The Struggle is Real by Nicole Unice

the struggle is real

Book Summary:

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a day where everything that could go wrong does go wrong—you lock your keys in the car while it’s running, lose control with your kids, make a mistake at the office that results in hours more work. And just when you think not one more thing could possibly happen . . . well, fill in the blank.

The struggle is real, friends. It may not be major stuff. Lives are not on the line here. But it makes us feel awful . . . and then we feel guilty for stressing when other people have “real” problems that are so much more serious.

Yet the fact remains: We live in a world that often feels harder than we think it should be. And so it can be easy to believe the stories we tell ourselves—that we’re doing it wrong, that we’ll be stuck in this place forever, that God doesn’t love us. We struggle to practice gratitude, to make godly choices, and to live our daily lives with confidence and contentment. So what can we do?

Join popular Bible teacher and counselor Nicole Unice to discover why the struggle is real . . . and what to do about it. Nicole offers practical tools to help you navigate the daily ups and downs, and ways to rewrite your struggle into a new, God-centered life story. The Struggle Is Real is an invitation to take the hard, hurtful, and confusing moments and turn them into opportunities to grow in wisdom, strength, and joy.


My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a great, practical read about struggles, big or small this book will be a major encouragement to you!  I feel like stress, struggle, hardships that women in particular deal with in our every day lives is a very trendy topic of books and conversation right now.  I see so many social media posts about a few really popular books in particular, which may be super helpful, but they are not rooted in Scripture or approached with faith as a foundation.  This book refreshingly offers practical advice, but also gives a Scriptural basis for the advice given.

The format of the book has chapters focused on different topics or struggles, and within each chapter these things are unpacked, Scripture and Biblical examples are drawn upon, and there are practical application questions or activities at the end of each chapter.

Moment of transparency here, this year has been tough for me.  There have been major overwhelming times, stress has been more a factor this year than ever before, and I was encouraged by so many things that this book had to say.  Friends, I want more than a funny book with a cute title, and this book offers practical, Biblical advice for dealing with our struggles, big or small.  I would definitely encourage you to grab it and see if it could offer you some encouragement or practical application!

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Struggle is Real by Nicole Unice, or learn more about this author, visit the links below!

Amazon: The Struggle is Real

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.


Jane by the Book by Pepper Basham

jane by the book

Book Summary:

She’s level-headed and ordered. He talks to imaginary characters. She keeps to the plan. He never has one. Will true love find a way to color outside the lines but inside God’s love to create a story they can write together? Four years ago, Jane Warwick escaped the shame of being jilted at the altar by becoming a housekeeper at the secluded Inn at Simeon Ridge. Predictable and quiet, the inn and large Simeon family help Jane find a place to heal but also cultivate her natural strengths for order and planning. But an unexpected visit to Bath, England, upsets Jane’s peaceful monotony and sends her out of her comfort zone, directly into the harrowing path of historical detective author, Titus Stewart. The only plans Titus sticks to are family holidays and the ones that send him careening into his story worlds, but when an uptight innkeeper stumbles into his life – and his latest novel – nonfiction begins to take on a much more interesting gleam. With the help of a mysterious journal, will they both uncover a romance that stands the test of time?


My Thoughts:

This novella was sooo cute!  If you are looking for a sweet romance with humor and quirky characters then this is a perfect choice!  My favorite character in this story is Titus!  He is absolutely charming, funny and so entertaining.    I loved how different these character’s personalities were from each other.  Titus and Jane balanced each other perfectly and it was really fun to read their interactions and watch their romance unfold.  The mystery of Jane’s family journal added and extra  bit of interest and kept Jane and Titus thrown together in a hunt for clues and answers.  I definitely reccomend this novella if you are in the mood for a easy and fun romance read!  And, I was so ecstatic that this novella is available in eBook and in print form!  If you are a contemporary romance fan I think you will love Jane by the Book!

Want to purchase a copy of Jane by the Book or learn more about Pepper Basham?  Visit the links below!

