Monday, December 10, 2018

FROM ASH AND STONE by Julie Daines

FROM ASH AND STONE by Julie Daines. This was a really good story. I liked Lady Margaret and really felt for her situation. Angus was a really fun character too. I loved how sticky he was. Their situation showed how hard it was to live during those border wars and how truly one day someone was an enemy and the next the same was an ally. The only problem I had was how quickly her feelings shifted both ways. I guess I didn't feel things as strongly as Lady Margaret did, but as I look back on the story, I can see why it happened. It is a wonderful story full of defiance, love, acceptance, and learning to let others in that I would recommend to anyone who loves a great story. 

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Lady Margaret Grey of Hartfell wants for nothing. The daughter of a knight, she has a loving family, wealth, and even a secret romance with the blacksmith's son. But all that is torn from her one fateful night when her home is attacked and her family killed. She is left with nothing but bitterness, an unwavering mistrust of men, and a strange and mysterious curse that allows her to feel the thoughts of anyone who touches her.
Now, after six years away, Margaret is returning home for one reason: revenge. She hopes that by avenging her family's deaths, she will somehow be freed from her curse. But it won't be easy. the identities of the raiders are still unknown, she has little left to her name, and traveling alone in the Northumbrian hills during the border wars is dangerous. Matters are further complicated by handsome Angus Robson, a Scotsman whose charm threatens to distract her from her plans. But the raiders are closer than she knows, and Margaret soon realizes that what she believed to be a curse may be the key to finding those she seeks. One touch will reveal the truth.


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Monday, December 3, 2018

A WAGER FOR A WIFE by Karen Tuft

A WAGER FOR A WIFE by Karen Tuft. This was a delightful read. I wasn't sure how the title worked into the story or how exactly the wager worked into it. I tend to forget back cover blurbs or don't read them completely, so I realized not far into the story what the wager was. However, upon completion, the title meant even more than it did in the beginning. I loved getting to know the quiet William and his motivations behind his actions. I loved Lady Louisa's strength and courage to act honorably. And the ending was about as prefect as one could get. It did make me realize once again how important honor and the family name were back then. I think it's something we could all take a lesson from today. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a little wager, especially when it comes to love.

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William Barlow's life has been forever altered: his estranged father is dead, and William has inherited the title of Viscount Farleigh. Along with the title comes a neglected estate, an enormous amount of gambling debt, and one astounding acquisition that will turn William's world upside down . . .
It is her first London Season, and Lady Louisa Hargreaves could not be more pleased. She has attracted the attention of the Earl of Kerridge, and the two are on the cusp of an official betrothal. That is, until she learns of a generations-old family debt: her grandfather gambled her hand in marriage and lost, and now Louisa must pay the price. She will marry not the earl but a man she just met, who has taken her freedom in one fell swoop. Even as she struggles to understand the handsome and aloof man she is to wed, Louisa is irresistibly drawn to him—and he to her. But she soon realizes he is harboring secrets, and as her wedding day approaches, she must discover what her future husband is hiding before she makes the gravest mistake of her life.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

LIES, LOVE, AND BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S by Julie Wright

LIES, LOVE, AND BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S by Julie Wright. I should have known better than to start Julie's book when I didn't really have time to just sit and read. Less than a day later, I had devoured it. My kids came home from school too early and naps not long enough, but I couldn't read it fast enough. This was an incredible fun story. I always enjoy being where I haven't been and this book was all over that. I loved Silvia's drive, and Ben's loyalty and how everything turned out in the end. For a couple of chapters I thought I would be mad at the ending, but it ended perfectly. I highly recommend this book. 

