Category: Book Review

Jude did not believe that the pen was mightier than the pistol when it came to confronting danger.

Book Review | The White City by Grace Hitchcock

The White City is Grace Hitchcock’s debut novel. It is also (I think) the first novel in Barbour Publishing’s new True Colors series, fictional accounts of some of America’s most infamous crimes. The White City is set around the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and the actions of the man considered America’s first serial killer, Doctor H. H. Holmes. Holmes owned a hotel not far from the fair.

A hotel filled with secret rooms that was later dubbed “Murder Castle”.

Winnifred Wylde is a wonderful heroine. She’s clever and funny. She loves reading fiction, especially the thrilling romance novels by Percival Valentine. But she has an unfortunate habit of seeing crimes wherever she looks—possibly the result of being the daughter of a police inspector, but possibly the result of reading too many thrilling novels featuring the noble hero saving the heroine from the clutches of the evildoer.

Winnifred is convinced she saw a man kidnapping a woman from the fair at gunpoint.

But even her police inspector father can’t arrest a man simply on his daughter’s say-so. He needs proof. So Winnie decides to get proof, by taking an undercover job as a secretary with the man she suspects is responsible for the kidnapping. Her father appoints Detective Jude Thorpe to watch over her and help in her investigation.

I will admit I was initially a little dubious about reading a novel with such a setting.

It had the potential to be far too gruesome for my taste. However, it was not. The humour and light-hearted style were the perfect balance for the less savoury elements of the plot, especially as it became obvious that Winnie was right and her boss was up to no good.

There was also the romance aspect. Jude is attracted to Winnie and thinks she might return his regard, but her father has made it clear that Winnie is not to marry a policeman. Her aunt is trying to set her up with a Mr. Covington, who is a perfectly nice gentleman but who doesn’t make her heart race. As an aside, I’m not usually a fan of the other man/other woman plot, but it worked perfectly in The White City.

Overall, The White City is an excellent historical romantic suspense novel.

The mix of fact and fiction reminded me of Elizabeth Camden’s historical fiction, while the light-hearted tone was more reminiscent of Jen Turano or Karen Witemeyer. Recommended.

Thanks to Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Grace Hitchcock

Author Photo - Grace HitchcockGrace Hitchcock is the author of The White City and The Gray Chamber from Barbour Publishing. She has written multiple novellas in The Second Chance Brides, The Southern Belle Brides, and the Thimbles and Threads collections with Barbour Publishing. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in southern Louisiana with her husband, Dakota, and son.

Find Grace Hitchcock online at:

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About The White City

Mysterious Disappearances Taint the Chicago World’s Fair
Step into True Colors — a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?

Find The White City online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction to The White City below:

And don’t forget to check out my Amazon shop for this and other outstanding Christian fiction!

Quote: Do I believe miracles can happen? Sure. But we have to step aside and let them.

#ThrowbackThursday | Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of Where Hope Begins, a powerful novel by women’s fiction queen Catherine West. If you’re looking for a Christian novel that goes deep into a broken marriage, I recommend Where Hope Begins.

About Where Hope Begins

Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness . . .

Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.

But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.

Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations.

My Thoughts

Savannah’s husband of twenty years is leaving her for the other woman. Now the house is empty—their three children are at boarding school, college, and in a grave. Broken, Savannah goes to stay in her parent’s holiday home, where she meets the neighbours: an old woman, her nephew, and his daughter.

A daughter who is the spitting image of Savannah’s dead daughter.

Yes, Where Hope Begins has lots of angst. As the story progresses we find out more about how Shelby died, about how Savannah is convinced Shelby’s death was her fault, and convinced husband Kevin blames her, even though he says he doesn’t. We also see how this tragedy shaped their marriage, and paved the way for it’s destruction.

At the lake house, we see Savannah’s developing relationship with Brock, the bestselling author who is her new next-door neighbour. Her very attractive next-door neighbour. Why not? Her husband has left her for another woman and wants a divorce. That presents Savannah with a dilemma … and us as the reader. We’re convinced we don’t like Kevin, but does that justify Savannah’s growing relationship with Brock?

