Book Review: Though I Stumble By Kim Cash Tate

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About the Book: 

Four women, one weekend, and their lives will never be the same.

Stephanie London thought she’d heard from God when she moved to Hope Springs, N.C. But a tragedy in that small town left her soul desolate. Now her husband’s inattentiveness has pushed her over the edge. Bereft of hope, she travels home to St. Louis as a women’s ministry conference kicks off. Though less than enthused to attend, new friendships offer strength and light. But what happens when the weekend ends and real life begins again?

Treva Langston grieves still the loss of her husband of twenty-two years. Now, two years later, her heart is breaking again as her oldest daughter’s travails come to light. Traveling from DC to St. Louis for a women’s conference seems the last thing she should do, given the circumstances. But in St. Louis her path crosses with someone new—and her world turns upside down. Will it only lead to more heartbreak?

Jillian Mason can’t wait to attend the Living Word women’s conference. She’s done their Bible studies for years and expects God to show up in an amazing way. But the weekend delivers something unexpected—a discovery about her husband. As the state of her marriage hangs in the balance, Jillian is suddenly anxious about returning home.

Faith Langston has always been a girl after God’s heart. She loves Living Word studies and registered early for the conference. But at the end of her college sophomore year, she finds herself in circumstances she never imagined—with a heart that has strayed from God. She makes it to St. Louis nonetheless, with her boyfriend in tow—but how will she find her way back to God?

Four women in different seasons of life converge at a women’s conference—with a theme that charges them to run “in hot pursuit” for Christ. But how do they run when challenges seem insurmountable? And can they help one another navigate the difficult terrain?


 My Thoughts: 

This book has everything you would expect from a book set at a women’s conference. There are marriages in crisis, an unwed mother, lots of prayers. Kim Cash Tate sets the conference setting perfectly. There are encouraging messages laced through the story. The characters feel like someone you know or you’ve met at a woman’s conference. You find yourself rooting for their breakthrough.

This book is a fast read and is predictable. For readers who don’t enjoy preachy Christian fiction, this book may not be for you. Also, it feels like the characters’ problems are resolved too quickly but the book covers a long stretch of time, enough time for all of the characters to land where they need to at the end of the series. Those problems also seem to be resolved easily, which may put some readers off. This book is a great beach read or to read on the bus to your next women’s conference.


 

About the Author

KIM CASH TATE is the author of several books, including Cling (2017) and If I Believe (2017). A former practicing attorney, she is also a Bible teacher and is currently doing a study on First Samuel on YouTube. She’s been married to her husband Bill for more than two decades, and they live in St. Louis with their two young adult children. You can find Kim online at kimcashtate.com and on social media @kimcashtate.

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Book Review: Over the Line

Happy Friday!

I hope y’all had a great week and an awesome weekend planned. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Kelly Irvin’s Over the Line. This book releases Tuesday the 11th, so be sure to pre-order if you haven’t already.


About the Book

In this high-stakes romantic suspense novel where tensions mount on both sides of the border, bestselling author Kelly Irvin explores what happens when the past explodes against the present and the only person you can turn to is the one who broke your heart.

When a college student dies at Gabriella’s feet after muttering her brother’s name, vicious gun smugglers believe she knows too much. And they’re determined to make sure she suffers the same fate. With no one else to turn to, Gabriella reunites with her former fiancé, homicide detective Eli Cavazos, to investigate the dead man’s murder and her brother’s disappearance.

In a desperate race against time, Gabriella and Eli are determined to clear her brother and find him before the gun smugglers can kill them both. Bit by bit, they tear away the masks worn by men masquerading as law-abiding citizens. No one can be trusted.

Working as a team forces Gabriella and Eli to face the problems that ended their relationship. She realizes she’s the one who needs to learn to forgive, but Eli must also learn to trust her with his secrets.

This ragtag team must fight a powerful ring of criminals protected by the very institutions that should prosecute them in an all-out battle that may cost them their lives.

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My Thoughts

First off this book starts in San Antonio, my hometown! I’m not sure I was cognizant of anything else for a few minutes after that tidbit. 🙂

The opening was great and Ms. Irvin set the mood for suspense and a backstory of broken romance.

I loved that the hero was a Latino and that we got to see some of the action from his pov. Hero and heroine povs always up the romantic factor in my opinion.

