“Love in the Balance” by Regina Jennings

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Buy on Amazon.com!

Buy on Amazon.com!

Regina Jennings proved that she was a talented author with her first novel, Sixty Acres and a Bride.   But could she do it again?  Yes!  Her latest novel, Love in the Balance, invites readers back to Texas to meet Molly Lovelace, a somewhat spoiled and naive daughter of the wealthy mill owner.  Mr. Lovelace is a man who knows what he wants and knows what is best for his family.  And you can be certain that Bailey Garner is NOT the right match for his daughter.  Why, he’s not going to amount to anything in life.  His Molly deserves only the best.  And the “best” means a man with money.

I’ll admit, I didn’t like Molly for quite a while in the novel.  To me, she seemed selfish and spoiled and completely oblivious to her affect on Bailey.  It took me a while to like her, so if you’re struggling with this same problem, stick with it!  Bailey seemed genuine and real, deserving of a woman who wasn’t as flighty or self-centered as Molly.   But alas, Molly came around eventually.

Author Regina Jennings has a talent for writing real characters in real situations with her own flair.  I highly recommend Love in the Balance and any others written by Regina Jennings.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

About Love in the Balance
Handsome Cowboy or Debonair Tycoon.
How’s a Girl to Choose?

Molly Lovelace dreams of a life without cares in Lockhart, Texas. She also dreams of handsome wrangler Bailey Garner, her ardent but inconsistent beau. The problem is, with Bailey’s poor prospects, she just can’t fit the two dreams together.

Then mysterious stranger Edward Pierrepont sweeps into town-and her life-and for the first time Molly wonders if she’s met the man who can give her everything. But he won’t be in Lockhart long and while it certainly seems like he talks about their glorious future together, she can’t quite get Bailey out of her mind.

What’s a girl to do with all these decisions when love is in the balance?
Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/iTdiA 
Meet Regina:  

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children.

Find out more about Regina at

“Grave Consequences” iPad Mini Giveaway from Lisa T. Bergren!

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Buy on Amazon.com!

Me one month ago: “Sure!  I’d love to read Book 2 of Bergren’s Grand Tour series!”

Me after reading the book: “Why in the world did I ever agree to read the second book in a three book series, when the third won’t be out for months!!???  I want to THROW this book up against the wall, hoping Book Three will fall from it!”

And these, my friends, are the daily emotional and mental risks that we book bloggers take.

In all seriousness, I LOVE this series.  I just wish they’d be published a tad faster.  But when  you ask the Lord to give you patience, He delivers.  I haven’t read a ton of Lisa T. Bergren’s work, but what I have read, I’ve loved.  So many good authors, so precious little time, right?

In this novel, we pick up exactly where we left off in Glamorous Illusions.  Cora Diehl Kensington is trying to find her way with her newfound, spoiled siblings, all the while trying to decipher her feelings for a Parisian lord that is smitten with her.  And then there’s Will.  What to do with him?  Does she have feelings for him?  Is he only a friend?  In Grave Consequences, you get to journey out of Paris and explore more of France, Austria and Italy as you travel with the Kensington and Morgan clan on their Grand Tour.  Convinced that they left their attackers behind in Paris, Cora wants nothing more than to take all of the sights in while sorting out her feelings for Pierre and her new budding relationship  with Will.

My only critiques of the book have absolutely nothing to do with the content of the story.  That was perfect. Don’t touch it!  However, it’s been so long since I’ve read Glamorous Illusions that it took me about 50 pages to remember who was who.  I know that they can’t go back and reprint the book, but a list of characters in the beginning would have been most helpful.  Or even printing the last chapter of Book 1 in the beginning of this novel.  This novel is so character saturated that something of that sort is a must.

All in all, I highly recommend this series.  However, only read it before Book 3 if you feel that you have a healthy dose of patience.  I am not blessed with such a gift.  I can’t wait to read Glittering Promises and finally find out if Cora and Will can sort out their unpredictable futures together.

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity and David C. Cook Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

CLICK HERE for a link to my review of the first in this series, Glamorous Illusions!

CLICK HERE to pre-buy the next in the series, Glittering Promises!

  Celebrate the release of Grave Consequences with Lisa T. Bergren by entering to win an iPad Mini!

Grave-Consequences-Bergren

One “grand” winner receive:

  • A brand new iPad Mini
  • Grave Consequences and Glamorous Illusions will be pre-loaded onto the Mini!

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 23rd. Winner will be announced on March 25th at Lisa’s website.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

“Swept Away” by Mary Connealy

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Mary Connealy has honed in and perfected her craft of writing laugh-out-loud Western comedies with a romantic flair. There are very few Authors who possess that same talent, so when a new Mary Connealy book is released, you can bet your spurs that I’m going to be reading it.

“Swept Away” is Book One in her newest series titled “Trouble in Texas”.  Luke Stone is a man on a mission.  His beloved family ranch has been stolen from him and Luke is determined to get it back by any means necessary.  During his quest, he stumbles upon a damsel in distress, Ruthy MacNeil.  Ruthy has literally been “swept away” by the river in hopes of escaping an arranged marriage that would eventually lead to her ruin.  Luke, being the gentleman that he is, rescues Ruthy.  He’d prefer to send her on her merry way, but he begins to see the benefit of having her around.  Maybe she’s the key to helping him get back his ranch?

