Romance

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Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter



MY REVIEW:

Denise Hunter is one of the queens of Christian romance novels. It’s no wonder that some of her books have become Hallmark movies although like most readers I think the books are better! “Sweetbriar Cottage” is probably the most serious book I’ve read by this author but it still managed to hold my attention through each and every page.

The story of a divorced couple who discover they are still married due to a paperwork error, this novel probes the depths of emotion when Noah and Josephine are forced to spend days in close proximity due to a winter storm. Then an even graver situation requires them to rely on each other and personal secrets are revealed that help each of them gain a better understanding of each other.

The author took me through every high and low with her beautifully developed characters. Noah was a near perfect hero but a few negative traits kept him human. Josephine was so in need of encouragement to help her overcome her past – something Noah had never realized. I loved how the couple learned how to depend on each other during such adverse conditions and how that brought them closer together.

This is one of those books that you just have to read for yourself but it is well worth the effort. I will always recommend books by Denise Hunter because she writes about real life situations featuring flawed humans who need each other and a Savior.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Booklook Bloggers. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.

Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.

Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.

But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.

As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including “The Convenient Groom” and “A December Bride” which have been made into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 club and won awards such as The Holt Medallion Award, The Carol Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking good coffee, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband have three boys and are rapidly approaching an empty nest.

You can learn more about Denise through her website www.DeniseHunterBooks.com or by visiting her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/authordenisehunter

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Finding Love at the Oregon Coast by Angela Ruth Strong, Christina Coryell, Heather Woodhaven, & Lisa Phillips



MY REVIEW:

I was intrigued by the setting of this book because my daughter and her husband recently spent nearly a year working as traveling physical therapy assistants in a small town on the Oregon Coast. Other than some scenic photos and a few conversations about the nursing home where she worked, my daughter didn’t supply me with much information to help me imagine their life there. Through the pages of “Finding Love at the Oregon Coast” I was able to get a bit more insight into life in a small town in coastal Oregon.

The short prologue to the book set the stage with bride Christina who realized at the last minute that she had made a mistake and walked out on her wedding. Each of the following novellas features one of Christina’s bridesmaids and their activities shortly after the derailed wedding, ending with Christina’s own story after she decided to spend her honeymoon alone.

I enjoyed each and every one of the novellas as I read about Christina, Liz, Anabeth, and Kadence and the different men who quickly became important to them. Each story was fun and romantic with plenty of humor and drama that kept those pages turning. In my opinion, all the stories ended perfectly as every young woman found the man God had intended for her. I particularly loved the contrast between Christina’s original intended husband and the man the Lord led her to.

Happy endings for all the young women – now you will have to read for yourself to find out who God had waiting for each of them and all the details of how they got together. “Finding Love at the Oregon Coast” is a perfect book to take along on your vacation, even if it’s only in your own backyard.

I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by the author.
A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

When a wedding is cancelled, three bridesmaids and a runaway bride contemplate the true meaning of love in four related romance novellas.

By Heather Woodhaven–Finding Love in Lincoln City: Liz feels stuck at her little beach magazine until a handsome rival sparks more than just friendly competition.

By Lisa Phillips–Finding Love in Oceanside: Anabeth is looking to get out of her rut when a fender bender and a bizarre date with a former marine leads her to a life of love she could never have imagined.

By Christina Coryell–Finding Love in Cannon Beach: Kadence feels the pressure to write a perfect love song, but an unexpected meeting with a musician will have her living one instead.

By Angela Ruth Strong–Finding Love in Seaside: Christina plans to spend her honeymoon alone, but when the bed and breakfast owner offers her a position as cook, she starts to feel at home in his kitchen…and in his arms.

Read the prologue HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Angela Ruth Strong writes light-hearted and life-changing love stories. The “light-hearted” part comes from her ability to get into interesting situations–such as a hamster ball race or riding on the shoulders of a unicyclist. The “life-changing” part comes from the power of God’s love and the beauty of her very own romance. The “story” part comes from her passion for books that she got from her writer mama. And there’s nothing else she’d rather do than share these stories with you. Find out more (than you ever wanted to know) at www.angelaruthstrong.com.
  Heather Woodhaven earned her pilot’s license, rode a hot air balloon over the safari lands of Kenya, assisted an engineer with a medical laser in a Haitian mission, parasailed over Caribbean seas, lived through an accidental detour onto a black diamond ski trail in the Aspens and snorkeled among sting rays before becoming a mother of three and wife of one. Now Heather spends her days celebrating laughter, adding to her impressive list of embarrassing moments, and raising a family of aspiring comedians who perform nightly at her table. She channels her love for adventure into writing characters who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances–whether running for their lives or battling the insanities of life.
   USA Today bestselling author Christina Coryell was born and raised in southwest Missouri, where she lives with her husband and children. She had plenty of people tell her that her degree in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing would be useless. They were probably right. Added to her dual major in History, she became the least likely candidate for nearly every career on the planet, save being a writer. That suits her just fine.