However, I would say that this book is more suspense with a thread of romance. Also, it took forever (again, in my opinion) for them to say why they broke up. There was such a hush about it and then when it came out in the open, you got the feeling there was still more to the subject. I would have liked the end result to be more clear and feel a little bit more organic, but that’s my preference.

As far as the suspense, it was good. There was good pacing and so much action I didn’t know who to believe or who was the ultimate bad guy. For that alone, I would read Ms. Irvin again.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. My review was not required nor influenced.


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Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Review: It’s Like That

Happy Friday!

I hope you’ve had a great week and an awesome weekend plan. Before you jump into your weekend reading, check out our contributor, Toni Shiloh’s thoughts on It’s Like That. Now’s definitely a good time to add to your TBR pile!

Let’s get started!


About the Book

After suffering a tragic loss ten years ago, twenty-six-year-old Jasmine Richardson has traded her love of lyrics for writing legal briefs. It only takes one encounter with the microphone for Jasmine to realize the music is still in her heart—if only it could pay the bills. After making some bad decisions, Jasmine is thrown into a tailspin. She is forced to consider taking a case that could make her legal career from someone from her past. Suddenly, Jasmine finds herself questioning her future. When the music is still in your heart, sometimes life forces you to make some tough decisions. Sometimes…it’s like that.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


My Thoughts

This book has it all. Romance. Mystery/Suspense. Family drama. Etc.

I loved Ms. Splond’s writing voice. It hooked me in and kept me turning the pages. I also liked the story premise. How many of us have wavered between choosing a job that pays the bills versus following your dreams? And that’s essentially what the book is about and what Jasmine has to decide.

With some great secondary characters and a come-to-Jesus moment, It’s All That will entertain you from beginning to end.


About the Author

Chandra Sparks Splond is an editor, speaker and award-winning author and blogger. Her young adult novel Make It Work was named Alabama’s Great Read 2017,  Spin It Like That was chosen as a Popular Paperback for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and The Pledge was a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Black Pearls Magazine honored Splond as a Legends & Leaders for 2017 for her blog, Book of Splond (formerly known as Magic City Momma).

Splond is the owner of West End Publishing, LLC, and Live Life Creations, a personalized gift and party boutique. In addition to working for Kensington Publishing as the consulting editor for Arabesque romance, Splond has also done work for Random House, Moody Publishers, Kimani Press (formerly known as BET Books), and Hyperion. She has edited books for several New York Times, USA Todayand Essence bestselling authors. Splond has interviewed New York Times bestselling authors Karen Kingsbury, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Eric Jerome Dickey and actress Meagan Good. She has also worked for Good Housekeeping, Black and Married with Kids, Brides Noir, Weddingpages, Newsday, The Morning Call and Romantic Times. 

Of all the titles she has held, Splond’s most important remain child of God, wife and mommy. Splond graduated from Ramsay High School in Birmingham, Alabama and the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa with a degree in journalism. She received her master of science in education degree with a focus on instructional design and technology from Samford University. Splond is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and resides in Birmingham with her family. They are members of Forty-fifth Street Baptist Church.

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Book Review: Shadow Among Sheaves

Happy Friday!

I’m super excited because I’ll be heading for the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat this afternoon. But before I go, I have to share my thoughts on Naomi Stephens’ Shadow Among Sheaves. Her debut novel released Monday, so if you haven’t heard about it or had an opportunity to read it, continue reading.


About the Book

A Timeless, Beautiful Allegory of the Biblical Love Story of Ruth and Boaz

The Great Rebellion of 1857 was a remarkably bloody business. At a time when Britain’s imperial influence in India was sparking brutal clashes on both sides, no one could have expected Rena, an Indian woman, to marry a British officer—nor do they understand her decision to follow her mother-in-law to England after her husband’s tragic death.

Once the two widows are in Abbotsville, the stern yet compassionate Lord Barric attempts to help them despite his better judgment. Soon he is torn between the demands of reputation and his increasing desire to capture Rena’s heart for his own.

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My Thoughts

Okay, y’all, I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts together so I’ll start with my initial impressions.

Wow. The prologue sucked me right in as I entered Rena’s world. An Indian woman, she vows to follow her mother-in-law back to England. From that prologue, I knew this would be a story I’d read until the very end. I love Ruth’s story, one of my favorites in the Bible. I couldn’t wait to find out what Ms. Stephens did with the story and how she made it her own. Plus, an Indian woman in England after a rebellion that had happened in India makes for some page turning tension.

