An Inconvenient Beauty: a book review

Inconvenient beauty Description: 

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. He’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, but while Frederica is strangely elusive, he can’t seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, her uncle will only help them if she’ll use her beauty to assist him in his political aims. Already uncomfortable with this agreement, the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation.

Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?

My Review:

Inconvenient Beauty was a sweet and engaging story. Gavin’s logical and methodical method of choosing of a bride was both understandable and funny, especially with just how bad the “perfect” wife turned out to be for him. You couldn’t help but feel bad for Isabella, always being used as she was. But I think she handled thing fairly well considering the circumstances. I’m especially glad that the author didn’t go into a bunch of unnecessary drama when her secrets were finally revealed to Griffith. He dealt with the matter using a refreshing amount of maturity in comparison to most books these days. It was a bit of a relief that the author didn’t go dragging the book out longer with a lot of theatrics over the deception.
Though none of the books in this series have quite lived up to the first novel – A Noble Masquerade – I think this was still one of the better books in the series and do heartily recommend it to any lover of regency novels.

**I received this book free from Bethany House for promotional purposes. No positive review was required. All opinions expressed are purely my own.**

My Rating: Four Flames

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Amazon Kindle Link
Amazon Paperback Link

Happy Reading y’all!

 

 

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Exiles by Jaye L. Knight: book review and blog tour!

Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Exiles, has been released! Exiles is the fourth book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles. Read about it below and be sure to check out the other blog stops on the tour by visiting the official tour page. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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About the Book

Exiled after their defeat in Samara, the Resistance struggles to find allies in their quest to restore King Balen to his throne and put an end to the emperor’s tyranny. When the crete people refuse to lend their aid, Balen leads a group to Dorland to reason with them and win their support. However, enemies prove to be everywhere, and they find themselves in a fight to keep Dorland from becoming Daican’s latest conquest.

Back in Landale, the arrival of a new enemy forces Trask and Anne to tread more carefully than ever. Tensions are rising, and the enemy is determined to test Anne’s loyalty and root out the location of Trask and the Resistance once and for all.

Feeling trapped within the walls of Valcré, Prince Daniel must contend with an ever-eroding relationship with his father. As their clashes escalate, the situation becomes potentially life threatening when his loyalty is called into question. His sister seems bent on branding him a traitor and actively seeking to condemn him to the fate of those put to death in their father’s new arena. Daniel is certain his father would never execute his only son and heir, but with other forces at work, it might not be that simple.

One small misstep could prove fatal for all.

Available now on Amazon!

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Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? The first three Kindle books are on sale August 11th – 14th!
You can find them on Amazon.
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About the Author

JayeAuthor2015Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.
Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Exiles, a pewter dragon necklace by treasurecast, and a sword letter opener! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

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My Review

I have been a huge fan of the Ilyon Chronicles since they first released, and not a single book in the series has ever failed to disappoint me. They just seem to keep getting better.

It was amazing to see how much my favorite character – Jace – has grown just since the last book. His newfound strength and confidence came as such a delightful surprise. I love how he is finally growing into himself. His relationship with Kyrin is so sweet – and yet so frustrating! I just want to grab both characters and shake them good while yelling “Will you two just get married ALREADY?!?!” ;-P
I mean, it’s so obvious they’re meant for each other.

I loved the setting and the world that Jaye has created. It was so awesome to finally see the Crete cities, and I hope we get to go back again before the series is over. I also loved that we FINALLY get to lean more about the Ryrics, and with a totally awesome twist too! I need more of that, even more than the Crete cities.

But the shock value was in Prince Daniel’s plot line. I can’t say too much without giving massive spoilers, but WOW! I totally did not see some of those twists coming, nothing but curveballs all the way. Kudos to Jaye for taking that last (Spoiler) turn. I’ve always been good at figuring out the plot twists before they happen, but I never would have seen that one coming. The story is getting mighty scary now – in a good way (It’s not scary-scary, just a huge raising of the stakes there).

There’s also a strong hint of a new romance brewing at the very end of the story, and I’m feeling might proud of myself for calling that one before the characters even met! I can’t wait to see how it turns out. The only bad part of this entire book is the fact that it ended. I mean, come on! Where is book 5? I need more Ilyon now! 😀

Just buy this book. Seriously. Don’t even hesitate. It’s just that awesome.

