Monday, January 29, 2018

The Christmas Bargain by Shanna Hatfield - Review of the first book in the Hardman Holidays series

(copied from
One Old West Cinderella discovers
Prince Charming is a . . . Cowboy?

The death of her mother left Philamena Booth grieving and at the mercy of her drunken father. After spending more than a decade held captive on their run-down farm, she's left speechless and dazed when her father strikes a bargain to settle a long overdue debt. In lieu of payment, a handsome cowboy agrees to take her. Mortified yet relieved to leave the farm, Philamena unexpectedly finds herself married to a charismatic, caring man.

Luke Granger might own Hardman's bank and the fanciest house in this Eastern Oregon town, but he'd much rather be outside riding his horses or wrangling his herd of cattle than keeping his account books straight. In a strange, unsettling turn of events, he finds himself accepting a farmer's daughter instead of money to cover a loan. If the man hadn't threatened to sell her to the saloon owner, Luke might have refused. He has no idea what to do with beautiful Filly or their marriage of convenience, but he's about to get far more than he bargained for.

Full of Victorian and western charm, The Christmas Bargain is a sweet holiday romance filled with the spirit of the season.

I haven't read one of Shanna's stories in quite a while and boy did I miss them! She has a way of telling stories to pull on your heartstrings, then immediately your laughing or crying with happiness, and then it repeats the process. If you have not read any of her books you don't know what you're missing!!!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings - Review of the first book in the Fort Reno series

With Miss Bell as the Teacher, Everyone's Bound to Learn an Interesting Lesson

Dance hall singer Louisa Bell has always lived one step from destitution. When she loses her job at the Cat-Eye Saloon, she has nowhere else to go but to her brother, a cavalry soldier stationed in Indian Territory. But he's run afoul of his commanding officer. Unsure what she can do to help him and desperate for a job, she doesn't protest when she's mistaken for a governess at the fort. How hard can teaching really be?

Major Daniel Adams has his hands full at Fort Reno, especially raising two adolescent daughters alone. If this new governess doesn't work out, his mother-in-law insists she'll raise the girls herself--far away from the fort. Miss Bell bears little resemblance to Daniel's notion of a governess--they're not supposed to be so blamed pretty--but he finds himself turning a blind eye to her unconventional methods. Louisa has never faced so important a performance. Can she keep her act together long enough to help her brother and to secure the respectable future she's sought for so long?

Love this book, of course I haven't found any of Regina's books that I don't love.

Miss Bell has a strong will and can put on a good act, but is it good enough? Will she be able to convince everyone, mainly Major Adams, she is a governess/teacher? She does a good job of hiding who she is and what she is and who know that knowing how to play a good game of chess could actually change your life around. Oh, and wait until you read about how they actually met!!!

Yep, you better grab a copy of this winning book! I don't know when the next book in the series is coming or the title, but it can't be written and released soon enough for me.

The Seekers by Wanda E Brunstetter - Review of the first book in the Amish Cooking Class series

Unlikely Friendships Are Formed in an Amish Cooking Class

Married for eight years with no children to help fill her days, Heidi Troyer cooks up the idea of teaching classes in the art of Amish cuisine in her Holmes County, Ohio, home. But it is a recipe for drama when five very different men and women answer the advertisement.

Charlene Higgins is engaged, but to the despair of her fiancees family, she can't cook. Kendra Perkins, a teen estranged from her family, is facing an unwanted pregnancy alone. Loretta Donnelly, widowed with two children, would like to simplify her life. Ron Hensley, a Vietnam Vet, parks his RV on the Troyer farm. And Eli Miller, an Amish widower, needs to learn how to cook for himself.

Class members share details of their disappointing lives, work to solve a mystery, and stir some romance into the pot. Suddenly cooking classes at Heidi's house become life lessons...and their souls are healed one meal at a time.

Six heartrending stories to pull on your sympathetic soul, yes I am including Heidi's story. Starting out with cooking in mind soon turns into some subtle counseling for the students, will they only learn how to cook or will it turn some lives around. If you enjoy Amish books you will enjoy this.

