Book Review: Always A Wedding Planner by Various Authors

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

About the Book

Title: Always A Wedding Planner
Authors: RL Ashly; Leeann Betts; Toni Shiloh; Davalynn Spencer
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Publisher: Barbour Fiction
Release Date: June 1, 2021

Love Is Only Business for 4 Wedding Planners
Working together at Weddings by Design in Loveland, Colorado, Felicity, Kiki, Cassie, and Saffron are business partners and the best of friends. Their goal is to make every bride’s special day perfect, but when they start keeping secrets from each other, friendships fray and business suffers.

Felicity Anderson, the cake baker, reconnects with a high school friend at a cake tasting. Could helping his sister plan her wedding lead Will Davenport to his own romance?

When Kiki Bell, the seamstress, inherits her late aunt’s farm, romance is the last thing on her agenda, until a fire brings confirmed bachelor-to-the-rapture Bing Kelley to the scene.

Cassie Blackthorn, the coordinator, is an introvert who meets a party-loving playboy. Can she share her heart safely with him, or is he simply along for the ride?

Chef Saffron Fare can’t let her partners learn she has lost her sense of taste, and with a nosy handyman working on her house and heart, keeping her secret may be impossible.

Could falling into their own romances be the key to working out these friends’ differences and learning to trust each other–and God–with their futures?

Click here to grab a copy!

About the Authors

R.L. ASHLY is a master seamstress with a Master of Arts degree in Literature. A mother and grandmother, she is active in her local writing community, never says never to a home improvement task, and strives to one day write the Great American Novel. This is her first collection.

LEEANN BETTS writes contemporary suspense from Denver, Colorado and wherever her characters drag her. She is the alter-ego of Donna Schlachter, who describes Leeann as cute and perky and everything she’s not.

TONI SHILOH is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace of the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior.

She writes soulfully romantic novels to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

Before pursuing her dream as a writer, Toni served in the United States Air Force. It was there she met her husband. After countless moves, they ended up in Virginia, where they are raising their two boys.

When she’s not typing in imagination land, Toni enjoys reading, playing video games, ​making jewelry, and spending time with ​her family.

Toni is a member of the American Christian ​Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia ​Chapter.

DAVALYNN SPENCER. Cowboys. Gotta love ’em, right? That’s why I married one – and write about others and their sweethearts, whether they live in 1800s Colorado or on a modern California ranch. A background in rodeo journalism helps me add a bit of cowboy reality to those stories.

The Rocky Mountains offer rich settings for my historical novels, from actual cities with Wild West history to fictional towns tucked into the fold where granite ramparts meet grassy plains.

Along with Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley, I’ve also collected three “Bestseller” labels for novellas in Barbour collections, and a Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Western Inspirational Fiction.

My Review

Always A Wedding Planner
by RL Ashly; Leeann Betts; Toni Shiloh; Davalynn Spencer
Rating: 4/5

I always love reading these novella collections because I get to discover new authors and enjoy my favorites. I picked this one up because of Toni Shiloh but in turn, I discovered some other new-to-me authors who I am now interested in. This reading hobby is getting expensive lol. Each story revolves around one of the business partners of the Weddings by Design company located in Loveland, TX.

Finally a Sweetheart by Toni Shiloh
Felicity Anderson is the cake baker.

Hemmed In by RL Ashly
Kiki Bell is the seamstress.

The Worst-Kept Secret by Leeann Betts
Cassie Blackthorn is the coordinator.

Taste and See by Davalynn Spencer
Chef Saffron Fare is the caterer.

As each of these lovely ladies yearn to have a romance and love story of their own, they find their lives interrupted by eligible bachelors who find them irresistible and antics ensue. There’s even some hints of Cinderella but can they manage their insecurities to open up and let someone love them?

I love when I can read a shorter story in a couple hours and laugh and smile over swoonworthy gentlemen who do their best to pursue the lady that makes a bride’s dreams come true. If I had to choose a favorite, I think it was Hemmed In but they are all worth reading.

Highly recommend if you’re looking for a clean, fun, rom-com beach read.

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.

Book Review: Come Back to Me by Jody Hedlund

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

About the Book

Title: Come Back to Me
Series: Waters of Time #1
Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Time Crossing Romance
Publisher: Revell Books
Release Date: June 1, 2021

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That’s exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father’s quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He’s left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to? 

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund is your guide down the twisting waters of time to a volatile era of superstition, revolts, and chivalry in this suspenseful story.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

No 15

Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Connect with Jody: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bookbub | Goodreads

My Review

Come Back to Me
by Jody Hedlund
Book 1 in the Waters of Time series
Genre: Christian Romance, Science Fiction
Rating: 5/5

“She’d never expected to fall in love with the man of her dreams in 1381.”

Wow. Just wow. This book completely took me by surprise and I was up till 4am desperate to know what happened next. It is full of passion and romance with action and adventure plus time-travel. I definitely understand the comparison to Outlander but there’s something so endearing about the swoon-worthy Sir William Durham and his devotion to Marian. With hints of Outlander and Somewhere in Time, the author weaves an exciting and super romantic story about a woman trying to save her sister and her father.

Research scientist, Marian Creighton, is determined to find a cure for her sister. Working for Mercer Pharmaceuticals puts her in a great position, but she knows her sister is running out of time. When her father calls her with cryptic instructions, she doesn’t really put much weight into it because of his crazy theories and obsession with find the cure of all cures. When tragedy forces her to travel to Canterbury, she is determined to discover what happened to him and why someone seems to be after his research. As she follows the clues her father left her, she opens up a whole new world of time travel and decides to risk it all to save her sister and hopefully, her father.