Christina has written from the back hatch of an SUV, in a lawn chair while at soccer practice, in the front seat of her car, with kids climbing on her, and often with extremely loud noise in the background. At least half of her books have been written during baseball games.

She believes great fiction mirrors life, and great life contains a little humor, so it’s difficult not to sprinkle a little funny business throughout her work. Oh…and character is everything.

She loves hearing from readers. You can find all the ways to connect with her at www.christinacoryell.com.

   A British ex-pat who grew up an hour outside of London, Lisa attended Calvary Chapel Bible College where she met her husband. He’s from California, but nobody’s perfect. It wasn’t until her Bible College graduation that she figured out she was a writer (someone told her). Since then she’s discovered a penchant for high-stakes stories of mayhem and disaster where you can find made-for-each-other love that always ends in happily ever after.
Lisa can be found in Idaho wearing either flip-flops or cowgirl boots, depending on the season. She leads worship with her husband at their local church. Together they have two children–a sparkly Little Princess and a Mini Daddy–and an all-black Airedale known as The Dark Lord Elevator. Find out more at www.authorlisaphillips.com

 

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Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh



MY REVIEW:

What an incredible book! Courtney Walsh has written a novel that nailed so many areas to which so many can relate. The pain of not meeting the expectations of others. The feeling of standing on the outside, always looking in. The fear of speaking out for fear of rejection. Knowing you are different than the others whether physically, mentally, etc. and not fitting in and maybe even made fun of because of it. Lane Kelley had experienced it all but had managed to change her life and was on the brink of achieving her dreams when she is called home after her brother is injured in a terrible accident.

For Lane, home was not a comfortable place. Her family and others in the community had unknowingly hurt her with careless remarks about her weight for most of her life. If she could just be there for her brother a few days and go right back to work where she found her true identity, everything would be fine. Of course nothing ever works out as planned and Lane learns that betrayal can come from unexpected sources and so can love.

“Just Look Up” is a story filled with emotions and truth that touched me deeply. I could go on and on and tell Lane and Ryan’s story but it is one that each reader must discover for herself. I will say that it is a story filled with romance, lessons in forgiveness, and learning to trust friends and family but most importantly to look up to the source of it all.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Tyndale Blog Network. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home – a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work – something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.

Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along – if only she’d just look up.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theater director, and playwright. Change of Heart is her fifth novel and is set in the same town as Paper Hearts. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. She has written two additional books in the Sweethaven series, as well as two craft books and several full-length musicals. Courtney lives in Illinois where she and her husband own a performing and visual arts studio. They have three children.Visit her online at www.courtneywalshwrites.com.

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My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho by Susanne Dietze



MY REVIEW:

“My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho” is a mail order bride story with a twist. When Rebecca arrives in Ruby City to marry Mr. Fordham, it is not until she has already tied the not that she learns that she has married the wrong Mr. Fordham. She was supposed to marry his cousin. To make matters worse, the cousins are not on the best of terms due to past differences over a woman. The new husband and wife agree to get an annulment so that Rebecca can marry the right man but accomplishing that is taking much longer than expected. Could it be that she married the right man after all?

I found this novel to be quite entertaining with humorous mix-ups, plenty of action and danger, and of course romance. Tad and Rebecca were both likeable characters who were obviously suited to each other but Theodore offered Rebecca the security she craved. She cared for Tad too but she refused to marry a lawman. Over the course of the story Rebecca learns the importance of placing her trust in God rather than man.

An enjoyable as well as thought provoking novel, “My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho” focuses on finding one’s purpose in where the Lord has placed her and trusting Him to take care of her. This book is an excellent addition to Barbour’s new series. I look forward to reading more of the series as well as other books by Ms. Dietze.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by the Barbour Review Crew. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Journey now to Ruby City, Idaho of 1866 where…
A Marriage Mishap Creates an Awkward Love Triangle in this Silver Mining Town

Looking forward to a quiet life and a full stomach, mail-order bride Rebecca Rice is pleased to marry her shopkeeper intended, Mr. Fordham, until the justice of the peace calls him Thaddeus, not Theodore—proceeded by the title Deputy.

Is it possible to marry the wrong man?

When the newlyweds realize they’ve married the wrong partners with similar names, an annulment seems in order—and fast, since Rebecca’s true intended is impatient to claim her as his own, not to mention Rebecca would never marry a lawman like her father. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca wonders if Tad wasn’t the right husband for her all along. . . .

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she’s the award-winning author of a dozen new and upcoming historical romances who’s seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos.  You can visit her online at www.susannedietze.com and subscribe to her newsletters at http://eepurl.com/bieza5.

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