I loved Rena as a heroine, a woman, and just an interesting character to follow. She’s amazing and I was pulling for her through the entire story. I often asked myself if I would have that strength and dedication to another. It’s remarkable and one of the reasons I have always loved Ruth.

And that leads me to the English Lord Barric, because what’s a Ruth retelling without a Boaz? Barric is very stern but he has his moments of kindness that peek out every now and then. And although I wasn’t in love with him as a hero, I didn’t dislike him either. His standoffish mood made it difficult to fall in love with his character. Still, I continued reading to see what would happen with his thread. But about 80% in, there’s a scene that turned my opinion. In the end, I just can’t say that I think he deserved Rena. I feel like she deserved someone wholly gallant and worthy of her and all that she sacrificed. Because Barric wasn’t that for me, I would lower my review rating, but that’s the only reason why.

Because this story is rich in history. Filled with a beautiful wealth of emotion. I was invested in the story and that’s saying a lot because not every historical story moves me. I will be reading more of Ms. Stephens in the future.

*I received a complimentary copy through NetGalley. My review was not influenced nor required.
**Review first appeared at Soulfully Romantic blog.


About the Author

Naomi Stephens is a bookworm turned teacher turned writer. She received a B.A. in English from Concordia University in Ann Arbor and an M.A. in English from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. 

In bookstores, Naomi gravitates towards 19th-century British novels—the broodier the better (i.e., Jane Eyre)—but she can also be found perusing the young adult, mystery, and fantasy sections. Anything that keeps her turning pages past midnight.

Though she has called many places home over the years, she currently lives in Ohio with her husband, her two children, and a rascal of a dog named Sherlock. When not writing or having adventures with her family, she can be found drinking tea, practicing photography, and pining for London.

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Review post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Review: The Winter Reunion

Happy Friday and Happy 1st of March!

I hope that this year is treating you right. And I hope you are seeing signs of warmer weather to come. As I type this post, I’m eyeing the possible snow coming out way. Good thing I have books to read! 😉

If you need something to read and it is still a winter wonderland, might I recommend Rhonda McKnight’s The Winter Reunion. It’s sure to entertain you.


About the Book

Everyone knows the woman in the “viral” video that hit two million views on YouTube. Humiliated, Tamar Johnson changed her name and disappeared behind the embarrassing video that captured her losing her virginity on prom night. But who was the guy?

NFL Running Back Stephen Pierce is football’s darling. He’s spent his entire career doing community service work with at-risk kids, and endeared fans as a devoted Christian, even claiming celibacy. It’s time for his high school reunion. Stephen is determined to get his EX, Tamar, to come out of hiding, even going as far as posting their prom picture on Instagram in hopes that she would accept the challenge to show up.

Tamar isn’t interested in the reunion, but her boss is. She writes for a small magazine. Stephen Pierce is a BIG story.
With reunion activity in full swing, the tension between Tamar and Stephen reaches an unbearable level. Before it’s over will the world find out who the real Stephen Pierce is? And will Tamar survive spending time with the only man who’s ever had her heart?

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


My Thoughts

This book has a really interesting premise. I wasn’t sure how Tamar would be able to overcome the pain of her past and the man who caused it. I liked how Ms. McKnight threaded the faith through the story line and showed us the power of God and forgiveness.

I also really enjoyed the reunion aspect of the book. They are one of my favorite tropes to read so I enjoyed seeing how Ms. McKnight put her spin on it. All in all an enjoyable read to pass my winter reading time with.


About the Author

Rhonda McKnight is the author of several award-winning novels and Black Expressions Top 20 bestsellers, including An Inconvenient Friend, What Kind of Fool and Breaking All The Rules. She is the winner of the 2015 Emma Award for Inspirational Romance of the Year. She was also a 2010 nominee for the African-American Literary Award. Rhonda writes edgy stories that touch the heart of women. The themes of faith, forgiveness and hope mark her stories.

Rhonda has done free-lance work as a developmental editor and writing coach for the past seven years. She’s also the founder of the Write It Right Online Fiction Writer’s Workshop. Originally from a small, coastal town in New Jersey, she’s called Atlanta, Georgia home for nineteen years. She can be reached at her website at www.RhondaMcKnight.net and at www.BlackChristianReads.com.

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Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Review: The Moses Quilt by Kathi Macias

The Moses Quilt by Kathi Macias is an oldie, but a goodie! An antique quilt prompts the story of Harriet Tubman for a young woman struggling with life decisions. A dual time line brings the historical tale into the present. I highly recommend this book!