The intricacies of the relationships are compounded by Savannah’s Christian faith, a faith her husband supposedly shared. As Christians, we have clear views on adultery, but when is a marriage over? When is the wronged spouse allowed to move on?

Where Hope Begins is an intelligent, thought-provoking, and emotional read in a situation where there are lots of hard questions and no right answers.

The writing is excellent, as I’ve come to expect from Catherine West. The characters are well-developed, the plot complex but not convoluted, and the Christian elements threaded through but not overwhelming. Oh, and I cried. It’s been a long time since a novel made me cry.

Recommended for anyone looking for Christian fiction that addresses some of the hard issues of life.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Catherine West

Author Photo: Catherine WestCatherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew).

You can find Catherine West online at:

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Find Where Hope Begins online at:

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You can read the introduction to Where Hope Begins below:

I never imagined then that it would be my breaking place, too. Nor how beautiful the breaking would be.

Book Review | Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

Whose Waves are These is a dual timeline novel, telling two related stories of the Bliss family.

In 1944, Robert Bliss watches as his twin brother marries, then is called up to serve in World War II. In 2001, Annie Bliss is called back to Ansel-on-the-Sea, Maine, but she doesn’t know why. All she knows is that her father and her great-uncle have been estranged for years, so it must be important.

Robert’s story progresses from 1944 to the present.

In the process, we see what happened to his brother in the war, what happened after the war, and brings us (slowly) to Robert’s present—2001. Annie’s story is about her journey back to Ansel-on-the-Sea and her attempt to discover the source of the amnity between Robert and her father.

Annie’s section of the story was written in first person, and Robert’s was written in third person—an unusual and often difficult combination for authors to write successfully. Both stories are written in present tense. I usually find present tense works best in a story that’s set in the present, so thought present tense was an unusual and perhaps a brave choice by the author.

It’s a testament to her writing skill that the combination works.

Yes, the writing was excellent. Well, if you don’t mind first person, and if you don’t mind present tense. I was a little uncertain at first, but was soon drawn in by the power of Robert’s story … and by the mystery of Jeremiah Fletcher.

Whose Waves These Are is a difficult novel to describe.

It has a strong voice, strong writing, strong characters, and a dual-level plot that offers lots of questions and answers them all. Yes, there were a couple of scenes towards the end which I’m not sure worked as well, but overall it’s an excellent first novel. Recommended.

Thanks to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Amanda Dykes

Amanda Dykes is the author of Bespoke: A Tiny Christmas Tale, the critically-acclaimed bicycle story that invited readers together to fund bicycles for missionaries in Asia. A former English teacher, she has a soft spot for classic literature and happy endings. She is a drinker of tea, a dweller of Truth, and a spinner of hope-filled tales, grateful for the grace of a God who loves extravagantly.

Find Amanda Dykes online at:

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About Whose Waves These Are

In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss’s humble words change the tide of a nation. Boxes of rocks inundate the tiny, coastal Maine town, and he sets his calloused hands to work, but the building halts when tragedy strikes.

Decades later, Annie Bliss is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when she learns her Great-Uncle Robert, the man who became her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is now the one in need of help. What she didn’t anticipate was finding a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Long-ago memories of stone ruins on a nearby island trigger her curiosity, igniting a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers.

She joins forces with the handsome and mysterious harbor postman, and all her hopes of mending the decades-old chasm in her family seem to point back to the ruins. But with Robert failing fast, her search for answers battles against time, a foe as relentless as the ever-crashing waves upon the sea.

Find Whose Waves Are These online at:

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#ThrowbackThursday | Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of one of Victoria Bylin’s earlier novels. Someone Like You is a great Christian romance set in the real world.

Victoria Bylin doesn’t shy away from the tough topics.

In fact, anyone who scoffs at romance novels in general and Christian romance novels in particular should read Someone Like You. Whether they like it or not, they can’t call it soft or shallow or any of the other less-than-complimentary terms people use.

As an aside, it’s fascinating how some Christians exhort others to follow their God-given calling at the same time as decrying romance novels. Do they forget God is the author of the ultimate romance? Or reject the idea that He might call authors to model godly sacrificial love in fiction as well as non-fiction?.

Anyway, Someone Like You covers it all.

