Monday, November 28, 2022

Amish Holiday Vendetta by Laura Scott

From USA TODAY bestselling author Laura Scott...

An Amish widow. An Englischer with a past.

Who’s the real target this Christmas?

Attacked in her barn just before Christmas, Amish quilter Elizabeth Walton doesn’t know why someone wants to harm her. But when gunfire narrowly misses Elizabeth and furniture maker David McKay, the Englischer fears his past has put them both in the crosshairs. David’s determined to protect the pretty widow…but is his presence the real danger? Or is there another motive behind the deadly threats?

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.

My thoughts:

Amish Holiday Vendetta is a real page turner, so be prepared to spend a good portion of time dedicated to reading this book. It is the perfect blend of suspense, excitement and twists and turns.  I found Elizabeth Walton to be instantly likable, sweet, caring and very indulgent of her mother-in-law.  I did not care for Mammi Rose who blames Elizabeth for her son’s death and then is so mean to David McKay who comes to their rescue aft Eliazbeth is subjected to serious and dangerous situations.

I adored David and the caring way he tries to protect the ladies from danger.  Although with his checkered past, he feels his presence may be responsible for the things that are happening.

Overall, this fast paced, well-written, exciting novel is one that fans of both suspense and Amish novels will want t read.

I received a copy from the publisher through Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.


The Secret Society of Salzburg by Renee Ryan

 From the author of The Widows of Champagne, and inspired by true events, comes a gripping and heartwrenching story of two very different women united to bring light to the darkest days of World War II.

London, 1933
At first glance, Austrian opera singer Elsa Mayer-Braun has little in common with the young English typist she encounters on tour. Yet she and Hattie Featherstone forge an instant connection—and strike a dangerous alliance. Using their friendship as a cover, they form a secret society with a daring goal: to rescue as many Jews as possible from Nazi persecution.
Though the war’s outbreak threatens Elsa and Hattie’s network, their efforts attract the covert attention of the British government, offering more opportunities to thwart the Germans. But Elsa’s growing fame as Hitler’s favorite opera singer, coupled with her secret Jewish ancestry, make her both a weapon and a target—until her future, too, hangs in the balance.
From the glamorous stages of Covent Garden and Salzburg to the horrors of Bergen-Belsen,  two ordinary women swept up by the tide of war discover an extraordinary friendship—and the courage to save countless lives.
My thoughts:

A completely captivating, beautifully written novel that tugs on the readers heartstrings.  The characters the author introduces had me engaged from beginning to end, two sisters who love opera and the Austrian opera singer, Elsa are the main characters.  Watching their story unfold in World War ll, in 1933 London is they forge a friendship and knowing that it was inspired by true events made me  feel  sad but also eager to find out more about their stories.

Filled with kindness, love and danger, the ladies help rescue as many Jewish people as possible, but it becomes more dangerous with each passing day until it seems impossible, especially once Elsa is arrested for treason.  This is such a heartbreaking turn of events but the author tells the story beautifully.  This is a must read for fans of historical fiction.

I received a copy from the publisher through Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.


Saturday, November 19, 2022

Holding the Line (Love Along the Wires #3) by Jennifer Delemere


A widow at just 30 years of age, Rose Finlay is determined to put all ideas of marriage and family behind her and pursue an independent life. But when she notices a young woman about to be led astray by a roguish aristocrat, bitter memories from her past arise, and she feels compelled to intervene. The unintended consequences of her efforts will ultimately force Rose to reexamine her life in a new light.

As the overseer of his two widowed sisters' financial and domestic affairs, John Milburn carries heavy responsibilities for a single man. But he's faced with his biggest challenge when his headstrong niece falls prey to the attentions of a powerful man who could ruin both her and her family.

When Rose and John join forces to protect his niece, they put everything they hold dear--including their growing attraction--in jeopardy.

My thoughts:

This is one of my favorite books that I have read this year.  I have loved the entire series but Holding the Line is one that I have thought about long after I finished reading it.  Rose Finlay is a strong, disciplined, hardworking widow, she knows what she wants out of life and she is very focused.   It was all going well until she overhears a conversation between a young man and, somewhat na├»ve young lady.  I love how Rose knew what was happening and went outside of her comfort zone to try to help the girl avoid a big mistake.

Rose obviously will need help and who better than the uncle of the niece being led astray?  I loved John Milburn; he sure has his hands full with his family situation but luckily, he has Rose to help him sort out the many challenging things that keep him on his toes.

This novel has it all, an amazing storyline, memorable characters is perfectly paced and will make you shed a tear. If you love historical fiction, this is a must read.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy.  All opinions are my own.

The Story of Love (The Amish Bookstore #2) by Beth Wiseman

 When Yvonne Wilson’s Amish friends, Jake and Eva Lantz, offer her an opportunity to run their bookstore in Montgomery, Indiana, Yvonne jumps on the opportunity for a change of scenery. She leaves her home in Texas to take on her new job as manager of the bookstore. A spark is rekindled unexpectedly when the move brings her back into contact with Abraham Byler. But Abraham is now dating a woman named Brianna, and the last thing Yvonne wants is to interfere in their relationship.

