Book Review: The Ranger Takes a Bride

Hi, reader friends! Today’s review features The Ranger Takes a Bride by Misty M. Beller, the second book of her debut series, Texas Rancher Trilogy.

About the Book

The Ranger Takes a Bride by Misty M. BellerThe bloody Las Cuevas War robbed Alejandra Diaz of her father, her fiancé, and her home—and left her with an intense hatred for men in uniform. She escapes across the border with her almost-mother-in-law and finds work on a quiet Texas ranch. The place seems like the safe haven she’d been looking for. Until she meets the rancher’s tall, handsome brother who wears the soldier’s badge of a Texas Ranger…

Edward Stewart has spent years proving his abilities as a man, separate from the overbearing protection of his family. As a Texas Ranger, he has the chance to help tame the Wild West and save the innocent. Innocents like the enchanting Mexican woman he rescued, who now lives and works on his sister’s ranch. But the moment she sees his badge, she won’t have anything to do with him.

Can Edward prove to Alejandra that he’s different from the cruel soldiers she’s known before? Will Alejandra hold onto the fear ingrained from her past, or can she open her heart to the kindness of this good lawman? When danger escalates in the form of a band of desperados with deadly intent, Alejandra must fight her hardest battle yet…

goodreads | amazonBOOKDEPOSITORY | bookbub

 

My Thoughts

What a lovely trio of redemptive, feel-good stories! I completely enjoyed getting to know all the folks on this small-town Texas ranch. These stories have just the right amount of spunk and action to liven up the sweetly romantic plots. Settings and cultures are figuratively painted across each chapter with vibrant brushstrokes.

Alejandra’s plight is heartwrenching yet inspiring as she overcomes her fears and the language barrier (without the help of Rosetta Stone) to remain with her fiance’s mother in a foreign country. Edward isn’t perfect but he makes up for his flaws with a large helping of patience and compassion.

I’m a big fan of Misty M. Beller’s Mountain series so I’ve had my eyes on this Texas series for a while now and it does not disappoint! Since I listened to this book on audio, here are my brief thoughts on the recordings: in my opinion, the narrations for the series are fair to good. For me, the first book’s performance is best followed by the third book with the second book starting out a bit rough (almost echoing) but improving in quality as the story progressed.

I borrowed this book through an audible escape trial. The opinions expressed are my own.

 

About the Author

Misty M BellerMisty M. Beller writes Christian historical romance and is the author of the bestselling Mountain Dreams Series and the Texas Rancher Trilogy. 

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family—both immediate and extended—is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream. Visit her website!

 

Texas Rancher Trilogy

The Rancher Takes a Cook The Ranger Takes a Bride by Misty M. Beller The Rancher Takes a Cowgirl

I love stories of cultures diverging in a peaceful blend of something new!
The Texas Rancher Trilogy is also available on Kindle Unlimited
!
Listening to this story gave me a richer experience than reading since my Spanish vocabulary is limited to foods, numbers one through ten, a few greetings, and “where is the bathroom?”!

Have you listened to any audiobooks with unfamiliar phrases or languages recently? 

Review by Beth Erin

Book Review: A Proxy Wedding

Hi, reader friends! Today’s review features A Proxy Wedding by Toni Shiloh, a sweet novella that is now available as a stand-alone ebook, formerly part of a two-author novella collection, A Spring of Weddings.

About the Book

A Proxy Wedding by Toni ShilohSaying I Do was more than they bargained for.

Carly James values loyalty and friendship above all. So when her best friend calls asking her to be a proxy bride, she says, ‘yes.’ How hard can it be to say ‘I do’ so that her best friend can be with the one she loves? Only, Carly never counted on the feelings that began to swirl around with the proxy groom.

Damien Nichols likes life lined up from A to Z, but when his best friend calls in a favor, disorder begins to reign. Instead of taking a quick flight to the proxy wedding, he has to take a road trip with the proxy bride. Carly’s free-spirit attitude bumps heads with his meticulous approach to life. As Damien discovers the woman underneath the carefree façade, his emotions become involved.

goodreads | amazon

 

My Thoughts

Are y’all seeing this absolutely adorable cover?! It’s downright irresistible and so is the sweet story inside! I’m really glad this whole proxy wedding situation didn’t launch into a mishandled paperwork meets accidental marriage of inconvenience debacle. Instead, Shiloh crafts an engaging opposites-attract romance with the wonderfully creative meet-cute of a double-proxy wedding (much more enjoyable and believable than my wild imaginings)! Carly and Damien won me over quite quickly and I couldn’t put this story down until the satisfying conclusion! I love the contrast of artsy meets workaholic in a suit but the icing on the cake is the way these two characters complement one another and bring out one another’s strengths! I highly recommend this feel-good story. It will brighten your day and warm your heart.

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

 

About the Author

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer.

Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and president of the Virginia Chapter.

website | facebook | twitter | INSTAGRAM

Have y’all even heard of proxy weddings, readers?
Be sure to read A Proxy Wedding by Toni Shiloh on KU or
pick up a copy for just $0.99!

Review by Beth Erin

Book Review: A Song for the Stars

Happy Friday everyone!

