Book Review: The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep

The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep Book Cover

The Noble Guardian
by Michelle Griep
Book 3 in the Bow Street Runners Trilogy
Rating: 4.5/5

Abigail Gilbert is finally free! She is leaving her family who hates her and is going to meet her beloved fiancé and live happily ever after with someone who actually wants to be with her. However, highwaymen run rampant on her journey and threaten her life.

Captain Samuel Thatcher is in charge of keeping the roads safe from highwaymen and steps in to save Abby’s life. The captain is close to retiring but begrudgingly agrees to escort Ms. Gilbert to her destination in exchange for money from her fiancé for her safety.

Unfortunately, this harrying journey is more than either expected. Together they must find a way to coexist and not kill each other as they face many trials and heated discussions.

This fast-paced story is everything you’d want and more. I didn’t quite know what to expect when I started reading this story but I knew it would be good because of Michelle Griep’s ability to weave a fun and provocative tale. When I first started to read, I wasn’t aware it was part of a trilogy. It can definitely be read as a standalone book. After realizing it was part of a trilogy, I found that I had read the previous books but didn’t realize it because that first book was from back in 2015. I will have to revisit those other two books in the series to jog my memory but that isn’t necessary to appreciate the wonders of Griep’s gripping action. The characters are lovely and you feel their tension and conflict. Very well written and highly recommended.

My thanks to Barbour Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received. 

EDIT: Buy this book here!

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.

Book Review: Anna’s Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Anna’s Crossing
by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Rating: 4/5
An Amish Beginnings Novel #1
Revell – Fiction | Historical Romance

As an Amish community sets off for the New World in 1737 to find a place free from religious persecution, Anna König has to go along because she is the only one who knows English. She has heard all of the horror stories surrounding voyages across the Atlantic, along with the challenges in the New World. She is set on returning home if she survives.

The Charming Nancy‘s ship’s carpenter, Bairn, is weary to be taking on more passengers made up of “Peculiars”. He would much rather have more cargo than passengers overloading his ship. Although he’s built bunks in the lower deck for their guests, he is convinced that something bad will happen on the voyage.

When Bairn and Anna meet, he can’t stop thinking about her. She is different and mesmerizing. She is all wrong for him and his lifestyle, but he can’t stop finding ways to interact with her. Even after he is warned to stop associating with her, he can’t seem to help himself especially when Anna starts seeking him out. Will Bairn be able to help Anna when she needs it most? Can Anna help Bairn find his faith? Will the ship make it safely to the New World? What surprises await Bairn and Anna as they fall in love?

I’ve only read one other book by the author, but I really enjoyed reading about Anna and her journey. I was not familiar with the struggles that the Amish went through when they immigrated to the New World, but I was impressed with all the author researched in order to write such great historical fiction. There’s a special place in my heart for Amish fiction and I really liked the intricate story. Her characters are so endearing and I absolutely adored the different relationships in the story.

I recommend this book for any fans of Amish romance and historical fiction.

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

Book Review: Thunder by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Thunder
by Bonnie S. Calhoun
Rating: 5/5
Book 1 of The Stone Braide Chronicles
Revell – Fiction/Suspense/Young Adult

Selah Rishon Chavez lives in a post-apocalyptic America where only remnants of civilization remain after the Time of Sorrows tainted the land with radiation. The day before her 18th Born Remembrance, she goes against her parents’ wishes and goes hunting for a Lander, an alien-like humanoid who is worth a bounty if their distinctive mark remains on their skin after they arrive on their land. As she tries to subdue one, her older brothers take over and steal her prize. The next morning when she wakes up, she finds the Lander mark on herself and confronts her mother. Her mother shares the truth with her and tells her to flee for fear that her father and brothers will kill her. Selah is not who she thought she was. Her father is not who she thought he was. As she tries to make plans to escape and disappear, she realizes that the only one who can help her is Bodhi Locke, the Lander her brothers have taken captive to sell. Can she trust Bodhi with her secret and her life? Will he be able to explain what she is? Will she ever feel like she belongs?

