Book Review: Freedom’s Kiss

Happy Friday, Reader Friends!

Thanks for stopping by Diversity Between the Pages for your latest diverse book review! We’re featuring Sarah Monzon’s Freedom’s Kiss. This time-slip novel is one you’ll want to add to your TBR pile.

Let’s get started!


About the Book

The Blurb: “They were both prisoners of their past. Could legacy be the key to setting them free?

Olivia Arroyo knows who she is and where she’s going—her sense of family responsibility a stepping stone to her dream of becoming a chef. When her employer refuses her the chance to move from server to the kitchen, she makes another opportunity for herself with the owner of a new food truck. But her life derails when a hidden piece of her past suddenly comes to light, and she discovers everything she thought she knew about herself has been a lie.

A single decision can have innumerable consequences—a truth that has changed Adam Carrington’s life. A criminal defense attorney turned food truck owner, he is haunted by his role in an unpardonable act and driven by his need to make restitution. Unexpected help comes in the form of a feisty, raven-haired beauty, but she soon begins challenging his kitchen as well as his heart.

Florida, 1816
Propelled by a fleeting hope of freedom, Winnie and her family escape slavery and find refuge and new life with the Seminole Indians of Florida. But their future is still uncertain as threats of war, a return to slavery, and removal to the west shake their tentative grasp on freedom. Will they ever step out of the shadow of fear to leave a legacy of deliverance?

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


Oh. My. Heart!

This book has all the feels and all the romance and everything that I love in a romance book. Add a dual timeline–complete with a historical thread that deals with slavery and I’m all in.

Sarah Monzon has outdone herself once more. The growth in her writing is amazing and makes reading completely captivating. I adored everything about Freedom’s Kiss but especially the historical hero, Nokosi.

Y’all, break out the fainting couch and smelling salts. But don’t worry, Adam Carrington is no slouch either. That dude needs a hug (from the heroine, of course) and the nod to accept grace and all it means in our lives.

I really can’t gush about this book enough. But I’ll take a moment to get read. This is Diversity Between the Pages. This book delves into that in spades. Not just in the historical thread for it’s tide to the contemporary one. But just everything I want to see with diverse characters, the realness, the ability to empathize, it’s all here folks. Seriously, mark this as a must-read and move to the top of your pile.

*I received a free copy from the publisher. This is my own, honest opinion.

**I’d rate this a 6 because Nokosi. 🙂 ❤

***First seen on the blog, Soulfully Romantic.


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 the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 SELAH award for contemporary romance.

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Book Spotlight: Enduring Love

Happy Hump Day, Friends!

And Happy August!

I hope the summer has been kind to you. Hopefully, you aren’t jumping into back to school mode already. We’ve got a new book spotlight for you, here at Diversity. Today’s is Enduring Love by yours truly, Toni Shiloh.

Let’s get started!


About the Book

The Blurb: “There comes a point in every woman’s life where she must decide what to believe: the truth of the past or the circumstances of the present.”

Belle Peterson is hiding a secret. Seeking sanctuary in the small town of Maple Run, she’s intent on starting her life over—one she hopes honors Christ. The plan was going great until an undeniable attraction to Micah has her wondering if she’s changed at all.

Micah Campbell can’t understand why Belle is so uptight and wants nothing to do with her until the gentle whispers of God tell him to befriend her. He didn’t count on the feeling of protectiveness to rise up or that spark of attraction.

When Belle’s past is revealed, Micah prays that his love can endure it.”

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


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.

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Post by Contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Spotlight: Dare from Deep Within

Happy Wednesday, reader friends!

We at Diversity Between the Pages thank you for stopping by and gracing us with your time. Today, we’re sharing a book spotlight on D. L. Sleiman’s Dare from Deep Within. If you remember, we reviewed the first book in the series, Dance from Deep Within. We also interviewed Ms. Sleiman here.

Happy Reading!


About the Book

The Blurb: “Three young women from varying backgrounds risk everything to help a friend escape her abusive family. Still at odds with her own Muslim parents, Layla faces unexpected challenges when her childhood companion shows up on her doorstep. As Fatima risks everything for freedom, her desperate circumstances draw a new circle of friends who will be forever changed by her plight. Layla, the Muslim-background believer, turns to a forbidden boyfriend for the guidance both to protect Fatima and to find her identity apart from her parents and her former culture. Rain, the bi-racial hippie chick, secrets Fatima away from her violent family, but as the experience draws her closer to Christ, Rain’s own relationship with her significant other, James, will suffer the consequences. Sarah, an ultra-conservative Christian on the surface, is torn between a desire to help Fatima and a need to conceal her shameful double life and dangerous habits from her older sister Allie. As they struggle to safely guide this courageous young woman through a maze of intrigue and terrorism, all will be forced to ask what they are willing to risk for love, for each other and for God. ”

Links: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads


About the Author

Award-winning author, Dina Sleiman, writes stories of passion and grace. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. Her debut novel, Dance of the Dandelion with Whitefire Publishing, won an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Selah Awards, and her cross-over YA novel, Dauntless, won the 2016 Carol Award in its genre from the American Christian Fiction Writers. Also look for her books, Love in Three-Quarter TimeDance from Deep Within, and the rest of her Valiant Hearts series with Bethany House Publishers including Chivalrous and Courageous. Dina serves on the editorial board for WhiteFire as well, and during the day she utilizes her writing talent with the humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International. Join her as she discovers the unforced rhythms of grace.