Honestly, you can never go wrong reading a novel by Mary Connealy.  My personal favorite series of hers are Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages and Sophie’s Daughters (all three of those series end up intertwining!).  But I love that she continues to write fabulous Christian fiction with a twist.  I will continue to read anything that Mary Connealy publishes and would encourage you to do the same.

I reviewed this novel for Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and received a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Swept Away 

Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2013) 

by 

Mary ConnealyABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie’s Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she’s one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When a cowboy focused on revenge encounters a woman determined to distract him, there’s going to be trouble in Texas!

Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn’t terribly upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they’ve ever done is work her to the bone. Alive but disoriented, she’s rescued by Luke Stone…so unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.

Luke is on a mission to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men currently on the property won’t let it go without a fight. Luke plans to meet up with friends who will help him take back the land, and since he can’t just leave Ruthy in the middle of nowhere, she’s going to have to go with him.

But the more time Luke spends around the hardworking young woman, the more he finds himself thinking of things besides revenge. Will Ruthy convince him to give up his destructive path and be swept away by love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Swept Away, go HERE.

“Secretly Smitten” by Colleen Coble, Kristen Billerbeck, Diann Hunt & Denise Hunter

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Buy on Amazon.com!

Buy on Amazon.com!

Ahhhh, Smitten.  Let’s journey back, shall we?  Last year, I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing the first novel by the four writing buddies, so I jumped at the chance to do it again this year with the second in the series, Secretly Smitten.  And I finished it in two days flat…  On days that I worked a full 8 hours.  Yeah, it’s good.

Secretly Smitten is a breath of fresh air.  I had been in a rut of boring novels (sad, but true) and Secretly Smitten just made my day (actually, two days).  It’s light, fun and romantic reading that you can break off in four easy sections.  Secretly Smitten doesn’t necessarily have a central theme like the first book did (trying to turn Smitten into the “Romance Capital of the World”), but it does have a story line that streams through the background of all four novellas.  I have to say my favorite story is the first, between Tess and Ryan.  I could have read an entire novel about them, but alas, it was only about 80 pages.

So, should you read Secretly Smitten?  YES, you should.  Do you need to read them in order?  Not necessarily.  Between the two books (8 novellas total) there isn’t a ton of interaction between the characters of Smitten and Secretly Smitten.  However, if you hate finding out if a couple winds up together before you’ve had a chance to read the novel, then DO read Smitten first.  Otherwise, you’ll encounter some “spoilers” in Secretly Smitten.  The characters from the first book do come back into the second, although they do not play a major role.  I’m SO looking forward to January 2014 when Return to Smitten (Book 3) hits the shelves!

I reviewed Secretly Smitten for Thomas Nelson through their blogger program, BookSneeze.  I received the book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  A positive review was not required, but freely given after reviewing this book.  It’s also worth noting that I woke up at 1:00 a.m. in the morning to request this book.  It was totally worth it.

 

 

“Ashton Park” by Murray Pura

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As a huge fan of Downton Abbey, I jumped at the chance to read Ashton Park.  While I think it’s smart to jump onto the coat-tails of such a hugely popular historical drama, one must do so carefully.  While I enjoyed Murray Pura’s own version, I felt that it fell short in a few ways.

The novel is the first in the Danforths of Lancashire series, which centers on the Danforth family and their servants (sound familiar, DA fans?).  I felt that some of the characters, who were raised in proper British society, did not act as if they had been.  A lot of the novel read like an extremely dramatic soap opera.  While I’ll agree that it makes for fabulous television, I got a little lost when it was all within one book.  You’re constantly flipping towards the front to the long list characters to figure out who is who.

This is the first book that I’ve read of Murray Pura’s.  I’m not 100% positive that I’ll pick up the second in the series.  I might wait to see what other people have to say about it first.  I reviewed this book for Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and received the book free from Harvest House Publishers.

This week, the 

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Ashton Park 

Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2013) 

by 

Murray PuraABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Murray Pura was born and raised in Manitoba, just north of Minnesota and the Dakotas. He has published several novels and short story collections in Canada, and has been short-listed for a number of awards. His first books to be published in the United States are the inspirational works Rooted and Streams (both by Zondervan in 2010). His first novel to debut in the USA is A Bride’s Flight from Virginia City, Montana (Barbour), which was released January 2012. The second, The Wings of Morning, will be published by Harvest House on February 1. Both of these novels center around the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

ABOUT THE BOOK

For fans of the hugely popular Downton Abbey series, comes this equally enthralling story of the Danforth family of Ashton Park.
Among the green hills and trees of Lancashire, only a few miles from the sea, lies the beautiful and ancient estate of Ashton Park.
The year is 1916. The First World War has engulfed Europe and Sir William’s and Lady Elizabeth’s three sons are all in uniform–and their four daughters are involved in various pursuits of the heart and soul.

