Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano



MY REVIEW:

I always look forward to Jen Turano’s latest book. I know I can expect to laugh a lot, usually quietly, but I sometimes get some puzzled looks from my husband. But aside from all the merriment her books provide, I know I can always count on a thoughtful and encouraging spiritual thread as well as a delicious romance or two and probably a bit of action, perhaps a little danger too.

“Out of the Ordinary” totally met all my expections. The characters were perfectly quirky yet somehow normal. Not sure exactly how the author manages that! I love the outrageous names she comes up with for those characters. Imagine being saddled with a name like Gertrude Cadwalader! Now Harrison Sinclair seems to be a very proper and dignified name but oh, his sense of fashion leaves something to be desired. I decided that the man might be color blind considering his color choices but he took eccentric fashion to a new level. In real life at a much younger age, I probably would have avoided the man even if he was considered a prime catch – just too weird for me. But I loved Harrison in this book because the author painted him with such a sympathetic brush. And Gertrude had the eyes to see the real Harrison and loved him all the more for his unique fashion sense. How long would it take him to wake up and smell the coffee?

“Out of the Ordinary” was another perfectly charming novel by Jen Turano. I loved reading about all her characters and not only enjoying their antics but watching them mature spiritually as well as find healing for old emotional wounds. What a great book! I look forward to the next installment!

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Rollicking New Release from Humorous Historical Romance Author Jen Turano

Miss Gertrude Cadwalader hoped her position as the paid companion to Mrs. Davenport would be easy. But as she becomes acquainted with her employer, she realizes the wealthy Mrs. Davenport has a strange tendency to be a bit light-fingered with other people’s trinkets. Gertrude is relieved when Mrs. Davenport decides to have a quiet summer away from the social scene–until the woman changes her mind in order to help a young socialite launch into society.

When Gertrude is caught in the act of trying to return one of the trinkets by Mrs. Sinclair, the mother of shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair, the woman jumps to an unfortunate conclusion. Harrison is determined to mend fences with Miss Cadwalader, but he’s unprepared for the escapades a friendship with her will entail.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jen Turano, author of nine books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

 

Mail Order Deception by Heather Blanton



MY REVIEW:

Heather Blanton has become a new favorite author of mine because of her down-to-earth western romances that have just the right amount of mystery and suspense and are often sprinkled with  witty dialogue and situations that keep me laughing. In no way does that detract from her great stories and romance.

“Mail Order Deception” has a brilliant plot of mistaken identities. Reporter Ellie Blair accepts an assignment in which she must pose as a mail order bride, hoping to make a name for herself. Little does she know that her “husband” is not who he claims to be either. Despite their suspicions, Ellie and Jim West find themselves more and more attracted to each other but will true love win when all their secrets are revealed?

This was such a fun book with plenty of action, danger, humor, and romance to keep me turning those pages. I loved Jim and Ellie’s characters and their determination to see justice done. Even though as an avid reader, I pretty much knew how things would turn out, Blanton managed to keep me wondering a few times along the way.

If you have not read any books by Heather Blanton, do yourself a favor and try one or three. “Mail Order Deception” might just be a good place to start.

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Secret identities lead to stolen hearts. Can love survive the truth? Intrepid reporter Ellie Blair wants a story–the one story–that will make her name bigger than Nellie Bly’s. She’ll do anything to get it. Lie, masquerade as someone else … even walk away from a man she could love. Treasury Agent Jim West has to break the back of the Irish Mob and will do anything to make it happen–lie, masquerade as someone else, even sacrifice his heart to see justice done. Blinded by ambition, these two stumble into each other on a Wyoming ranch…so what will it take for them to see past the masks they’re wearing and discover true love?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A former journalist, Heather is an avid researcher and skillfully weaves truth in among fictional story lines. She loves exploring the American West, especially ghost towns and museums. She has walked parts of the Oregon Trail, ridden horses through the Rockies, climbed to the top of Independence Rock, and even held an outlaw’s note in her hand. You can learn more about her and her work at https://ladiesindefiance.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/heatherfreyblanton. Sign up for Heather’s email newsletter to receive the latest book release updates, as well as info about contests and giveaways (https://ladiesindefiance.com/).

Heather is the independent bestselling author of several Christian Westerns, including the Romance in the Rockies series, which has sold over 40,000 copies. Intrigued by the concept of three good sisters stranded in a lawless Colorado mining town, a few notable Hollywood producers have requested the script for her first book in that series, A Lady in Defiance. Heather’s writing is gritty and realistic. In fact, her books have been compared to AMC’s Hell on Wheels series, as well as the legendary Francine Rivers book, Redeeming Love.