Amazon: Jane by the Book

Some Like It Hot by Susan May Warren

some like it hot

Book Summary:

Riley McCord is trouble, from his blue eyes to his renegade smile—a cover for the grief of losing his father three years ago in Afghanistan, a loss that is still top secret. Riley masks it all by living large—working hard and playing hard, and that includes romancing Larke Kingston, local wilderness medic. When he’s sidelined while working the forest fire, he’s determined to rejoin his team, but to do so, he’ll have to accompany Larke into the wilderness when she is dispatched to a medical emergency. What he doesn’t realize is that trouble is waiting for him in the woods…

Medic Larke Kingston lost the man she loved during her service in Afghanistan and she’s not interested in a troublemaker, so Riley’s no threat to her heart. Just a short-term distraction. Until, that is, a wilderness medical mission puts her face-to-face with an escaped prisoner. Suddenly she needs Riley more than she wants to admit.

Riley is shocked when the escapee claims to have answers about his father’s death. However, before he can uncover them, the fire turns and is bearing down on Larke’s ranch, and his team. Now, only Riley and Larke stand between the flames and destruction of everything they both love. But will the price of saving the ranch—and the team—be greater than they both can bear?

My Thoughts:

This novella series was a total binge read for me!  Some Like It Hot is the last novella in The Summer of the Burning Sky series and it totally delivered!  This story was action packed from start to finish!  I loved the characters and I also love how each novella is written from a different perspective.  There seemed to be danger at every turn for these characters.  It was definitely a fast paced, suspense filled read!  There was also a bit of romance!  The characters have great chemistry!  I really loved this whole series!  I was kind of in a smoke jumping, fire fighting haze for days because I was just devouring any and all books in this series and in Susan May Warren’s previous Montana Fire Series.  They are all fantastic!  I definitely recommend either of these series if you like Romantic Suspense!

If you would like to purchase a copy of Some Like It Hot or learn more about Susan May Warren, visit the links below!

Amazon: Some Like It Hot

A Place to Belong by Melissa Tagg

a place to belong

Book Summary:

After years of mistakes and regret, coffee shop owner Megan Harrow has finally built a new life for herself and her daughter in quirky, but charming Maple Valley. But she’s not ready for the sparks that fly when she meets local nonprofit owner Eric Hampton . . . or for the sudden reappearance of an unwelcome face from her past.


My Thoughts:

I have been waiting for Megan’s story for so long!  I am a huge fan of all things Melissa Tagg, and I am in love with her fictional town of Maple Valley.  I want to live there.  This novella was another sweet romance with humor, quirks, and characters that I want to become my best friends!  Melissa Tagg has a way of dealing with some real and pressing issues through her characters, without writing a heavy or sad story.  This particular novella focuses on a grumpy, yet lovable character, Megan, who has made an appearance in all the Walker series books!  And I loved Megan’s happily ever after.  Eric and Megan were perfect!  And Maple Valley, true to it’s character and charm offers some fun and laughs throughout this story as well!  All I can say is, mud fight!  If you haven’t read the Walker series, you absolutely have to add it to your reading list!  This novella was perfectly sweet and I would definitely recommend it to romance readers!


If you would like to purchase a copy of A Place to Belong or learn more about Melissa Tagg, visit the links below!

Amazon: A Place to Belong

A Secret To Die For by Lisa Harris

a secret to die for

Book Summary:

Psychologist Grace Callahan has no idea that she has a secret–one worth killing for. But when she finds out one of her clients has been murdered, she quickly realizes that the computer security specialist wasn’t simply suffering from paranoia.

Detective Nate Quinn has just been cleared for active duty after a bombing killed eighteen people, including his partner, and left him dealing with PTSD. His first case back on the job involves the murder of Stephen Shaw, and his only lead turns out to be an old friend, Grace Callahan–and her life is in grave danger. Someone believes Shaw gave his psychologist information before he died. Information they are willing to kill for.