Fall is finally here. The leaves are changing, pumpkin flavors are everywhere, and I am excited to be reading books with a comfy blanket and warm drink! Today I’m sharing a book that simply takes your breath away – A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd. Simply put, this is a book you need to read!


About the Book

Inspired by a true story

Hawaiian Islands, 1779

As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiancé is the best navigator in Hawaii, and he taught her everything he knows how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love.

But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a misunderstanding ends in battle, and Maile is suddenly widowed before she is wed.

Finding herself in the middle of the battle and fearing for her life, Maile takes John Harbottle, the wounded man who killed her fiancé, prisoner, and though originally intending to let him die, she reluctantly heals him. And in the process, she discovers the man she thought was her enemy might be her ally instead.

John has been Captain James Cook’s translator for three voyages across the Pacific. He is kind and clearly fascinated with her homeland and her people and Maile herself. But guilt continues to drive a wedge between them: John’s guilt over the death he caused, and Maile’s guilt over the truth about what triggered the deadly battle a secret she’s kept hidden from everyone on the island.

When Maile is tasked with teaching John how to navigate using the stars so he can sail back to England, they must also navigate the challenges of being from very different cultures. In doing so, they might also find the peace that comes when two hearts become one.

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads


My Thoughts

There is so much culture, history, romance, and character development in this story. Todd easily held my attention from page on until the very end. The setting was vivid, and the story was beautifully written. Todd’s attention to detail is evident in every chapter, and it made the story come alive in my mind.

This is no regular love story. This is two different people, two different cultures, coming together and learning how to trust and balance each other. The inclusion of journal entries from John only added to the depth of the story, providing readers a glimpse of his thoughts while experiencing this new world. There is joy, pain, sorrow, love, healing, and so many more emotions that readers will feel right along with the characters. I suggest taking your time to read this one so that you can enjoy every ounce of it.

Caution – reading this will probably make you want to go explore the Hawaiian islands. But in all honesty, Todd writes so vividly that you’ll already feel as if you are there! I highly recommend this remarkable novel.


About the Author

Ilima Todd

Ilima Todd was born and raised on the north shore of Oahu and dives for octopus with her dad every time she visits—otherwise she’s diving into books in the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her husband and four children. She graduated from BYU with a degree in physics and eats copious amounts of raw fish and avocados without regret. But mostly she loves being a wife and mama and wouldn’t trade that job for anything in the world.

Follow: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website


 

 

Book Review: One Final Breath

Happy Friday!

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Lynn H. Blackburn’s One Final Breath. It’s the third and final book in the Dive Team Investigations series which makes me sad to see this group go. But oh so happy because #teamgabe.

Have you started reading this series? If not, what are you waiting for?


About the Book

When investigator Gabriel Chavez had his cover blown by an aggressive reporter, the silver lining was being able to rejoin the dive team. The downside? Dive team captain Anissa Bell–a woman who both fascinates and frustrates him.

Anissa grew up as a missionary kid on the Micronesian island of Yap and always planned to return after college. But she remained stateside, determined to solve the case that haunts her–the murder of her best friend and the disappearance of a three-year-old child.

When Anissa’s fractured past collides with Gabe’s investigation into the tragic shooting death of a teenage boy in Lake Porter, they’ll have to put their complicated history with each other aside in order to uncover the identity of a killer. What they’ll discover is that revenge has no statute of limitations.

Amazon | B&N | CBD | Goodreads


My Thoughts

Y’all, I’ve been #teamgabe since book one in the Dive Team Investigations (which can be read standalone, but why would you when you could read all 3?). And One Final Breath did not disappoint in that area. I had a few favorite lines out of the mouth of Gabe that made my heart melt and a bigger fan of his story.

Gabe has a backstory that melted my heart and made me want to give him a big hug. But Anissa’s….phew…that girl needs some friends who will surround her with the love of Christ and never let go. She’s fierce and vulnerable, independent and in need of love, and all the cool quirks you like to read about a character.

And seriously, I may have found a new way to eat cupcakes.

But One Final Breath wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine with hearts and swoony sighs. There were a few mystery threads woven in the suspense that had me hooked and turning the pages for me. When it all finally came together, it left me with a happy sigh of justice.

Oh and that epilogue…BEST EVER!

All in all, One Final Breath filled my expectations and left me assured that they will all live happily ever after.

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


About the Author

Lynn H. Blackburn loves writing suspense because her childhood fantasy was to become a spy—but her grown-up reality is that she’s a huge chicken and would have been caught on her first mission. She prefers to live vicariously through her characters and loves putting them into all kinds of terrifying situations—while she’s sitting at home safe and sound in her pajamas!

Her Dive Team Investigations series kicked off in March with Beneath the Surface. The second book in the series, In Too Deep, releases in November with the third book to follow in 2019. She is also the author of Hidden Legacy and Covert Justice, which won the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel and the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense. Lynn lives in South Carolina with her true love and their three children. You can follow her real life happily ever after at WWW.LYNNHBLACKBURN.COM.

