Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Review of Nine by Rachelle Dekker

 

About the Book ~

Some secrets can't stay hidden

Zoe Johnson has spent most of her life living in the shadows, never drawing attention to herself, never investing in people or places. But when a wide-eyed, bedraggled teenager with no memory walks into the diner where Zoe works, everything changes.

Against her better judgment, Zoe, who has been trying to outrun her own painful memories of the past, finds herself attempting to help a girl who doesn't seem to have any past at all. With little warning, they must follow the only sure thing they know: a woman hundreds of miles away, will either save them . . . or be the last person to see them alive.

For more information about Rachelle Dekker and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Nine by Rachelle Dekker should be on the to-be-read pile of every devoted suspense reader! I am increasingly picky about suspense novels, and Nine contains everything I look for in a thrilling novel! Bravo!

Seriously, that suspense! Okay, I promise there will be no plot spoilers -- I wouldn't want to take the thrill of this journey away from any reader. I loved the balance of pace and character development. Additionally, Nine contains an intensity that I've found in only a handful of authors. It's an intensity that pulls you into the story world, glues you to whatever seat you can find, and burns your eyeballs because you don't dare blink! 

When the suspense and mystery ends on that final page, the truths exposed in the story will stay with its readers for a lifetime! The spiritual message revolves around identity, a message the author has a gift for unveiling, restoring, and edifying within her novels. Nine explores choosing a new identity, no matter how dark, broken, or manipulated your past may be. Rewriting your program. Choosing freedom. Choosing love. Through the intense moments of testing that each character faced, readers will be strengthened for the identity battles we face every day!

Five Stars ~ Nine by Rachelle Dekker is an edge-of-your-seat suspense! Nine is standalone with ties into The Girl behind the Red Rope, but it is not necessary to read The Girl behind the Red Rope before reading Nine.

Possible triggers ~ violence, death, abuse, abduction, torture. 

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer loves to write romantic and comedic stories that proclaim God’s deep love for us. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and an avid blogger. In her spare time, Joy loves to sing (especially Disney songs), drink large quantities of coffee, and take flowery photos for Bookstagram. When Joy isn’t fighting with fictional people, she’s hanging out with her husband and their adorable little girl. Connect with Joy via www.vjoypalmer.com!

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Review of A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham


About the Book ~ 

Where you come from matters far less than where you're going

Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory. In the shadow of the Black Hills, she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid--despite being only twenty-four. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie's pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves--but he is precisely the one person who can never know.

Can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can't seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?

For more information about Rachel Fordham and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham carries the beautiful tune of simpler days -- even though none of the heart-wrenching issues the author tackles can be described as simple!

Set in 1880 in the Dakota territory, A Life Once Dreamed sweeps the reader into Penance, a close community with the grit to thrive in the West. The author's writing style stirred fond memories of Catherine Marshall's Christy and any number of Janette Oke's stories -- the kind of writing that warms you from the inside out!

You can't help but root for James and Agnes' second chance at love! Very romantic! Their journey makes up the primary story, but the author included another character that I'm hoping will the hero of his own tale one day! While the author emphasizes that where a person is going in life is more important that where they came from in James and Agnes' romantic story of reconciliation, the author achieves this through the character's heart-tugging choices to love. Without giving away the plot, each of the characters has to make the choice to love, a choice that may not be convenient, safe, or without sacrifice. Additionally, the author tackles the emotionally-charged topic of unwanted, illegitimate children. Amidst poverty, class prejudice, and a scarlet fever outbreak, the fatherly heart of God shines like a beacon of love in A Life Once Dreamed, a love story that is more than apropos for such a time as this!

Four Stars ~ A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham is beautiful story of love! A Life Once Dreamed is a standalone, but the author has other stories in her backlist for readers to enjoy!

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer loves to write romantic and comedic stories that proclaim God’s deep love for us. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and an avid blogger. In her spare time, Joy loves to sing (especially Disney songs), drink large quantities of coffee, and take flowery photos for Bookstagram. When Joy isn’t fighting with fictional people, she’s hanging out with her husband and their adorable little girl. Connect with Joy via www.vjoypalmer.com!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Review of Vying for the Viscount by Kristi Ann Hunter

 

About the Book ~

For Hudson, the newly titled Viscount Stildon, moving to England from India where he was born and raised was already an arduous enough endeavor. When he learns the fate of the racing empire he inherited along with his title depends upon him getting in the good graces of another stable owner, he's even more at a loss.

