Someone Like You Victoria Bylin

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Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/2b6otlo

 

I received this book from the publisher to review and I chose it because I had never read this author before.  I found this to be a light Christian romance that was easy to read and enjoy. 

The premise of the story is of two characters who first met while doing internships in college.  There was actually a triangle of relationships during this internship involving the two main characters and one important side character.  A few years later, our characters come full circle.

During college, Zeke Monroe worked at a refuge house because being a strong Christian he wanted to help others.  It was there that he met Julia Dare and Hunter Adams.  Neither Julia nor Hunter were Christians but Zeke had hoped to teach them of God’s love through their interactions.  Zeke fell in love with Julia and soon their relationship took on a level that didn’t mesh with his beliefs.  Not long after they parted and their lives changed.

Now as a general manager of a resort, Zeke is at odds with his Christian life.  He has lost his parents and no longer knows what to do.  He exists.  When the opportunity arises for him to come face to face with the one woman he gave his heart to and who hurt him, he finds himself realizing he still loves her even after all they had been through.  When he hears that Julia is now a Christian his emotions are turned around so he doesn’t know how to handle that news when his own spiritual life is bitterly in pieces.

With the resort’s future on the line, Zeke and Julia worked together to create the best wedding in 30 days to impress one of the owners to keep the resort open.  As they work alongside of each other, Zeke is tested with his lack Christianity and Julia’s newly discovered acceptance in God.  Julia is a Christian but she hasn’t always been and because of that she has made mistakes which has led to her carrying around a secret that she knows will hurt Zeke so she is scared to tell him.

Secrets will always come out whether by our own admittance or by another source.  Julia shares her secret with Zeke because that secret will be walking in the door of the resort and possibly ruin all the work they have done.  Zeke must face the past and decide if his love of Julia is enough to forgive and move forward.

This is a beautiful story of losing your way and finding it again through redemption, forgiveness and love.  Sometimes those who are the teachers will need to be the student in order to remember; which is where Zeke finds himself.

A wonderful developed story involving strong main characters struggling to find themselves with the help of some amazing secondary characters. 

A Bond of the Heart: A Sacred Bond Friends and Family Novella by Lee Tobin McClain

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Amazon Link:   http://amzn.to/29IVTTy

Shane MacQuaid was born rich but now he is homeless by choice. When his connection to childhood friends first introduces to him to God he quickly sees that his family isn’t what he wants. They have the riches and the corporate family business but he decides he doesn’t want it, so he enlists into the military.  When a bomb blast causes him physical harm with lasting repercussions he returns home to only once again leave when his family becomes oppressive and his future is unclear.

Dani Cooper is a sweet person who has issues with trusting too much to everyone else’s too little.  She has been married twice and left twice with children from each marriage.  Her older sister is the only family she has left in her home town and although Dani relies on her help she could do without her constant advice and criticism.

Shane rents the garage apartment from Dani while building a business as a local handyman.  He soon becomes a part of the community so that it feels like home and every day he falls a little more in love with Dani and her kids.  Just as he feels he is breaking through Dani’s self-imposed rules of not getting involved again, his interfering family shows up.  His sister in law has Dani’s sister believing him to be dangerous and deranged and his brother is trying to force him home for medical treatment and then to take over as CEO of his family’s business.  When Dani walks away Shane feels his life is falling apart just as he was putting it together.

The author has created a storyline in which God is central to these characters.  Shane’s character wasn’t exposed to God and his grace until he met the young men from the Sacred Bond Brotherhood.   It was through this friendship God is working with Shane and showing him that by following the plan God had for him that his life would be enriched.  Dani trusted God more than she did herself after her failed marriages and teen pregnancy.  With a leap of faith both of these two are brought together for a beautiful romance and a happily ever after with God leading them forward.  This is a wonderful story of sacrifice and trust with love as the ultimate prize.  I have always enjoyed the Sacred Bond Brotherhood men and how strong their faith is and was very happy to read this novella showcasing their friends and family. Truly heartwarming and recommended.

I received this ARC in exchange for my review.

 

Missouri Bride by Eugenia Riley

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Amazon Link:    http://amzn.to/29cHy0K

I loved reading this story.  It has been awhile since I read a historical romance that was set near the 1800’s which held my attention so well.  Most of the books of this time period I have read lately I haven’t even reviewed because I just don’t know what to write because there isn’t enough “meat” to the story.  I didn’t find that with Eugenia Riley’s, Missouri Bride

Missouri Bride follows the Civil War by about 10 years so we are ensconced in a story that brings the heartache, emotional and mental traumas of the destruction that war brings.  Matt Kendall and Amy Harris both suffered tragedy during the war and each survived but not without lasting impressions that cause problems in forming relationships.  Matt, at 17, watched his uncle and father killed and then joined the Confederate Army seeing death and desolation, but in an added twist he joins with Quantrill’s Raiders where he is exposed to much more cruelty and brutality.  His life is spared through the influence of Abel Harris, Amy’s father.