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Book Spotlight by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Review: No One Ever Asked

Happy Friday, Reader Friends!

Thanks for stopping by Diversity Between the Pages. I’m thrilled to share my review of Katie Ganshert’s No One Ever Asked. This poignant story travels three different women. It’s a must read so be sure to add it  to your TBR pile!


About the Book

The Blurb: “When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray–the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser–faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams.

Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated.

Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones–the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge’s top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she’s stepped into.

Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as “this” or “that”, when such complexity exists in each person?”

Links: Amazon, B&N, CBD, Goodreads


My thoughts:

Wow. Just wow. I knew when I picked up this book that Katie Ganshert would take me on an emotional journey that would challenge my intellect as well as my mind. And wow, oh wow, Ms. Ganshert did NOT disappoint.

No One Ever Asked follows the journey of three very different women, or are they? Camille Gray seems to have it all and there were moments where she made me cringed. I’ve met women like her and have been on my guard around women like her. By the end of the novel, I wanted to give her a hug.

Jen Covington, bless her heart, I wanted to give her a hug the entire time I read her story. She went through so much and bottled her emotions, something I can completely identify with. I ached for her to let the fear go and embrace love and hope.

Anaya Jones. As the only African American of the group, I identified with her right away. It wasn’t just the race that had me empathizing with Anaya, it was her life experiences. Man, oh man, did Ms. Ganshert bring me back to the days where I went to the beauty shop every 2 weeks. I felt like I was right in there when those scenes unfolded. The way Anaya was cautious about how she responded, careful to no perpetuate any stereotypes, I felt that to my core. And the issues we women face, I could empathize with that too.

But it wasn’t just these three ladies that captured my attention. That kept me turning the page. The secondary characters were so integral to this story. The issues that Ms. Ganshert tackled were nothing short of amazing. For one, she chose to tackle them. Two, they were done in such a way that not one overlapped the other. I mean we have racial issues, social class issues, sexual harassment issues, etc. Each time she unveiled a piece of the story my mind was whirling, thinking of times I’ve experienced the same or haven’t and understanding what a person could have been dealing with.

If you don’t find an ounce of empathy growing in your heart after reading this book, I’d ask you to read it again. It’s that great. That life altering.

*I received a free copy from the publisher. This review is my own, honest opinion. I was not required to do a review.

**Review first seen at Soulfully Romantic blog.


About the Author

Award-winning author, Katie Ganshert, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her family. When she’s not busy penning novels or spending time with her people, she enjoys drinking coffee with friends, reading great literature, and eating copious amounts of dark chocolate. You can learn more about Katie and her books by visiting her website or author Facebook page.


Review by contributor, Toni Shiloh

Book Review: Beneath the Surface

Happy Friday, Reader Friends!

Today I’m bringing you a book review of Lynn H. Blackburn’s Beneath the Surface. Leight Watson, the heroine in this book, was adopted from China. She’s in desperate need of protection and Investigator Ryan Parker is just the man.


About the Book

The Blurb: “After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she’d left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer–one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new voice in romantic suspense. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn grabs readers by the throat and doesn’t let go until the final heart-pounding page.”

Links: Amazon, B&N, CBD, Goodreads


Review

This is a great start to a new series. Book 1 in the Dive Team Investigations, Ms. Blackburn has set up a great group that you want to get to know more of. The hero and heroine in this book were refreshingly different in my opinion. The heroine has some anxiety, but she’s determined not to let it shake her. I love that!

The hero wants to do right by Ms. Watson which ranks him high on the hero skill. Throw in an over protective big brother and you have a great romance.

But that’s not all this book is. The suspense is fantastic! I couldn’t figure out who did it until the story revealed it. I loved that because I was guessing throughout the entire story on who I thought was the bad guy. I did feel like there were some loose ends in the bad guy’s story. I’m not sure if those will be revealed in book 2 or I’ll be left to wonder forever.

Regardless, this is a series I’ll continue to read.


About the Author

Lynn Huggins Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. Her first book, COVERT JUSTICE (Love Inspired Suspense), won the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Her second book, HIDDEN LEGACY (Love Inspired Suspense), released in June 2017 and her new Dive Team Investigations series kicks off in March of 2018 with BENEATH THE SURFACE (Revell).

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