Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Eye for an Eye by Stephanie Black - blog tour/giveaway

 

Eye for an Eye

Author: Stephanie Black 

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Novella: 80 pages

Published: May 17th, 2021

FTC FYI: I received a Netgalley copy approved from the publisher. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

Goodreads Summary

After a family tragedy nearly destroyed Mallory Ingram, she's fighting to get her life on track. When her sister and brother-in-law open their home to her, Mallory is certain that moving across the country will allow her to focus on a hopeful future. That future looks even more promising when her enrollment at a local university connects her with the charming Darien Thomas.

However, when illegal drugs turn up at her sister's house, the first person accused is Mallory, and suddenly, she doesn't know who to trust. Mounting evidence of Mallory's guilt is straining the tenuous bond she has just begun to develop with her sister after years of living separately. Desperate to prove her innocence and keep the harmful patterns of the past from hijacking her future, Mallory reaches for Darien's help to discover the truth.

But the truth may be more dangerous than any of them imagine.

My review

I love a quick, exciting read and Eye for an Eye fit the bill. Stephanie Black has a true talent at weaving an excellent and thrilling mystery. This novella reads quickly because the suspense level is high right from the start and I knew I had to keep reading to find out what happens! And it delivers a pinch of romance as a reward. You instantly feel for Mallory and even though her past may not be perfect, she finds a friend in Darien. Together they try to solve who is quickly trying to ruin her life. Of course, it was a well written, quick novella from the suspense queen Stephanie Black. 

Purchase links

Amazon Kindle / Amazon Paperback / Deseret Book / Seagull Book

Author links

Amazon author page / Goodreads / Website 





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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Royal Spy by Heather Frost - blog tour

 

Royal Spy

Author: Heather Frost

Published: May 20th, 2021

FTC FYI: I received an ARC from the author. All views and opinions expressed are my own. 

Goodreads Summary

A DECOY recruited to be a spy.
A PRINCE compelled to become an assassin.
A SERJAH pressured by an unwanted crown.
A WORLD covered in shadows.

Mere months ago, Clare was just a kitchen maid. Now, she is a decoy for Princess Serene and a novice spy, caught in the royal family's web of secrets. While journeying to Mortise to finalize the princess’s betrothal to Serjah Desfan, Clare lives for the stolen moments she has with Bennick, the bodyguard who is quickly claiming her heart. But when a notorious assassin is hired to kill her, Clare’s life and the alliance hang in the balance.

In Ryden, Grayson prepares to leave for Mortise with his brother, Liam. Their orders are to ignite a war between their enemies, and Grayson has been tasked with assassinating Princess Serene. It may cost his soul, but he is ready to comply, as long as he gets something in return: freedom for Mia, the girl he loves. But the more time he spends with his brother, the more he begins to wonder if Liam is what Grayson wishes he had the courage to be . . . a traitor.

Desfan feels trapped. By his disapproving council, his impending marriage to a stranger, and the imminent arrival of enemy princes who may not want the peace they profess. When a dangerous drug threatens his people, Desfan jumps at the chance to rely on his swords instead of politics. But his investigation uncovers more than he bargained for--a plot that may destroy Mortise from within.

Eyrinthia hovers on the edge of war. Spies. Rebels. Traitors. All must choose a side.

My review

Royal Spy is a gripping story with strong, powerful characters. There is excitement, betrayal, love with every turn of the page in this heart-pounding adventure. I couldn't put it down!

Each character is beautifully written and you care for each good guy and despise the bad guys. At times I was frustrated with Clare, but quickly understood her motive to protect and help those she cares about and loves. I was surprised by many turn of events. The characters I cheered for in the first book, earned my respect again and again in this book. Desfan and Imara quickly become favorites. One thing that happened that I was not surprised by, but their motives were shocking. I loved this book! And wow, what an ending!

Although the author does a great job of subtly catching the reader up on previous events, you will definitely want to read Royal Decoy so you appreciate the characters and the setting so much more. Heads up, this is a book about warring countries, so there is violence and talk of blood shed. (Nothing I felt uneasy about though.)

5 out of 5 stars!

Purchase links - This book is FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon Kindle / Barnes and Noble

Author links

Amazon author page / Goodreads / BookBub

Excerpt

Bennick nodded to the wooden blade in Clare’s hand. “Let’s test your offensive skills, then we’ll go back to the garrote.”