The Bakery by Samantha Bayarr - Review of the first book in the Amish Bakery series

(copied from

Three dozen gingerbread cookies plus two lonely hearts equals one Christmas miracle!
When Hunter Darcy finds himself the center of attention at the 12 Days of Christmas Festival in his small town, he finds refuge in an Amish bakery, but it's the owner who has him intrigued. The ladies in town see him as THE Mr. Darcy, but Noel isn't as impressed with his rugged good looks.

This was a short, enjoyable story by Samantha. If you want a quick, fun read then this is for you. Thank you for this delightful tale Samantha.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill by Jennifer Beckstrand - Review of the eighth book in The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series

There's nothing Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin's irrepressible eighty-somethings Anna and Felty Helmuth like better than a challenge. And the chance to matchmake their feisty granddaughter is their most delightful task yet ...

Elsie Helmuth's plain-spoken ways got her in trouble once before, so she needs to make a good impression at her new teaching job in Huckleberry Hill. but she's not about to let disabled student Wally Sensenig work below his potential. And she definitely won't put up with his hot-headed older brother sabotaging her efforts, no matter how handsome he is...

Sam is nearly at the end of his rope caring for his ailing, widowed mother, working their farm, and raising his siblings. He'll admit Elsie's ideas are bringing Wally out of his angry shell--but why does she have to be as stubborn as she is pretty? Yet as it turns out, Elsie has taught Sam something about himself as well. And he'll do whatever it takes to make up for his mistakes--and win her heart forever.

If you have not read any of this series yet you really need to get started! Jennifer gives you humor, heartache, faith, and yes, love. I got close to tears several times in this book, but I did hold them at bay. I just absolutely love this series and once I finish a book I dread the wait for the next one in the series, I'm soooo glad the Amish have large families so Anna and Felty have a lot of grandchildren to share the love with.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Pony Express Romance Collection by Barbara Tifft Blakey, Mary Davis, Darlene Franklin, Cynthia Hickey, Maureen Lang, Debby Lee, Donna Schlacter, Connie Stevens and Pegg Thomas - Review


Hearts Are United by Express Mail
Between April 1860 and November 1861, before the transcontinental telegraph lines or railroad could be completed, express mail was guaranteed to get from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, in just ten days via the Pony Express. Regardless of the daily risk of death, daring riders were needed, along with a team of supporters at numerous stations along the way. In nine adventure-filled novellas, you will meet riders, station masters, horse trainers, and more via the Pony Express route, who faced the daily urgency and danger involved in moving the mail cross country.

A Place to Belong by Barbara Tifft Blakey
An Unlikely Hero by Mary davis
The Gambler's Daughter by Darlene Franklin
Her Lonely Heart by Cynthia Hickey
My Dear Adora by Maureen Lang
Ride into My Heart by Debby Lee
Echoes of the Heart by Connie Stevens
Embattled Hearts by Pegg Thomas

Nine romances take root along the Pony Express trail, but can they trive in the midst of daily challenges that jeopardize the company's success?

Every time I read one of these 'collections' books, it reminds me of why I enjoy them so much. Anywhere from four to nine short stories usually, all around the same focus but not connected. I find new authors to watch for and great writers. Of course there are some stories that I like better than others, that is not saying the others are not good, and I am sure other readers may probably like others better than my choices, that is what is so great about these books. Yes, I highly recommend this book!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Harmony Trilogy (The Harmony Series) by Nancy Mehl - Review of Simple Secrets, Simple Deceit and Simple Choices

(copied from
Follow the lives of the Mennonites in Harmony, Kansas, and outsider Gracie Temple, who comes to live among them. Gracie has trouble fitting in from the start when she inherits a heavy secret from her estranged uncle. Then just when Harmony starts to feel like home, her graphic design career puts her a suspicious position that threatens the town's way of life. And when life and love are finally falling in place, Gracie's attempts to help a Mennonite teen realize her dreams backfire. Will Gracie ever be in harmony with the town she has grown to love?

What a great series this was, one mystery after another keeps you interested and not wanting to put your reading to the side. Nancy has a way of making you want more with her writing. This is not my first experience with her books and it won't be my last.