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The Lie
Women in Hollywood are just pretty faces. But Silvia Bradshaw knows that's a lie, and she's ready to be treated as an equal and prove her worth as one of Hollywood's newest film editors.
The Love
She and Ben Mason had worked together as editors before Silvia got her big break, so he's the perfect person to ask for feedback on her first major film. But even as their friendship begins to blossom into something more, a lawsuit surfaces, jeopardizing both of their jobs—as well as their fledgling romance. Audrey Hepburn once said: "The most important things is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it's all that matters." Silvia agrees. Or she used to. It's one thing to risk her job and her heart, but can she really risk Ben's too? Does she have the right to make decisions for her own happiness when they affect so many other people?
The Breakfast
With everything to lose, Silvia meets Ben for breakfast at his favorite diner, Tiffany's, for one last conversation before the credits roll on true love.



Monday, November 5, 2018

THE GEM THIEF by Sian Ann Bessey

THE GEM THIEF by Sian Ann Bessey. This was a very engaging read. I sat back and enjoyed everything about it. Who wouldn't love a Mediterranean cruise. It was fun to read about an industry I really know nothing about, and to learn about it mixed with suspense, romance, and the location, you can't go wrong. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to travel with some romantic suspense in the mix. I will be looking into more books by this author.

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Gracie Miller is a small-town girl who has landed her dream job in New York City. As jewelry designer for one of the most prestigious jewelers in the world, she completed a particularly stunning piece, a custom setting for a large pink diamond. But when her billionaire client Mrs. Katsaros comes to repair a minor issue with the setting, Gracie is horrified to realize it is not the ring she created. Someone has forged her design, and the priceless diamond is gone.
Mrs. Katsaros has no desire to bring media attention to the jewelry heist, so she recruits her nephew, Quinn, and his FBI agent friend, Steve, to do some sleuthing off the record. When they discover that the missing ring is just one of many forgeries in the widow's collection, they look to Gracie for help. They need her to act the part of Quinn's fiancĂ©e. From the lights of New York to the shimmering islands of the Mediterranean, Gracie is swept into a thrilling hunt. But amid the search for the elusive thief, she and Quinn find themselves increasingly distracted by their growing feelings for each other. What neither realizes is how close the danger lies and how serious the vendetta is—because, apparently, it is worth killing for.



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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

SQUINT by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

SQUINT by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown. This was an incredible story. It had me captivated till the end. The timid relationship between Flint and McKell is amazing to see develop. How they both help to push one another in their own struggles, and help build and support one another is a powerful lesson that we could all use more of in our lives. I would recommend this book to any and everyone. Absolutely amazing.

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The hero of my comic book can shoot lasers from his eyes when he squints. But it might not be enough to save the Empress. What he'll need most of all is a friend named Diamond Girl.
Flint loved to draw. In fact, he's furiously trying to finish his comic book so he can be the youngest winner of the "Find a Comic Star" contest. He's also rushing to finish because he has an eye disease that could eventually make him blind.
At school, Flint meets McKell. She's new and doesn't seem to have trouble making friends. She does have a problem with how some of her new friends treat this boy they call "Squint." He seems nice and really talented. He also seems like the kind of person who wouldn't laugh at you. That's important, because McKell has hidden talents of her own but is worried about what will happen is she shares them.
Squint is the inspiring story of two new friends dealing with their own challenges who learn to trust each other, believe in themselves, and begin to truly see what matters most.

Monday, October 22, 2018

A CHRISTMAS COURTING by Jennifer Moore, Chalon Linton, Jen Geigle Johnson, Heidi Kimball

A CHRISTMAS COURTING by Jennifer Moore, Chalon Linton, Jen Geigle Johnson, Heidi Kimball. I really enjoyed this collection of Christmas stories. I have read things from all but one of the authors and found that these stories we equal to their other books. Each couple was fun to follow through their journey. I didn't feel like I missed out on anything, although it's always nice to have more with characters you enjoy being with. I loved how some of the others referenced characters from other novels. It felt like an addition to that particular novel. It was a delightful addition to Christmas love stories and a great way to begin the crazy holiday season. I would highly recommend it.