         Her sore body wanted to refuse, but she ignored that and lunged. Bennick dodged the training blade, but kept striking. He did not make things easy for her, and she appreciated that. She had been in enough dangerous situations to know that an attacker would not make things easy for her. Besides, it gave her deeper satisfaction when she did manage to hit him.

         They spun and twisted around each other on the grass, and Clare saw a perfect opening. She kicked out, aiming for his unguarded middle, but Bennick snatched hold of her ankle and jerked her off-balance. Her arms swung out, strangling her wooden knife as she fought the pull to topple.

Bennick still held her ankle and he smiled as she hopped on one foot to keep her balance. “You should definitely approach all attackers like this. You are utterly disarming.”

         She exhaled sharply, wisps of loose hair fluttering around her flushed face. “And you’re utterly annoying.”

         His features softened as he continued to view her. “On second thought, I want to keep this image for myself.”

Pleasure spread warmth through her chest. “Clearly, you’re also ridiculous.”

He grinned. His hold was firm, but still managed to be gentle.

She arched a brow, very much like Serene. “Are you going to let go?”

         His head tipped to one side, blue eyes calculating as he studied her. “Maybe. For a price.”

         His flirtation sparked tingles all over her body, tightening her flushed skin. “What price?”

         His fingers flexed around her ankle as he leaned in, his voice dropping. “A kiss.”

         She fought a shiver, even though she was flushed from training. She dropped her own voice, though it came out a little too thready—she had yet to catch her breath from their sparring, and the way he looked at her wasn’t helping. “You do realize if you want a kiss, you’ll have to release me.”

         “Hmm. But I don’t think I should just let you go. You’re looking rather unsteady on your, well, foot.”

Before she could toss a retort, he shifted his hold on her ankle and slowly, measuredly, sank to his haunches before her.

Her breath caught. Her pulse pounded fast as she locked eyes with him. His neck was craned back, his intense gaze never leaving her face as he gently shifted her captive foot to the ground. “I wouldn’t want you to fall,” he said, his voice deeper than before.

A shiver danced up her spine when he eased back to his feet, his hands trailing up her body as he rose. Her skirt rippled from his gliding touch and she could feel the heat of his fingers through the layers of cloth.

Her chest rose sharply as his hands rounded her hips and hesitated at her waist, his thumbs pressing low against her stomach. “I will never let you fall,” he promised softly, before leaning in to press his mouth against hers.

She kissed him, her skin flushed and her heart racing. Her palms were against his chest, her fingers curling into his loose white shirt, dragging him impossibly closer.

One of his hands lifted, callused fingertips brushing her cheek. Her hair was done in a braided crown, though loose tendrils of dark hair had escaped and now curled against her jaw. He thumbed her smooth skin, cradling her head as he changed the angle of their kiss. His touch was a careful exploration, a caressing gentleness that threatened to melt her.




Wednesday, May 12, 2021

A Proper Scoundrel by Esther Hatch - blog tour/giveaway

 

A Proper Scoundrel

Author: Esther Hatch

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Published: May 10th, 2021

Paperback: 256 pages

FTC FYI: I received an eARC, all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Goodreads Summary

As the successful owner of multiple railroad lines, Diana Barton is all too accustomed to fending off suitors seeking to stake their claim on her wealth. In order to keep the wolves at bay, Diana has contrived the perfect plan: appeal to the most notorious rake in London, the Baron Lord Bryant, to ruin her reputation and scare off the worst of the time wasters. The ruse will be no hardship—she’s secretly been fascinated by the man for years.

Lord Bryant is well aware of his questionable reputation. Indeed, he has cultivated the image carefully, and the last thing he wants is a wife. But when he’s approached by the younger sister of a business associate, he tells her in no uncertain terms that he cannot help. However, when he sees for himself what she is up against, Bryant grudgingly offers his assistance. Faced with his most complicated entanglement yet, Bryant is firm in his conditions—and Diana knows that to get romantically involved with Bryant would spell certain heartbreak. But as the counterfeit couple grow ever closer, the line between truth and lies becomes blurred, threatening both Lord Bryant’s well-laid plans and the future of Diana’s railroad business.

My review

You must give Lord Bryant some credit. Truthfully, if he weren't such a devil, he might be considered a saint.