My Rating: Five Flames

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*I received this book free from the author for promotional purposes. No reviews, positive or otherwise, were required. All opinions expressed are 100% my own, and no exaggeration. I loved this book!*

 

Chasing Secrets: a book review

 Description: 

Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her–and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories–and the depths of the heart–Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley’s past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won’t quit.

My Review: 

I have read a few of Lynette Eason’s series before, but this is by far the best of them. Her early mysteries were way too easy to solve, but that was not the case with this one.

Haley is a strong and independent MC, but unlike a lot of fictional heroines these days, she doesn’t press it to the point of stupidity. She doesn’t take dumb chances and she owns her mistakes. And much like me, she’s a peanut M&M addict. 😛
Steven too, is a solid character, though not any particular standout to me.

The plot was fast and complicated, though it never got bogged down in mundane details. Eason does a good job with the pacing. Her writing is very tight, not loaded with filler material. I read it on my breaks at work, which probably wasn’t the best idea, because I didn’t want to put it back down!

My Rating: Five Flames

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Heat Advisory:

Romance: Clean. Only a sweet kiss or two.
Language:  clean.
Drinking/Drugs: clean.
Blood/violence: Several fights and chases, murder with some non-graphic description of the condition of the bodies. Shooting. One death near the end of the book has a bit more description than some people might like. It didn’t bother me, but if a reader is very sensitive, they might want to be cautious.
Other: Abuse is mentioned, but not shown.

*I received this book free from Revell for promotional purposes. No positive review was required. All opinions expressed are purely my own.*

Amazon Kindle Link
Amazon Paperback Link

Happy Reading y’all!

 

Stealing the Preacher: a book review

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Description: 

On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he’s forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man’s daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he’s haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind–a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.

For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna’s outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?

My Review:

How many outlaw would hold up a train and steal a preacher, and as a birthday gift for the gang leader’s daughter, no less? Silas Robbins would, and the unfortunate Crockett Archer gets dragged into one mighty odd situation.
But as the Bible says: All things work together for good. And when Crockett helps Silas’s daughter Jo reopen the local church, lives are changed in a way Crockett never thought.

I’ve always loved Karen Witemeyer’s books, and have dread almost every one of them. I’m thinking that this one is destined to become a favorite. There’s plenty of humor, a touch of hijinks, and just a hint of suspense. The book never takes itself too seriously. It’s a light and easy read that is great for when you’re stressed and can’t take too much excitement in your books. I highly recommend it, and any of the rest of Witemeyer’s works to everyone.

My Rating: Five Flames

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Heat Advisory:

Romance: Clean. Some flirting and kisses only.
Language: Clean
Drinking/Drugs: Clean. It is mentioned that one character’s father is an alcoholic, but we never actually see him.
Blood/violence:  There is an attempted hanging, and one character is shot. There is description of the surgery and removal of the bullet that, while never graphic, might make more squeamish people a bit queasy.

Amazon Kindle Link
Amazon Paperback Link

Inferno Release Day!!!

Today is the day! My baby is finally being re-released to the world!

Huge thanks to my wonderful family for supporting my writing, and most especially to my Mom, who does so much editing for me. Also, to the Saddle Up Club. I wrote this one for you guys.

Kindle Link

Inferno Kindle cover high-res paperback

Fire can destroy, or it can refine.

The Wilderness Ride Campout is the highlight of the year for Ashley Thompson and her friends. Not even her antagonistic fellow rider, Jocelyn Gregory, can ruin this weekend for her.

But when a wildfire traps them together on the mountain, relationships are taxed to the breaking point and old wounds torn open. Limited by injuries and with no clue where they are, The girls must find a way to set aside their prejudices and work together, or perish in the blaze.

Heart on the Line: a book review

witemeyerDescription:

Grace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can’t let the villain she believes responsible for her father’s death release his wrath in Harper’s Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she’s ever known.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

My Review: 

It’s nice to be back in Harper’s Station. We still get a chance to see several old friends here, but the focus is now on a minor character from the first book: Grace Mallory. Heart on the Line starts with a bang and doesn’t let up until the end.

I loved the characters. Amos was a sweet guy, and Grace just the right amount of both sweet and sassy. I had an easy time figuring out the villain, as well as the mystery man found in the wood. Even so, it was a hard book to put down, and I hope we get to see more stories in this unique little western town.

My Rating: Five Flames

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Heat Advisory
Romance: clean
Language: Clean
Blood/violence: some blood, kidnappings, beating and abuse, murder / attempted murder, and a shootout.

Amazon Kindle Link
Amazon Paperback Link

Happy Reading y’all!

