes I read strong female characters that are harsh and defiantly independent to prove themselves, but Sophie was confident, capable and still genuinely strong while being kind.  Cooper was great as well! Protective, smart and always around when needed. I like the spark that they had, but appreciated that the relationship moved a little slower than I expected.  It just seemed more real and made the characters more genuine in my opinion.

The story itself moved really fast paced which was great. There was enough twists and turns to keep my interested throughout the book.     There were definite moments of suspense and I never felt like the legal terms or proceedings were beyond my understanding, which is great because I admittedly know little of the legal system.  This one will keep you guessing until the end.  Although I had a hunch how it would all play out, I didn’t guess the entire circumstance and how it all fit together.  I definitely enjoyed this one!  If you are a fan of legal thrillers, or even just a fan of suspense I would recommend you picking this one up!  I have been really impressed with this series!  Looking forward to the next one!

To learn more about Lone Witness by Rachel Dylan or learn more about this author, visit the links below!

Amazon: Lone Witness

www.racheldylan.com

 

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

A Rebel Heart by Beth White

a rebel heart

Summary:

Five years after the final shot was fired in the War Between the States, Selah Daughtry can barely manage to keep herself, her two younger sisters, and their spinster cousin fed and clothed. With their family’s Mississippi plantation swamped by debt and the Big House falling down around them, the only option seems to be giving up their ancestral land.

Pinkerton agent and former Union cavalryman Levi Riggins is investigating a series of robberies and sabotage linked to the impoverished Daughtry plantation. Posing as a hotel management agent for the railroad, he tells Selah he’ll help her save her home, but only if it is converted into a hotel. With Selah otherwise engaged with renovations, Levi moves onto the property to “supervise” while he actually attends to his real assignment right under her nose.

Selah isn’t sure she entirely trusts the handsome Yankee, but she’d do almost anything to save her home. What she never expected to encounter was his assault on her heart.

 

My Thoughts:

I was intrigued by this book after seeing that it was set in the post Civil War era.  I have not read any books recently set around the Civil War, and a different time period is always great to explore through a book.  This book is the first in The Daughtry House series by “new to me” author, Beth White.  The first chapters of the book grabbed my attention and I really enjoyed meeting the characters and even sensed a spark between them in spite of some rather unexpected circumstances.  I struggled with this book after about the first fourth of it.  The plot became hard to follow in my opinion.  Levi’s focus seemed to switch from Pinkerton agent to helpful property manager, and while it was a cover for his investigation, I rarely remembered he was still a Pinkerton agent.   There also seemed to be a lot of characters that were introduced as the story progressed and it was hard for me to keep up with everyone.  I found the backstory and the connection that Levi had to Daughtry house added an interesting depth to his character, however I did not like that he withheld so many things about his work and his past from Selah.  Other than those things I really enjoyed the time period of this novel. The attention to the cultural changes going on in the area during this time period brought an added interest for me to the story.  There is a mystery element in this book that keeps things interesting as well.  I didn’t connect with this book as much as I anticipated to, however I do think that many Historical Fiction readers would really enjoy this novel.  High points of this book include a great setting, romance, and a mystery.  If you are an avid Historical Fiction reader I would encourage you to give this book a try!

 

To purchase a copy of A Rebel Heart or learn more about the author visit the links below!

Amazon: A Rebel Heart

www.bethwhite.net

 

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

First Impressions by Debra White Smith

first impressions

Summary:

In an attempt to get to know the people of London, Texas–the small town that lawyer Eddi Boswick now calls home–she tries out for a local theater group’s production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. She’s thrilled to get the role of lively Elizabeth Bennet . . . until she meets the arrogant–and eligible–rancher playing her leading man.

Dave Davidson chose London, Texas, as the perfect place to live under the radar. Here, no one knows his past, and he can live a quiet, peaceful life with his elderly aunt, who also happens to own the local theater. Dave doesn’t even try out for the play, but suddenly he is thrust into the role of Mr. Darcy and forced to spend the entire summer with Eddi, who clearly despises him.

Sparks fly every time Eddi and Dave meet, whether on the stage or off. But when Eddi discovers Dave’s secret, she has to admit there might be more to him than she thought. Maybe even enough to change her mind . . . and win her heart.

 

My Thoughts:

I am a sucker for  anything Jane Austen inspired, so this book was a a must read!  I didn’t realize until after I had started reading this book that it isn’t a new release!  This series has been re-released with updated covers which are so cute and eye catching.  This means that there is a whole series ready and waiting to be read, no delays! Debra White Smith, while not being a new author, was new to me! So, I was curious as to her writing style and how this book would incorporate our beloved Austen themes.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I felt that the author did a great job of modernizing the story of Pride and Prejudice.  I definitely felt the undercurrent of the original story and characters, however, the people and places in this book were all their own.  The book was enjoyable and was an easy, lighthearted read.  My main issue with this story was that I felt that it followed Pride and Prejudice a little too closely when it came to the situation with Edi’s sister.  I had trouble believing that modern day characters would force a man to marry a girl based on a pregnancy.  It seemed like that situation could have slightly been adjusted to reflect more of a realistic outcome for this time period.  Other than that little area I enjoyed the story and would recommend it someone who enjoys a sweet contemporary romance novel.  Perfect for a Summer read!

To purchase a copy of First Impressions or learn more about the author visit the links below!

Amazon: First Impressions

debrawhitesmith.com

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