Monday, March 2, 2015

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer - Review of the first book in the Full Steam Ahead series

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole's father has always focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father's rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole's plans.

After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family's legacy?

Karen has not failed, she managed to capture me and pull me into yet another one of her stories. I have yet to find a book of Karen's that I don't like. There is a hint of humor in here, some falling in love, and some danger, what else could you ask for in a historical fiction book. I would highly recommend this book and any of Karen's other books she's written. There is a second book in this series that is already out for the Kindle, Love on the Mend, but no date for a paperback or hardback yet.

The Bride's Prerogative by Susan Page Davis - Review

(taken from
Fergus, Idaho, Becomes Home to Three Mysteries Ending in Romances
(Ladies' Shooting Club)
Enjoy all three of Susan Page Davis's Wild West novels in one jumbo book. Gert Dooley organizes target practice for the women of Fergus, Idaho, but the shooting club soon becomes an integral part of solving a murder--and bringing the sheriff and Gert together. A string of mysterious events has the women trying to restore peace while coaxing Libby Adams and the shy gunsmith together. Vashti Edwards dream job as a stage coach driver becomes especially dangerous when a band of robbers begins to attack the stagecoach line and threatens her chances with the town's blacksmith.

I really enjoyed these stories about three headstrong women who quietly changed a town out of fear for themselves by creating the Ladies' Shooting Club against some objections by the men of the town, some of them husbands. The little bit of mystery woven in makes them even more of a fun read. Susan did a great job and I'm glad I got to read all three books together. I also liked how even though each story was mainly about a different woman, the three stories included all of the characters in all three books. Thank you Susan, I would gladly recommend this book, these books, to other historical fiction readers.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Huckleberry Spring by Jennifer Beckstrand - Review of the fourth book in The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series

Ever since the Helmuths' grandson, Ben, abruptly broke his engagement and moved to Florida, Emma Nelson has kept busy tending her vegetable garden and raising award-winning pumpkins. She can put her heartache aside to help Ben's Mammi with her own pumpkin patch. At least until Ben shows up to lend support to his ailing Dawdi...

Gardening side by side with pretty, nurturing Emma is a sweet kind of torture for Ben. She could have her pick of suitors who can offer what he can't, and he cares too much to burden her with his secret. Leaving once more is the only option. Yet Emma's courage is daring him to accept the grace that flourishes here, and the love that has been calling him back to Huckleberry Hill...

Oh my! This book is a little different than the rest of the series but that doesn't mean it wasn't just as good, if not better. I did not find myself chuckling throughout this story, I was more sad and trying to figure out Ben's secret. And poor Felty, Annie put him through the mill in this one, you have to almost feel sorry for him too, lol. I am so looking forward to Huckleberry Harvest coming out on May 26th that I even read the three preview pages in the back of this book, I NEVER do that! I like to be totally surprised. I had also pre-ordered Huckleberry Spring which I have never done either. I have to say, sorry if I've said it with each review in this series but, I absolutely love this series and Jennifer's writing. Please if you have not read anything by Jennifer Beckstrand start reading this series and you will be sold on her books.

A Simple Faith by Rosalind Lauer - Review of the first book in A Lancaster Crossroads series

Rushing to the scene of a tragic highway collision, nursing student Haley Donovan draws on her training to care for the passengers in the crumpled van. The experience wins her a place in Lancaster County's tight-knit Amish society, and draws her to kindhearted psychologist Dylan Monroe. Working side by side with Dylan who is bringing counseling services to the small town of Halfway, Haley feels an undeniable attraction between them, yet she senses that Dylan is holding back, scarred by the wounds of his past.

Elsie Lapp, the manager of Halfway's country store, is a voice of cheer and goodwill for her customers. But Elsie's serene world spins out of control with the terrible crash, and the young woman finds herself grappling for the simple faith that has always sustained her. Her burden is eased by Ruben Zook, a neighbor known for his snide jokes. In the aftermath of the accident, Ruben reveals a tender heart that could easily sweep her away. However, Elsie carries secrets that keep her from surrendering her heart.

