Monday, November 19, 2018

My Review - The Liberty Bride by Marylu Tyndall

5 out of 5 stars

The latest in the Daughters of the Mayflower series, THE LIBERTY BRIDE by Marylu Tyndall is historical/romance at its best!

It’s 1812, England and America are at war, and Emeline Baratt is just trying to get home. While sailing for Baltimore on one of her father’s privateer ships, they are intercepted by the HMS Marauder. Taken captive, along with the rest of the crew, Emeline claims to be a British spy to procure her safety. Between her nursing skills and her artistry, she hopes to stay on the captain’s good side, so she can obtain information that will help American forces. However, the perplexing First Lieutenant Owen Masters is making it difficult for her to keep her feelings in check. His hot and cold behavior towards her, keeps her off balance, and she fears he will find out that she is not the traitor she claims to be.

Owen Marshall is on a mission. With the promise of his own ship in return for information on England’s plan of attack, Owen’s uncle encourages him to infiltrate the British navy. Owen has played his part to the hilt but having American prisoners on board is testing his resolve. Especially, one Emeline Baratt. She’s unlike any woman he’s ever known, but the thought of her betraying America is something he cannot tolerate. Though he tries to put space between them, he can’t seem to get her off his mind.

When Captain Blackwell assigns Emeline, Owen, and two other soldiers to go ashore to discover the strengths and weaknesses of the American forces, both Emeline and Owen have a hard time guarding their truth – that they will do anything to ensure England is defeated. Even if it means sacrificing their hearts in the battle.

THE LIBERTY BRIDE has everything you’ve come to expect from Marylu Tyndall. A heroine with pluck, a hero with a heart, and a seafaring adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat. No one tells a shipboard story like Ms. Tyndall. You can picture the ratlines and sails, hear the creaks and groans of the ship, and taste the salty spray from the turbulent ocean. All while enjoying the romance of two people destined to be together. I applaud the work and research that went in to THE LIBERTY BRIDE, the telling of a story that lines up with history. I also enjoyed the history notes at the back of the book that told the rest of the story.

Touché, Ms. Tyndall! Thank you for giving us another captivating story on the high seas.

I received a free copy of this book fro the author but was under no obligation to post a positive review. This review reflects my own opinions.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

My Review - Stratagem by Robin Caroll

4 out of 5 stars

STRATAGEM by Robin Caroll is an enjoyable whodunit, that keeps you on your toes.
Grayson Thibodeaux is a psychologist who uses his skills to set up mind-bending games for corporations looking for team building exercises. He’s good at what he does, so good in fact, his ex-wife’s company hires his team to organize a game that will decide the companies next promotion. But when Grayson’s ex-wife dies during the game, he becomes the main suspect. Though his ex-wife treated him cruelly, Grayson still loved her, but convincing the police of his innocence is proving to be harder than he thought.

I thoroughly enjoyed STRATAGEM. The keen character development enriched an already suspenseful story, and the police interviews were a great way to get to know each person involved. The escape room/team building format made for a unique setting and an intriguing plot. Even though there was plenty of suspects to choose from, I figured out the killer early in the book, but that did not lessen my enjoyment. Definitely a captivating story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

My Review - Lethal Target by Janice Cantore

4.5 out of 5 stars

LETHAL TARGET – A great follow-up to CRISIS SHOT!

Though it was difficult circumstances that led Police Chief Tess O’Rourke to Rogue’s Hollow, she’s beginning to settle in and think of it as home. Like any small town, it has its quirks, and characters, and local politics, but overall, it’s a close-knit community. That’s why the legalization of pot farms and the possibility of selling marijuana within the city limits is causing turmoil in the sleepy town. However, when a teenager is found dead from what appears to be an opioid overdose, Tess is afraid she has an even bigger problem. Without any leads, and a troublemaker from her past taunting her publicly, the citizens of Rogue’s Hollow begin to question Tess’s ability to police the town properly. When a murder points to Tess as the perpetrator, her career begins to spiral. And if that isn’t enough, her relationship with a fellow police officer has hit the skids because of her unwillingness to commit.