Faith, loss of faith, premarital sex, single parenthood, men with control issues, men with personality issues, men with faith issues. Fortunately, these issues are balanced out with a good dose of sense.

Zeke Monroe is the General Manager of the Caliente Springs resort, a position that might be temporary if he can’t pull the resort out of a financial tailspin and convince the co-owner not to sell. He’s hoping to land a big contract with Carter Home Goods . . . but doesn’t expect the event planner here to review the resort to be his college girlfriends, Julia Dare.

Julia has recently left her partner, the father of her four-year-old son, and become a Christian—in part, because of the influence of her college boyfriend, Zeke—the guy she dumped to hook up with suave lawyer Hunter Adams, Max’s father.

She’s now struggling to set up an event planning business to support herself and Max, and manage a relationship with a narcissistic ex who seems set on sabotaging her childrearing methods and her life in general. Especially when he finds out she’s in contact with Zeke again. Even though that’s purely professional. Isn’t it?

Basically, Someone Like You had everything a Christian romance should have.

Loveable hero. Intelligent and likeable but flawed heroine. A strong Christian theme that achieves challenging without being preachy. And excellent writing. Recommended.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Victoria Bylin

Author Photo - Victoria BylinVictoria Bylin is known for tackling tough subjects with great compassion. In 2016, Together With You, a story of grace and healing, won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award for Best Contemporary Romance.

Her other books, including historical westerns, have finaled in the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and RT Magazine’s Reviewers Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky.

Find Victoria Bylin online at

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About Someone Like You

Julia Dare is trying to run her own business, raise her young son, Max, and help her widowed mother. Her biggest worry, though, is keeping Max’s father from being a bad influence while still allowing the boy to spend time with his dad. When an account from her event-planning business sends her to Caliente Springs resort, she’s shocked to encounter Zeke Monroe, her college sweetheart.

Zeke is determined to keep Caliente Springs running despite financial trouble. When Julia walks back into his life, he’s surprised at the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client’s wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. With Zeke and Julia both pushed to their limits, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?

Find Someone Like You online:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | ChristianBook |Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction to Someone Like You below:

And click here to find Someone Like You (and other great Christian fiction) in my Amazon store!

 

 

It was said a wolverine could never be tamed. I suspected this was also the case for the Bolsheviks.

Book Review | Romanov by Nadine Brandes

It’s 2019, which means it’s over a hundred years since the Russian revolution overturned the Romanov dynasty, and the rumours about Anastasia have yet to die. In Romanov, Nadine Brandes has melded the facts with the rumours, added a fantastical element of spellmasters and magic potions, and created a brilliant novel in the style of Fawkes (but different).

Anyone who knows the Romanov story will know the basics of the plot of Romanov.

But I’m not going to spoil any of the details for those who don’t. I suspect readers who know the story will find it easier to get into Romanov, but the background knowledge isn’t necessary.

Romanov is the story of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna.

At sixteen, Anastasia is the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas of Russia. But Nicholas is no longer Tsar, and Nastya is no longer a princess. All she and her family want is the opportunity to live their lives as normal Russian citizens in a village somewhere. And Nastya wants to learn the secrets of spells, so she can care for and perhaps even heal Alexei, her younger brother.

The story brings out Nastya’s intelligence, determination, and devotion—both to her family, and to the Russian people. Brandes does a convincing job of showing her as a resourceful young woman who, despite her privileged upbringing, genuinely cares for the people and wants the best for them. But, like the rest of her family, she does not believe the Bolsheviks and the new Soviet government will bring that best.

Imprisonment brings out the best in Nastya and the rest of her family, and many of the guards are loyal to the family while still supporting the Bolshevik cause.

Yes, there is a fantasy element to Romanov—this is a world with magic.

However, the family pray to Iisus (Jesus), and are of strong faith. So while Romanov isn’t an overtly Christian novel, it has definite Christian themes. I enjoyed Romanov even more than I enjoyed Fawkes, and I look forward to seeing what historical characters Nadine Brandes next chooses to feature … and what fantastical twist she will put on them.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Nadine Brandes

Find Romanov online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Click here to find Romanov and other great Christian fiction in my Amazon store.