Exploring the ways that faith, hope, and charity bring everyone together, A Simple Faith resonates with the sweetness, purity and power of love.

If you want to see how the English and Amish can work together to overcome a tragedy this will be the book for you. Rosalind told a good story about the two groups of people and how they can become good friends, even if it was a fatal accident that brought them together. She also brings in how the Amish extend forgiveness even when they experience a loss to their own community. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series as I liked the intermixing of the two 'societies'.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Would-Be Wilderness Wife by Regina Scott - Review of the second book in the Frontier Bachelors series

The Kidnapped Bride
Drew Wallin's youngest brother is determined to see him married--so he kidnaps Drew a prospective bride. Not only is Catherine Stanway beautiful, but she's a nurse who can help their ailing mother. Drew doesn't have time for distractions--he's too busy watching over his fatherless siblings. Yet he's drawn to this woman who carries loss and pain equal to his own.

Catherine has traveled West to use her nursing skills to save lives, not to find a husband. She knows if she gives in to Drew's matchmaking family, she'll be risking her already bruised heart. But maybe it's time she takes the ultimate risk to win the groom she didn't know she wanted!

I got this book yesterday afternoon and already finished it, one day! Yes, is was that good, Regina did a great job of keeping me up til 3:00 A.M. and got me up early this moring to finish it. This was a wonderful story of how God sees the bigger picture and leads you to what is right/good for you even though you think you know better. I have not read the first one in this series yet, "The Bride Ship" but will have to find it in my TBR pile now. I highly recommend Historical Fiction lovers to read this book and if you like the mail-order bride type of books, even though Catherine was not a mail-order bride, I think you will enjoy this also.

I was offered this book in return for an honest review, I was not given an monetary compensation for my review either.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Rebecca's Rose by Jennifer Beckstrand - Review of the second book in the Forever After in Apple Lake series

(taken from
With her mother ill, Rebecca Miller must take care of the house, the farm, and her younger siblings. Although she feels trapped at times, Rebecca is determined to fulfill a promise made to a dying friend. Then she meets a boy with good looks and a mischievous glint in his eye who just might help her keep her vow. Levi Cooper was born into an Amish community and lived there until his father died and his mother married an Englischer. When shunned by their Amish relatives, they lived as Englischers. Now haunted by painful memories and on the path to self destruction, Levi meets a lovely, adventurous Amish girl. Rebecca's growing attachment to Levi could lead to the loss of everything she holds dear. And will the secrets he keeps separate them forever?

Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer! By the time I got to the end of this book I was shedding tears. You started me out heading in the same giggling direction but boy did you turn this around. Wonderful, fantastic, awsome job on this book! I know that this isn't a long review but I hope it gets the point across that I would very highly encourage others to read this book.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

An Amish Second Christmas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid and Tricia Goyer - Review

When Christmas Comes Again by Beth Wiseman
Katherine knows the first Christmas without Elias will be hard for her and the children. But when a mysterious Englischer appears with photographs of her late husband, Katherine begins to wonder what other blessings Christmas could have in store.

Her Christmas Pen Pal by Ruth Reid
Joy was expecting a wedding proposal from Henry; what she got instead was news of another woman. But when her heartfelt letter to a cousin ends up in the hands of a young cabinetmaker, an unexpected correspondence between two strangers gets interesting fast.

A Gift for Anne Marie by Kathleen Fuller
Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were kids. Now things are evolving . . . in ways everyone else predicted long ago. But when her mother suddenly decides to remarry in another state, Anne Marie's new chapter with Nathaniel looks doomed to end before it begins.

The Christmas Aprons by Tricia Goyer
Vanilla crumb pie has been Esther's mem's calling card for decades. But when Esther finally gets her hands on the secret recipe, she discovers that vanilla crumb pie is more than just dessert . . . it's bachelor bait.

Each one of these stories was touching in their own way. Beth's story brought tears to my eyes, Ruth's had me chuckling, Kathleen's was stirring and Tricia's was heart warming. These were some wonderful Christmas stories from four amazing authors. You will not be disappointed if you choose to read this book.