Amy last seen her father while he was on leave from the war and what she witnessed between her father and her mother has left her with the wrong impression of marriage and the relationship between a husband and wife.  Her father leaves and never comes back but Amy is left wishing he did.  Amy’s mother is cruel and mentally unstable leaving Amy and her younger sister, Hannah, living in abuse and fear.  Their only hope lies in two men….their father and his return and Lacy Garrett, Amy’s fiancé.

Matt Kendall, believes his life is set for a particular course but takes a side trip back to St. Louis to see his friend Abel Harris.  He is surprised by the news he hasn’t been around in years and feels compelled to help Amy and Hannah.  Matt and Amy decide to marry but both are unsure how to trust and open themselves to each other to make their marriage work. Through several trials they begin to forge a bond, when Lacy Garrett comes to town.  This love triangle is filled with anger, revenge, love, loyalty and sacrifice. When the dust settles, the question is who is Amy going to choose?

This is definitely a story filled with layers of dynamics to keep the readers interest.  There is war and the changes that result in both people and places; there is young love; lawlessness; domestic abuse; child abuse; mental instability and finally there is the happy ending for the characters.

I highly recommend this historical romance and believe it will capture your interest.

A Leap of Faith by Nell Castle

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Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/28SYw6L

 

Although the title, A Leap of Faith, gives the impression of this being a Christian Inspirational story; I don’t believe this is a story I would classify as that. It is a story that is centered on a church and is the foundation to the character’s lives with the main male character being a pastor. I admit I even had to raise my eyebrows at least once with a few lines.  But in regards to the story having Christian aspects, yes there are some. Some of those aspects are the goodness of helping others who have fallen on hard times, the act of volunteering, church events with the congregation pulling together are in this story and are woven wonderfully to create the foundation of church involvement.

The main characters are Pastor Jackson Thomas and Sophia Anton.  Sophia grew up in the church that Jackson has now to lead, but she isn’t aware of Jackson as she hasn’t been in church for two years.  When her friend, Kate asks her to help with an annual church dinner, Sophia does but never expects to run into the new pastor (not even knowing there was one) while trying to pick the locked church door with a bobby pin.  Jackson is immediately attracted to Sophia but is trying to hold onto his vow to never marry or get involved again.

With the immediate attraction comes a lot of confusion for both characters. Pastor Jackson Thomas was married before but when a terrible accident caused the death of their unborn child and the end of his marriage, he is racked with guilt and decides to isolate himself from any future relationships.  Sophia is a “pleaser” and has to feel as if she is needed.  Unfortunately, she has a friend who is taking advantage of that and has Sophia believing she has to change in order to be with him and then they would have everything she has ever wanted.  The confusion comes from their mutual attraction and inability to act on it.  When Sophia is hurt by Jackson’s apparent dismissal of their feelings she makes a terrible decision that will rip them apart.

Two years later, fate gives them another chance. When they meet again, the attraction is still very strong and very apparent.  When two meddling friends provide them a way to explore this undying love, will they take the chance or be stubborn?  Will Jackson tell Sophia the truth about his past so that she understands? Will Sophia run again?

This is a wonderful short romance.  I really liked the side characters that the author created as support.  Kate is the strong but a little wild best friend of Sophia.  Because they have been friends forever, Kate knows Sophia and can see the underlying problems of Christopher’s influence.  Then there is Hazel who now homeless and unable to care for herself is facing medical issues.  And Christopher…well he is a girl’s nightmare full of pretty boy arrogance.  A sweet contemporary romance perfect for curling up to.

 

 

 

A Father for Daisy by Jennifer Wenn

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Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/28O7IJs

Would it be heartbreaking for you if you had lost not only your virginity but also your home because you were drunk on the night of your prom?  What if you were also pregnant and didn’t know who the father was because you can’t remember who it was that you gave your virginity to?  For 13 years that is what has haunted Gillian Crane.   Having been thrown out of her home for being pregnant, Gillian survived as  she has raised her daughter alone in New York.

When she receives word that her mother is dying Gillian decides to return home to try and mend the broken relationship she has with the mother who turned her back on her from the time she was born.  Her daughter, knowing the circumstances of her birth, has her own reasons beyond meeting her grandmother…she is on a mission to find her elusive father. Gillian isn’t prepared for the overwhelming emotions and town gossip when she returns.  She certainly isn’t sure why she even came back when her Mother obviously doesn’t want her and peppers her with a confrontational attitude from the point she arrives.

As her mother’s death is looming, Gillian stays in town and reunites with her high school friends.  Her best friend, Andy, is the town doctor who has been secretly in love with her all these years, never moving on as no one would be able to replace her in his heart.  Her high school crush is now the local minister and the one who she has thought may be the father of her daughter.  As Gillian lingers in town, she and Daisy, both find answers to their questions.  Secrets are shared that will put a new light on who could be Daisy’s father.