Most people are waiting for someone to give them hope. If you can do that, then they’re more than happy to give you their money in exchange.

#ThrowbackThursday | Flirtation Walk by Siri Mitchell

I’ve just found out Siri Mitchell has a new book coming … so I’m resharing my review of one of her historical romances, Flirtation Walk.

About Flirtation Walk

West Point History Comes Alive in this Warmhearted Romance

Trying to escape the shambles her con-man father has made of their reputation, Lucinda Curtis arrives in West Point, New York, determined to land a husband from the military academy. Campbell Conklin is first in his class and preparing to embark upon a storied career in the U.S. Army. Lucinda thinks Campbell will make the perfect husband . . . as long as he does not find out about her father.

Seth Westcott also has taken a liking to Lucinda. He’s kind, smart . . . and working extremely hard to graduate last. Tradition states that the worst cadets are assigned to the cavalry out west. And west is where Seth must head to track the swindler who stole all of Seth’s mother’s money. Seth is smart enough to vie for the top spot, but life isn’t fair and this is his chance to catch the man who ruined his family. It’s too bad Campbell is all shine and no substance, but Lucinda will surely see through all of that, won’t she?

My Review

Seth Westcott is the top cadet in his year at West Point Military Academy, a rank which sees him destined for a coveted position in the Corps of Engineers. When he finds his sister has been swindled of the money from the sale of their family farm, he decides a cavalry posting out West would be a better idea . . . somewhere he can protect his sister, and hunt down the swindler. To do that, he’s going to have to become an Immortal—ranked at the bottom of the class.

When Miss Lucinda Pennyworth’s father dies, she goes to stay with family in Buttermilk Falls, near the military academy where her uncle lectures. Here she learns that some of what her father told her over the years wasn’t true, and she begins to question the values he raised her with, and his views on the military . . . and on God.

Lucinda finds herself having to learn a new set of rules.

Rules in which she considers others and doesn’t do everything to best meet her own needs, but considers the needs of others and the lessons mistakes can sometimes teach us. It’s not an easy journey, especially as many of her father’s philosophies and sayings are as real in 2016 as they were for Lucinda in 1855. Lucinda also learns she doesn’t have to look and be perfect all the time:

“I would think that would be tiring, trying to make sure you were perfect all the time.”

Perhaps. But even today many people fall into the trap of believing that it’s enough to look perfect and behave properly, that our underlying motivations and beliefs are less important than the image we project. (Social media doesn’t help this perception, when people curate their lives to only show the nice bits). While this isn’t necessarily a Christian message, it’s still a strong message, one worth thinking about, and Flirtation Walk did it well. I’ve found some of Siri Mitchell’s novels push a theme at the expense of the story, but this didn’t.

I liked the way Flirtation Walk emphasised that God is a god of love, not rules.

But I would have liked to have seen the characters show some faith in God, rather than merely attending church (which seemed to be more of doing the right thing). But I did like the overall theme about the balance between obeying the rules and doing the right thing.

Thanks to Baker Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

Read the introduction to Flirtation Walk below:

And don’t forget to click here and check out Flirtation Walk and other top Christian fiction in my Amazon store!

Quote from Fawkes by Nadine Brandes: Fighting for what you believe in is subjective. We need to fight for truth. Your beliefs can be misguided.

#Throwback Thursday | Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of Fawkes by Nadine Brandes (which previously appeared at International Christian Fiction Writers). Fawkes is an intriguing mix of fantasy and historical fiction, and so is her new novel, Romanov, which releases next month. But now, let’s check out Fawkes!

About Fawkes

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th-century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

You can find Fawkes online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

My Review

Remember, remember, the fifth of November …

Fawkes begins in 1604, not long after King James I has ascended the throne of England and joined the thrones of England and Scotland. The country is filled with tension as two factions fight to rule.

The history books has this fight as being Roman Catholic vs. Protestant, with King James (and Queen Elizabeth before him) being firmly of the reformed Protestant faith. But Fawkes twists this into a fight between Keepers and Igniters, both blaming the other for the plague of stone that is at risk of taking over the land.

Fawkes begins with Thomas Fawkes, the narrator, at boarding school on the eve of his Color Test.