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Love and Joy Come to You by Jennifer Moore
Lord Covington has planned a quiet holiday with his grieving mother but finds his plans rudely disrupted when lovely Cassie Weatherby and her young siblings are invited for Christmas. Despite his reservations, however, he begins to recognize in Cassie a kindred spirit.
A Christmas Courting by Chalon Linton
When obligations keep her in London, Keturah Hensley sadly anticipates missing the festivity of Christmas at her family's country home and the company of her best friend, Christopher Shepherd. When she learns that Christoper will be joining her family in London for Christmas, she is delighted—but her elation is short-lived. Christopher is coming to Town to court the woman of his dreams, and Keturah fears she may have lost the chance to win his love. 
Mistletoe Memories by Jen Geigle Johnson
From childhood, Patrick, Duke of Montrose, knew he'd found his perfect match in Lady Alice Tarrington. When he's sent on a grand tour of the world, Patrick is confident he'll marry his sweetheart upon his return. But when he receives word that Alice is to marry another, will be be too late to claim her heart?
Second-Chance Christmas bry Heidi Kimball
Francie and Gerard have been friends since childhood, but their friendship ended when she declined his heartfelt proposal of marriage. However, when her interactions with Gerard's holiday houseguests provoke in Francie unexpected jealousy, she realizes she must fight for Gerard's affections or risk losing him forever.


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Friday, October 19, 2018

WEDDING BELLES by Melanie Jacobson, Jenny Proctor, Becca Wilhite, Brittany Larsen

WEDDING BELLES: A NOVEL IN FOUR PARTS by Melanie Jacobson, Jenny Proctor, Becca Wilhite, and Brittany Larsen. Well, this was a fun read. A novel in four parts is what the title says, but I took it more as four novellas with interweaving characters. It was fun to see some of the minor characters in one part become main characters in the next. I found myself wondering whom the next story would be about. I loved most of the characters and their story lines. I loved being able to experience the story through different authors, and I found myself wanting more from each of them. This is a fantastic collection of clean, romance stories that anyone who loves weddings, their mishaps, and romance would adore. I'd recommend this to anyone.

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A clean and wholesome romantic comedy told in four parts.

Harper is an event planner with dreams of taking over the Charleston wedding scene . . . until she meets the biggest Bridezilla of her career. She needs the job, but the only way to keep it is to hire a temperamental chef with big dreams of his own. Can Zak’s passion for brilliant food save the wedding? Or will the sparks flying between Harper and Zak burn them both?


Janie is a classical cellist booked to play a posh Charleston wedding. She’s excited to have the lucrative gig until the groom’s brother, Emmett, shows up and asks her to help him play a song he wrote for the happy couple. The only trouble? Emmett is her former high school crush and never did anything but ignore Janie. When chemistry sizzles between them, will Janie have the courage to move beyond past hurts and embrace an unpredictable future? 


Lily has been Dahlia's best friend, partner-in-crime, and now her maid of honor . . . until suddenly there's no wedding, and she's left to clean up Dahlia's biggest mess of all. She's been friends with Deacon, the jilted groom, for just as long, and it's up to her rescue him after Hurricane Dahlia blows through. But as their friendships deepen, so do their feelings. Can she trust their growing chemistry, or is this another disaster waiting to happen?


Sutton is a photographer running from her past. Only the pleas from her best friend to photograph her wedding could bring Sutton back to Charleston. Her plan is to get in and get out before her ex knows she and their daughter are in town. Before she can leave Charleston behind for good, she meets Max , who turns out to be the safe place she didn’t know she was looking for. She’s finally ready to quit running, if only she can find him again…

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

OUT OF THE BEST BOOKS by S. Michael Wilcox

OUT OF THE BEST BOOKS by S. Michael Wilcox. I had the privilege to work with Brother Wilcox at the University of Utah Institute when I was attending school there. He was an amazing teacher there and his book was a work of art. I enjoyed looking at these beloved stories from a different, gospel light. It was interesting to read some personal experiences he had with some of the books as well. Many observations gave me something to think about the next time I pull these stories out. On a personal note, for  me, it was difficult to read those chapters that had so many quotes and citations within the text. I know that wouldn't bother some people, but it was a distraction for me. Dispite that, I would recommend this book to anyone.