Pastor Oliver Macpherson offers a sympathetic ear and a sounding board while Tess struggles. He knows the death of her father, and her loss of faith in God are stumbling blocks preventing her from moving forward, but also sensitive subjects she doesn’t want to talk about. Navigating a friendship with Tess has its boundaries, but Oliver is willing to wait for her to come around.

Juggling personal, professional, and political turmoil, Tess finds herself questioning everything.

Once again, Janice Cantore uses her experience as a retired police officer to pen a believable, plot driven story. Though LETHAL TARGET can be read as a standalone novel, you’ll learn more about the characters by reading CRISIS SHOT. There are several secondary characters that add to the backbone of the story and the community of Rogue’s Hollow, some you’ll like-some you won’t. My only negative is the Fiction/Romance/Suspense label. There wasn’t enough romance to garner its inclusion. I was even disappointed to find out the relationship that was established in the previous book didn’t make it to this one. Other than that, a good police read for anyone who is interested in the genre.

I received a complimentary copy of LETHAL TARGET from Tyndale Publishing, with no obligations to write a review. My opinions are solely my own. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

My Review - Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

3 out of 5 stars

THE PATRIOT BRIDE by Kimberley Woodhouse is the perfect book for those who want to immerse themselves in history. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people.

Faith Jackson is willing to do anything for the cause of freedom. Widowed, wealthy, and fearless, she inserts herself in the dangerous practice of passing messages to a spy among the Loyalist. Even though her meetings with Matthew Weber are brief and in the shadows of darkness, she soon feels a spark of interest that surpasses patriotism.

Matthew Weber has put himself in a dangerous position. With friends on both sides of the political tension, he becomes a spy in both camps. Backing the Patriot’s battle for freedom, he must find a way to get messages to their leaders. When Faith becomes his go-between, his heart becomes involved. When the fear of being captured heightens, Matthew worries that the woman he loves is putting herself in danger. Especially when he finds out an admirer of hers is obsessive in his pursuit for Faith’s affections.

As I said earlier, THE PATRIOT BRIDE is loaded with historical information and references. Since I’m not a history buff, the number of pages dedicated to these facts bogged down the story. I liked the characters of Faith and Matthew, and the references to George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Paul Revere, and Clayton’s interactions with Faith always made me smile. Even so, I am not a fan of novels that are labeled “romance” when the main characters are kept at arms-length for the majority of the book. That being said, if your interest in history is more than the average reader, you will enjoy THE PATRIOT BRIDE.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

My Review - Reckless by Marylu Tyndall

4.5 out of 5 stars
Being the best female pirate isn’t enough for Captain Reena Charlisse. She has two goals she’s determined to achieve—find the Fountain of Youth and find the love of her life. The only problem . . . she might have to sacrifice one for the other.
Leaving his pirate life behind, Fredrick Carlton has chosen to follow God and walk away from the only woman he’s ever loved. Knowing he needs to put as much distance between Reena and himself, Fredrick boards a Royal Navy ship where he can preach the Word of God to the men on board. But joining the Royal Navy doesn’t stop Reena’s pursuit. She “liberates” Frederick from his ship, which labels him a deserter. Wanting to set the record straight, Fredrick demands Reena take him to Kingston, Jamaica where he can plead his case. Reena agrees to take him back, but not before she finds the elusive Fountain of Youth. 
Fredrick battles the feelings he still has for Reena, knowing he cannot serve God and live the life they once shared. But Reena is convinced if Fredrick co-captains her ship long enough, he will once again be lured by the adventures and excitement of sailing the high seas as the pirates they are. And when she finds the Fountain of Youth, they will be able to live their love for eternity.
As always, I couldn’t wait for another installment in the Legacy of the King’s Pirates series. With each generation the adventure grows. Though the story was focused on Reena, I enjoyed the character of Fredrick “Freddy” more. In fact, Reena was downright irritating at times with her self-centered behavior. She insisted she loved Freddy, and wanted to recapture what they once shared, but her obsession with the Fountain of Youth and her lust for eternal youth, constantly derailed her promise to return Freddy to Kingston. On the other hand, I sympathized with Freddy. Even though he felt the pull to his former life, and knew pirate blood ran through his veins, his devotion to God helped him set his course to what was good, and right, and pure. Nevertheless, even with my frustration with Reena, I loved the story. I loved the characters. I loved the adventure. Marylu Tyndall paints scenes that are so vivid—you smell the salt air, feel the roll of the ship’s deck beneath your feet, and imagine the juggle foliage that is the perfect setting for Reena and Freddy to reignite the relationship they once shared. 
Reckless is the perfect blend of romance, adventure, and redemption. The only reason that prevents me from giving RECKLESS 5-stars, is the pacing. The back and forth between Reena and Freddy became a little redundant. But other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and was under no obligation to post a review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