Yes, there are echoes of Harry Potter and Divergent here, in that every adult has a Color which they can control to a greater or lesser extent. Keepers believe each person can and should only control one Color. Igniters believe the Keepers have been hiding the White Light from the public for centuries. Both sides believe the other caused the plague which kills by turning its victims to stone.

Thomas Fawkes is the son of Guy Fawkes, the most famous of the thirteen men who plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament to kill King James I and restore a Catholic king to the throne (I live in New Zealand. We still “celebrate” Guy Fawkes with fireworks on 5 November every year). Those who know history (and know history is written by the victors) know the plot was foiled and Guy Fawkes has gone down in history as the bad guy.

Fawkes places us in the mind of Thomas.

While he and his father have been estranged for years, both are Keepers. At least, Thomas thinks he’s a Keeper … except he keeps hearing the voice of the White Light. He has been raised to believe Keepers are right, and he has no reason to doubt that.

But he’s never actually stopped to consider what is true.

And that’s an unexpectedly modern theme—that what we believe to be right and true isn’t necessarily so. Instead, we need to search for truth. Find truth. And fight for truth.

All of which are difficult in this modern era of #FakeNews.

Anyway, students of history will understand that while Fawkes is trying to persuade us that Thomas Fawkes (and the thirteen conspirators) are the “good guys”, history tells us they are not. That makes the early chapters an uncomfortable read. But students of history will be pleased to know the story does run true to history. Well. Kind of. History doesn’t have Keepers and Igniters and the Stone Plague. Fawkes does not have Roman Catholics and Protestants at loggerheads. But the parallels are there for those who know or care to look.

I’m not a big fantasy reader. But Fawkes worked for me, perhaps because it was a Harry Potter-esque twist on truth that allowed the reader to consider Truth.

It got me thinking without taking me out of the story, and that’s high praise.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

You can read the introduction to Fawkes below:

Who cares if we know ourselves better? The point of life is to know God better.

Book Review | Sweet on You by Becky Wade

I loved True to You, the first book in this series, and I’ve been waiting two long years to read Britt and Zander’s story. Zander was the secondary character who most caught my attention in True to You, so I wanted to know more about him and his unrequited love for Britt.

But when I started the story, I was in that strange place of desperately wanting to read it, but also not wanting to read it … because once I’ve finished it, then the series will be over. And that brought a major reader dilemma: did I want to read it slowly and savour the experience, or did I want to read it quickly to find out what happens.

Okay, I have no self-control when it comes to Becky Wade, so I read it quickly.

On the surface, Sweet on You is a sweet (!) romance about a chocolatier and the novelist who has loved her for close on half his life … and she’s never noticed. Underneath, it’s a story about overcoming the lies we believe about who we are, about finding ourselves in God, and about becoming the people he meant us to be.

Britt’s problem is that she is independent—too independent, in that she’s never learned to depend on God. I suspect this is a problem for a lot of modern women, who have been raised to be independent rather than depending on fathers or husbands. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that we forget we’re supposed to trust and depend on God.

Zander’s problem is the same, but from a different angle.

He’s been praying Britt would fall in love with him for years, yet God hasn’t answered that prayer (I’m sure we all have prayers we’ve prayed for years that God hasn’t answered yet). Zander has allowed that to separate him from God:

“He hadn’t worshipped from a place of gratitude. He’d worshipped from a place of duty.”

I suspect that’s also true of many people. And it’s these internal issues that make Sweet on You such an excellent example of Christian fiction. Let’s face it, I’ve known for two years that Britt was eventually going to fall for Zander. I’ve been looking forward to it, because I love the friends-to-something-more plot. And that played out more or less how every friends-to-more romance plays out.

There was also a suspense plot, which I enjoyed because I’ve always loved romantic suspense. That element of the was less predictable (good) and meant there were external events driving Britt and Zander together. This is the aspect of the plot which kept me reading … but it’s not the element I’m thinking about now I’ve finished.

What makes Sweet on You different is the Christian element, the way it allows us to explore some of the lies of the modern world, and to better understand God’s solutions.

