Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter (Review)

Blue Ridge Sunrise Denise HunterFormer free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe—a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love, Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.

As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.

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The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix (Review)

Space Between Words Michele Phoenix“There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned.”

When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn’t left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they’d planned before the tragedy.

“The pages found you,” Patrick whispered.

“Now you need to figure out what they’re trying to say.”

During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before–her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.

“I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival.”

Determined to learn the Baillard family’s fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn’t understand.

Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica’s survival?

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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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The Separatists by Lis Wiehl (Review)

Separatists Lis Wiehl

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From New York Times bestselling author Lis Wiehl comes the final book in her Newsmakers series. Journalist and newscaster Erica Sparks is only planning to report on an explosive story—until she gets caught in the middle of it.

After getting the green light from her network to launch an investigative news show, Erica flies to Bismarck, North Dakota, to investigate Take Back Our Homeland, the largest secessionist group. What she finds is profoundly disturbing – a growing threat to the future of our union.

Back home, her husband Greg is drinking more and talking less—and taking an unusual interest in the glamorous author Leslie Burke Wilson. Erica’s teenage daughter has also begun acting out in troubling ways.

Bestselling novelist and former legal analyst for Fox News Lis Wiehl takes us behind the anchor’s desk in this gripping look at high-stakes reporting in a country torn apart.

 

 

Even though Lis Wiehl’s first person present tense writing style is a little awkward and takes some getting used to (mostly because most fiction is not written this way), and I’m not a huge fan of discussing politics, I keep coming back to these books. They are interesting, engaging, and fast-paced. An intriguing look at what could become very real scenarios and situations in today’s disillusions and discontent within our federal government.

In The Separatists, the third book of the Newsmakers series featuring journalist Erica Sparks, North Dakota is on the brink of secession. As Erica scoops the rest of the news industry on this breaking story, she discovers there’s much more hiding under the surface.

While Wiehl’s story gives an excellent case of how this state can separate itself from the rest of the United States, the heart of this story for me was about the masks people wear for their public. Whether it’s someone trying to present a spotless image for their potential constituents while hiding a heart of darkness or a successful news anchor doubting herself in other areas of life, many of the characters in this book are hiding secrets.

Separtists Lis Wiehl

As the body count climbs and Erica Sparks races to find the truth behind the secessionist movement, readers are taken along the journey fraught with danger and suspense.

I had to backtrack a bit at the beginning in order to keep track of all the players but had them straight about a quarter of the way through. The ending seemed a bit abrupt to me. I would have liked a little more detail about the wrap up other than the short epilogue. It drove me absolutely crazy that Erica would not talk to her husband about her doubts. I understand that not communicating is a common issue in romances but this was not a romance and that communication issue is usually taken care of during the dating/courtship stage. Erica and Greg have been together long enough that they should not be faced with this issue.

Overall, it was an okay read for me. If you’re a fan of political suspense with lots of intrigue, backstabbing, and subterfuge, this is a keeper. As the body count climbs and Erica Sparks races to find the truth behind the secessionist movement, readers are taken along the journey fraught with danger and suspense.

 

Warning: There are several references to sexual situations (allusions to the act, mentions of words associated with it, and a few homosexual relation mentions).

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. 

 

Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble (Review)

Beneath Copper Falls Colleen Coble

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USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble returns to her beloved Rock Harbor—but both danger and romance hide in this idyllic small town.

Dana Newell has just moved to Rock Harbor to take a job as a sheriff’s dispatcher and is settling in next door to Bree and Kade Matthews. The abusive relationship she left behind seems a distant memory in this perfect place.

Her first day on the job, Dana receives a call from her friend Allyson who screams “He’s going to kill me too” before the phone goes dead. Dana immediately dispatches a deputy, but it’s too late. Allyson’s death is ruled an accident, but Dana just doesn’t believe it. She knows Allyson—an investigative reporter—was researching a new story. Did someone want to keep her quiet?

Dana continues to look into the accident with the help of Bree and also Allyson’s cousin Boone. Romance quickly blooms between Dana and Boone but the game is much more complex than either of them imagined. When Dana’s ex-fiance locates her, she’s caught in the middle. It’s a game of cat and mouse as she and Boone fight to catch one killer while evading another.

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