Book Review: In Good Company by Jen Turano

In Good Company
by Jen Turano
Rating: 4.5/5
A Class of Their Own Book 2
Bethany House – Fiction | Historical Fiction

Meet Millie Longfellow, a nanny who grew up in an orphanage in New York. Although she works well with kids, Millie always seems to find trouble and mischief and again finds herself looking for another job. After returning to the employment agency, she bumps into Everett Mulberry, who is searching for yet another nanny for the three children that he recently became a guardian to. She must not lose this job and Everett cannot lose another nanny for the summer. Although the children have scared away all the other nannies, Millie is confident in her abilities to handle the children as the family moves to a house in Newport for the summer season.

When Millie learns from the children about their parents’ suspicious deaths, she requests that Everett look into the matter more carefully. As Millie gets closer to the children, she also gets Everett to take a more invested role in their lives; she starts to see that behind all the snobbery and elitism, Everett is someone who cares for others. Can Everett get over the societal barriers that keep him from following his heart? Can Millie let go of her preconceived notions of 1882’s high society?

Even though I was reading a few other books, I picked this one up and finished reading it in a few hours. That should say all I need to about the book. I have not read the first book in the series, After A Fashion, but I just purchased it on my Kindle after reading this book. The writing was so well done and really entertaining. I was immediately pulled right into the world of 1882’s high society. Millie’s character was so endearing and quirky. The plot had some interesting twists that I didn’t see coming but the story was not dark at all.

I only gave it a rating of 4.5 because I felt it didn’t really address the faith aspect as well as I thought it could have. Other than a note that the cover art didn’t seem period appropriate (felt too modern), I felt the story and characters were well written and thoroughly enjoyable. I recommend this book to anyone interested in a historical romance with spunk and fun.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Siren’s Fury by Mary Weber

Siren’s Fury
by Mary Weber
Rating: 3/5
Book Two of the Storm Siren Trilogy
Thomas Nelson – Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic | General

After saving Faelen from Draewulf, Nym finds herself without her special Elemental powers and finds her love, Eogan, has been possessed by Draewulf. As the new king of Bron, Draewulf (as Eogan) has more influence than Nym is willing to allow. She finds a way to travel with a group of delegates from Faelen to monitor and try to stop Draewulf as he returns to Bron.

When Nym forms an alliance with Lord Myles who promises a way to unlock more power and free Eogan from Draewulf’s power, she opens a door that may require more from her than she could even imagine. Can Nym discover a power that will give her the strength to save the man she loves and prevent Draewulf from gaining more power?

I really enjoyed the first book, Storm Siren, and was excited to read the second in the trilogy since the first book ended on a cliffhanger. Nym is such an interesting character and I really enjoyed the glimpses into her inner thoughts and her journey to finding her powers. As much as I enjoyed the continuing saga, I didn’t feel this book was as gripping as the first. It was good but it wasn’t like I couldn’t put it down.

I still recommend the book to anyone who enjoyed the first in the series and enjoys a good young adult story with fantasy and magic.

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: In Firefly Valley by Amanda Cabot

In Firefly Valley
by Amanda Cabot
Rating: 4/5
Book 2 in the Texas Crossroads series
Revell – Fiction | Contemporary Fiction

After losing her job, Marisa St. George returns to her hometown of Dupree, Texas, where she has accepted a business manager position at the newly renovated Rainbow’s End resort. The resort is about to have its grand opening, but they already have one mysterious guest, Blake Kendall, a friend of the owner’s.

Blake is in need of some rest and relaxation, since he’s tried everything to get over his writer’s block. His trip to Dupree could be just what he needs to feel inspired again. As a successful author, he’s kept his identity a secret by using a pseudonym. He believes his stories are just entertaining and nothing more; however, Marisa unknowingly hates his books and how his main character glorifies smoking and especially drinking. The attraction between Marisa and Blake is practically electric, but will Blake’s secret drive them apart? Can Marisa learn to forgive and forget the past?

Amanda Cabot really knows how to create characters that I want to root for and get to know. In this second installment in the Texas Crossroads series, I got to reconnect with the characters from the previous book, At Bluebonnet Lake, and find out what’s been happening. I was immediately thrown into this small Texas town with its quirky but lovable characters and nuances. The characters have to deal with real life situations that make them so relatable. She expertly weaves faith throughout the story in a way that makes me want to read more!