 

Inferno cover revel and release date!!!!

Inferno cover reveal and release date!!!!!

I can’t tell you how excited I am for this. This book has been almost a decade in the making. Inferno was originally written as a serial short story for my homeschool riding group – the Saddle Up Club – for their monthly newsletter. It was one of the first stories I actually finished writing, and I got a lot of great comments and feedback from it back then.

While I was in the process of writing my novel – Midnight Dancer – I started having trouble concentrating. So to get the creative juices flowing again I picked Inferno back up and began completely re-writing it. My writing style has changed a lot since then, so I went pretty crazy on it –  and it has grown from a short story of about 9,000 words, to a full length novella that is now at approx. 27,000+ words!

Now, I am so happy to finally be able to re-introduce Inferno to the world!

Back Cover Blurb: 

Fire can destroy, or it can refine.

The Wilderness Ride Campout is the highlight of the year for Ashley Thompson and her friends. Not even her antagonistic fellow rider, Jocelyn Gregory, can ruin this weekend for her.

But when a wildfire traps them together on the mountain, relationships are taxed to the breaking point and old wounds torn open. Limited by injuries and with no clue where they are, The girls must find a way to set aside their prejudices and work together, or perish in the blaze.

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And now, without further ado, the lovely new cover!

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Inferno Kindle cover final fixed

This is only my second attempt at cover photoshopping, and I just love how it turned out!

Official release date is July 9!

Unblemished: a book review

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Description: 

Eliyana can’t bear to look at her own reflection. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world exists where her blemish could become her strength?

Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her like he does: normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.

But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird. Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.

Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself?

My Review: 

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. Filled with twists and turns, it kept me glued to the pages until the end – and then it left me hanging. Argh!
The plot was well done and I an very interested in learning more about the story world Ella has created and watching it expand. It promises to be a very interesting ride.

The mirror realm is very interesting, a bit like New York might have been if it had never been developed, but rather has a handful of almost medieval style villages with a fantasy twist.

The mythos of the world is a bit confusing. The revelations come in small bites, bit by bit. Good way to keep my mystery loving mind engaged. However, I can’t really find the christian message in this book. There is a light vs. darkness theme, but it’s all a bit muddled. Hopefully book 2 will bring clarification.

There is also a love triangle (yes, I can hear y’all screaming now.). I have to give it to Ella, though. Normally, I can decide who our female MC should go for within moments of meeting the two potential romantic interests.

Not this time.

When I started, I was totally team Joshua. Ky, well… he irritated me, and I don’t usually go for the ‘bad boys’. But by the end of the novel, I ditched Joshua and now sit firmly in team Ky. Joshua can hang. Elyana had better not end up with him. Ky turns out to be a good guy deep down, with a lot of depth. Joshua has depths too, but it’s mighty murky down there. Total snake in the grass, that one.

I all, I really enjoyed the ride and book 2 can’t come fast enough.

My Rating: Five Flames

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Heat Advisory:

It’s been over a month since I ready this, so I can’t fully recall the details, but aside from some (non-graphic) violence I can’t recall anything bad about this book.

 

Amazon Kindle Link
Amazon Hardcover Link

Happy Reading y’all!

Bite Sized Reviews

 Robyn Hood: A Girl’s Tale by K.M. Shea  

One thing I do love about K.M. Shea is her ability to turn many a familiar story into a laugh riot. While some of the characters could be downright stupid at times, it never hurt my enjoyment of the story. After recently reading a terrible Robin Hood book from another author, I picked this one up in hopes that my love of the story would be rekindled, and hopefully not butchered again. While this book isn’t your ordinary Robin Hood tale, I absolutely loved it. Between this book and the movie playing in the same room at the time I was reading, I laughed so hard I cried.
Robyn has a wonderfully sarcastic voice, and you can’t help but love her and her boys, silliness, stupidity and all. If you haven’t read a K.M. Shea book yet, do yourself a favor and pick one up. You won’t regret it.

Amazon Kindle Link

 

A Lady of Integrity by Shelley Adina 

This one started a bit slower for me, tougher to get into. But in the end, as always, it was a rollicking good ride. Clockwork cities, Undersea dirigibles, krakens, betrayals and more. This book has plenty to offer any lover of steampunk. Adina puts her characters through the wringer. Anything that could possibly go wrong, did. Lots of twists I didn’t see coming. Many times throughout the book, a good resolution seemed impossible. But it was, and Adina did it in fine style.

