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: Castle of Refuge by Melanie Dickerson

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.

Castle of Refuge
by Melanie Dickerson
Book 2 in the Dericott Tales series
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction, Fairytale Retelling
Rating: 4/5

Loosely based on the Ugly Duckling, this beautiful story about acceptance was just what I needed to read today. I am such a huge fan of Melanie Dickerson and she did not disappoint. I really liked how she set up the story. I could feel the main character, Audrey, and her feelings of unworthiness that she grew up with coming from her father and her older sister, Maris. I could feel the malice that Maris held toward her younger sister. As someone interested in psych, Maris would be a fascinating character study, but I also felt Audrey’s love for her sister and desire to see her healed. Audrey just desires to belong and be accepted while also pursuing a worthy goal. She finds that by teaching the young girls (no matter their status) to read and write. I also loved seeing how Edwin, the young Earl of Dericott, dealt with the loss of his arm. I didn’t think he would have so much trouble with his balance but his darker thoughts were very authentic and relatable. His fear of rejection and fear of being useless was similar to Audrey’s fears. They were a perfect couple. Audrey’s scars were minimal but still dearly affected her, especially in the eyes of her father. How many times do we allow our scars to define who we are? How many times do we think no one will accept us because we are different? Such a powerful and timely message about unconditional love and the power of belonging!

Highly recommend if you enjoy clean fairytale retellings with a Christian message.

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.

Click here to purchase a copy!

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.