About The Book

693586_w185The Moses Quilt is a contemporary novel that bridges racial and generational divides. With a realistic and compassionate look into a twenty-first-century dilemma, multiple award-winning author Kathi Macias introduces readers to a confused and apprehensive young woman, Mazie Hartford. Facing major decisions about the love of her life and her future, she must also wrestle with a nagging question about her family’s past. She finds the answer to her questions in a most unexpected way—her great-grandmother’s Moses quilt. As her great-grandmother begins to explain how each patch represents a story of courage and freedom, Mazie must decide if she has the courage and freedom to overcome her own personal fears and prejudices.

About The Author

kathi-macias-photo-200x300Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 40 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences. She won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) and was the 2011 Author of the Year from BooksandAuthors.net. Her novel set in China, Red Ink, was named Golden Scrolls 2011 Novel of the Year and was also a Carol Award Finalist; her October 2012 release, Unexpected Christmas Hero, was named 2012 Book of the Year by BookandAuthors.net. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband.

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My Thoughts

I love that Kathi Macias’ novels are written with a passion for the subject matter. Whether it is the persecuted church, abused and enslaved women, or the homeless, Kathi brings an authenticity and a clarity to the subject that allows her readers to feel the importance of her stories as well as put themselves into the action. In The Moses Quilt, book 1 of the Quilt Series, Kathi explores the heroic figure of Harriet Tubman, but with a bit of a twist. Harriet’s story is shared by a 93 year old, white, Southern woman seeking to impart meaning and relevance into her great-grandaughter’s life. It is this contemporary slant to the story that brings modern circumstances and historical significance to light.

Maizie is a young woman who has a decision to make. Her boyfriend Edward has asked her to marry him repeatedly. But Maizie is reluctant to commit, leading her family, Edward and Edward’s family wondering if their different races is the problem. Maizie doesn’t even know herself. But her great-grandmother, Mimi, is determined, with God’s help, to expose Maizie’s fears and help her to decide where her heart truly lies. Mimi begins to tell Harriet Tubman’s story using a quilt she purchased years before. In her last days, Mimi wants to help Maizie understand not only the past, but the present.

The Moses Quilt is a two part novel, telling both Harriet and Maizie’s stories. The two are intertwined and the story takes on an air of mystery. The full extent of Harriet Tubman’s story was new to me, and I appreciate the research Kathi did and the clever way she told it. Edward and Maizie’s story is also one that many, even in the Christian community, still have trouble with. Old prejudices are hard to overcome. Kathi has handled that subject with grace and love.

This book is a recommended read and the perfect choice for a book club — lots to discuss!

(I received a complimentary copy of The Moses Quilt from Pump Up Your Book. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Between Two Shores

We’re so glad you visited today to learn more about Jocelyn Green’s historical novel, Between Two Shores.

About the book

Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green.jpgShe Has Always Moved Between Worlds,
But Now She Must Choose a Side

The daughter of a Mohawk mother and French father in 1759 Montreal, Catherine Duval would rather remain neutral in a world tearing itself apart. Content to trade with both the French and the British, Catherine is pulled into the Seven Years’ War against her wishes when her British ex-fiancé, Samuel Crane, is taken prisoner by her father. Samuel claims he has information that could help end the war, and he asks Catherine to help him escape.

Peace appeals to Catherine, even if helping the man who broke her heart does not. But New France is starving, and she and her loved ones may not survive another winter of conflict-induced famine. When the dangers of war arrive on her doorstep, Catherine and Samuel flee by river toward the epicenter of the battle between England and France. She and Samuel may impact history, but she fears the ultimate cost will be higher than she can bear.

Buy Between Two Shores on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or CBD

 

My Thoughts

Between Two Shores is a rich historical tale of a woman who has never quite fit in. I was touched by her desire to be enough, to be loved for who she was and respected for the choices she made. After the death of her mother, she chose to live with her father and thus alienated her sister. Her feelings of inadequacy were compounded by the realization that her father always compared her to a daughter he had lost – one who was wholly French and wholly loved. His cruel treatment of her when he was drunk was endured by this tenderhearted woman who held on to a handful of moments when he showed her kindness.

I loved Catherine’s younger brother, Joseph, who showed such deep love for her as he continued to seek after her protection and care. As a full-blooded Mohawk, he made for a very interesting secondary character.

