Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

December 12, 2016

Because You're Mine {Colleen Coble}

because you're mine colleen coble
Alanna has been plagued by tragedy. So it should come as no surprise that in the beauty that surrounds Charleston, all is not as it seems.

When her husband is killed by a car bomb while their band is on tour in Charleston, Alanna doesn’t know where to turn. Her father-in-law is threatening to take custody of the baby she carries, but the one thing she knows for sure is that she can’t lose the last piece of Liam she has left.

Their manager offers her a marriage of convenience to gain her U.S. citizenship and allow her to escape her father-in-law’s control. It seems like the perfect solution . . . but her doubts begin almost as soon as she arrives at Barry’s family home, a decaying mansion surrounded by swamp.

To make matters worse, Liam’s best friend survived the car bomb. She’s never really liked Jesse and now she can’t seem to get away from him. When he takes Liam’s place in their band, it’s almost more than she can bear.

But then things start happening. Things that could easily cost Alanna her life—or the life of her unborn child. Are they merely coincidences? Or is there something much more sinister at work?

My Thoughts:
When you pick up a book from Colleen Coble, you can be guaranteed you will get that perfect recipe of suspense and romance.

As soon as we were introduced to Alanna and Liam, I fell in love with them. The seemingly perfect couple with love so deep. When Liam is suddenly killed, Alanna's life falls into a tailspin that she must find a way out of - and fast.

Barry seemed like a creep from the moment we met him, and I never trusted him. When he offers to help Alanna I found myself trying to tell her not to do it, but she didn't listen to me, and the result was a new life in a family of deep dark secrets. As we got to know Barry and his family, it becomes evident Alanna has gotten herself into a situation she may not be able to find a way out of.

And then there is Jess. Jess started out as a jerk, but surviving the accident apparently made him rethink his life. As he appears to be working through the issues he once had, I found myself liking the guy and hoping he would get a break in life. I wanted him to find true happiness, as well as figure out who he was deep inside.

As all these characters find themselves in danger, there is only one way they can possibly find survival - through God's grace. These characters called upon God for help, and He delivered in a way only He can.

I thought this book as well written with great characters and enough suspense to keep you turning the pages. It definitely deserves a place on your reading list.

USAToday bestselling author Colleen Coble lives with her husband, Dave, in Indiana. She is the author of dozens of novels including the Rock Harbor Series, the Aloha Reef Series, the Mercy Falls Series, the Hope Beach Series, the Lonestar Series and two Women of Faith fiction selections, Alaska Twilight and Midnight Sea. She has more than 2 million books in print.

December 8, 2016

Holding Out for Love {Debra Clopton}

holding out for love debra clopton
Jillian Sinclair needs a man and she needs him now. She dreams of being a mother-but the doctor just gave her the news that if she plans to carry a baby herself then her time is running out. She also wants true love like her sisters but will she have to settle for something less than that in order to get her baby? The last thing she needs is the only man she's loved and lost coming back to town. 

Undercover cop, Ryan Locke is back in Windswept Bay but for how long? He broke her heart once when he chose his career over her. Can he be the answer to her prayers or will his dedication to justice take him away from her once more? 

My Thoughts:
The final Sinclair sister finally gets her story, and it is a good one.  Jillian is the only one of the Sinclair sisters not to find love yet, but the one who wants to fall in love and be a mother the most. When the doctor tells her babies better come fast, it completely rocks her world.

My heart hurt for Jillian as I watched her struggle with the news the doctor gave her. She tried to keep the news from her sisters to keep them from feeling guilty about their own happiness. Watching Jillian quietly deal with her heartache made me want so much happiness for her.

The moment Jillian and Ryan lock eyes, we know they are meant to be. Unfortunately, people let their heads and their emotions get in the way of what is meant to be far too often. Ryan is dealing with the struggles of his past and the undercover job he just completed. Jillian is dealing with the reality that any man she falls in love with is going to have to know the truth about her ability to have a baby. Both of them seem to be dwelling on their hurt to the point they cannot see what is right in front of them.

I loved Jillian and Ryan’s story. I appreciated the struggle these characters had to go through and how circumstances of life brought them to the place they were supposed to be. I cannot wait for this series to continue with the Sinclair brothers. I know their stories are going to be amazing.

Award-winning, Bestselling author Debra Clopton has sold over 2.5 million books and her holiday story, OPERATION: MARRIED BY CHRISTMAS has been optioned for an ABC Family Movie. Debra is known for her snappy dialogue, cowboy heroes and spunky heroines set in Texas. Her awards include: The Book Sellers Best, Romantic Times Magazine's Book of the Year. She's also a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist, and a triple finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award.