I think I’m going to have to read it again to understand this even better. This time I’ll read slowly.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Becky Wade

Author Photo Becky WadeBecky is the Carol and Christy award winning author of heartwarming, humorous, and swoon-worthy contemporary inspirational romances.

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

These days, you’ll find Becky in Dallas, Texas failing to keep up with her housework, trying her best in yoga class, carting her three kids around town, watching TV with her Cavalier spaniel on her lap, hunched over her computer writing, or eating chocolate.

You can find Becky Wade online at:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

About Sweet on You

Britt Bradford and Zander Ford have been the best of friends since they met thirteen years ago. Unbeknown to Britt, Zander has been in love with her for just as long.

Independent and adventurous Britt channels her talent into creating chocolates at her hometown shop. Zander is a bestselling author who’s spent the past 18 months traveling the world. He’s achieved a great deal but still lacks the only thing that ever truly mattered to him–Britt’s heart.

When Zander’s uncle dies of mysterious causes, he returns to Merryweather, Washington, to investigate, and Britt is immediately there to help. Although this throws them into close proximity, both understand that an attempt at romance could jeopardize their once-in-a-lifetime friendship. But while Britt is determined to resist any change in their relationship, Zander finds it increasingly difficult to keep his feelings hidden.

As they work together to uncover his uncle’s tangled past, will the truth of what lies between them also, finally, come to light?

You can find Sweet on You online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Click here to find Sweet on You and other great Christian fiction at my Amazon shop!

Quote from Falling for You by Becky Wade

#ThrowbackThursday | Falling for You by Becky Wade

Falling for You is the second novel in the Bradford Sisters series, and it’s the story of an internationally famous model and a retired football star.

Here’s the Amazon description:

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family’s small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin–and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he’s never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he’s determined to make her give him a second chance.

When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they’re forced to confront their past and who they’ve become–and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.

My Thoughts

Injury has forced Corbin Stewart to retire from football. He’s bought a house in Shore Pine, Washington, to be near his only remaining family. What he didn’t know was that it also put him near ex-girlfriend Willow Bradford, now on a sabbatical from modelling, living in nearby Merryweather and managing her family B&B.

Charlotte Dixon, Corbin’s twelve-year-old niece, has discovered a family secret.

She’s convinced Willow Bradford will help her uncover the mystery behind the secret, and convinces Corbin to introduce her to Willow. Willow agrees to help, even though helping will bring her into too much contact with ex-boyfriend Corbin. Who is still devastatingly attractive, despite the way he broke up with her four years ago.

Falling for You follows the same pattern as True to You and the free prequel novella, Then Came You. It intersperses the present-day story with letters, emails, and text messages from the past and present. It’s a novel (!) way to tell a story, and it works as we see the past and present stories of Willow, Corbin, and others.

And it’s a strong story.

It’s the romance of two people who messed up years ago, and have to work out if there’s a way through that mess to find happiness. Part of that mess was because while Willow is and always has been a strong Christian, Corbin called himself a Christian but didn’t live the life (football star, remember?). He’s now become a Christian, but finding life hard.

Willow has her own problems with faith, and they are so deep-seated it actually takes her a while to realise they even exist. This, to me, was the depth in the book—Willow coming to terms with her past choices, and what that means for her faith. And there was a fascinating suspense plot around Charlotte’s secret.

I loved True to You because I related to Nora, the librarian. She’s bookish, and that meant I could relate to her in a way I can’t relate to an internationally famous model. But I could still relate to Willow as a woman who has made mistakes, who has to learn what forgiveness really means.

Falling for You is a touching tale of love lost and love found again, underpinned by an intriguing mystery, and the power of God to forgive.

Now I’m looking forward to the third book in the Bradford Sisters series, the story of the pastry chef who doesn’t realise her best friend of forever is in love with her (and has been forever). He knows it. I know it. Her sisters know it. But she doesn’t, and that’s a trope I love.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Becky Wade

Author Photo Becky WadeBecky is the Carol and Christy award winning author of heartwarming, humorous, and swoon-worthy contemporary inspirational romances.

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

These days, you’ll find Becky in Dallas, Texas failing to keep up with her housework, trying her best in yoga class, carting her three kids around town, watching TV with her Cavalier spaniel on her lap, hunched over her computer writing, or eating chocolate.