The stable at the neighboring estate has been Miss Bianca Snowley's refuge for years, and when a strange man appears to be stealing the horses, she jumps to their protection without a second thought. Upon learning Hudson is actually the new owner, she can't help but be intrigued by the area's newest eligible bachelor.

Any thought of romance is quickly set aside, however, when Hudson proposes they work together to secure suitable spouses for each other. As their friendship grows, Hudson and Bianca begin to reconsider what they truly want in life. But will societal expectations and the weight of their responsibilities keep them from pursuing their true desires?

For more information about Kristi Ann Hunter and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Vying for the Viscount by Kristi Ann Hunter is a Regency Era tale that will delight readers as they savor each word!

I am always drawn to Regency stories because I love this era. However, the focus on horses and racing in this era makes Vying for the Viscount stand out from among its counterparts in a unique way! I loved this! If you love horses and historical romance, this is the story your heart has always wanted!

Vying for the Viscount is...well, I'll just say it. This is a funny story! Really! The author weaves wit, humor, and truly awkward situations for the characters to bumble their way through in such a natural way. I chuckled and grinned like a dork from each clever exchange among the characters to each self-deprecating poke at themselves. Additionally, the author skillfully wove in cameo appearances in a way that felt like a family reunion among characters!

Bianca and Hudson's story is definitely a slow-burn romance. Their immediate and easy camaraderie isn't insta-love. As they each struggle to find a spouse, they slowly and unwittingly fall in love! Through Bianca's journey, the author portrays the struggle to entrust God with your future with aching clarity. Through Hudson, the author shows how society's idea of a "good reputation" can come at the cost of the life God wants for you, a life of love and joy. Readers will be thoroughly invested in Bianca and Hudson's story because these struggles are universal! 

Five Stars ~ Vying for the Viscount by Kristi Ann Hunter is a must for lovers of the Regency Era! Vying for the Viscount is the first book in the author's new series, Hearts on the Heath. I'm looking forward to reading future books in the series! 

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer loves to write romantic and comedic stories that proclaim God’s deep love for us. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and an avid blogger. In her spare time, Joy loves to sing (especially Disney songs), drink large quantities of coffee, and take flowery photos for Bookstagram. When Joy isn’t fighting with fictional people, she’s hanging out with her husband and their adorable little girl. Connect with Joy via www.vjoypalmer.com!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Review of Love and a Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray


About the Book ~

There's a lot of irony in hitting rock bottom.

After a heartbreak leaves her reeling, January Sanders is open to anything--including moving into a cabin on her aunt's wedding-venue property and accepting a temporary position at her aunt's church despite being a lifelong skeptic of faith. Choosing to keep her doubts to herself, she's determined to give her all to supporting Grace Community's overworked staff while helping herself move on.

What she doesn't count on is meeting the church's handsome and charming guitarist. It's a match set for disaster, and yet January has no ability to stay away, even if it means pretending to have faith in a God she doesn't believe in.

Only this time, keeping her secret isn't as easy as she thought it would be. Especially when she's constantly running into her aunt's landscape architect, who seems to know everything about her past-and-present sins and makes no apologies about pushing her to deal with feelings she'd rather keep buried.

Torn between two worlds that can't coexist, can January find the healing that's eluded her, or will her resistance to the truth ruin any chance of happiness?

For more information about Tammy L. Gray and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

There was so much to love about Love and a Little White Lie! I'll try to sum up, but you really should just read it IMMEDIATELY! Truly, Love and a Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray is one of my favorite books this year, and it will be etched on my heart as a forever favorite for eternity! 

The setting of Love and a Little White Lie was superb! With the majority of the story taking place either at a wedding venue and revolving around a large church and its various ministries, what's not to love? The characters were fun and authentic, showing the struggles with waiting, trust, or even anger at God - all things that Christians experience. The love triangle naturally introduced characters for future books without feeling forced, showing in its aching perfection how different people can move in and out of someone's life. Additionally, the hate-to-love romance with it's Luke and Lorelai vibes made me downright giddy!

