Sunday, February 18, 2018

Book Review: A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White

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Title: A Song Unheard

Author: Roseanna M. White

Series: Shadows over England #2

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which make her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales. 

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he's won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father's work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is in meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn't—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

**3 stars**

I was looking forward to returning to Roseanna M. White's new series set in early 1900s England by reading A Song Unheard! Though I didn't like it as much as the first book, it still made an intriguing and lovely read.

It was wonderful to get Willa Forsythe's story. Delving into her past was heart-wrenching ... especially seeing how it affected her present and future. Seeing her love for the violin and how God reached her through music was poignant. Her life as a thief and spying job were rather interesting to read about. And her family. ^_^ Are they ever dear. I must admit, I wouldn't mind getting a story about Barcley! I really loved him in this book, though he didn't get much "screen time". And Margot! She was rather delightful to read about! Very much a unique character. There were a lot of characters who caught my interest.

So though the story moved slowly, and wasn't exactly to my taste, the characters kept me reading. The ending was good! And I'm looking forward to reading the last book in this series.

The facts and things having to do with World War I were intriguing to me. Spies. Secret Codes. Music. Redemption.

The faith theme was touching. I felt a couple quotes that especially touched my heart.
The romance wasn't my favorite ... I didn't like Lukas like I liked Peter (from the first book) perhaps? But it was still sweet.

In any case, I'm looking forward to finishing this series!

I received a copy of A Song Unheard from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Just Another Cover Love

Good day, bookish friends! Time for another cover love post. Comment below with your favorite cover and why it's your favorite. ^_^

Looking forward to reading any of these? Shelter of the Most High by Connilyn Cossette is probably my most anticipated read of this list.

Common {Tales of the Mystics #1} by Laurie Lucking

PublishedFebruary 2018 (Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing, LLC)

A Loyal Heart {An Uncertain Choice #4} by Jody Hedlund

Expected publication: March 6th, 2018 (Northern Lights)

A Search for Refuge {Haven Manor #0.5} by Kristi Ann Hunter

Expected publication: March 2018 (Bethany House)

Amongst the Roses {Keystone Legacy #1} by Meghan M. Gorecki

Expected publication: April 12th 2018 (Northern Belle Publishing)

Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

Expected publication: June 1st, 2018 (Tyndale House)

The Road to Magnolia Glen {Natchez Trace #2} by Pam Hillman

Expected publication: June 5th, 2018 (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)

Five Days in Skye {MacDonald Family Trilogy #1} by Carla Laureano

Expected publication: July 2018 (first published June 10th 2013)

Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

Expected publication: July 3rd, 2018 (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 

Miss Serena's Secret {Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope #2}
by Carolyn Miller

Expected Publication: July 24th, 2018 (Kregel Publications)

Expected publication: August 7th, 2018 (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)

The Worth of a King by Kendra E. Ardnek

Expected Publication: August 27th, 2018

An Hour Unspent {Shadows over England #3} by Roseanna M. White

Expected Publication: September 4th, 2018 (Bethany House)

A Tale of Two Hearts {Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #2} by Michelle Griep

Expected Publication: September 2018 (Shiloh Run Press)

Freedom's Light by Colleen Coble

Expected publication: September 11th, 2018 (Thomas Nelson)

Shelter of the Most High {Cities of Refuge #2} by Connilyn Cossette

Expected Publication: October 2nd, 2018 (Bethany House)

The Heirloom: Four Romance Novellas of Love Through the Generations by Karen Witemeyer // Kristi Ann Hunter // Sarah Loudin Thomas // Becky Wade

Expected Publication: October 2nd, 2018 (Bethany House)

A Sparkle of Silver {Georgia Cost Romance} by Liz Johnson

Expected Publication: October 16th, 2018 (Fleming H. Revell Company)

Mark of the Raven {The Ravenwood Saga #1} by Morgan L. Busse

Expected Publication: November 6th, 2018 (Bethany House)

The Lieutenant's Bargain {The Fort Reno Series #2} by Regina Jennings

Expected Publication: December 4th, 2018 (Bethany House)

Sweet Briar Rose by Lena Goldfinch

Expected Publication: Unknown

Shivering World by Kathy Tyers

(Reprint: New Cover)

Seaglass {A Short Story} by Kara Swanson

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, bookish friends! I hope you spend the day loving on people ... maybe buy someone a book. *winks*

Do you celebrate this day in some way? What are you doing today? I'm going to a Valentine's Day "party" with my mom and younger siblings. A good way to get some fellowship. ^_^


Here are a few novels with a romance theme/sweet love story that I recommend! (In case you're a hopeless romantic, like me.)

Waking Rose {A Fairy Tale Retold #3} by Regina Doman

Edenbrooke {A Proper Romance} by Julianne Donaldson

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

The Ryn {Eyes of E'veria #1} by Serena Chase

Entwined by Heather Dixon

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer


Also, here are two non-fiction books that I think are absolutely great for Valentine's Day! *grins*

Savoring Single by Shelley Black


Be sure to stop by Lady Grace: A Quiet & Gentle Spirit this Saturday! I'm going to have a post up having to do with thriving in the season of singleness, what I've been up to lately, and enjoying Valentine's Day as an unmarried, unattached woman.

