Hearts Stolen by Caryl McAdoo

Hearts Stolen



MY REVIEW:

I thoroughly enjoyed Caryl’s first novel, “Vow Unbroken” so I eagerly accepted her offer of “Hearts Stolen” to review and hoped it would be as good. I was not disappointed. “Hearts Stolen” was every bit as good and even included several characters from the first book. Of course a few of them had grown up a bit. I especially liked catching up with the adult versions of the featured children of “Vow Unbroken”. It took me a bit to make the connection (too many books read in between) but when I did I loved it!

Sassy had been a captive and wife of Indian chief Bold Eagle for nearly five years when she was rescued by Texas Rangers. During the long trek back home, she and Levi Baylor fall in love, although she assumes she still has a husband waiting for her return. Both Sassy and Levi fight their attraction and faithfully honor her marriage vows despite temptation to do otherwise. I have to admit that once again the primary characters were upstaged by a child. Sassy’s four-year-old son Charley who is such a hoot!

I loved everything about “Hearts Stolen”. The plot engaged me from the very beginning and held my interest until the end. Ample drama, danger, and romance filled its pages along with more than a surprise or two – not all good ones. I admired the integrity of both Sassy and Levi and the fine example they provide for the reader.

I look forward to the next installment of this excellent series. I am thinking seriously about purchasing printed copies of each of the books to add to my keeper shelf. Somehow a digital copy just won’t do. Caryl has definitely been added to my growing list of favorite authors.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Unbeknownst to loved ones, a headstrong young wife is snatched off the prairie by two Comanche braves, carried north of the Red River, and traded to their war chief for ponies. After five years, a small detail of Texas Rangers rides into camp, and she determines that day will bring freedom or death. She’ll remain captive no more.

Sassy Nightengale almost gives up hope until a company of Texas Rangers rides into Bold Eagle’s peace camp. She learns they’ve come for the negotiated exchange of stolen white women, except her name isn’t on their list. Purposing in her heart to escape captivity with her blue eyed, four- year-old that day, she does everything she can to be noticed. Famed Texas Ranger Levi Baylor spots the red headed beauty and agrees to the war chief’s price adding his personal horse and weapon to the Republic agents’ offerings.

The trade propels the couple on a trail of joy and sorrow. Sweet love blossoms but must be denied. His integrity and her faith in God keep them at arm’s length, not allowing even a kiss. Sassy’s still married to her son’s father, and Levi’s honor bound to deliver her home—to her husband. Can their forbidden love be made holy? God hates divorce. Is it wrong to hope, expect Nightengale to relinquish his wife and son? Will Sassy and Levi find the redemption they seek for their troubled souls?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Caryl McAdooCaryl has always loved to write and is excited with her first historical Christian romance VOW UNBROKEN from Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, set in 1832 Texas. For every good blessing – including 10 children (4 by birth, 6 by marriage) and 14 grandchildren – she gives God the glory. Caryl lives a country-life with Ron, her husband of forty-six years and four grandsons, outside Clarksville, Red River County Seat, located in far Northeast Texas

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Love’s Fortune by Laura Frantz

Love's Fortune



MY REVIEW:

The gorgeous cover alone would make me want to take home a copy of “Love’s Fortune” but having read the previous two volumes of the Ballantyne Legacy, I knew a fine reading experience would be in store for a few hours of my time. I forced myself to let this novel sit untouched on my shelf until I had fulfilled prior obligations on my review calendar. At long last I was able to settle into my chair with anticipation and I was definitely not disappointed. Although the third installment of the series, “Love’s Fortune” can easily stand alone but why deprive oneself of the pleasurable experience of reading “Love’s Awakening” and “Love’s Reckoning”?

“Love’s Fortune” is Rowena Ballantyne’s story. “Wren” is the only child of Silas Ballantyne’s son Ansel. She has been isolated from the wealth and societal obligations of her Pennsylvania relatives but is suddenly forced to participate in an environment alien to her. Preferring the simple life to which she was accustomed, Wren struggles to fit in and only the friendship of family friend and trusted employee James Sackett offers her any peace. Expected to marry well in order to help promote the family busineses, Wren finds herself falling in love with a thoroughly inappropriate man.

The entire Ballantyne Legacy has been a wonderful reading experience. The author’s attention to detail and historical facts including those that were not covered in my own American History classes, brought our history to life. The characters were quite life-like and it was so easy to either love or dislike them – yes a few of them were very detestable. Although obviously a Christian novel, the spiritual element was not overbearing but was a natural part of the lives of the characters. I liked the characters of Wren and Robert very much. I liked her willingness to do what was required of her yet her determination to think for herself was evident. Robert was a perfect hero – loyal to a fault, honorable, and determined to protect Wren at all times if possible.

I highly recommend “Love’s Fortune” as well as every one of Laura’s other novels. If you haven’t read them, you are missing a blessing.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

With two very different horizons stretched out before her, one young woman stands on the cusp of an unknown future.

Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena “Wren” Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas’s vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Wren makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world–family members she’s never met, dances she’s never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew.

As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes’ shipping line. Even with his help, Wren feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her peril?

With her signature attention to historical detail and emotional depth, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty.

Read an excerpt from “Love’s Fortune” HERE.

