My Favorite Read So Far This Year

runaway saint cover

My favorite books are usually chick lit types or romances but the description of Runaway Saint by Lisa Sampson intrigued me and I decided to request it to review. I am so glad I did. This book delved into relationships and forgiveness and past hurts and secrets.

Sara Drexel is an artist. She and her husband own their own printing business. Her small staff is her family. When Sara’s mother asks her to let her Aunt Belinda (Bel) move in with her, Sara is perplexed and concerned. She hadn’t seen her Aunt Bel since she was four and the woman moved to Eastern Europe to become a missionary. Aunt Bel has some secrets of her own and as Sara begins to unravel the mystery of her aunt, she learns some startling things about herself as well.

Sampson’s characters are real and struggle. Sara loves her husband Finn even though some of the things he does drives her crazy. Finn loves Sara but admits he can’t be her problem solver for her. Aunt Bel may have been a missionary but she’s got some issues with how she views God in her life. Sara’s divorced parents also have their own eccentricities.

This book is most definitely worth the read. I give it five starts. The cover art is beautiful as well.

***BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson publishers provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a negative or a positive review.

Mysteries of the Past Converge with the Present

wildwood creek

Allie Kirkland’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps and continue his work. Since her father’s death, she has always felt like an outsider in her blended family. When she is offered a production assistant job with a show filming near Moses Lake, Texas, it feels like a dream come true. The show will document life in the 1860s and try and solve the mystery of what happened in the community of Wildwood Creek. Allie is drawn to Bonnie Rose and when she is asked to portray the woman in the show, she hesitantly agrees, wanting to tell the woman’s story.

Lisa Wingate does a great job of combining Bonnie Rose’s story with Allie’s story in Wildwood Creek. You want both of these women to get their happily ever after. Allie’s struggles with feeling unloved and what she is starting to feel for her handsome neighbor are very real and tug at your heart.

This is the fourth book in the Moses Lake series but it was the first book I have read in the series and it definitely stands alone.

****Bethany House Publishers provided me with a free Ebook in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a negative or a positive review.

Valentine’s With a Bang

Feb bride

As a single gal, February fourteenth just means that there will be a wait at most local restaurants and several of my co-workers will receive flowers from their significant others. But as a girl, I am a sucker for a good love story and the third installment in the “A Year of Weddings” novella series does not disappoint.

Fearing a future relationship which mirrors those of the other women in her family, Allie Andrews ran out on her groom on their wedding day. Four months later her best friend, and ex-fiancé’s sister, asks her to be the maid of honor at her Valentine’s Day wedding. Marcus Hall has never understood why Allie bolted before their wedding. The only thing that makes sense to him is that she didn’t love him. And now they were going to be thrown back together for the next several weeks in preparation for his sister’s wedding. Can his heart handle seeing Allie again? Will she open up to him and tell him the truth of why she ran away?

Both characters in A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant are extremely likable. They both are unsure of where the other stands and are very human with their own issues. Because there is already a history between the two, their romance doesn’t seem forced or rushed as is the problem with many of the shorter stories.

I’ve not ready anything by St. Amant before but after reading A February Bride, I’ll be adding some of her work to my list of books I’d like to read. This novella series is a great way to introduce new authors to readers. I look forward to the other nine installments in this series.

***BookLook bloggers provided me with a free eBook in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a negative or a positive review of this book.

Curl Up With a Cute Love Story

A January Bride

I don’t know about you but I’m ready for spring. It’s been a cold and brutal winter so far. On those cold evenings or weekends I will often curl up with a good book. I read and reviewed the first book in “A Year of Weddings” novella series earlier this month and now have the opportunity to review the next two.

A January Bride by Deborah Raney is a fun read. Author Madeline Houser has moved back to Kansas after living in New York City. As a successful novelist, she is trying to meet a deadline but with all of the repairs going on in her house she’s not getting any work done. Her elderly neighbor suggests she use the Bed and Breakfast her friend Arthur Tyler runs. Maddie loves working at the elderly gentleman’s home and they began to leave messages for each other. Arthur Tyler is a college professor who lost his wife two years ago. He agrees to let Madeline use the bed and breakfast for writing and appreciates that she helps dust the home. The notes he receives from the elderly woman become a highlight of his day.

While I enjoyed A December Bride more, both characters in this story are likable and the misunderstandings are humorous. Arthur and Maddie’s romance is swift once they realize who the other person is. This story was originally published as Playing by Heart but has been updated and expanded for the Year of Weddings series. It’s a fast read that will keep you cozy for a couple of hours.

****Zondervan Publishing and BookLook Bloggers provided me with a free eBook in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for a negative or a positive review.