This quote is one of many brilliant ways to describe Lord Bryant. He is unforgettable character. I don't even know where to begin with this review, I loved this book so much. There were so many well written lines and situations throughout the whole book that made be smile. So many enjoyable and clever moments. The chemistry between Diana and Everton was superbly written and utterly enjoyable. There is some of the best romantic tension/kissing scenes I've ever read. Both characters were perfectly portrayed, along with the supporting characters. Mrs. Oliver was so, so funny. I was laughing out loud when she was around. This book is an absolute joy to read. 

5 out of 5 stars. One of my top reads of the year!

Purchase links

Amazon Kindle / Amazon paperback / Deseret Book / Seagull Book 

Author links

Amazon author page / Goodreads / Facebook



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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

A Torn Allegiance by Jen Geigle Johnson -- blog tour/giveaway


 A Torn Allegiance 

Author: Jen Geigle Johnson

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Paperback: 288 pages

FTC FYI: I received an eARC from the publisher. All views and opinions are my own. 

Goodreads Summary

Peace is tenuous in the small kingdom of Oldenburg, and the looming threat of invasion from Napoleon weighs heavily on the royal family. Their country’s best chance for safety lies in strengthening their alliance with the English. So it is that Prince Hayes Wilhelm finds himself returning to England, where he hopes a prominent duke can help him protect his country.

Lady Elsie longs to make a difference in the world, but spying was not quite what she had in mind. So when her father, the Duke of Shelby, approaches her about keeping a close eye on the visiting crown prince of Oldenburg, she reluctantly agrees. But the outspoken young woman did not anticipate finding in Hayes a man who shares—and respects—her progressive ideas. Their mutual attraction is undeniable, but Elsie cannot forget her charge to spy on the man who is quickly stealing her heart. With the threat of war looming ever closer, Elsie and Hayes must consider carefully whom to trust—before their secrets tear them apart.

My review


I enjoyed this book so much! I immediately loved Elsie. She is caring, compassionate and kind. Her knowledge and bluestocking ways intrigued Prince Hayes. Her countenance radiantly shines through the pages and some of her inner thoughts and actions had me laughing out loud. Chapter seven was a prime example of that. I read it a couple times!

The title is a great theme throughout the story as hearts are torn in so many ways. And the supporting characters are just as strong and captivating as Elsie and Hayes. Elsie’s mother and Hayes’s brothers were also favorites.

A Torn Allegiance is an excellent story with an engaging plot. Another book fantastic book from Jen Johnson.

5 out of 5 stars. 

Purchase links

Amazon Kindle / Amazon Paperback / Deseret Book / Seagull Book 

Author links

Amazon author page / Goodreads / Facebook / BookBub



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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Until Vienna by Heather B. Moore - blog tour giveaway

 

Until Vienna: Romance on the Orient Express (Book 3)

Heather B. Moore

Publisher: Covenant

Release date April 1st, 2021

Paperback and e-book: 176 pages

Summary

Georgina Ballard has been disappointed in love more than a few times, a fact that she is uncomfortably aware of amid her sister’s wedding preparations. When her elderly aunt Rowena bids Gigi to accompany her on an art tour across Europe, Gigi hesitates but eventually resigns herself to the train journey alongside a group of aged art connoisseurs, if only to mollify her aunt.

Once aboard the Orient Express, Gigi is pleased to discover that not everyone on the tour is in their twilight years: Clyde Haskins, an energetic young art professor from the University of London, will serve as the group’s tour guide. Clyde is equally intrigued that a young lady has joined the tour, and Aunt Rowena and her friends immediately set out to play matchmaker. Clyde and Gigi both find humor in Aunt Rowena’s antics despite knowing that each is determined to keep their heart carefully guarded. Yet, the enchantment of their European exploration weaves an undeniable spell between them. When their journey ends, can their holiday love story endure the obstacles of real life?



My review



Oh, how I loved this book! I think we all can relate to Gigi in some way, we're just wanting to do our thing and want control of our own lives, but when this trip gets thrown her way, she decides to make the best of it. Gigi is a fantastic character. I loved her kind nature. I was a little annoyed by Aunt Rowena at first, but I grew to love her immensely. As much as I enjoyed Clyde's and Gigi's developing relationship, it was nice to see Gigi's relationship with Aunt Rowena improve. Even though Rowena was still who she was, Gigi accepted her silly ways and helped and cared for her in times of need. Aunt Rowena stole the show for me. The list she made about Professor Haskins was hilarious! I was laughing out loud. I loved Gigi's letters to her sister Lillian. With them, we were able to get a glimpse of Gigi's true feelings and it added a special touch of details that were important to Gigi.