Though they were not mentioned in detail, I was reminded anew of the sacrifices that the Jesuit priests made when they came to the wilderness of North America amidst the savage tribes who inhabited the land. The image of the mission in the midst of a camp with streets lined with poles proudly displaying scalps gave me a new appreciation of the things they would have seen an endured as they sought to bring the Gospel to a people who had never heard.

As Catherine navigated the waters of a country at war, she learns the need for forgiveness and that love is not a trade. And she comes to realize the love of “the Great Good God” has made her complete.

The battle that she fought regarding the choices she was faced with was intense — is it right to help the enemy in order to end suffering?

Readers should be aware that as a war story, some gruesome situations are described, though not in great detail. The cruel practices of the tribes in this area are also described, again, not in great detail. It is not a pretty story and yet it is beautiful with a satisfying conclusion.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Jocelyn-Green-Author-100x150.jpgJocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King; Wedded to War; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and have been honored with the Christy Award, the gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America, and the Golden Scroll Award from the Advanced Writers & Speakers Association. She graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, Toblerone chocolate bars, the color red, and reading on her patio. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

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Book Review: We Hope for Better Things

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels started the new reading year out right — it is a 5-star time-slip novel with not two, but three story lines. It not only was a beautifully written novel, but an eye-opening book that shows the effects of racism on every aspect of our lives. I highly recommend this book!

About The Book

51JLHN44hoL._SX322_BO1204203200_When Detroit Free Press reporter Elizabeth Balsam meets James Rich, his strange request–that she look up a relative she didn’t know she had in order to deliver an old camera and a box of photos — seems like it isn’t worth her time. But when she loses her job after a botched investigation, she suddenly finds herself with nothing but time.

At her great-aunt’s 150-year-old farmhouse north of Detroit, Elizabeth uncovers a series of mysterious items, locked doors, and hidden graves. As she searches for answers to the riddles around her, the remarkable stories of two women who lived in this very house emerge as testaments to love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, racism, and misunderstanding. And as Elizabeth soon discovers, the past is never as past as we might like to think.

Debut novelist Erin Bartels takes readers on an emotional journey through time — from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to the Michigan’s Underground Railroad during the Civil War — to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.

My Thoughts

We Hope for Better Things begins in present day Detroit with main character Elizabeth, a young journalist hungry for the big story, the juicier the better. But she soon finds herself out of a job and in rural Lapeer, Michigan. A family homestead harbors a reclusive great-aunt and stories that may have a greater impact than Elizabeth could ever dream.

Although We Hope for Better Things has not just one, or two, but three story lines, they are so skillfully interwoven that the reader feels just how integral they are to each other. Three very strong female characters dominate — Mary Balsam, a young woman left to run a farm when her husband enlists to fight for the Union during the Civil War, Nora Balsam Rich, who falls in love with the right man at the wrong time, and Elizabeth, who finds her family legacy more important than her own ambition. The novel moves from one story to the other — the 1860/1870s, the 1960s, and present day — with never a misstep or loss of continuity. The breaks between stories just kept me turning page after page as fast as I could. There’s a lot of history involved (the Underground Railroad and the Detroit riots), but it is really the individual reactions of the characters that steer their destiny. I really liked that. It is easy to see historical movements or circumstances as the product of a society as a whole, but in We Hope for Better Things individual choices are important to the development of those movements and to future generations. There are a lot of parallels between the women, showing that one time doesn’t have any greater or lesser moral authority than another. Racism is the overarching theme in the novel with the author again showing it in very personal ways. Its insidiousness reaches into all aspects of life, including the life of the church. Bartels subtle hand doesn’t take away from the big truths shining through. In the end, the reader knows more than the characters, but there are still some mysteries left unsolved or hinted at. I liked that too, because it is those questions that will fuel great reader discussions. And this novel is perfect for book clubs — you will definitely want to talk about this book.

I could go on and on about the merits of We Hope for Better Things, but I will leave you with just one final thing — Read. This. Book. You will love it.

Very Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

About The Author

A10zq7b5JZL._US230_Erin Bartels is a copywriter and freelance editor by day, a novelist by night, and a painter, seamstress, poet, and photographer in between. Her debut novel, We Hope for Better Things, released in January 2019 from Revell Books. I Hold The Wind, which was a finalist for the 2015 Rising Star Award from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, will be released in November 2019. Her short story “This Elegant Ruin” was a finalist in The Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest. Her poems have been published by The Lyric and The East Lansing Poetry Attack. A member of the Capital City Writers Association and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, she is former features editor of WFWA’s Write On! magazine.