You can find Becky Wade online at:

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You can find Falling for You online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

You can read the introduction to Falling for You below:

But if one were to marry, Caroline would much rather feel there to be a degree of mutual respect and esteem for herself as a person, rather than mere respect and esteem for her dowry.

Book Review | A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh by Carolyn Miller

Daughters of Aynslley,A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh is my favourite Carolyn Miller book so far.

As usual, the writing is excellent, the sense of period is perfect, and the characters. I liked the way Miss Caroline Hatherleigh went through a complete yet convincing change in her character. I also liked the way what could have been a lighthearted romance showed unexpected depths.

Caroline Hatherleigh has been raised to believe that feelings of love in marriage are for the lower orders, and to consider attending church as a social obligation, not something one does for any deeper meaning. But she wants more from a marriage than mere affection. And her beliefs on faith are challenged when she is shunted off to south Devonshire to visit her grandmother, where she meets Gideon Kirby and his sister.

As she spends time with the pair, they challenge her to consider the reality of God and faith. She is attracted to Gideon, but knows that as the daughter of a Viscount, she’s expected to marry someone of equal rank in society. Anyway, Gideon would have to show an interest in her first.

Gideon is a strong Christian, and a scientist (in a time when the two weren’t considered to be mutually exclusive). He is hunting for fossils on England’s south coast. He describes himself as an undergroundologist, which I guess is the predecessor to our modern palentologist. He is in Devon for two reasons: to hunt for fossils in the same area as the famous Mary Anning, and to protect his sister from the monster she married.

It is these two subplots that raise A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh head and shoulders above most Christian romance.

Emma is hiding from an abusive husband, something which is rarely discussed in historical fiction, and which adds a layer of suspense to the plot. Science and faith rarely mix in our modern world, and Gideon faces some of those challenges in 1818. It’s a fascinating combination of backdrops.

Those who have read and enjoyed Miller’s earlier Regency romances will enjoy glimpses of characters from previous stories, but it doesn’t matter if you haven’t read any. A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh is the first of the Daughters of Aynsley trilogy—which means we have another two Carolyn Miller novels to look forward to. Excellent!

Recommended for all fans of Christian Regency romance, or for those looking for Christian romance that’s beyond the ordinary.

Thanks to Carolyn Miller for providing a free book for review.

About Carolyn Miller

Carolyn MillerCarolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia. She is married, with four gorgeous children, who all love to read (and write!).

A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of Romance Writers of American (RWA) and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. Her favourite authors are classics like Jane Austen (of course!), Georgette Heyer, and Agatha Christie, but she also enjoys contemporary authors like Susan May Warren and Becky Wade.

Her stories are fun and witty, yet also deal with real issues, such as dealing with forgiveness, the nature of really loving versus ‘true love’, and other challenges we all face at different times.

Find Carolyn Miller online at:

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About A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh

Can a very proper noble lady find a future with a fossil-hunting man of faith?

As the daughter of Viscount Aynsley, Caroline Hatherleigh knows every rule of society—and she’s always followed them precisely. It’s simply the way things are done in her world. When she visits south Devonshire and encounters a fossil-hunting scientist and his sister, her assumptions about what is right are shaken. She is suddenly confronted by questions she has never considered about the importance of friendship and faith—and her comfortable understanding about how the world works is thrown off balance.

Gideon Kirby loves science, and hunting down proof of past lives is a joy he won’t willingly give up. But his scientific leanings are being challenged by both his personal beliefs and by local smugglers in the Devonshire countryside. And every day his sister’s illness is becoming more desperate and her care grows more demanding. Adding a proper Viscount’s daughter to the mix is a complication Gideon never expected—especially since he has a secret that demands he stays far away from this young woman he’s falling for in order to protect his beloved sister.

When a mysterious stranger visits the village, that secret is set to be exposed, no matter how Gideon fights. Then tragedy strikes in a smugglers cave. And the threat of scandal may lead to broken hearts and passionless propriety. Will the shaky bond these two have managed to build be strong enough to overcome their differences—or will the trust they’ve withheld from each other end up tearing three lives apart?

You can find A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

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