After reading the free pre-quell, Tremors, I was hooked. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything from this author, but I’m a sucker for all the YA post-apocalyptic reads. I could not put the book down. I was so caught up in the world that Calhoun created and had to know what happened next. I haven’t had that in a book in a while. It’s an easy read that’s clean and exciting and fun. I loved the characters and cannot wait to get to know them even more. I am now a huge fan and can’t believe I have to wait so long till the next book in the series comes out. I might just have to reread the story again; it’s that good.

Do yourself a favor and read this book if you want some reading that’s entertaining and just plain fun.

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

The pre-quel, Tremors, is free on Kindle now.

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Book Review: Tried & True by Mary Connealy

Tried & True
by Mary Connealy
Rating: 4/5
Book 1 of Wild at Heart Series
Bethany House – Fiction/Historical

Meet Kylie Wilde. She is done dressing like a boy. She served during the war and is ready to go back east to civilization after she fulfills her promise to homestead and sell her land to Pa. She doesn’t have a problem with other people helping to take care of her, unlike her two older sisters who still dress as men. However, when the local land agent, Aaron Masterson, arrives to make sure everything concerning the homestead is all legal, her secret comes out. Although she is attracted to the handsome Mr. Masterson, can she trust him to keep her secret? Will he even care? Aaron also served in the war and cannot imagine how a woman did the same, but she is still trying to defraud the government. How can he ignore both in good conscience? When problems arise concerning Kylie’s homestead claim, can Aaron convince her to stay? Can they discover who is stirring up trouble for Kylie and for Aaron?

This story is just too adorable in my opinion. I really enjoyed reading about the characters and I cannot wait to read more. The premise is so interesting from a female’s viewpoint of surviving the war. I admire the courage that these women went through to serve their country. The interactions between Kylie and Aaron and her sisters are quite hilarious and endearing. I look forward to reading more about the characters in the next books in the series. I’ve read some of Connealy’s books before and was not disappointed. I am definitely a fan. Her writing is fresh and light. Kylie’s character development was realistic and touching. Aaron’s character development was liberating and inspiring.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a thread of humor.

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

Book Review: With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

With Every Breath
by Elizabeth Camden
Rating: 4/5
Bethany House – Fiction/Historical

After Trevor McDonough beats her in a competition to get a college scholarship, Kate Livingston spends years working her way up the ranks in the government in D.C. to help support her family’s boarding house. When she’s offered a job working with a research doctor from Harvard, she jumps at the chance until she realizes who the doctor is. For some reason, Trevor has changed his last name and offered her a job as his assistant. Trevor is trying to find a cure for tuberculosis and needs her help.

When Kate agrees to their partnership, she tries to discover why Trevor is the way he is, why he changed his last name, and what secrets he’s keeping. Along the way, Kate develops feelings for Trevor despite her loyalty to her late husband and high school sweetheart. Has Kate fallen in love with a man she barely knows? Can Trevor find a cure for tuberculosis before he loses everything? Will his past mistakes put Kate in danger?

I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book by Elizabeth Camden, but I definitely enjoyed her writing style. Her writing transported me into the late 19th century and painted a picture of what life was like for a woman like Kate. I honestly wasn’t too interested in the first 1/3 of the book, but I kept reading hoping the story got better and it did. As someone who majored in biology and is on her way to medical school, I was really interested in the history of tuberculosis and its treatment. I really appreciated all of the research that went into the book. Everything was fairly believable. The characters were well developed and relatable for the most part.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction.

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

Book Review: A Bouquet of Love by Janice Thompson

A Bouquet of Love
By Janice Thompson
Rating: 4/5
Book 4 of Weddings by Design series
Revell – Fiction / Contemporary Romance

After her large Greek family moved from Santa Cruz, California to Galveston, Texas, to open up another restaurant, Cassia Pappas lands her dream job in a flower shop owned by the Rossi family, her family restaurant’s competition. Being part of the family restaurant has always been a part of her life, but Cassia’s love for flowers and floral design has her excited to go to work. Meeting a Greek Adonis named Alex Rigas doesn’t hurt either. Since Alex’s family grows and supplies the flowers for the shop, he and Cassia are constantly thrown together, and they cannot deny the attraction to each other. Will her overbearing and controlling father find out about her friendships with the Rossis? Can she help her father see the truth about how similar they all are?