Abraham grew up Amish, but he chose not to be baptized, eventually entering a career as a sheriff in the hopes of bringing justice to his community. But when a high-stakes situation on the job arises, he begins to question his decisions and contemplate a return to his Amish roots. Meanwhile, he finds himself drawn to Yvonne—casting doubt on his current relationship with Brianna. Brianna herself is keeping secrets . . . and some of those secrets might be dangerous.

As tensions rise, both Yvonne and Abraham will have to choose the best path for themselves—even if it puts their romance at risk.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book, the setting, the characters, and a few twists made for an entertaining read.  Did I like all the characters? No.  Were some or at least one written to be unlikeable?  I think so because there seems to be a consensus that one young lady is quite overbearing, however we have Yvonne Wilson who is the epitome of a lovely young, kind, caring young woman.    I also liked Abraham and was happy to see them reconnect.

This is the second book in the series so I suggest reading the first book to become familiar with the town, the bookstore and on the plus side, it is a really good book.  

Overall, I thought this was a wonderful novel and I look forward to seeing what is next from one of must read authors.

I received a copy from the publisher and Netgalley.  Opinions are my own.


Saturday, November 12, 2022

A Gem of Truth (Secrets of the Canyon) by Kimberly Woodhouse

 Julia Schultz has a reputation for being a storyteller--or as others see it, a liar. But with a dark and painful past, stories were all that kept her company and made her interesting to others. Longing for a fresh start and a second chance to earn real trust, Julia takes a job as a Harvey Girl at the El Tovar hotel, where she's challenged to be her true self.

Learning the trade of a master jeweler is hard work, but Christopher Miller takes pride in running his family's small shop and earning the respect of the people around him. But when he discovers that he has six weeks to buy his shop from his landlord before it is sold, he must find a way to save his grandfather's legacy.

United by the discovery of a legendary treasure, Chris and Julia find hope in each other. But when Julia's past catches up with her, doubt creeps into Chris's heart. Can he really trust her and her stories?

My thoughts:

I loved every single thing about this book!  From beginning to end, I was so caught up in the story of Julia Schultz, she really tugged at my heart and I found myself rooting for her to live her best possible life.   Not only did the author craft endearing characters, she also placed them in the beautiful setting in the Grand Canyon at the El Tovar Hotel.

I find the history of the Harvey Girls fascinating, I could read about them pretty much anytime, but I also love a storyline with some good and some not so good characters, there are both in this well-written, perfectly paced novel.  I highly recommend A Gem of Truth to readers pf historical fiction and those just looking for a fantastic read.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.

Beyond the Desert Sands (Love on the Santa Fe #2) by Tracie Peterson

 After living an opulent life with her aunt for the last few years, the last thing twenty-five-year-old Isabella Garcia wants is to have to celebrate Christmas in the small silver-mining town her father and mother founded in the desert. She'd rather stay in California with the handsome Diego Morales who is courting her. Isabella is further miffed to have to bear the company of Aaron Bailey, a businessman with the Santa Fe Railroad, whom her father has sent to escort her safely home. Aaron finds Isabella spoiled, and she finds him judgmental.

But she is surprised to see how much the town of Silver Veil has grown and how fragile her father's health has become. Then Diego shows up with news that her aunt has died. Isabella is saddened by the loss of not only her aunt, but also her place of escape.

Faced with all these changes, she struggles to sort through her future and who she wants to be. But trouble is brewing, and there are those who hope Isabella stays just as she is, even if it costs her everything.

My thoughts:

This is another wonderfully written and thoroughly researched novel penned by Ms. Peterson. I have loved her work for quite some time, she never disappoints as far as I am concerned, she keeps getting better.  This is the second book in her Love on the Santa Fe series and is just as good as the first book, which you should also read. 

I loved the story of Isabella Garcia, she is a bit headstrong, so that can be good, but can have consequences, too.  I enjoyed visiting the small mining town and getting to know the Garcia family at he same time.

I received a copy from the publisher through Netgalley. Opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Cicada Season (Miller Creek series) by Mindy Stelle

 The Miller’s Creek matchmakers are multiplying, and they aren’t done with the Milford half dozen yet.

Hannah Troyer thinks she can do it all, but it’s clear the young woman needs help with the apple harvest this year. The local bakers have an idea on how to remedy that. Throw in a handsome, overly confident, Leon Milford and let the sparks fly.

It will be the craziest summer ever to hit Miller’s Creek, but who doesn’t like a good challenge?  

My thoughts:

Mindy Steele has become one of my must-read authors, she crafts characters with real life challenges, they have depth, faith and yes, a little fun along the way.  The Miller Creek series is the perfect example of what I am trying to convey.  The town has lost several men in an accident, leaving their loved ones to carry on without them. The widows, children are left with loving memories, but also the hard work of caring for farms, and in this book, an apple orchard.

I love the Amish matchmakers, that’s part of the fun I referred to earlier, they have good intentions that certain people may not recognize at first and that leads to some unwelcome meetings. In the case of Hannah and Leon, things get off to a contentious start to put it mildly.   With a little help from family and friends, a lot of patience, the couple manage to work through their differences and accept they just might make things work.

Although this can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the series in order.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley.  Opinions are my own.