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. 

 

Crazy About Alaska by Shannon Brown (Blog Tour w/ Giveaway)

Crazy About Alaska Shannon Brown

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About the Book

 

Book title: Crazy about AlaskaCrazy About Alaska Shannon Brown

Author: Shannon L. Brown

Release date: June 30, 2017

Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance

Can she trust love?

Holly has her eye on a handsome state trooper. Not on her boring, oh-so-serious, former professor, Adam.

Having her toes curl when she’s near Adam must be ignored.

Holly just wants a great dad for her twin girls. She’s going to find one, write a novel to fulfill her dreams, and create a happy life.

Falling in love isn’t part of her plan.

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Nothing Less than Fabulous by Allie Pleiter

Nothing Less than Fabulous

by Allie Pleiter

Available everywhere March 14

 

About the Book

If Gretchen wants to keep her great job at Seattle’s largest coffeehouse chain, she’s got to come up with the best marketing idea of her life. When she discovers charming, charismatic barista Nate—otherwise known as “Señor Fabulous”—she knows God’s led her to exactly what she needs. Can Gretchen woo Nate away from his current spot at Higher Grounds Cafe? What if landing the barista her company needs might cost her the man who’s already stolen her heart?

 

 

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Removing the Masks: Playing the Part by Jen Turano

Jen Turano has become a must-read author for me. Her ability to set up humorous situations and fun side characters draw me into her stories, but the poignant messages her characters comprehend on their journey are what bring me back every time.

Playing-the-Part-194x300

Readers of the first two books in the A Class of Their Own series have met Lucetta Plum, the popular actress in theaters around New York City. When one of her fans insists on winning her anyway he can, she’s forced to leave the theater (and her starring role which the playwright insisted she take) and New York. Abigail Hart, the woman who has taken Lucetta under her wing, insists they hide at her grandson’s home (er, castle).

Bram Haverstein is an enigma. Rumors spread amongst the townspeople add to the mystery of what exactly goes on at Ravenswood. Add in a second rumor hinting the man would like to be married within months, and there are now unwanted visitors to his home from the outside in addition to the strange happenings inside the walls.

After a memorable (and hilarious) meet-cute, Lucetta and Bram form an odd friendship. The actress isn’t the genteel, wilting flower Bram imagined her to be, and Lucetta’s intrigued by Bram but unwilling to depend on a man for anything.

As the two spend time together and the mysterious incidents keep building up within Ravenswood, will Bram learn that the Lucetta’s true character is much better than the one he’s imagined? And will Lucetta realize that giving her heart to another does not mean she loses her independence?

Not only are the interactions between Lucetta and Bram delightfully enchanting but Bram’s staff with all of their past baggage and different backgrounds a breath of fresh air. Their actions and attitudes kept me guessing as to which employees were loyal and which may have something to hide. Add in Abigail and her matchmaking schemes and Bram’s mother (Abigail’s estranged daughter) and sister along with Lucetta’s bodyguard, and memorable characters abound.

Several scenes in Playing the Part are lighthearted and fun while the conversations between Lucetta and Bram are revealing and meaningful. The chemistry between these two is almost immediate and readers will cheer these two (and maybe some other couples in the book) on to their happily ever after.

While we wait to see what Turano has up her sleeve for readers next, Playing the Part is available online and in stores now.

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

Another Series Ending on a Harmonious Note

I’ve enjoy spending time in Robin Lee Hatcher’s fictional Idaho small town. The characters have become familiar and loved. And Hatcher ends her King’s Meadow series with a tale of letting go, of living, of forgiving, that packs a punch.

keeper of the stars

When Penny Cartwright’s younger brother is killed in a car accident, her world comes crashing down around her. She hadn’t been supportive of his brother’s decision to move to Nashville and pursue his dream as a drummer in a band. And now, she’ll never get the chance to tell him she loves him again. Penny’s goal is to take care of her dad and survive her day-to-day routines. When her hands are occupied and her mind is busy, she doesn’t focus on the pain of her loss. Not until Trevor Reynolds moves to town.

Trevor’s determined to keep his promise to his young drummer and spend some time in Idaho. Unsure of exactly what he’s supposed to do while there, the one thing he’s sure of is that he needs to talk to Brad Cartwright’s dad and sister. And while Rodney accepts him immediately, Penny can barely stand to remain in the same room with him, let alone look at him. What will it take to prove he’s not a bad person? That he’d made a mistake he blames himself for when he allowed Brad to drive in the middle of the night instead of stopping for a hotel? And what was it about her that drew him?

Hatcher delves into the difficult subject of grief and morning as well as forgiveness and letting go of blame—whether for oneself or another. When bitterness is released, true healing can begin.

Keeper of the Stars is available online and in stores now.

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