A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M. White

Have you ever been in that place where you really want to read a book because you know it’s going to be wonderful while at the same time you really don’t want to because you don’t want it to end? That’s exactly who I felt as I read A Lady Unrivaled, the third and final installment in Roseanna M. White’s Ladies of the Manor series.

Readers met Lady Ella Myerston briefly in The Lost Heiress and got to know her more in The Reluctant Duchess. Now she gets her own story.

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Loved. This. Book. The bubbly, optimistic personality of Ella perfectly offsets the negative, surly, taciturn (see how I got that Pride & Prejudice reference in there?) attitudes of Lord Cayton (who also made appearances in the previous books in this series).

Catching up with the Duke and Duchess of Stafford (Justin and Brook) was a treat, and Brice and Rowena (Duke and Duchess of Nottingham) also make an appearance.

The heart of this story is in the personal journeys of both Ella and Cayton. After Ella’s best friend went mad, she doesn’t trust her instincts. How could she not have noticed Stella losing her mind over Ella’s brother? And Cayton’s past traps him. Though he strives to become a better man, he is constantly concerned about returning to his old ways and he’s absolutely certain he’s not deserving of someone as good and pure as Lady Ella.

Through a scheme to rid both the Staffords and Nottinghams of the cure of the Fire Eyes (red diamonds from India), Ella and Cayton’s time together grows their attractions. While Ella’s determined to push past pretending, Cayton’s set on keeping both feet firmly planted in the façade.

This book is the perfect ending to the trilogy. The adventure of the Fire Eyes keeps the story moving along with intrigue while Cayton and Ella’s relationship grows around it. A beautifully written Edwardian series, the Ladies of the Manor now have a permanent home on my bookshelf.

Would you like to add the series to your collection? I’m giving away all three books to one of my lucky readers. Enter to win below.

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***Bethany House Publishers and Roseanna M. White provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter

When I’m in the mood to read a feel-good romance that is guaranteed to make me smile by the end, Denise Hunter is always a good bet. And with the third and final installment of her Summer Harbor series, readers get to experience the youngest Callahan brother’s journey as he returns from war.

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If you’ve followed this series, you know that Riley’s heart already belongs to his best friend, Paige Warren. But in all these years, Paige has never seen him as more than a friend. She even dated his older brother for a time. And now that he has returned home less one leg, he knows he can never be the man Paige deserves but being forced to live with her is testing his resolve.

The Callahan brothers are swoon-worthy, and Riley’s no exception. Hunter handles the darkness and depression of coming home after the trauma of war well—you sense Riley’s despair and struggle with who he once was versus how he sees himself now—less of a man because he can’t do all he once took for granted. In addition to the physical pain brought to life on the page, the mental struggles are even more evident. And as expected with Hunter’s books, there are some kissing scenes that may leave you fanning yourself.

An excellent story of healing (both on Riley’s and Paige’s sides of the story), enduring love, and family. Oh, and all of the beloved characters from the series are back—including Aunt Trudie and Sheriff Colton.

***Thomas Nelson and Booklook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Catching Heat by Janice Cantore

In the third and final installment of the Cold Case Justice series by Janice Cantore, readers get to catch up with Detective Abby Hart and PI Luke Murphy as they embark on their first case together on a special task force.

In the third and final installment of the Cold Case Justice series by Janice Cantore, readers get to catch up with Detective Abby Hart and PI Luke Murphy as they embark on their first case together on a special task force.

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Their case brings the two of them near the town where the mastermind behind Abby’s parents deaths, and she is desperate to do a little digging while in the area. Even if Luke doubts the plausibility of her proof.

As both Abby and Luke deal with their growing attraction to each other, they also have to learn to trust each other, to open up. When they are handed one more case to look into, one that they all believe will lead to only dead ends, things get interesting…and dangerous.

While more series authors tend to write stand-alone stories these days, it’s nice to come across one like Cantore’s every once in a while. I enjoyed following Luke and Abby through all three books (Drawing Fire, Burning Proof, and Catching Heat), gives the readers more insight into these two characters. By the end, I was not only wanting the happy ending for Abby and Luke, for Abby to find the answers she so desired, but also felt like I really knew these two characters. Of course, this means that if you haven’t read the first two books in this series, you may as well just purchase them right now.

Cantore offers a book that keeps the action moving along (I didn’t want to put it down) while including her expertise and knowledge of police procedures. Who better to write such a thrilling page-turner than an experienced ex-law enforcement officer.

***Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book via the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Guide Me Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer

As a resident of Nashville, I’ve made the trek north into Kentucky to visit Mammoth Cave, and believe me, its name does not do it justice. Standing in the entrance of the large cave, a visitor realizes the vastness of God’s creation (and it’s just a small, tiny part of this large cave system). I’d post a picture, but it would just be a picture of blackness.

In Guide Me Home, Kim Vogel Sawyer, offers readers a glimpse into the world of the cave system while giving quite a bit of history—and yes, this is a work of fiction so some of it is creative license but much of it (the creatures, the trails, the saltpeter mining, and more) is steeped in fact.

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Rebekah Hardin’s desire to ease her family’s sorrow and suffering lead her to take a job as a guide at the Mammoth Cave resort—a job that is given only to men. Her determination leads her to don men’s clothes and grasp for the job. While Tolly Sandford see’s through Rebekah’s disguise almost immediately, he’s not keen to turn her away and hires her as Reb. Devlin Bale has set his sights on mapping out the cave system as his senior project—one that will not only get him to college graduation but will also give his father a step up in his run for state senate. Cissy Hardin is not like the rest of her family, she believes she’s destined for something greater, something more than being a poor Kentucky farmer’s daughter and she’s determined to make that reality happen no matter what.

As these four lives are intertwined both in the cave and in the land surrounding the cave, each person must face a truth that isn’t always pleasant. Rebecca struggles with guilt, Devlin (while a good person and a complete gentleman) has not yet found the true Source of Light, Tolly’s own burden of guilt weighs heavily, and Cissy’s selfishness and self-importance hurt more than herself.

A story that so beautifully illustrates light in darkness, peace that surpasses understanding, and love undeserving, Guide Me Home is worth the read.

***Blogging for Books and Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Small-Town Girl by Jessica Keller

Have you ever wanted to get away? Leave the past behind—your heartbreaks, your hurts, your mistakes—and start fresh? Find the person God meant you to become?

 

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Kendall Mayes has done just that. She’s settled in Goose Harbor, a small tourist town along the shore of Lake Michigan, to start her dream business. Instead of focusing on dating herself, she wants to help others plan the perfect dates. Tasked with finding a weekly excursion by her silent business partner, Kendall’s chance meeting with shipping-owner Brice Daniels seems timely. While she insists she’d not looking for love, and Brice has been burned too many times in the past, the attraction the two feel sparking between them is undeniable. But will past hurts and doubts of their worth derail the chance of these two finding a happily-ever-after?

 

Jessica Keller handles the topics of difficult upbringings, of how misconceptions can shadow a person for years, of letting go of the past and seeking your worth in light of God’s love with finesse. Both Kendall and Brice have lived through messy pasts that years later leave them believing they are not worth God’s best. Both need to come to terms with their pasts, forgive those who hurt them, and let go in order to love themselves—and others—fully. And, of course, there’s the underlying tension of attraction whenever these two get together.

Maybe, we’ll get to read more about the Daniels family (Brice’s brother and sister both piqued my interest). But for now, enjoy Kendall and Brice’s story in Small-Town Girl.

***The author provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.