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From Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables to Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, the characters of classic literature have stood the test of time. There are countless reasons to pick up a good book—but is it possible to find eternal truths in secular works? In Out of the Best Books, Latter-day Saint scholar S. Michael Wilcox demonstrates that when it comes to learning gospel principles, truth can shine forth in all good works—and literary classics are a prime example.
With underlying lessons on life, faith, and eternal characteristics, secular works can inspire as surely as religious volumes. It is through the experience of characters like Atticus Finch, Elinor Dashwood, and Ebenezer Scrooge that their authors' inspired words have the power to create life-changing lessons for readers. Learn to find inspiration, wisdom, and spiritual knowledge in the age-old classics. God is in every good thing—you just have to look.


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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

SIX SISTERS' STUFF COPYCAT COOKING COOKBOOK



I was excited to try this cookbook. I had my kids go through and sticky note all the recipes they wanted to try. The book is a colorful rainbow of tabs. We have since tried several of the recipes and they have all been a hit. For someone as cooking challenged as I am, the recipes were easy to follow and I knew what most of the ingredients were. In fact I had most of them in my house for the recipes we tried. This is a great book for those who love to eat out, but don't necessarily want to spend the money on it. Click on the link above for a free recipe from the book, and let me know what you think!

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The popular Six Sisters' Stuff bloggers come to the rescue with a new collection of more than 100 easy-to-make recipes of popular restaurant dishes and take-out favorites for busy families.
With more than fifty recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less, this cookbook can help make meal planning a breeze as you mix-and-match side dishes from one restaurant with main courses from another and finish it off with a dessert from a third.
Save money while spending more time with your family. Change dining-out to dining-in for a memorable experience your whole family will enjoy.
Includes copycat recipes for Texas Roadhouse Cactus Blossom, Panda Express Orange Chicken, Olive Garden Chicken Parmesan, Disneyland Monte Cristo Sandwich, Chili's Molten Hot Lava Cake, Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcakes, and Universal Studios Butterbeer.

Monday, October 1, 2018

PROXIMITY by Traci Hunter Abramson

PROXIMITY by Traci Hunter Abramson. This was a great read. Tia was so fun and I loved her relationship with Evan. I was sad when distance seemed to be in the way. Then with Colby, I could tell something was off but couldn't figure out exactly what and why until the end. It is a fantastic read full of suspense and romance. It is a perfect read for anyone who loves a good suspense novel.

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Tia Parker always seems to fall for the wrong guy. But when she meets Evan Spence at a friend's wedding, it seems like she's finally found Mr. Right. Their spark is undeniable, but reality may extinguish any hope for a future: they are separated by thousands of miles. As the couple struggles with the pitfalls of pursuing romance long-distance, Tia is taken off guard by a new arrival in town. Colby Farren is handsome and charming and has made it clear he's interested in Tia. Yet despite his obvious infatuation, Tia can't seem to get Evan out of her mind. Caught between the attention of two very different men, her complicated love life is soon eclipsed by much more sobering concerns. A break-in at her apartment is just the first in a series of bizarre events, each bringing her one step closer to a dangerous liaison. And knowing who to trust could be a matter of life and death.



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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

CHRISTMAS BY ACCIDENT by Camron Wright

CHRISTMAS BY ACCIDENT by Camron Wright. This was a very cute Christmas read. It's more light-hearted than the backcover blurb makes it sound. I enjoyed the little references to miracles that Uncle Mannie slides in as he's talking to Carter, as well as the self discoveries he makes along the way. It's fun to see Carter's attitude toward Christmas change, as well as his realization about writing. Abby is a steady influence throughout the story. It is a great way to get your Christmas season started. I would recommend it to anyone.