Follow: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram


Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Review: “Free to Love” by Terri J. Haynes

Happy Friday! I hope you’re finding some place cool to read in this summer heat! Is it Fall yet???

Today, I’m excited to bring you a review of “Free to Love” by Terri J. Haynes. It’s one of the novellas in The Underground Railroad Brides Collection from Barbour.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Underground Railroad Brides collectionLove Guides Hearts Along the Road to Freedom

Nine historical couples walk the road to love even as they dare to escape and help others break free from the injustices of slavery between 1849 and 1860. From Southern states of Georgia and South Carolina to above the Mason-Dixon Line in Indiana and Pennsylvania, they work within the network known as the Underground Railroad.

Free to Love by Terri J. Haynes

East Towson, Maryland—1850
Winnie is hiding a secret—Hiram, a fugitive. Their lives cross at an Underground Railroad station. Can they overcome danger and find freedom in love?

BUY THIS BOOK: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Barbour

MY THOUGHTS

“Love had never been as valuable as strength and freedom. Until now.”

I absolutely loved this story!

Despite being limited to a short novella-length word count, the author has packed the riveting plot with heart-in-your-throat moments of life or death… and a sweet romance that lightens the emotion a bit when needed. Layered and well-defined characters will quickly settle in your heart, and you’ll be rooting for them every step of the way.

Additionally, the author’s writing style is very engaging as well as entertaining. Every page makes you eager to read the next one & I would love to see a follow-up novel with these characters – specifically related to the escaped slaves’ stories Winnie has recorded in her notebook.

Winnie’s revelation about her owners will also linger with me for a while – how many similar things in modern times have we passed off as well-meaning or kind when in fact it’s sin? And once we realize that, what are we willing to do about it?

A sobering but simultaneously encouraging story of the power of love and the pull of freedom – and the people who risked their lives to give others the chance at both. Perfect for your weekend reading list. I’m off to catch up on the author’s backlist 🙂

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Terri J. HaynesTerri J. Haynes, a native Baltimorean, is a homeschool mom, writer, prolific knitter, freelance graphic artist and former Army wife (left the Army, not the husband).

She loves to read, so much that when she was in elementary school, she masterminded a plan to be locked in a public library armed with only a flashlight to read all the books and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She is a storyteller at heart. Her passion is to draw readers into the story world she has created and to bring laughter and joy to their lives.

Terri is a 2010 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest finalist, and a 2012 semi-finalist. She is also a 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarterfinalist. Her publishing credits include Cup of Comfort for Military Families, Crosswalk.com, the Secret Place Devotional, Vista Devotional, Urbanfaith.com and Publisher’s Weekly.

Terri and her husband pastor a church where she serves as executive pastor and worship leader. Terri lives in Maryland with her three wonderful children and her husband, who often beg her not to kill off their favorite characters.

Follow Terri online: Website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

 

Book Review: Broken Heart by Tyora Moody

Happy Friday!

I hope you’ve had  a great week of bookish delight. In case you’re looking for something to read, why not check out Tyora Moody’s Broken Heart. 


About the Book

In the past year Detective Josephine “Jo” Reed-Powell brought down one of the most notorious serial killers in a decade in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County. When Jo arrives at a new crime scene, something seems very familiar to her. She immediately thinks she may be dealing with a copycat killer. Or is she?

How can she keep her mind on finding a killer when her life is falling apart? Jo is struggling with her shattered marriage knowing her husband, Bryan Powell, has had an affair. As Jo questions the twists and turns of her murder investigations, can she let God mend her broken heart?

Amazon | Goodreads


My Thoughts

I started reading this series out of order and that makes me cringe. However, it also lets me know that each book can be read as a standalone and that brings immediate relief.

There is so much going on in this book, but not in a bad way. First, Jo is dealing with some personal issues. Oh how my heart broke for her. It wrapped around me and was one of the reasons I kept turning the pages. I had to know how it would resolve.

The second is the professional aspect. Jo’s a police detective and her case appears to be a copycat…or is it? I admit, I love reading books like that. I always want to try and figure out who did it and why. If I can’t guess correctly, I consider that a raging success. This book had me hoping in that department and made the read go by quickly.

All in all, I enjoyed my visit to the Reed family and look forward to reading the rest of them.


About the Author

Tyora Moody is the author of Soul-Searching Suspense books which include the Reed Family Novellas, Eugeena Patterson Mysteries, Serena Manchester Series, and the Victory Gospel Series. She is also the author of the nonfiction book, The Literary Entrepreneur’s Toolkit, and the compilation editor for the Stepping Into Victory Compilations under her company, Tymm Publishing LLC.

As a literary-focused entrepreneur, she has assisted countless authors with developing an online presence via her design and marketing company, Tywebbin Creations LLC. Popular services include virtual event planning, book covers and book trailers.

To contact Tyora about book club discussions or for book marketing workshops, visit her online at TyoraMoody.com.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

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.

Amazon | B&N | CBD | Goodreads


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.


Follow the Author

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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.

Follow: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

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.

Amazon, B&N, CBD, Goodreads


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.

Website, Facebook, Twitter


Review post by contributor Toni Shiloh