May the Love, Joy, and Peace of God fill you today, dear readers! <3

Let me know what you're currently reading! I'm reading A Song Unheard {Shadows over England #2} by Roseanna M. White.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Book Review: You're the Cream in My Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo

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Title: You're the Cream in My Coffee

Author: Jennifer Lamont Leo

Series: Roaring Twenties #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Young Adult/Adult


In 1928, Chicago rocks to the rhythm of the Jazz Age, and Prohibition is in full swing. Small-town girl Marjorie Corrigan, visiting the city for the first time, has sworn that coffee's the strongest drink that will pass her lips. But her quiet, orderly life turns topsy-turvy when she spots her high school sweetheart - presumed killed in the Great War - alive and well in a train station. Suddenly everything is up for grabs. 

Although the stranger insists he's not who she thinks he is, Marjorie becomes obsessed with finding out the truth. To the dismay of her fiancĂ© and family, she moves to the city and takes a job at a department store so she can spy on him. Meanwhile, the glittering world of her roommate, Dot, begins to look awfully enticing - especially when the object of her obsession seems to be part of that world. Is it really so terrible to bob her hair and shorten her skirt? To visit a speakeasy? Just for a cup of coffee, of course. 

But what about her scruples? What about the successful young doctor to whom she's engaged, who keeps begging her to come back home where she belongs? And what, exactly, is going on at the store's loading dock so late at night? 

Amid a whirlwind of trials and temptations, Marjorie must make a choice. Will the mystery man prove to be the cream in her coffee - the missing ingredient to the life she yearns for? Or will he leave only bitterness in her heart?

**4.5 stars**

Ah, this was such a fun, thoughtful, and sweet read! You're the Cream in My Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo swept me right into the 1920s-30s era and kept me reading late into the night more than once. It had a little uniqueness from the average historical fiction, and a meaningful message and faith theme. And it was just completely adorable! *all the heart eyes* I loved Majorie and her journey. Dot, Charlie, Peter, Helen, Pop ... *hugs them all* I would love to read more. You're the Cream in My Coffee was exciting, authentic, wistful, and humorous, with a dash of mystery and suspense. It kept me guessing on certain things, and had me giggling here and there.

The stores, bobbed hair, dancing, and art classes - so delightful.

My only concern about this book is a couple of the characters engaging in romances without completely knowing where the other stood on faith issues. I think the Bible is pretty clear about not marrying unbelievers, so it makes me uncomfortable (even if said characters do end up becoming Christians in the end, or whatever.)

But other than that, You're the Cream in My Coffee was a real pleasure to read. Beyond just being fun and intriguing, I appreciated the lessons learned and impressed by the forgiveness, gentleness, and such shown by characters.
I love this era, and hope to read more by Jennifer Lamont Leo!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Book Review: Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke

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Title: Band of Sisters

Author: Cathy Gohlke

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


Maureen O'Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hope of claiming the life promised to their father over twenty years before. After surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died. His family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. But she soon discovers that the elegant facade hides a secret that threatens every vulnerable woman in the city.

Despite her family's disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father's debt but can't find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, whom Olivia begins to see as more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he's hiding. As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen take a stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might bring?

**4 stars**

A thoroughly engrossing read. Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke is set in the early 1900s, following the lives of an Irish immigrant, Maureen, and well-off, socially-accepted Olivia, who longs to help those desperately in need. In a horrible tangle of secrets and terror, this story addresses human trafficking. Band of Sisters was well-written, real, raw, poignant, heart-wrenching ... both terrible and soul-stirring. The depth of the faith theme truly moved me. Maureen's journey to the Lord was something worth reading. The romances very tender. I feel like my heart has been torn out ... for the women whose lives were destroyed by evil people who would sell and use and abuse them - body and soul.

I really liked this book, though the end was a bit much for me to take in. My heart is broken. Band of Sisters is both a page-turner and a wake-up call to the reader about the horrors of sex trafficking and the cry for help.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Book Review: Perception by Emily Ann Benedict

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Title: Perception

Author: Emily Ann Benedict

Series: Vintage Jane Austen

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


Upstate New York, 1930. Thirteen years ago, Abbey Evans was persuaded to break off her engagement to a penniless soldier headed to the front lines of the Great War. A daughter of one of America’s wealthiest families could never be allowed to marry so far beneath herself. But Black Tuesday changed everything. With her family's prominence now little more than a facade, Abbey faces the loss of her childhood home. As if that weren’t enough, the only man she ever loved has returned after making his fortune – and he wants nothing to do with the young woman he courted before the war. With the past forever out of reach, the time has come for Abbey decide her own fate, before it is too late…

**3 stars**

Perception by Emily Ann Benedict was an interesting read ... and enjoyable, overall. It was neat to pick out the similarities to Jane Austen's Persuasion, and it kept your attention.

There was a bit of a mystery going on, and some drama and incidents and trips to the seashore that kept the story lively. Quite a few characters were introduced over the course of the read, but it was done pretty smoothly, so I could mostly keep track. Speaking of characters - they were interesting. I think the author did quite a good job of making each unique and with their own personalities.
I enjoyed Sam's little side story. *smiles*

The romance was ultimately very sweet.

I didn't really like some of the character's actions/attitudes, personally, and maybe that's what kept me from enjoying this story more.

But all in all, it's a nice addition to the VINTAGE JANE AUSTEN series. Fans of Jane Austen's work and the 1930s era might enjoy!

I received a copy of Perception from the author in exchange for my honest review.