My Review - Before I Saw You by Amy K. Sorrells

4 out of 5 stars

BEFORE I SAW YOU by Amy K. Sorrells was moving, thought provoking, and genuine, making for an emotional but fulfilling read.

Jaycee Givens’ life has been a difficult one. Loss, betrayal, and tragedies have plagued her, even before reaching adulthood. Even so, with her overcoming spirit, she refuses to give up on life, even if at times the obstacles before her seem insurmountable.

Jaycee has a unique circle of friends she has come to rely on and is making the best of her lowly situation. But when Jaycee literally stumbles into Gabe Corwin, a new guy in town, her daily life slowly changes. There is a spark between Jaycee and Gabe, and soon a friendship forms. However, when Gabe finds out Jaycee is pregnant, she feels his judgment in the way he keeps his distance. Gabe eventually apologizes for his behavior and soon becomes one of Jaycee’s strongest allies. Even though Jaycee has the support of her little community of friends, she realizes she has a very difficult decision to make-keep her child or give him the chance she never had.

BEFORE I SAW YOU draws you in, even if the pacing seems a bit slow. Amy Sorrell allows the story to build with an unhurried momentum which may not sit well with all audiences, but I think it allows the reader to absorb Jaycee’s story at a thought-provoking tempo. I would recommend BEFORE I SAW YOU to anyone who enjoys stories about real life without a lot of sugarcoating or frills.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

My Review - Fearful Symmetry by C.F. Dunn

5 out of 5 stars

FEARFUL SYMMETRY – Just a few adjectives to start. WOW! Exhilarating! Suspenseful! Edge of your seat fiction! If you like a story that transports and completely draws you in, you need to read The Secret of the Journal series.

Though this is not my genre of choice-I’m not usually drawn to fiction that departs from reality- this series is the exception. I actually started the series by reading book two – Death Be Not Proud. I agreed to review book two for the publishing house not knowing the series had a Sci-Fi bent to it. So, I read with skepticism but that quickly changed. I was absolutely mesmerized! Wanting to find out more back story regarding the characters, I read book one. Again, I was completely blown away by the suspense, the intrigue, and the imagination of the author. I bought in to Matthew’s situation hook, line, and sinker.

So as not to give away the intricacies of the story, I will only say that C.F. Dunn birthed an exceptional series, hitting all the criteria. The chemistry between Matthew and Emma is off the charts. The intrigue-not knowing what is going to happen to them-is compelling. The suspense of not knowing when Matthew and Emma would finally let down their guard had me reading late into the night. Though I would’ve liked the series to continue, FEARFUL SYMMETRY provided for me a satisfying conclusion. It left me with peace regarding the characters and their future.

The Secret of the Journal series is escapism at its best!

Sunday, June 03, 2018

My Review - Just Let Go by Courtney Walsh

4 out of 5 stars
JUST LET GO by Courtney Walsh is the typical opposites attract story but wrapped in a unique package.

Quinn Collins has been in a holding pattern for the last twenty years. That’s when her mother left town and never came back. However, when she buys the flower shop her mom once owned, and enters a floral contest her mom now judges, Quinn hopes to prove to her mother and herself, that she’s worthy of her mother’s approval. A small-town girl who has never ventured far from home, Quinn’s life is simple and quiet, but that is all about to change.