My Thoughts:

I have come to expect fast paced, suspenseful novels from Lisa Harris.  So, it was no surprise that this book started off with with a tense, heart pounding scene!   This book definitely has a different feel than the previous series I have read, The Niki Boyd Files, but still delivers gripping, action packed scenes.  Grace and Nate were likable characters who were dealing with some serious issues from their pasts, while working to put together pieces of a puzzle and prevent disaster from striking.  There were plenty of suspenseful moments, however I did feel that at certain times it was a little repetitive.  I don’t want to give away spoilers, but the characters seem to find themselves in peril at every turn, and I began to question why they weren’t more cautious, or didn’t learn from previous experiences.  I love suspense, the thrill of the hunt,  looking for a murderer, but this book took a strange twist and seemed to turn into an apocalyptic techno-thriller.   I just didn’t expect it, and am not the biggest fan of the doomsday type plot.  However, that is a personal preference.  My hubby absolutely loves these kinds of books.  He eats them up!  Even though this wasn’t my favorite plot, this book was action packed until the last pages with some twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing until the conclusion.  Definitely give it a try if you are looking for a thriller that is fast paced!

If you would like to purchase a copy of A Secret to Die For or learn more about Lisa Harris, visit the links below!

Amazon: A Secret to Die For

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

The Daily Question for You and Your Child – Published by Waterbrook

the daily question

What is exactly is this book?

This interactive prompted journal allows a parent to create a keepsake of three years of their child’s life. By answering each of the 365 questions together on the same date each year, readers will get a unique and precious picture into their child’s feelings, development, and personality. Some of the questions focus on spirituality and the child’s heart, while some are meant to capture their creativity, spirit, and sense of humor. All questions spark conversations and memories that span well beyond the pages of this book.


My Thoughts:

This little book has been a great tool for sparking conversation with the littles.  They have absolutely loved being able to answer a question each day.  I am not a crafty person and I don’t have a lot of extra time for scrap booking, making keepsakes, or anything like that, however this journal will have their answers to each question and it will be fun to look back later and see what their 4 and 5 year old minds came up with.  As a busy mom, I am a fan!  We usually do our question of the day at dinner or breakfast, whichever time and schedule allows and it has been fun to have a platform to start  conversations.  The questions so far have been easy to understand and they have loved answering them!  You can technically use this journal for 3 years, as there are three blank dates on each page, however I have two kiddos and one book, so we allot a slot for each kid just to make things simple.  I definitely recommend picking up a copy of this if you are looking for a tool to spark some fun conversations as a family or really want to capture those thoughts that your little people have while they are growing up.

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Daily Question for You and Your Child, visit the link below!

Amazon: The Daily Question for You and Your Child

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

The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

the hope of azure springs

Book Summary:

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.


My Thoughts:

This was one of those books that I read totally because of all the people raving about it on Instagram.  It just kept popping up, and bookstagrammers  were singing it’s praises.  So, I had to download it!  I am not going to be the only one missing out on a great book, and a historical fiction one at that!  Yay for discovering another Historical Fiction author!  The Hope of Azure Springs is Rachel Fordham’s debut novel with Revell and it definitely lived up to the hype I had been seeing! This story had so many layers to it and the characters underwent so much growth throughout this story.  I loved that this plot did not follow the path that I had expected.  The mystery and questions surrounding Em and her past kept me invested in this story, along with the friendship that was formed between Em and Caleb.  Their friendship was beautiful, and sweet, and as a reader it kept me hopeful of what it could blossom into as the book progressed.  This was a very well rounded Historical Fiction book that gives the reader a little bit of everything that I love! If you are a Historical Fiction reader you will not want to miss The Hope of Azure Springs, and I will definitely be on the lookout for future novels by Rachel Fordham!

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Hope of Azure Springs or learn more about Rachel Fordham, visit the links below!

Want the latest info from the author?  Head to Rachel Fordham’s website and subscribe to her newsletter!

Amazon: The Hope of Azure Springs