 

 

Amazon Kindle Link

 

For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund

This book is undoubtedly the best of the series. Sabine is fun, determined, and quirky. Bennet is an admirable guy who I respect for being so determined not to marry a woman just to take advantage of her money. They could both be a bit bullheaded at times, but not unbearably so.

One felt so bad for Sabine, the way so many people treated her just because of a minor skin blemish was heartbreaking. Human narrow-mindedness and superstition never cease to amaze me.

The stakes in this book are high and several times you really wondered how any of them could get out of that mess. I found myself eagerly flipping the pages to find out what happened next.

Amazon Kindle Link

 

The Yielding by Tamara Leigh

I enjoyed the first book in this series, but this one dragged. The plot was solid, but most of the story focused on the back-and-forth between the two MCs, which never seemed to get very far. The romance felt more like lust than love much of the time, and there was a bit too much fondling going on to be a comfortable read. Leigh was toeing the ‘Clean Christian Fiction’ line with this one, and I’ll admit that makes me hesitate about reading the next one.
The hero also tended to be a serious jerk. While I understand why he treated Beatrix the way he did, it really got old after a while.

 

Amazon Kindle Link

 

 

Deliver: a book review

deliver Description:

Can something broken ever heal?

Martyn is broken. After torturing his best friend, he doesn’t belong anywhere in Acktar. No matter how far he runs, he can’t lose his guilt.

Leith is broken. While healing from the torture he received at Nalgar Castle, he struggles to find his new role. But can a Blade ever outrun his past?

The country is broken. Bitterness divides town against town, neighbor against neighbor. What will it take to deliver Acktar from itself?

They face their hardest battle yet.
Peace.

 

My Review: 

Can they ever be more than Blades?

One might think that with the war over and Respen the usurper gone, peace will have settled on the land and everybody lives happily ever after. Right?

Not Quite.

The new Acktar has no place for Blades. Those who were not banished struggle to find a place in a world where they can’t seem to fit, living in constant fear of being discovered for what they are, and killed. Rebuilding what they destroyed might take more than they can give.

Leith, still struggling with healing wounds, takes most of the other Blades to Stetterly to help with rebuilding, but if the villagers learn the truth, will a pardon be protection enough? Forgiveness is slow in coming, but as Rovers and the remains of Respen’s army plague the countryside once again, the Blades skill may be the only thing that saves the people of Stetterly.

Martyn, angry and guilty, has trouble letting go of what was. When King Keevan gives him a chance to get away, scouting the borders for trouble. He takes it. A chance encounter changes his plans abruptly, but is it enough to change his heart? When Martyn uncovers a sinster plot to be rid of the newly crowned King, past secrets come back to haunt him. They may just destroy him.

Deliver was one heck of a finale to the Blades of Ackar! This series is one of my favorites, and I’ve already read it several times over. Most likely I will be re-reading it again soon! Tricia Mingerink never fails to impress. The ending was a happy one, but I’m still a bit sad that the series is finally over. I still find myself wishing for ‘just one more book’! Or at least a little more about how certain things turned out. I would have loved to see the scene with a certain trial and Keevan placing his proposal before the nobles. It could have gotten interesting.

It was wonderful to see Leith and the Faythe sisters again, seeing how much they’ve changed since the beginning. Renna especially has grown a lot, stepping up from timid girl to strong leader. The new addition of Martyn’s POV adds some new tension and plenty of sarcasm. Both plots were beautifully crafted and well paced. Battle scenes were strong and faith is foremost in this story.

The only thing in the story that felt slightly off to me is that one character who was severely injured, did a lot more than he ever should have been capable of considering his injuries. I felt that the author greatly downplayed the injuries. If his wounds were not that serious, it should have been mentioned, nor should his recovery have taken as long as it did.  It’s a minor quibble though, and in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the story.

My Rating: Five Flames

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Heat Advisory:

Romance: clean and sweet. There was one point in the plot where some men attempted to attack a girl, but it was kept very clean.
Language: clean
Drinking/Drugs: Laudanum and whiskey was used for painkiller on an injured character, making him unusually talkative!
Blood/violence: There is a lot of violence and a bit of blood, but Mingerink never goes into detailed descriptions. Though there are several battles, death and a variety of wounds from sword wounds, to arrows, rocks, and severe burns, the author still keeps it clean.

Amazon Kindle Link
Amazon Paperback Link

Author Website
Author Facebook Page
Author Twitter Page

Happy Reading y’all!