Book Review: Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Blackberry Beach
by Irene Hannon
Book 7 in the Hope Harbor series
Rating: 4/5

Irene Hannon delivers another great story set in the beautiful and charming Hope Harbor. I’m a huge fan of this series (still holding out for Charley’s story – “Any day is a perfect day for a Charley’s fish taco”), and wish they’d included a blackberry truffle recipe or at least a place to order them from. LOL.

Returning to the town of Hope Harbor, Katherine Parker is looking to rest and hide away from the scrutiny and false accusations of the paparazzi of Hollywood. But trying to fly under the radar is hard when the owner of the local coffee shop, The Perfect Blend, Zach Garrett, has his eye on you. When they discover that they are neighbors living by Blackberry Beach, a friendship begins and secrets are shared. Can Zach find a way to mend the rift between his dad and himself? Can Katherine decide what’s holding her back from taking on a lead role in major blockbuster film? Can two very different people find a way to heal from their past and be together?

Not only did I feel invested in Zach and Katherine’s relationship, but I found myself rooting for Zach’s aunt and his barista to fall in love. It’s always fun having another relationship in the mix to bring more perspective, and I especially enjoyed Zach’s aunt’s character who always put her career first. Giving her a chance at love was special and beautiful.

“Life is too short to build walls that cut you off from the people you love.”

Highly recommend this book if you enjoy Christian contemporary fiction with romance, humor and delicious food.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Book Review: Bookshop by the Sea by Denise Hunter

Bookshop by the Sea
By Denise Hunter
Rating: 4.5/5

Another winner from Denise Hunter! If you’re looking for a good beach read, this is the book for you. It has some serious moments but also some lighthearted ones too. The chemistry between the two main characters is electric but their personal issues are also real and relatable. 

Sophia Lawson dreads seeing her ex-boyfriend, Aiden Maddox, when he shows up for the wedding of her little sister, Jenna, and his friend, Grant. It’s been years but when she sees him, she still gets butterflies. After the wedding, Sophia has plans to renovate and open her bookshop in a short amount of time in order to have a grand opening with a book signing of Nathaniel Quinn’s newest release. When Aiden isn’t able to leave right away due to a hurricane, he must stay at the same house as Sophia until he get home. Stuck in the same house with Aiden doesn’t help her feelings but Sophia is determined to go through with the plans for her bookshop. When an accident occurs, Aiden decides to stick around and help Sophia get her shop ready for the grand opening event. Can Sophia trust that Aiden won’t leave again? Can Aiden face his fears that he’s not good enough for Sophia?

Denise Hunter is such a talented writer and I always love to read what she writes. She never disappoints and her characters are alway interesting and authentic. Despite his struggles in school, Aiden was still able to be successful with the encouragement of Sophia and the right partnership. Not everyone can go to college or finish college but Aiden didn’t let that deter him from pursuing his dreams. I did get so frustrated with Sophia’s twin brother, sister and father and the way they treated her. I was so glad that part got resolved – although, it resolved rather quickly. 

Highly recommend if you enjoy Christian fiction with romance and second chances.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Book Review: No Unturned Stone by David James Warren

No Unturned Stone
by David James Warren
Book 2 in the True Lies of Rembrandt Stone series
Rating: 4.5/5

This time-traveling saga continues with Detective Rembrandt Stone trying to figure out what went wrong and how he can fix it. You definitely need to read the first book before reading this one or the story won’t make any sense.

Detective Stone has returned to his timeline only to find that tragedy has touched his family and life in unimaginable ways and whatever he did in the past has changed his present timeline. As he wonders why his old boss gave him the mysterious watch, he struggles with the changes in his life and wonders if he can have his former life back. When he gets sent back to another time in the past to solve another murder, Rembrandt hopes that he can make the right change to put his life back together. His relationship with Eve is inevitable, right? While Rembrandt deals with the ramifications from solving that first cold case, he does his best to solve another murder case which may be related to a serial killer. While trying to solve that murder, he also tries to play guardian angel. What will be the consequences of his actions if he tries to intervene again?

In this second installment, the reader learns a bit more about the purpose of the time-traveling watch and why it was given to Rembrandt. Inevitably, Rembrandt can’t get his new present out of his head and is determined to somehow get his old life back. He struggles with the decision of whether or not to change the past – to take action to save lives. As a reader, I completely understand his predicament and his drive to save people, but I also empathize with his inability to comprehend that his actions have severe consequences. I enjoyed this trio’s writing and the filling out of the characters. I like hearing both Rembrandt’s and Eve’s voices. This story is only just beginning. and of course, it ends on another cliffhanger reveal that has me demanding the next book now. LOL.