A sixth generation Texan, Debra lives on a ranch in central Texas with her husband Chuck. She loves to travel and spend time with her family. She is the author of the much loved Mule Hollow Matchmakers series where you never know what the Matchmaking "Posse" is going to do next! She's written for Harlequin Love Inspired and Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins Christian and DCP Publishing. 

She is currently working on her 38th novel surrounded by cows, dogs and even renegade donkey herds that keep her writing authentic and often find their way into her stories. She loves helping people smile with her fun, fast paced stories. 
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Sparks of Love {Mary L Ball}

sparks of love mary l ball
Misjudged and accused, Lynette Cunningham walks away from God and everything she loves.

Ten years later, a phone call from father offers hope when he announces he may have a clue to the unsolved crime that forced her to run. She’s scared, but encouraged. Maybe this will clear her name from slander in her small North Carolina hometown.

Before Lynette returns tragedy strikes. A fire destroys her childhood home and kills her father. While she sorts through the ruins and hopes to find the clue, Lynette meets the new pastor, Price Fletcher. She must face the two things that scare her most. The past and a man of God.

The past wants to stay buried. Will Lynette stay alive long enough to prove her innocence and accept the love that is offered?

My Thoughts:
I'm glad I said ‘yes’ to a new-to-me author and read this book. I loved the story, the romance, and the fast-paced suspense this book offers.

This book opens with Lynette leaning her father may have uncovered proof that she was not involved in a crime she was previously accused of. Lynette is excited and ready to return home to learn what her father has in store. But her father dies that night leaving Lynette hurt, confused, and alone. She returns home anyway to sort through his things and decide what to do with the rest of her life.

As Lynette finds herself spending more time in her hometown, she rekindles and the old friendship with Van. I loved how their friendship just picked back up, and they were able to share secrets and be an important part of each other's lives.

I also loved the role Pastor Price played in Lynette’s life. He was a pastor willing to help her through a traumatic event in her life, but I never expected him to fall for her. But Lynette is not looking for a relationship, and especially not from a pastor.

Of course, God does His things His way. As Lynette works through the loss of her earthly father, we get to see her rediscover her Heavenly father. Her life begins to change and things begin to fall into place. All because she was willing to listen and give her life back to God.

The suspense in this book will keep you guessing until the very end. I enjoyed the fast pace and the way the story keeps you engaged. I definitely recommend this book and will be adding more books from Ball to my reading list.

December 5, 2016

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill {Julie Klassen}

the innkeeper of ivy hill julie klassen
On a rise overlooking the Wiltshire countryside stands the village of Ivy Hill. Its coaching inn, The Bell, is its lifeblood--along with the coach lines that stop there daily, bringing news, mail, travelers, and much-needed trade.

Jane Bell lives on the edge of the inn property. She had been a genteel lady until she married the charming innkeeper who promised she would never have to work in his family's inn. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Jane finds herself The Bell's owner, and worse, she has three months to pay a large loan or lose the place.

Feeling reluctant and ill-equipped, Jane is tempted to abandon her husband's legacy and return to her former life of ease. However, she soon realizes there is more at stake than her comfort. But who can she trust to help her? Her resentful mother-in-law? Her husband's brother, who wanted the inn for himself? Or the handsome newcomer with secret plans of his own . . . ?

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane struggles to win over naysayers and turn the place around. Can Jane bring new life to the inn, and to her heart as well?

My Thoughts:
I am not sure what I was expecting from this book, but it fell flat for me. The book started with so much promise. A widow becomes the owner of her husband's inn, but she has no desire to be a part of the operations. A mother-in-law returns to the inn she once adored but is hurt by the fact she is no longer in charge. The two ladies do not care for each other, but they must find a way to save their precious inn.

I found myself torn between rooting for Jane and wishing she would just give up and move on with her life. She sometimes seemed like a woman who could do great things and make a difference in the world. At other times she came across as privileged and whiny, thinking the world should owe her something for the sacrifices she made through marriage.

I did not like Thora from the beginning. She was condescending, hateful, and downright mean. I never felt she was truly on Jane’s team until the very end of the book. Perhaps that was meant to be that way, but I wished she had proved to be a gracious person earlier in the story.

In the end, we see Jane stand up for herself and the inn, but I felt it was too little too late for me. I was bored with the story by that point and just wanting to get to the end. It was a feat I could not enjoy no matter how hard I tried.

In short, I simply did not care for this book.

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also won the Midwest Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award, and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award, and been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. She blogs at

Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

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