Grady Benson is a hotshot skier who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. He’s wild and irresponsible, and about to lose his spot on the Olympic team. When he gets into trouble in the small town of Harbor Pointe, Grady figures he’ll pay a fine and be on his way, but the judge has something else in mind. Community service. With only a few competitions left where he can qualify for the Olympic team, and him stuck in the little no-nothing town, Grady feels his chances slipping away.

When Grady is assigned to work with Quinn on the local Winter Carnival, they immediately butt heads. Quinn wants nothing to do with his arrogant, full-of-himself ways, and Grady thinks she’s too up tight for her own good. But, the more time they spend together, the more Quinn sees Grady’s softer side, and the more Grady sees an attractive, caring woman hiding behind a tough-as-nails façade. Though it takes a little time, eventually they come to realize their feelings for each other are genuine. Even so, they never really get a chance to explore those feelings before Quinn discovers Grady has lied to her.

With a lot of back and forth, and push and pull, JUST LET GO is a book you can’t put down for long. I found myself putting it down then picking it right back up again because I wanted to see how Quinn and Grady would navigate the latest obstacle they allowed to come between them. The townspeople of Harbor Pointe and Quinn’s family were lively, providing a colorful backdrop to the story. And with a few unexpected twists, JUST LET GO kept me engaged from start to finish.

I received a complimentary copy of JUST LET GO from Tyndale House Publishers.

Monday, May 28, 2018


Proud to announce my newest release.
REUNION is available on Amazon, Kindle, and
Click on the link to the right to read the first two chapters.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

My Review - The Captured Bride

4 out of 5 stars
THE CAPTURED BRIDE, the next installment in The Daughters of the Mayflower series, was an adventurous ride I thoroughly enjoyed.

Mercy Lytton is no ordinary woman. Raised among the Mohawks, and gifted with extremely good eyesight, she is chosen to be a scout on a dangerous journey. She’s not thrilled to be a part of the ruse to move valuable cargo to a distant fort, but having to work with traitor, Elias Dubois, is almost more than she can handle.

Elias Dubois is sentenced to death. But, when offered a deal in exchange for his freedom, he teams with Captain Matthew Prinn, and Mercy Lytton to move French gold under the guise of being a family who is relocating. Immediately, he clashes with Mercy. She is an anomaly he just can’t figure out. However, his growing attraction to her begins to monopolize his thoughts. He knows Mercy only sees him as a traitor, and a man unworthy of her attention, but if she only knew his deepest secret, maybe she would see the man he wants to be.

THE CAPTURED BRIDE has a little of everything. Romance, drama, tension, twists, tragedy, and adventure. The interaction between Mercy and Elias, is electric from day one, and Matthew was a wonderful father figure. All the characters were skillfully crafted, allowing you to feel their hurts and their triumphs. I loved Mercy’s character because she was sharp and independent, but vulnerable, too. Her struggle to come to grips with her past, while trying to figure out her future, made Mercy a great heroine.

If you romance, colored with action and adventure, you’ll enjoy THE CAPTURED BRIDE.

“I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.”

Friday, May 04, 2018

My Review - My Heart Belongs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado

4 out of 5 stars
MY HEART BELONGS IN GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLORADO was an enjoyable read, though heart-wrenching at times.

Millie Cooper is a professional. So, when she is asked to be a nursemaid to a woman who never approved of her station in life, by a man that told her she wasn’t good enough for his brother, she accepts the job offer, no matter the personal toll it is sure to take on her.

I couldn’t believe the premise for this book. How could any woman see to the needs of a family that treated her so poorly? But that’s exactly what Millie does. She is strong, intelligent, capable, and intends on doing what she was hired to do. Only a saint would be a mid-wife to her ex-fiancés pregnant wife. But Millie seeks God’s guidance and feels this is what He would have her to do. Who could have imaged where this would lead? Certainly not Millie.