As the head of a strong Church of England family for generations, Sir William insists the Danforth estate hold morning devotions that include both family and staff. However, he is also an MP and away at Westminster in London whenever Parliament is sitting. During his long absences, Lady Elizabeth discreetly spends time in the company of the head cook of the manor, Mrs. Longstaff, who is her best friend and confidante. This friendship includes visits to a small Baptist church in Liverpool that exposes Lady Elizabeth to a less formal approach to Christian worship and preaching than she is used to and which she comes to enjoy.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Ashton Park, go HERE.

“Lovelier Than Daylight” by Rosslyn Elliott

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Lovelier Than DaylightRosslyn Elliott concludes her debut Saddler’s Legacy series with Lovelier than Daylight.  I am a big fan of Book One: Fairer Than Morning so of course I snagged the next two in the series to see where Elliott decided to take us. 

 

You can tell from her writing that Rosslyn Elliott is a lover of history.  Throughout each of her novels, she takes real historical events (all centered around Westerville, Ohio) and inserts them seamlessly into her story lines.  What the reader gets in return is a delightful story that is not only fun to read, but educational.  

Susanna Hanby, a passionate aunt, amateur botanist and fierce temperance supporter, vows to rescue her abandoned nieces and nephews.  As a young single woman, the orphanage won’t put them in her care, but Susanna is determined to find a way around that silly rule.  Enter aspiring journalist and brewing company heir, Johann Giere.  He’s committed to fulfilling his responsibilities to his family and their company business, but his heart leans towards sharing stories with the public.  Immediately Susanna and Johann clash on all levels.  He represents all things that Susanna despises and Johann has a hard time seeing past her uninformed prejudice.   

Lovelier Than Daylight is actually set 50 years later than the first novel and 20 years later than the second, but is still centered on the Hanby family.   Beloved Will and Ann from the first novel are front and center, active in the Westerville Whiskey War and helping Susanna bring her nieces and nephews back home. 

 

While I highly recommend the first in the Saddler’s Legacy series, the second two moved a little slow for my taste.  However, if you’re a fan of history and romance, give this series a try. 

 

I reviewed this novel for BookSneeze, Thomas Nelson’s Book Blogger program.  A positive review was not required, only an honest one. 

Win a Kindle Paperwhite and connect with Kristen at her 11/27 Facebook Party!

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As an avid Kristen Heitzmann fan, when I saw that she had a new book coming out, I had a little party inside my head.  Heitzmann was the first Christian fiction author that I read and her books are what got me hooked for life.  A couple of my favorites are “A Rush of Wings” and “The Still of Night”.

Buy on Amazon.com!

Buy on Amazon.com!

So imagine my surprise when I open up the novel and realize that the hero of “The Still of Night” is now a widower with a two year old daughter!  I’ll admit that I was shocked and grieved for the loss of one of my favorite characters, as only a devoted reader could.  I paced back and forth in front of the book until I had the guts to continue, knowing that I would experience heartache alongside one of my favorite characters.

Morgan Spencer, the beloved character from “The Still of the Night”, finds himself a widowed father of a baby girl, Livie.  He’s become a recluse, holing up in one of his brother’s cabins in Colorado.  The last thing on his mind is falling in love again.  Petite and feisty Quinn Reilly, an online trader that’s found herself in Juniper Falls, Colorado, has made her life as “invisible” as possible.  She lives day to day, knowing that she might have to leave everything at a moment’s notice.  When that fear becomes reality, Morgan suggests an outlandish proposal that might just answer all of their problems.

If you take a step back and think about the plot that Kristen Heitzmann has set up, you’ll find that not many authors are brave enough to tackle the road she went down.  Sure, I read plenty of novels where the lead is a widow or widower, but I can’t remember the last novel I read where the previous book was centered that person falling in love with the spouse that will “widow” them.  Never.  Ever.

That author?  Kristen Heitzmann?  She has guts.

Thankfully, she also has the talent to weave real, heartfelt emotions into her characters.  Only an author with real chops would attempt that, and Heitzmann pulls it off with flair.

I’ve always recommend Heitzmann’s novels and will continue to do so.  I did have the pleasure of reviewing this novel for free for Litfuse Publicity.  A positive review was not required, but freely given.

 

Visit Kristen's website!

Visit Kristen’s website!

About the Author: Kristen Heitzmann is the bestselling author of twenty novels, including Colorado Book Award finalist The Still of Night and Christy Award winner Secrets. She lives with her husband, Jim, and lots of extended family in the Rocky Mountain foothills of Colorado, where she climbs trails into God’s great beauty. Learn more at http://www.kristenheitzmannbooks.com.

Kristen Heitzmann is celebrating The Breath of Dawn by giving away one of the new Paperwhite Kindles and hosting a fun Author Chat Party on Facebook. (11/27)

One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Paperwhite
  • The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 26th. Winner will be announced at the “The Breath of Dawn” Author Chat Facebook Party on 11/27. Connect with Kristen, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of The Breath of Dawn and join Kristen on the evening of the November 27th for a chance to connect with Kristen and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!