Andy has been in love with his best friend for a long, long time.  When he hears she is returning to see her Mother he is hopeful that he can finally make her his.  But Andy harbors a secret and answers that may tear their friendship apart. As he watches Gillian spend time with her high school crush, his resentment from long ago rears up and he wants to walk away but he cares too much and continues to stick around.

The author has written a story of a young girl who on the cusp of adulthood has a crush on the local bad boy and which keeps her blinded to the real love her best friend, Andy, has for her.  When rejection leads her to drink heavily the consequences are more than she could have imagined.  The author brings her full circle when she brings her home to face the very life she was forced to leave.  With surprising secrets and a bit of humor over who exactly is Andy’s “wife” is, leaves our character completely overwhelmed and shell shocked.  We do get a happy ending and answers to many questions, except for one.  Who is Luke’s Mother?   This is a great read that takes us down a path of pain but brings us back to love and new beginnings.

 

The Sheik’s Jealous Princess by Elizabeth Lennox

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Amazon Link:   http://amzn.to/268xlKk

It is almost bittersweet to read of the last sibling in the Samara Royal Family, Shantra del Abbas Samara.

Shantra has managed to keep a very big secret from her brothers and sister.  In return for keeping her secret she has had to portray herself as having her head in the clouds so that they never discover she is the mysterious designer behind the Jesek Designs clothing line.  Shantra is happy with her life as she designs clothing for women knowing she is helping them to look and feel beautiful.  But she is feeling the loss of her sister, Ciala who recently moved away due to her marriage.

Laithir del Hassam is not looking for marriage after the horrific mistake he made before, but when he sees Shantra he knows he will have her in his bed.  Shantra is enchanting, beautiful and nothing at all like his first wife.  Shantra is nervous and acting completely out of character when she is around Laithir.  After being with him for several functions, Shantra has determined that her brother Ramzi is trying to play matchmaker and quickly declares to that is not going to happen! She soon realizes that isn’t the case and her outburst sets into the motion that very thing.  Laithir declares they will be married in 6 months!

When they arrive in his country of Piora their relationship begins to change and Shantra is startled to hear that Laithir not only knows her secret but he will support her in continuing to do her designs.  As the newlyweds grow closer toward loving each other, Shantra is being tormented by Sheik Laithir’s first wife’s family.   As the onslaughts grow, Shantra tries to contain her anger but finally erupts in a fantastic display of righteous retaliation.  When she notices that her husband has witnessed her actions she is left wondering what will become of them.  Will he be angry enough to send her away? Will he punish her? Is she going to lose him when she finally knows how much she loves him?

I fell in love with this series from the very beginning.  Elizabeth Lennox has a wonderful writing style that will draw you in and help you fall in love with her characters.   I have been reading Elizabeth Lennox for some time now and I have seen her style develop more debt as she writes more stories.  There is always a happy ending for us to enjoy.  One aspect of Ms. Lennox’s books that I do appreciate is her covers. The cover styles are stunning, sensual and stylish.  I for one am drawn first to a book cover and then I read the description so I do appreciate the covers greatly.

We don’t have long to wait for the next series to captivate as the Samara Royal Family.  The new series will have the location of Alaska and of course sexy alpha males and is called the Bold Alaskan Men Series.  The first book is scheduled for release on July 15, 2016 and is titled, The Billionaire’s Beautiful Mistake.  I have already reserved my copy and if you would also like to here is the link:  http://amzn.to/1tAWW0D.

 

Embark on the next series with:

The Billionaire’s Beautiful Mistake coming July 15, 2016

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The Magnolia Duchess by Beth White

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Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/1TO1vOI

Beth White writes a story that is intriguing in its complexity.  She writes of a family in Florida that has no ties to England as the Revolutionary War moves forward. This is a family of brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles that will hold onto that familial bond through generations and separation.

Fiona lives in Florida with her Aunt, Uncle, cousin and brothers after her parent’s death.  She is close to her cousin Maddy who is a widow thanks to the war and to her very distant cousin Sehoy. Upon hearing the devastating news that her twin brother, has been taken as prisoner by the British Fiona is shocked to discover a British soldier washed upon the shore.  What is more shocking is this soldier is a childhood friend and secret love of hers.  What to do with a British soldier, friend or not, is a dilemma as ill feelings toward the British escalate.

Charlie has no memory of why is there and what he may have been sent to do.  Is he a British soldier with ties of allegiance or is he actually a spy. As the intrigue builds and the romances for three of the women in the family blossom where will they end up?

The war comes to their door with suspicions rising of happenings on each side, but this family will hold strong to their faith in God and in one another. Men and women will fight together to protect their home and each other.

The war and its intrigue fought in Florida with a family of mixed heritage…French, Creek, Spanish and African is a very interesting story.  Throw in spies, corrupt leaders, pirates and plain American spunk and your attention is caught. You will no doubt enjoy this book and the strong characters who will hold on to God and will do what they believe to be right when confronted with war.  The characters are written with depth to their personalities which add to the enjoyment of this book.  This is the third book in the Gulf Coast Chronicles.