The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin (Review)

The Two of Us Victoria Bylin

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Heartwarming and Touching New Contemporary Romance from Victoria Bylin

After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she’s focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who’s pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia’s plans.

Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He’s poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who’s asked him to be his best man at his wedding. 

Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn’t expecting Jake. And Jake, who can’t help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he’ll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake’s courage and Mia’s caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . .

 

Goodreads

 

I only discovered Victoria Bylin a few years ago but I have enjoyed each of her books since then. She writes real characters with real hurts and fears and draws me into those stories. Her latest release, The Two of Us, is no exception.

The meet cute with Jake and Mia is an original one. One that made me smile a bit as it was happening. And Mia’s knee-jerk decision that brings her more fully into Jake’s world doesn’t feel contrived at all. I also love that Jake isn’t afraid to go after what he wants but also puts Mia and what’s best for her first.

Two of Us Victoria Bylin

Readers have the added bonus of Lucy’s (Mia’s sister’s) point of view to give the story and well-rounded arc. As Lucy struggles with her relationship with God, and Mia and Jake their attraction to each other, they each must learn to release the grip they have on their own lives.

Add in a mother’s heartbreaking struggle with Alzheimer’s and a town up in arms about a youth camp, and there is plenty to keep this story moving along while tugging at your heartstrings. Another enjoyable read from Victoria Bylin, indeed.

My Rating:

Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. 

 

Road Trip to Delusion by Jean Ann Williams Blog Hop

Road Trip to Delusion Jean Ann Williams

 

Road Trip to Delusion Jean Ann Williams

 

Road Trip to Delusion Jean Ann WilliamsGenre: Contemporary, Christian
Publisher: Love Truth
Publication date: June 22, 2017A fifteen-year-old takes a road trip with her two younger sisters and their strong-willed great-granny, and circumstances force her to drive her granny’s Cadillac through a freeway-closing-down blizzard which brings everyone and everything to a standstill.

Road Trip to Delusion Jean Ann Williams
Road Trip to Delusion Jean Ann Williams
Jean Ann Williams is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She writes regularly for Putting on the New blog and Book Fun Magazine on the topic of child suicide loss. Her book “God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart” started out as a blogged book on her Love Truth blog. Jean Ann and her husband of forty-six years have thirteen grandchildren from their two remaining children. They reside on one acre in Southern Oregon where they raise a garden, fruit orchard, goats, and chickens. Jean Ann’s favorite hobbies are practicing archery, hiking through the woods, and big game hunting with her bow.
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Jean Ann Williams is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She writes regularly for Putting on the New blog and Book Fun Magazine on the topic of child suicide loss. Her book “God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart” started out as a blogged book on her Love Truth blog. Jean Ann and her husband of forty-six years have thirteen grandchildren from their two remaining children. They reside on one acre in Southern Oregon where they raise a garden, fruit orchard, goats, and chickens. Jean Ann’s favorite hobbies are practicing archery, hiking through the woods, and big game hunting with her bow.
Road Trip to Delusion Jean Ann Williams
My heart sank to my navel as I grip-hugged my cookbook.
Granny slammed on the gas pedal of her Cadillac Fleetwood, and the vehicle chugged onto Highway 101. Her eagle eyes never wandered from the beams of the headlights.
I shook my head for I had a huge regret. I wasn’t able to talk Granny out of taking this trip.
In the backseat, my middle sister thirteen-year-old Leah Be-de-ah jumped on the freeway of reason. “And, Granny, don’t you think we should tell someone?”
Granny’s head barely crested the top of the seat. “Your Grand, James, is gone, so it’s just me now.” She lifted her chin.
Little sister Mia Babe sat next to Leah. “Kari?”
Twisting in my seat, I faced them. “What?”
“Mom says Grand’s in paradise, but where’s that?”
Ah, Mia, an old soul at the age of seven. “Well, from what Mom taught me, it’s a spiritual place where people go when they die.”
“Oh.” Mia rubbed her eye.
A scary notion surfaced, and I slapped my forehead. “Granny, do you even know how to get to Oregon?”
“Of course.” She flicked her blinker and passed a small car. “James and I visited Oregon when your mama was a slip of a teenager.”
“But Granny—” Leah counted. “This was twenty-five years ago. Right, Kari?”
“Right.” I rolled my eyes to the car roof and refocused on the headlight-brightened pavement. “I don’t think, Leah, they moved the state.” But, does Granny remember the route
Road Trip to Delusion Jean Ann Williams
Road Trip to Delusion Jean Ann Williams

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Road Trip to Delusion Jean Ann Williams

 

August 7–Paulette’s Papers
August 8–Fiction Aficionado
August 9–Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations Mel’s Shelves
August 10–Singing Librarian Books
August 11–Smiling Book Reviews 
August 12–Radiant Light
August 14–Remembrancy
August 15–Faery Tales Are Real
August 16–Christy’s Cozy Corners
August 17–cherylbbookblog
August 18–Bookworm Lisa
August 19–Red Headed Book Lad

 

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Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks (Review)

Portrait of Vengeance Carrie Stuart Parks

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An unsolved case. A tempest of memories. The future’s at stake—and time is running out…

Gwen Marcey has done a good job of keeping the pain of her past boxed up. But as she investigates the case of a missing child in Lapwai, Idaho, details keep surfacing that are eerily similar to her childhood traumas. She doesn’t believe in coincidences. So what’s going on here?

No one knows more about the impact of the past than the Nez Perce people of Lapwai. Gwen finds herself an unwelcome visitor to some, making her investigation even more difficult. The questions keep piling up, but answers are slow in coming—and the clock is ticking for a missing little girl. Meanwhile, her ex-husband back home is threatening to take sole custody of their daughter.

As Gwen’s past and present collide, she’s in a desperate race for the truth. Because only truth will ensure she still has a future.

 

 

Unless you live or have lived in the Pacific Northwest, you probably haven’t heard of or been to the small Idaho towns where Carrie Stuart Parks’ fourth Gwen Marcey novel is set. For those of us who do know or have been to towns such as Lapwai, Orofino, or Kamiah, it’s a pleasant surprise to run across them in a story.

What was even more enjoyable about this story was the mystery around Gwen Marcey’s past. In Portrait of Vengeance, Gwen has a probationary position with a new task force and delves into a case of a double homicide with a missing four-year-old. The similarities to what happened to her were too much coincidence for her to leave alone.

I love this character’s sense of humor, her relationship with her best friend, and the fact she doubts herself where her personal life is concerned. She’s usually got it together professionally but when the personal bleeds into her job, it’s hard for her to keep it together. The behind-the-investigation scenes are interesting and engaging, but it’s Gwen’s journey that made this book an emotional and enjoyable read.

My Rating:

Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. 

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White (Review)

A Name Unknown Roseanna M White

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Edwardian Romance and History Gains a Twist of Suspense

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered. 

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?

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To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander (Review)

To Wager Her Heart Tamera Alexander

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With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society’s expectations must work together to achieve their dreams—provided that the truth doesn’t tear them apart first. 

Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father’s name. One man holds the key to Sy’s success—General William Giles Harding of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville’s society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he’s found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison’s fiancee—and what has broken her heart. 

Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen’s university in the United States. But family—and Nashville society—do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both. Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy’s roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor? 

Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn’t count on is having to wager her heart to do it. 

Set against the real history of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in history when both were tenuous and hard-won.

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