5 out of 5 stars! This is book 3 in the series, but these books can still be enjoyed reading them in any order. 

Rafflecopter link for giveaway

Purchase links

Amazon Kindle / Amazon Paperback

Author links

Amazon author page / Facebook 




Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Mission Stories - Movie Release and giveaway


Salt Lake City – Excel Entertainment announced today the creation of a new media franchise, MISSION STORIES, focused entirely on telling stories of missionaries for The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints. The franchise launches with the theatrical release of MISSION STORIES, a moving retelling of three true stories of missionary work. The theatrical trailer for the film debuts on Wednesday, April 7 at missionstories.com and the feature film opens exclusively in theaters on Friday, May 7 distributed jointly with Purdie Distribution. 

Assembled as an anthology of three stories told over four chapters, the project was created by the filmmaking team of Bryce Clark (writer, producer, director), Jason Allred (producer), Crystal Myler (writer) and Arthur Van Wagenen (executive producer) after meeting with a full room of former mission presidents and their companions. “We heard so many incredible stories -- story after story of events that cannot be simply coincidences,” explained Bryce Clark. “Every story shows that God has his hand in the work and people’s lives are being transformed and saved through this work.” 

“People assume they know what a “mission story” depicted on the big screen will be like,” said Arthur Van Wagenen. “Our goal in this film and the entire MISSION STORIES franchise is to tell stories from not just the perspective of missionaries, but from the perspective of people who make the radical choice to become disciples of Jesus Christ.” 

The film tells three true stories, including “Hermanos” that focuses on a father overcoming a crisis of faith so that he can baptize his family. “Chuck” tells the story of a man questioning whether God truly loves him and learning to see himself as God does. Finally, “Full Circle” is told in the opening and closing chapters of the film, and shows that the power of faith applied over years or even decades can ultimately bear fruit in overcoming spiritual issues as serious as depression and addiction. 

“’Full Circle’ is an especially personal story for me because a character is based on me and the culmination of this story played out as we were developing this project,” explained Clark. “When people watch the film they’ll see when people struggle the Lord never gives up on them, and how the faith of others can help rescue them. I hope sharing this story may inspire others who are facing similar challenges.”  


“The MISSION STORIES film is only the first step in creating a full Mission Stories brand and media franchise,” said Van Wagenen. “We are creating an avenue where people can submit their own mission stories which can be shared with the world to help increase people’s faith and sense of worth.” 

Going forward, Mission Stories will become an incubator for up-and-coming writers and directors who will continue to tell these important stories for years to come.” 

For more information and to see the film’s trailer, visit missionstories.com 

Website: www.missionstories.com

YouTube: https://youtu.be/4zAOLGNcpRo

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Monday, March 29, 2021

In Harm's Way by Traci Hunter Abramson


In Harm's Way

Author: Traci Hunter Abramson

Publisher: Covenant

Published: March 8th 2021

297 pages, paperback

FTC FYI: I received a MOBI copy. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

Goodreads Summary

For years, Troy has lived in the shadows as a Guardian. As part of this secret government taskforce, he has agreed to oversee the team’s base of operations on a remote private island in Maine, replacing fellow agent Ace and his wife, Kristi, for a year.

When Troy steps in to hold down the fort, however, he does not anticipate company. So when Kristi’s sister, Jocelyn, appears on the island, looking for a getaway, Troy is unnerved by her presence—hiding his top-secret work from the beautiful visitor is a recipe for disaster. 

It’s been years since Jocelyn has been able to relax, and the family island is the clear antidote to the chaos of the business world. Expecting solitude, she is taken off guard by the presence of the handsome house sitter living in her sister’s home. Though she and Troy fall into an easy friendship, beneath his calm demeanor, he is an enigma. It’s clear the man who is quickly stealing her heart has a secret, but the truth is beyond Jocelyn’s wildest imaginings: Troy is involved in stopping a political coup, and their relationship threatens to place Jocelyn squarely in the crosshairs of a deadly assassin.


My review



In Harm’s Way is another nail-biting suspenseful ride by this talented author. Every morning I’d grumble in the fact I had to work, taking my time away from reading. The author does an incredible job of weaving some romance into this finely tuned mystery. I thoroughly enjoy the POV changes. I love getting in the heads of the bad guys. Each character is expertly written and I enjoyed being on the island again.

Purchase links

Amazon Kindle / Amazon paperback / Deseret Book / Seagull Book

Author links

Amazon Author Page / BookBub / Goodreads