I’ve been a fan of Janice Thompson for a while and this story did not disappoint. I loved the floral design angle because I grew up wanting to work with flowers. I loved all the fun and quirky characters. The characters are endearing and hilarious. I loved getting to catch up other characters from her previous books too. She’s created such a fun world and even makes me want to go visit Texas – a place this California girl has never been. I also enjoyed the Judy Garland thread throughout the story – such a refreshing perspective. As I read the book, I thought the story read like a movie – after reading that Thompson is a screenwriter, my reaction made a lot of sense.

I definitely recommend this book to those who love romantic comedies like My Big Fat Greek Wedding and love to smile/laugh their way through books.

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

Book Review: The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn
by Lori Benton
Rating: 4/5
WaterBrook Press – Religion/Fiction/Historical

Horrified after witnessing her mother’s murder, Tamsen Littlejohn flees the life she’s known and the controlling stepfather who is forcing her to marry a man she does not love. She pleads with a local frontiersman, Jesse Bird, to help guide her far away across the mountain wilderness to escape her sorrows. After growing up with the Shawnee and being adopted by Cade, Jesse Bird is a man who walks the line between the white man and the local Indians. He is well-equipped to guide Tamsen, but can he protect his own heart from falling for the beautiful girl who is out of his league?

Meanwhile, Tamsen’s stepfather and would-be fiance suspect that she has been kidnapped and will stop at nothing to find her. The search leads them all over the mountains and smack dab in the middle of a conflict between the State of Franklin and North Carolina. Will Tamsen survive the trek and the wilderness living she is unaccustomed to? What will happen when Tamsen’s stepfather and fiance catch up to her? Will the murderer of Tamsen’s mother come to justice? Can love survive so many lies and betrayal?

I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book by Lori Benton, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I was very impressed with the beautiful and well-described historical setting (especially during a time period I was unfamiliar with). The reader becomes fully immersed in the setting and different cultures. I also enjoyed the character development and the fun, interwoven paths that were only revealed at the end. The text is rich with history and made me remember why I enjoy historical fiction so much.

Definitely recommend this book to any lovers of Christian Historical Fiction.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books but was not required to give a positive review.

Book Review: A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert

A Broken Kind of Beautiful
by Katie Ganshert
Rating: 5/5
WaterBrook Press – Fiction|Christian|Romance

For twenty-four-year-old Ivy Clark, life as a supermodel has a shelf life. Her ten years in the biz has shown her that she is nothing more than a shell. When she returns to Greenbrier, South Carolina, for her father’s funeral, she is filled with conflicting and frustrating thoughts. The illegitimate child of her father’s mistress, Ivy has never felt wanted and loved by her father. On top of this tragedy, Ivy is facing the end of her career. Too many young faces are stealing the spotlight from her. When her uncle (her agent) convinces her to do a bridal magazine spread for her stepmother, Marilyn, who designs wedding gowns, she is desperate, yet hesitant to stay in Greenbrier. Marilyn’s nephew, Davis Knight, will be the photographer, and Ivy is uncertain whether or not he is up to the challenge. Tortured by his past, Davis Knight knows all about the world of fashion photography. Having given up his passion in photography, he is reluctant to jump back in, even to help his beloved aunt and benefit his blind sister, Sara. Davis has a gift of seeing more than what’s on the outside; Ivy cannot seem to use her usual seduction tricks on him. Can Ivy find love and redemption in the small town of Greenbrier? Can Davis forgive himself for his past mistakes? Can Ivy and Davis find a way to work together and possibly more?

I found out about author Katie Ganshert on Facebook and was curious to read one of her books. When I found her recent book available on Blogging for Books, I immediately signed up to read it. This story is only her third book. I literally read the book in 4 hours (midnight-4am). I could not and would not put it down. This book is simply one of the best Christian romances I have ever read, and I have read MANY books. The beautifully woven story of faith and redemption is so heart-wrenching and perfectly written. The reader falls in love with the characters and their journeys to redemption. The plot keeps moving along – not too slow or fast. My only concern was that the story ends a little abruptly for my taste. It was a somewhat satisfying end, but the short epilogue was not enough for me. That is how much I enjoyed the book. I just want to thank the author for writing such a powerful story of God’s redeeming love and forgiveness. I was so moved by the story of God’s faithfulness and love, even when we don’t deserve it.

I highly recommend this story for anyone who loves Christian romance. Warning: you may need tissues.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.