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Carter is an insurance adjuster whose longing for creative expression spills over sometimes into his accident reports.
Abby works for her adoptive father, Uncle Mannie, in the family bookstore, the ReadMore Cafe.
Carter can barely tolerate Christmas; Abby loves it. She can't wait past October to build her favorite display, the annual Christmas book tree stack, which Carter despises.
When an automobile accident throws Carter and Abby together, Uncle Mannie, who is harboring secrets of his own, sees a chance for lasting happiness for his little girl. But there are so many hurdles, and not much time left. Will this Christmas deliver the miracles everyone is hoping for?



Wednesday, September 12, 2018

LONG JOURNEY HOME by Sarah M Eden

LONG JOURNEY HOME by Sarah M Eden. Sarah will always be one of my favorite authors. I have loved all of the Hope Springs Novel and this one did not disappoint. I love learning of the trials and hardships of a new nation and how people sacrificed to make a place for themselves. It gives me a good reminder to be grateful for everything I have. Maura's journey is no exception. I knew who I thought she would get together with, but I wasn't sure it was actually going to happen until the very end. The way things played out was so incredible. This is a wonderful novel for anyone who loves a bit of history with their romance and who loves the O'Conner family. They will teach one how to love, work together, stick together, and survive.

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Widowed by war, Maura O’Connor has raised her son alone under the weight of poverty in the unforgiving slums of New York City. That harsh and difficult life has taken a toll on them both. Desperate to save her son from the misery around them, she moves them both to the tiny western town of Hope Springs, where her late husband’s family lives, hoping that the decade of silence between them does not mean she and Aidan will be rejected outright. Her son needs family, and she would endure anything to see him happy.


Ryan Callaghan has worked the land belonging to the late Granny Claire for years, dreaming of one day claiming it as his own. Living in his brother’s home affords him no freedom, no stability, no joy. The arrangement is even harder on his mother, whose health is quickly deteriorating. A risky investment in the land has finally begun to pay off, and he is at last in a position to secure a better future for them both. When use of the home is, without warning, offered to a newly arrived widow and her son, that future is entirely uncertain.


Both Maura and Ryan desperately need the Claire farm, for their own futures as well as those of the loved ones who depend on them. Neither can remain in Hope Springs without the house and land, but only one can claim it in the end.


Longing for Home Series:
Longing for Home
Hope Springs
My Dearest Love
Love Remains
Long Journey Home



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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

THE NEVERLAND INN by K. C. Grant

THE NEVERLAND INN by K.C. Grant. This was a very cute romance. I enjoyed Sarah's character and loved to get to know her. Daniel was a little bit harder to like, although I felt for him in the beginning and the situation he was placed in. I haven't quite put my finger on what I was missing with Daniel. At times I felt like Sarah turned shy when she didn't need to, but I enjoyed the story. The recipes included appeared easy enough that as an untalented cook, I could try them. This is a story that I can recommend for everyone though.

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Daniel Cavanaugh has it all—a lucrative career as a lawyer, a gorgeous fiancee, and his future mapped out for him. So why is he feeling increasingly dissatisfied with his life? When the assignment to handle his lat grandmother's estate takes him to the California coast, Daniel welcomes the escape. Staying at the nearby bed-and-breakfast isn't really his style, but he soon realizes the inn may hold the key to the answers he's been seeking.
Spindrift Cove has few opportunities for a young unmarried woman like Sarah Michaels. Even so, she enjoys her solitude as owner and chef at the Neverland Inn. She thrives on catering to the needs of her guests and treating them to her fantastic cooking. But when Daniel walks through her door, he immediately tests her patience. Though he is handsome and well-bred, she finds him insufferable. Soon, however, the tranquility of the inn works its magic, and Daniel and Sarah forge a sweet and unexpected connection—until the life he left behind in the city demands his return and it seems that a happily ever after may not be on the menu after all.


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