Erin lives in the beautiful, water-defined state of Michigan where she is never more than a ninety minute drive from one of the Great Lakes or six miles from an inland lake, river, or stream. She grew up in the Bay City area waiting for freighters and sailboats at drawbridges and watching the best 4th of July fireworks displays in the nation. She spent her college and young married years in Grand Rapids feeling decidedly not-Dutch. She currently lives with her husband and son in Lansing, nestled somewhere between angry protesters on the Capitol lawn and couch-burning frat boys at Michigan State University. And yet, she claims it is really quite peaceful.

Find Erin on Facebook @ErinBartelsAuthor, on Twitter @ErinLBartels, or on Instagram @erinbartelswrites. She blogs semi-regularly at http://www.erinbartels.com.

Book Review: Novelly Upon a Time

Hi, reader friends! Today’s review features a bookish novella which is available as a stand-alone ebook or as part of Book Nerds and Boyfriends, a 3-in-1 print or ebook collection, and I highly recommend it!

About the Book

Author Harper Jones prides herself on the impeccable research she does for her novels, so when early reviews come pouring in claiming her romance reeks of inauthenticity, her editor suggests pulling her nose out of her books and getting some real-life smooching experience.

But her plans to do just that are thwarted by her archnemesis from high school who has recently returned to town. Now she’s left with an impossible decision—kiss her worst enemy or kiss her three-book contract goodbye.

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My Thoughts

A quirky author and brooding officer?! Yes, please! What’s not to love?! Harper’s unique research methods are delightfully entertaining, but the way Kyo pushes her buttons had me chuckling my way through each chapter. From aggression to attraction, these two have it all with tension to spare. Monzon takes what could have easily been a romcom fluff piece (nothing wrong with that but this reader likes more) and delivers remarkable depth, sincerity, and heart. I highly recommend this spunky story and plan to revisit its page as often as possible.

I borrowed this book through the Kindle Unlimited program. The opinions expressed are my own.

 

About the Author

Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters.

When she isn’t in the world of make-believe, she can be found in a small desert town in central Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

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Also Available

What do you look for in a romance novella, readers?
Do you love being surprised like I do?!

Review by Beth Erin

Book Review: Music of My Heart

Happy Friday, Reader Friends!

Can you believe it’s the first Friday of the new year? Tell us what diverse book you wish to read this 2019 in the comments!

Our first book review of the year is Music of My Heart by Sophia Isaac. Have you read it?


About the Book

Alyson believes her divorce is the end. Marcus wants to help mend her wounded faith. Will these friends become lovers or will the pressure to change cause their new friendship to crumble?

Alyson Stefanelli pushes everyone away. She’s convinced she is marked by her divorce and unworthy of love. The young mother of two is determined to start over on her own and doesn’t want help from anyone, especially not her good-looking temporary employee who reminds her of her ex. She must maintain tight control of her world, or risk everything falling apart. If life has taught her anything, it’s that you can’t depend on anyone but yourself.

Marcus Powell is a gifted musician who plans to write movie scores in Hollywood someday—but someday never seems to come. Instead, he’s still dodging his family’s expectations that he’ll take a pastorship in his father’s church.

When Marcus uses his talent to help Alyson on the job, their friendship blossoms. He sees how hurt she is and wants to help mend her wounded faith. He persuades her to spend Christmas with his large family so she and her sons won’t spend Christmas alone.

Over the holidays, their defenses break down, secrets come out, and the feelings between them grow stronger than either ever imagined.

But getting involved with a young mother will surely curtail Marcus’s Hollywood dreams. And Alyson refuses to let herself fall for someone again when it can only result in heart break.

Sometimes, a broken heart is a blessing in disguise.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


My Thoughts

This was my first read by Ms. Isaac and it won’t be my last. I loved the faith thread that was woven into this story. It was tender with the hand prints of God.

I also loved that this was an interracial relationship. You don’t see that too often in writing so I always enjoy seeing how the authors handle that aspect. I think Ms. Isaac addressed stereotypes and misconceptions very well and I didn’t feel like it was contrived. In fact, I think it helped to see how sometimes we assume what the other is thinking and how it can be wrong. Everyone has a back story we’re not privy too.

All in all, the romance was sweet. The story engaging. And I look forward to book 2.


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Posted by contributor Toni Shiloh