What she experiences and finds in 1381 is not what she was expecting. When Sir William Durham comes to her rescue, she is grateful until she is forced into a marriage with him for her protection. The attraction between the two of them is immediate, but Marian must guard her heart and focus on her task to find the vials of holy water from the Tree of Life that will heal her sister. As she gets to know William, she finds that he may be feared as a knight but on the inside, he is a kind but tortured gentleman. He has his own demons to fight, but he realizes that there’s something about Marian that calms him and gives him peace. What will William do to protect the woman he loves? What will Marian sacrifice for love?

“Each moment with him had been more real than if she’d been living in the present. Every sound of his breath, every touch, every beat of his pulse—everything about him was more vibrant than anything she’d known before.”

The romance is strong with this one. My romantic heart could not take it. LOL. Obviously, in the beginning, all the attraction is mostly lust but as they talk and get to know each other, they fall in love. William marvels at how deeply he could fall in love with someone after his experience with his first marriage.

“He may be stubborn, milady. But he will love you to his dying breath.”

As for the science fiction and time traveling part, the theories about the Tree of Life are interesting and definitely come from history and the search for the “Fountain of Youth” and the author does a decent job of trying to explain the science and background. It’s still not crystal clear the way it all works but I hope to gain more understanding when I continue reading this series (because I will definitely be reading the next books). I was definitely impressed with the author’s world-building and cannot wait to read more.

Though I’ve said there’s lot of romance and passion, this book is still a CLEAN and CHRISTIAN romance novel with aspects of science fiction and time travel in it. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy Christian romance with lots of action and time-travel theories.

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.

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Book Review: Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason

Collateral Damage
by Lynette Eason
Book 1 in Danger Never Sleeps series
Release date: January 7, 2020
Rating: 4.5/5

Wow. That was so good. Lynette Eason always has thrilling stories but this one was extra special. Action, mystery, romance and medicine – what else could a girl need? (I’m not biased as a medical student at all lol.)

Having almost finished serving her time in the military as a psychiatrist, Captain Brooke Adams is injured overseas and sent home. She loves her job being able to help people but has never felt that she really helped any of the service men and women she saw in Afghanistan. She is determined to try to forget what happened and move on by not seeing any veterans in her new practice. That all changes when retiree Sergeant First Class Asher James walks back into her life just as bullets are flying. Unsure of why she’s being pursued, she and Asher must figure out what the bad guys are after and how to keep each other safe along the way. Will the sparks flying between these two souls help them deal with their PTSD and bring them closer together?

The military details are very authentic sounding and well explained for a non-military person like myself. It was a bit confusing in the first chapter with all the military lingo, but after re-reading it a second time, it made more sense. I guess I needed a warmup. 😉

I also love the way that Eason incorporates her faith into these stories. She has a way of weaving it all into the story without any cringe.

Her characters are flawed and need time to grow and develop. Mental health is such a huge topic in this day and age, especially with veterans. The story could be taken from the headlines – I love that she writes about what’s current and relevant for today.

Highly recommend to anyone who loves Christian military action, romance, mystery, and suspense.

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

Book Review: Fire & Ice by Mary Connealy

Fire & Ice
by Mary Connealy
Rating: 4/5
Book 3 of the Wild at Heart Series
Bethany House – Fiction | Christian | Historical Romance

Bailey Wilde is the last of the Wilde sisters to stick around in the West. She is also one of the best (and smartest) ranchers in the area. Ever since she served in the Civil War, she’s disguised herself as a young man and worked hard to be the son her father wanted and loved. Her only real competition is Gage Coulter, who is trying to gain back access to his canyon of 5,000 acres of grass for his cattle. Ever since he found out that Mr. Bailey Wilde had set up a homestead at the entrance to his canyon, he’s been trying to find a way to buy the land or barter a deal to trespass through her land to give his cattle access. He’s determined and will get his way, despite any warning gunshots that Wilde shoots his way.

When Gage finally figures out the truth about Miss Bailey Wilde, he continues to try to barter a deal with her, but she refuses. When Gage shows her his plans to force another opening to the canyon, Bailey gives up. She will have to find another place for her herd to graze. She is disappointed but still determined to make this work.

After a long and lonely winter, Bailey is overjoyed to see Gage, despite the circumstances. She is shocked when he proposes marriage, in order to fool his mother, who is coming to visit him. In her loneliness, she decides to marry Gage in exchange for the rights to the canyon and her homestead. Can Bailey and Gage find a way to make this marriage work? Can they learn to trust and respect each other’s skills? Can they learn to let go of their pasts and see the promising future that’s before them?

Ending this novel was bittersweet. I didn’t want the series to end. I’ve enjoyed all three books in the Wild at Heart series and I can’t wait to see what else Mary Connealy comes up with next. She is incredibly talented at creating characters that are flawed and lovable and frustrating and endearing! I love all of the humor and faith she infuses into her stories. She pulls me right into the historical setting and I’m not content until I find out what exactly happens to the main characters.

Although you could read this book by itself, I would recommend reading the other two books first just to be more familiar with some of the other characters. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a great historical romance with comedy!

I received this book for free from the publisher and NetGalley but was not required to give a positive review.