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys light, fun, contemporary romances.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Storm Siren by Mary Weber

Storm Siren
by Mary Weber
Rating: 4/5
Book One in the Storm Siren Trilogy
Thomas Nelson – Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic | General

There’s just something about the first book in a series by a new author that is so fun and exciting to be a part of. Meet Nym, a 17-year-old slave who is living in Faelen, a kingdom at war with Bron. Not only is she a slave, she also has insane powers that she can’t control — she is an Elemental and she should not even exist since there has never been a female Elemental before. As an Elemental, she can influence the weather depending on her moods, but she can’t control her powers. Probably one of the last of her race, she is an anomaly and a self-proclaimed murderer. When a woman of importance sees her powers in action, she immediately buys Nym and has Eogan train her to control her powers. Caught up in a political war, Nym is Faelen’s secret weapon if she can learn to control her powers.

After seeing that this book was nominated for a 2014 award, I knew that I had to read it — YA and by Thomas Nelson? Count me in. I looked the book up and found it was available at my local public library! Woohoo! I had it put on hold for me and was able to go pick it up and read for FREE. I do love a good library find.

I absolutely loved this book. The story is fast-paced and exciting. I loved all of the fantasy and magical aspects of the story. I wish Nym and Eogan were real. HAHA. I enjoyed Weber’s world building and am definitely excited to read more. Of course, the ending had me running to read the ARC for the next book, Siren’s Fury, which comes out next month; it also does not disappoint (review to come).

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fun, exciting, young adult read with fantasy and magical elements.

Book Review: No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason

No Place to Hide
by Lynette Eason
Rating: 5/5
Book 3 of Hidden Identity Series
Revell – Fiction | Romantic Suspense

As a former police officer and detective, Jackie Sellers knows how to handle herself and solve mysteries. What she wasn’t prepared for was seeing a childhood friend’s face across the TV screen saying he’s a terrorist and wanted by the FBI. Ian Lockwood would never do anything like that–would he? Only when Jackie decides to speak with him for herself, will she be able to tell what’s going on; however, she gets the surprise of her life when she breaks into his house and all hell breaks loose. Soon she and Ian are on the run and trying to discover the truth about what really happened before it’s too late and more people get hurt. Can they find a way to exonerate Ian before the real terrorists find them? Who can Jackie trust with her life? Will Jackie’s former feelings for her childhood crush get in the way and jeopardize their mission to prove his innocence?

There’s always something so exciting about Eason’s writing. I absolutely love her books. They have everything in them – action, mystery, suspense, romance, humor, and faith. I love the way she expertly weaves everything together in a way that hooks the reader immediately. I could not put the book down and always look forward to more stories from the author. I really enjoyed getting to know the main characters and loved some of the back stories that gave insight and depth. I found the characters very relatable and likable. Eason is so good at getting the reader caught up in her world and keep the reader guessing at who the real villain is.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a romantic suspense thriller that they won’t want to put down!

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: From the Start by Melissa Tagg

From the Start
by Melissa Tagg
Rating: 5/5
Book 1 of the Walker Family Series
Bethany House – Fiction | Contemporary Romance

Kate Walker has been feeling like a washed up screenwriter of romantic TV movies. Even after winning one Emmy, she feels like she hasn’t written something real, something important, something that makes a difference. Her last relationship broke her heart and she’s been super cautious ever since. When her late mother’s charity organization offers her the writing opportunity of a lifetime, she accepts but she needs a new gig to cover her expenses. When a tornado hits her hometown of Maple Valley, she drives home to help out her dad and other siblings with repairs. She meets her brother’s good friend and a former NFL quarterback, Colton Greene, who is still recovering from a career-ending injury. Colton is dealing with his own demons from his tragic past but is still willing to stay and help Kate’s dad with repairs. When Colton discovers Kate is a writer, he enlists her help to ghostwrite the memoir his agent says he needs in order to stay in the limelight. Is this an answer to prayer for both Colton and Kate? Even though Colton promised Kate’s brother everything would be strictly business, can they deny the attraction and find a way to make their relationship work?