Highly recommend this exciting time-traveling saga with romance, mystery, and suspense. You won’t want to miss this continuation of the story.

My thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

CelebrateLit Review & Giveaway: A Dark Beauty by Clarissa Kae

About the Book

Book:  A Dark Beauty
Author: Clarissa Kae
Genre: Fairytale
Release date: March 9, 2021

A Victorian Twist on Beauty And The Beast

Bold and brilliant, Georgiana has a gift for fixing machines—from clocks to carriages—while her father has a penchant for finding trouble. In an accidental fire, Georgiana and her father scar the once handsome face of Lord Pichon, cousin to the queen.
Rumors of Georgiana’s gift raise her family’s status. Her incomparable beauty captures the eye of many gentlemen and the wrath of Lord Pichon. Abandoned by his peers and alone in his cold castle, Lord Pichon is determined to enact revenge.
When Georgiana’s father makes a terrible mistake, she sacrifices herself to pay his debt—as a lowly maid in Lord Pichon’s castle.
Her wit and warmth begin to thaw Lord Pichon’s estate, making him question his version of the past. Will her kindness break the beastly lord or will he hold her family hostage forever?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Clarissa Kae is a preeminent voice whose professional career began as a freelance editor in 2007. She’s the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director.Since her first novel, she’s explored different writing genres and created a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her upcoming release. With numerous awards to her name, Clarissa continues to honor the role of storyteller.Aside from the writing community, she and her daughters founded Kind Girls Make Strong Women to help undervalued nonprofit organizations—from reuniting children with families to giving Junior Olympic athletes their shot at success.She lives in the agricultural belly of California with her family and farm of horses, chickens, dogs and kittens aplenty.

My Thoughts

A Dark Beauty
by Clarissa Kae
Book 1 in the Victorian Retellings series
Rating: 4/5

So I’ve never read anything by Clarissa Kae before so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this Victorian retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I was impressed with how natural the story felt and loved the battle of wits between the beauty and beast characters.

The mechanically talented Georgiana de Beaumont can fix anything with moving parts while her father is a genius with picking locks and making impenetrable locks. When a past tragedy and fire scar Georgiana and her family, they unwittingly scar the Queen’s cousin, Lord Pichon. Lord Pichon does not trust the de Beaumont family even when the Queen requests their help to secure an event. When Lord Pichon catches Georgiana’s father in a precarious position, Georgiana vows to serve Lord Pichon in her father’s place. Spirited away from London, Georgiana and Lord Pichon continue to get on each other’s nerves but begin to see that they are not too different especially since they both bare the scars of their past. Can Lord Pichon ever forgive Georgiana’s family? Can Georgiana ever figure out what is happening with her father and the mystery surrounding him?

Many interesting twists and turns make this retelling stand out but still feel familiar to the reader. I was impressed with how the author was able to make the reader care about her characters from the very start of the book. I appreciated the mystery that kept me reading till the end. I found the development of Georgiana and Lord Pichon’s relationship to be extremely natural and not forced.

Highly recommend if you enjoy a clean, Beauty and the Beast retelling with some mystery and humor.

My thanks to the author and CelebrateLit for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

More from Clarissa

As a young girl most of the fairy tales talked about beauty as the only attribute but when Disney came out with Beauty and the Beast, my world was rocked. For the first time the heroine was a woman with a brain and a plan. I began researching the fairy tale and read every version. When my youngest daughter was born (with dark hair and big beautiful brown eyes) I named her Isla Belle. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of writing a Beauty and the Beast retelling. And finally, that dream as come true.

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, March 25

Labor Not in Vain, March 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 26

The Write Escape, March 26

Books and Everyday Life, March 26

Texas Book-aholic, March 27

Breny and Books, March 27

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 28

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, March 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 29

Through the Fire Blog, March 30

Inklings and notions, March 30

deb’s Book Review, March 31

Connect in Fiction, March 31

Inside the Wong Mind, March 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 1

Inspiration Clothesline, April 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 3

To Everything There Is A Season, April 3

Beauty in the Binding, April 3

Connie’s History Classroom, April 4

Blogging With Carol, April 4

A Baker’s Perspective, April 5

Genesis 5020, April 5

Pause for Tales, April 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 6

Godly Book Reviews, April 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 7

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, April 7

Mary Hake, April 7


To celebrate her tour, Clarissa is giving away to two winners one $25 Amazon gift card each!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.