I wasn’t sure what to think when I first picked up Beauty Among Ruins by J’nell Ciesielski. I’d heard good things about this and her other books, but stories set during the First or Second World War aren’t something I typically pick up. I’ve read several over the years, but not enough to call it a favorite genre, or even one I read more than once a year. Did this book make me a fan of the genre? No. But, it did make me a fan of J’nell Ciesielski. Because Beauty Among Ruins is good. Very, very good. I immediately felt at ease with theRead More →

Restoring Fairhaven is my first book by Carolyn Miller and the final book in the first set of Independence Islands books set on Merriweather Island. As with the other books, I appreciated the fact that it’s a beach read without being overly beachy. In fact, there’s a serious lack of the typical exotic beach location that you’d expect from a beach read. These books are about ordinary people living their everyday lives with the ocean for a backdrop. If you’ve hesitated to pick them up because they’re beach reads (aka. fluff and nonsense) then you’re in for a pleasant surprise because they’re not that atRead More →

This seems pretty obvious, but I’ll say it anyway… I love to read. Unfortunately, I read less in 2020 than I have in other years, but at the same time, some of the books I read in 2020 have stuck with me more than books I’ve read in other years. So… without further ado, here is my list of favorite books for the year: Tempting Tait by Chautona Havig. If you follow me on social media, especially in reader groups on Facebook, you’ll have heard me recommend this book. Over and over again. Not just because of the cover (yes, Josh did the cover art), butRead More →

  If you haven’t read the other books in the Independence Islands series, you really should give them a try. Each book is uniquely written in the author’s own way, but they all tie together so nicely. Familiar characters pop in every once in a while, making it feel like an old friend has stopped by. And while I do have a favorite, so far I’ve enjoyed all of the books I’ve read in this series.   Mishaps on the Mainland is another great addition to the series and in it, we meet Mel and Zeke, two people struggling to make their way and learnRead More →

  Over the years I’ve found several authors whose books I’ll buy sight unseen. It doesn’t matter what the book is about, if I see it, I buy it. Jen Turano is on that list. So when I saw the opportunity to review To Steal A Heart through CelebrateLit, I jumped at the chance, and I wasn’t disappointed.   I can’t say this is my favorite Jen Turano book because every book of hers is a favorite while I’m reading it. I can say that for the first time in a long while, I found myself unable to put a book down. This story keptRead More →

In case you’ve ever wondered, when it comes to writing reviews, even authors can stare at a blank screen trying to find something to say. Sometimes, I know what I want to write about, but struggle to get the words on paper. Sometimes, I just sit here staring at the screen without a single, coherent idea in my head. So yes, we understand what it’s like to review a book and not know where to start or what to say! Right now, I’m falling halfway between those two. I know I enjoyed the book, but the words aren’t coming. So, as I often do inRead More →

I always enjoy the kinds of books where I pick the book up, start reading, and nothing in the following pages jars me out of the story. Valerie Comer’s books are like that for me. I don’t think I’ve read one yet that I didn’t like, and Marry Me for Real, Cowboy was no different. The writing was good. The characters were interesting and well developed. The storyline was realistic enough to make it believable (unlike, say, the billionaire jackaroo station owner idea, which ain’t gonna happen seeing as… but that’s a story for another day!). The story wasn’t too preachy, but there was aRead More →

Scrumptious Independence was a quick, fun book to read. The story flowed well, the characters held my interest and were relatable, although I never could figure out what Scott did for a living—he seemed to be all over the place in that regard.  I appreciated the fact that it’s a book about food, but the author didn’t try to sensualize the food aspect. Yes, I have crossed that path in my reading (a story for another day) and did not enjoy the experience. In this book though, I was glad to see that in her descriptions the author didn’t go beyond whetting my appetite forRead More →

A well-researched account of the lives of a pioneer family as they travel west to settle in the Michigan Territory, The Year the Stars Fell delves deep down into the nitty-gritties of daily life back then. The kinds of things most westerns or books about the early settlers gloss over. I appreciated that the author didn’t try to romanticize the hardships these people faced. She laid it all out for everyone to see, from the majesty of an untouched country to the ugliness and heartbreak of illness and destruction. I thoroughly enjoyed the setting and seeing what life could have been like in the earlyRead More →

Thought-provoking. A powerful story showing the battle between good and evil; a spiritual struggle of Light versus dark. Told from the perspective of a Methodist Episcopal missionary, Two Rivers is an interesting glimpse into the life of those seeking to reach the Native Americans with the gospel. I couldn’t help seeing similarities between what the main character was doing and the life of David Brainerd, and while the book was set in 1840, almost one hundred years after David Brainerd lived, it was easy to imagine that their lives must have been somewhat the same.  I’m not an expert on the settling of the westRead More →