This story is full of twists and turns. Ups and downs. Struggles and heartache. An 1800s romance set in Colorado that is sure to please.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

My Review - Shadows of Hope by Georgiana Daniels

5 out of 5 stars
SHADOWS OF HOPE by Georgiana Daniels is a griping tale of love lost, love found, and love deceived. Written with a healthy dose of realism—which I absolutely love—SHADOWS OF HOPE does not sugarcoat or whitewash the effects the loss of communication and the sin of self-centeredness can have on a marriage, nor does it take a messy situation and tie it up in a nice neat bow.

Marissa suspects her husband is having an affair. Knowing she isn’t without fault for the distance in her marriage, she sets out to make things right. Colin is having an affair because he can’t take the pressure at home. With Marissa laser-focused on conceiving, their marriage has spiraled to the point of perfunctory sex in order to get pregnant. Kaitlyn knows her relationship with her professor is wrong on many levels, but what she feels for Colin is worth the risk, until she gets pregnant.

What transpires is a cruel twist of fate. Marissa befriends Kaitlyn when she shows up at the pregnancy center Marissa manages. Feeling lost and alone, Kaitlyn’s relationship with Marissa becomes a lifeline. When Colin finds out Kaitlyn is pregnant, he’s devastated, knowing it will destroy Marissa and jeopardize his chance at tenure, but his desire to be a father also makes it that he wants to be involved with Kaitlyn’s pregnancy. When Colin finally tells Marissa about his affair, and that he and his mistress have conceived a child, Marissa is shattered. Finding out it is Kaitlyn, is beyond anything she ever expected.

SHADOWS OF HOPE is absolutely compelling. As the reader, you know everything that is going on behind the scenes, and the angst you feel builds, knowing Marissa and Kaitlyn are going to be devastated when they find out what they share besides friendship is the same man. I give the author credit for pointing out shortcomings in each of the characters, not just placing the blame on Colin, and even going as far as to portray Colin as a man with a compassionate heart, even if it is skewed. SHADOWS OF HOPE shows how easily people can fall away from their faith when they take even a single compromising step, and how we justify sin when we want what we know is wrong. Marissa put her desire for a child before her husband. Colin put his needs of fulfillment before the needs of his wife. And Kaitlyn justified a sexual relationship because she thought it was based on love. SHADOWS OF HOPE explores infidelity, deception, jealousy, adultery, selfishness, the need for communication in marriage, pressure from outside sources and how it can damage a marriage, etc., etc. The ending might be unsatisfying to some, but it is realistic. A heavy subject, but definitely a story that needs to be told, prompting readers to evaluate what compromises they might be making in their own lives.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

My Review - The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo

4 out of 5 stars
This is only the second book I’ve read from Kathleen Y’Bardo, but I don’t think it will be my last. Anyone looking for a seafaring adventure, or are a fan of MaryLu Tyndall’s, Legacy of the King’s Pirates series, you will want to pick up THE PIRATE BRIDE.

Maribel Cordoba is only twelve when she finds herself aboard Jean-Luc’s privateering vessel. With all family members dead, Jean-Luc makes it his duty to see her safe to her destination. Maribel proves herself to be quite seaworthy and is often found in the riggings overhead acting as a lookout, always with a book in hand. Her tomboyish antics endear her to the men aboard the ship, and her sense of adventure feeds her boldness. But when all is lost, Jean-Luc morns the death of the little girl he longed to protect.

Maribel Cordoba doesn’t remember much about her childhood. Rescued at sea, she has spent the last twelve years in an orphanage with only spotty memories from her youth. The Mother Superior assures Maribel her memories are but dreams, but Maribel feels a pull toward the ocean, and the ships she sees sailing in and out of the tiny inlet below the orphanage.

I really enjoyed THE PIRATE BRIDE. Even though it is book two in a series, I enjoyed it as a stand-alone novel. The characters were rich and intriguing. I relished Maribel’s feisty side, and Jean-Luc was dashing and quite the gentleman privateer. The secondary characters rounded out the cast, with charm and charisma that ran deeper than first glance. And the villain was well written, making the reader hungry for his just punishment. There are some twists I did not expect, and I would have liked to see more story devoted to the reunion of Maribel and Jean-Luc, but that did not interfere with my enjoyment. It would have only enhanced it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.