I absolutely adored this story! From the very beginning, I was hooked and needed to read more. Her characters were full of faults and fears that the reader could identify with. I really enjoyed a story with a very prominent faith aspect woven throughout. This story would definitely make a great movie in my opinion. I am definitely excited to read more from the author regarding the Walker family series. I laughed, I cried, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this beautiful story of finding love, acceptance, identity, and peace.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a clean, fun romance with a hint of mystery.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Every Bride Needs A Groom by Janice Thompson

Every Bride Needs A Groom
by Janice Thompson
Rating: 4/5
Book 1 of Brides with Style
Revell – Fiction | Contemporary Romance

Katie Fisher is ready to get married to her long-time boyfriend and settle down in the small town where she’s grown up. Who would ever want to live in the big city? This Texas girl is sure her boyfriend is going to propose soon since he’s been making a couple trips to Dallas – possibly to buy a ring? With her cousin’s urgings and after reading the fine print, Katie enters a contest in Texas Bride magazine to win a custom designer bridal gown. However, when her boyfriend breaks up with her and moves away, Katie is devastated and confused, but her essay about her perfect dress and wedding for the contest wins her the dress and a photoshoot/interview with the magazine. Should she come clean about her lack of a groom and wedding date? Will Katie ever be able to find someone to wear the dress for? Will the manager of the bridal boutique – a pro basketball player helping his mother – allow her to keep the dress? Can they spin the story for the magazine?

I absolutely loved this story by Janice Thompson. I love her characters because they are always so fleshed out. She creates characters that are endearing and authentic. I also love how she incorporates characters from her other books into the story so I can catch up with them. As a woman, I can definitely relate to planning the fairytale wedding and I didn’t want to put the book down to see what happened next. I loved all the small town antics and definitely felt like I would love to live there. I also enjoyed the side story with the grandmother, which had me laughing and crying at times.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a light, clean, fun romance.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Legacy by Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley

The Legacy
by Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley
Rating: 3/5
Book 4 of the Restoration Series
Revell – Contemporary Fiction

Doug Anderson has been living a double life. While at home, he portrays a good son who goes to church and doesn’t drink or do drugs. While at college, Doug has a gorgeous girlfriend that sleeps over and friends that party hard. Doug’s father feels he is to blame for the rift between father and son. Doug feels like he can never live up to his parents’ expectations and all their religious rules. Christina, a family friend, can’t ignore what she’s been seeing on social media about Doug and who he’s hanging out with. When Doug’s double life is discovered, everything starts to spiral out of control. Can Doug find his way back as the Prodigal Son did? Can his father make the right decisions regarding Doug’s life choices? Can Christina find a way to bring him back to his faith?

While I’ve never read anything by Dan Walsh, I have read some books by Gary Smalley and love his writing and insight. I was disappointed by this story though but that could be because this is the fourth book in a series that I’m unfamiliar with. They jump into the story and characters with very little introduction. I had a hard time connecting with Christina and Doug as characters. Doug’s father’s choices also grated on me as I yelled at him through the pages. Obviously, I have a different perspective of how the tense situations should have been handled, but he made me so frustrated. I finally did enjoy the last third of the story enough to grant it 3 stars but unfortunately, the story really felt like it was missing something and didn’t really hook me in the beginning. The book gets 3 stars because despite its faults, it is still a story that needs to be told and I loved the ending.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Creole Princess by Beth White

The Creole Princess
by Beth White
Rating: 4/5
Book 2 of the Gulf Coast Chronicles
Revell – Fiction | Historical Romance

In 1776, the British controlled Mobile, Alabama, where a young (mostly) French girl, Lyse Lanier, grew up as the best friend to the daughter of a British commander at Fort Charlotte. Smart, well read, and opinionated, Don Rafael is quickly impressed after meeting Lyse. Don Rafael is a rich Spanish merchant from New Orleans, who travels along the Gulf Coast. As the colonies begin their journey to independence, Lyse must decide whose side she wants to be on. Tensions are escalating as war seems imminent. What side will Spain take in the war? Can Lyse trust this new man in her life?

Beth White does it again! I absolutely could NOT put the book down once I started reading. The rich details of the time are woven throughout the story in a way that transports the reader to a little known piece of American history. The author is a master at bringing these fictional characters to life. The story was so interesting and intriguing that I had to keep reading late into the night and morning. I had to know what happened between Rafa and Lyse. Their characters were so complex and endearing. I loved learning about Mobile and its role in the American Revolutionary War. I have a special place in my heart for history and was so impressed with all of the research that the author had to do to get all the details just right in her writing.

As much as I enjoyed Book 1, The Pelican Bride, I think I enjoyed The Creole Princess even more. I look forward to reading more from Beth White and hope she never stops researching and writing.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction with some romance and intrigue.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for a review.