She writes Westerns because she grew up on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne movies. Her most fond childhood memory is of sitting next to her father, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester!

She can be reached several different ways:

http://ladiesindefiance.com/
https://www.facebook.com/authorheatherblanton/?ref=hl

https://www.pinterest.com/heatherfblanton/

Christian Westerns is the genre that lets her write about strong pioneer women and men who struggle to find God and then live out their faith in real ways. Romance is always a strong element in her stories because it is such a beautiful gift from God, and a perfect reflection of how he loves His children: sacrificially and lavishly. Heather’s stories aren’t preachy or cheesy, but she hopes they are heart-warming, realistic, illuminating, and glorifying to God. Like good old fashioned Westerns, there is always justice, a moral message, American values, lots of high adventure, unexpected plot twists, and more than a touch of suspense.

“I believe Christian fiction should be messy and gritty, because the human condition is … and God loves us anyway.” — Heather Blanton

 

Finding Love in Eureka, California by Angela Ruth Strong



MY REVIEW:

“Finding Love in Eureka, California” was a thoroughly enjoyable novel that had both light-hearted and thoughtful moments. I loved the fact that both primary characters had flaws which made them all the more life-like and easy to identify with.

Heroine Genevieve is a feisty young woman with many good character traits but because of her background she is afraid to love. Her crush on pilot Matt Lake seems safe enough – until she gets to know him better. Matt is practically engaged to a beautiful woman who is near perfect but tries to ignore the fact that he really doesn’t enjoy her family’s lifestyle that is so important to her. When he finds Genevieve constantly on his mind instead, Matt must make some difficult choices about what is most important to him.

The story-line is wonderful with a vast array of interesting characters, some of whom have disabilities that are not usually featured in the books I often read. This author is not afraid to push the envelope by featuring people who are frequently overlooked and helping her readers to actually see past outward appearance to the inner person. I particularly liked Rosie’s character and the wisdom she had developed as a result of her own struggles.

At times poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny, “Finding Love in Eureka, California” was a joy to read and filled with surprises. I love the way Strong manages to weave so many different elements together to create an entertaining novel that leaves her readers with plenty of food for thought. If you have not read anything by Angela Ruth Strong, I heartily encourage you to do so.

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Raised in a family of six adopted siblings, Genevieve Wilson fights to keep her dysfunctional brothers and sisters together, but everyone still seems to leave. If she’s not good enough to prevent her birth parents or siblings from abandoning her, then there’s no way she would ever be enough to have a lasting relationship with the successful pilot from work…which is exactly what makes him a safe subject for her daydreams.

Matt Lake is dating the perfect woman and working a great job. Life is easy until he starts to enjoy hanging out with the airline employees more than with his girlfriend—one redhead in particular. He tells himself he’s only intrigued by Gen’s quirkiness, but nobody else makes him smile the way she does.?

Can Matt give up the flawless life he’d planned in exchange for the messiness of love? And if so, will Gen risk her heart on reality when it’s never paid off in the past?

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.

The Baby Assignment by Christy Barritt



MY REVIEW:

“The Baby Assignment” is a fast paced mystery/suspense that kept me engaged to the very end. When a hero and heroine who were previously engaged agree to help protect a baby left at the Houston FBI office, their lives become connected again. Despite danger at every turn and a mystery to solve, Tanner and Macy manage to rediscover the spark between them but is it strong enough to keep them together this time?

I enjoyed this book with multiple plot twists and surprises sprinkled throughout. Dialogue was excellent and helped keep it interesting. Loved how quickly Macy became attached to the baby and how protective Tanner was of them both. A major plus was that I didn’t have it all figured out before I was halfway through the story.

As always, this novel by Christy Barritt was entertaining yet contained a faith-filled thread that was encouraging to this reader. I recommend “The Baby Assignment” to anyone who enjoys a short but action filled suspenseful read.

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Tasked with figuring out who left a baby at the Houston FBI office, Special Agent Tanner Wilson has only one clue — his ex-girlfriend’s name written on a scrap of paper. But Macy Mills doesn’t recognize the little girl, and soon someone’s dead set on abducting her…even if it costs Tanner’s and Macy’s lives.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Christy Barritt loves stories and has been writing them for as long as she can remember. When she’s not working on books, Christy writes articles for various publications. She’s also a frequent speaker at various writers groups, women’s luncheons and church events. She’s married to Scott, a teacher. They have two sons, two dogs and a houseplant named Martha. For more information, visit her website at: www.christybarritt.com.

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