Endorsements:

“Laura Frantz surely dances when she writes: the words sweep across the page with a gentle rhythm and a sure step. Her characters in Love’s Fortune are sympathetic yet flawed, making them oh-so-easy to care for, ache for, cheer for. Her historical details are well chosen, and her sense of time and place rings true. Above all, it’s Wren’s journey that engages our hearts and makes the pages turn. Well done, lass!”–Liz Curtis Higgs, New York Times bestselling author of Mine Is the Night

“You’ll disappear into another place and time and be both encouraged and enriched for having taken the journey.”–Jane Kirkpatrick, bestselling author of All Together in One Place and A Flickering Light

“Laura Frantz portrays the wild beauty of frontier life, along with its dangers and hardships, in vivid detail.”–Ann H. Gabhart, author of The Blessed

“Frantz paints a vivid picture of the tough life out in the wild, and yet her characters demonstrate that it was possible to have a wonderful life.”–RT Book Reviews for The Colonel’s Lady

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laura FrantzLaura Frantz is a lover of history, is the author of The Frontiersman’s Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, and The Colonel’s Lady, and currently lives in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons.

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Joyful by Shelley Shepard Gray

Joyful



MY REVIEW:

“Joyful” is a fairly short and quick to read Amish novel set in everyone’s favorite town of Sugarcreek. Familiar characters from earlier Sugarcreek novels make appearances but this third installment of the Return to Sugarcreek series features Randall Beiler and Elizabeth Nolt. In addition to their story, at least two other subplots are woven through the book. The characters are well-defined and the story is homey and charming. “Joyful” is sure to be a favorite of fans of both Amish fiction and Shelley Shepard Gray.

After their courtship ended for all the wrong reasons, Randall and Elizabeth have found their lives to be less than joyful. When Randall’s brother Levi takes it upon himself to hire Elizabeth to help cook and clean house for their family, Randall and Elizabeth are forced to spend time together. Although both of them continue to have feelings for the other, the awkwardness of the situation causes such miscommunication that their getting back together seems hopeless. Will the time spent together change their circumstances for the better or will it prove that it is time for them to move on with their lives?

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm’s needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.

When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious—and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth’s heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.

Elizabeth wants to refuse—to stay far away from the man who hurt her—but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she’s older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.

Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her—or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth—or risk losing his chance at love forever.

Learn more and purchase a copy at Shelley’s website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shelley Shepard GrayShelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Shelley Shepard Gray is heading back to Sugarcreek in JOYFUL! {Book giveaway.}

Don’t miss Shelley Shepard Gray‘s newest book in the Return to Sugarcreek series, Joyful. USA Today raved: “A sweet, straightforward story about how love can be tested by family, faith, and personal insecurity. Enjoyable and heartwarming.”

Click the banner for a chance to win books 1-3 in Shelley’s Return to Sugarcreek series!

Winner announced on Shelley’s blog on 9/30.
triedtrue-400-click
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Tried & True by Mary Connealy

TriedandTrue



MY REVIEW:

I have always enjoyed Mary Connealy’s unique combination of western history, humor, and romance that is often peppered with some action and suspense as well. “Tried and True” lived up to my expectations and more. Mary’s books usually feature strong, independent women and many times, the heroes may be in a position to need their aid. In “Tried and True”, Kylie Wilde is a young woman forced by her family to pose as a man to homestead property against her wishes. Her sisters are more skilled in “manly” skills but all Kylie desires is to live close to civilization where she can shop and attend afternoon teas. Land agent Aaron Masterson seems to come to Kylie’s rescue at every turn. When her homestead is threatened, he finds himself more interested in protecting Kylie than in tending to his work. A strong hero figure who is always ready to rescue Kylie, he also helps her to realize that she is stronger and more capable than she thinks.

Although the owner of a large ranch is determined to take back the homesteads from land he considers part of his ranch, the expected range war is not in this story. In fact, Coulter seems to be an honest and decent, if determined man. Other integral characters other than Kylie’s family include Matt Tucker and Sunrise, a Shoshone woman. “Tried and True” has plenty of action, loads of humorous situations, and a spicy romance. It is a fine example of family loyalty that in turn questions just how far that loyalty should extend. Also a theme of the need to forgive, the story includes a strong example of the disastrous effect unforgiveness, hate, and bitterness can cause the person who refuses to turn it all over to the Lord.

I look forward to the future installments of this series. I’ll admit that I peeked at the preview for “Now and Forever” and can’t wait to read Tucker and Shannon’s tale. I am in hopes that Coulter will be featured in an upcoming installment also.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Tried And TrueTried and True, Book One in the Wilde at Heart series.

Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters!

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister–and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It’s a risk–they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as “boys”–but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?

Learn more and purchase a copy at Mary’s website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary Connealy writes fun and lively “romantic comedy with cowboys” for the inspirational market. She is the author of the successful Kincaid Brides, Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie’s Daughters series, and she has been a finalist for a Rita and Christy Award and a two time winner of the Carol Award. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters.

Find out more about Mary at http://maryconnealy.com/.

Kindle HDX Giveaway and Live Webcast Event with @MaryConnealy!

Don’t miss the first book in Mary Connealy‘s Wild at Heart series. In Tried & True, Mary is back with her signature humor and heartfelt story-telling.

Mary’s celebrating by connecting with readers during a live webcast event and giving away a Kindle HDX.

triedtrue-400-clickOne winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • Tried & True by Mary Connealy

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 23rd. Winner will be announced at the Tried & True LIVE webcast event on September 23rd. Connect with Mary for an evening of swoon-worthy book chat, fun trivia, laughter, a sneak peek at the next book in the Wild at Heart series, and more! Mary will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

 
So grab your copy of Tried & True and join Mary and friends on the evening of September 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!

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