Last but not least is January! I loved January! LOVED! Why? Sooo many reasons. She was raw and real and sarcastic. I loved her first person point of view, and I loved her journey to God. I loved that the author dared to give readers an authentic character who not only didn't believe in God but also didn't make moral decisions like she'd grown up in the church. The church environment was an entirely new experience to January, and her preconceived ideas where blown out of the water as she encountered God's love in the world around her! In light of her past traumas, this made her courageous decision to trust God all the more beautiful. Furthermore, January's journey is a powerful example on how to show the love of God to someone who doesn't love God themselves! 

Five Stars ~ Love and a Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray is a forever favorite! This is the first book in the author's A State of Grace Series, and I am looking forward to the next book!

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer loves to write romantic and comedic stories that proclaim God’s deep love for us. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and an avid blogger. In her spare time, Joy loves to sing (especially Disney songs), drink large quantities of coffee, and take flowery photos for Bookstagram. When Joy isn’t fighting with fictional people, she’s hanging out with her husband and their adorable little girl. Connect with Joy via www.vjoypalmer.com!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Review of Heart of a Princess by Hannah Currie

About the Book ~

To the watching world, Princess Alina has it all—maids to serve her, a kingdom to revere her, a prince to marry her, and a wardrobe filled with enough frills, flounces, and shades of pink to rival a flower shop. But behind the smiles and designer clothes, Alina has a secret. She’s barely holding it together. 

After a moment of panic almost ends in tragedy, Alina is sent to a refuge far from the palace to recuperate. Her family claims it’s for her own good but—faced with cows, knife-beaked ducks, and far too many of her own insecurities—Alina is pretty sure it will kill her first. And Joha Samson, infuriating man that he is, will laugh as it does. 

Only there’s more to Joha than she realizes, and more to herself too. When the time comes to make a stand, will she find the courage?

For more information about Hannah Currie and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Heart of a Princess by Hannah Currie is a MUST for anyone who loves princesses, faith, relatable characters, hate-to-love romances, and did I mention princesses?

The Daughters of Peverell Series fills the void my princess-loving heart has felt since I finished The Selection Series, and Heart of a Princess by Hannah Currie exceeded all my hopes and expectations!  Truly, I hope the author never stops writing princess stories because the only thing that's holding me together right now is knowing that there's a third book in this series!

Alina is the kind of character I love in fiction! Love, love, love! She's not perfect. She can have an attitude, makes mistakes, says the wrong thing, and finds herself in a hate-to-love romance to boot! I love it when authors dare to give readers imperfect characters, characters who are raw, real, and relatable because the growth is genuine when we have that human trifecta! The author took us past the perfectly imperfect exterior to the broken, strong, and beautiful interior that made Alina who she was. Readers, I dare you NOT to laugh, cry, and be transformed alongside Alina! You'll lose.

What makes Heart of a Princess stand out from among other princess stories is the faith element. It's like The Selection Series meets the book of Daniel in the Bible! No spoilers, but Alina's faith journey will humble and strengthen her readers with God's everlasting truth: all will be well. 

Five Stars ~ Heart of a Princess by Hannah Currie is a MUST-READ! Heart of a Princess is the second book in the author's Daughters of Peverell Series. Heart of a Princess can be read as a standalone, but there will be major spoilers for the first book, Heart of a Royal, if read out of order.

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own. I also purchased an additional copy, but I was not required to do this.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer loves to write romantic and comedic stories that proclaim God’s deep love for us. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and an avid blogger. In her spare time, Joy loves to sing (especially Disney songs), drink large quantities of coffee, and take flowery photos for Bookstagram. When Joy isn’t fighting with fictional people, she’s hanging out with her husband and their adorable little girl. Connect with Joy via www.vjoypalmer.com!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Review of Line by Line by Jennifer Delamere


About the Book ~

Can her dreams of independence withstand a dash of love?

Since she was young, Alice McNeil has seen a career as a telegrapher as the best use for her keen and curious mind. Years later, she doesn't regret her freedom in foregoing marriage, especially when she acquires a coveted position at an important trading firm. But when the company's ambitious junior director returns to London, things begin to change in ways Alice could never have imagined.

For Douglas Shaw, years of hard work and ingenuity enabled him to escape a life of grinding poverty. He's now determined to marry into high society--a step that will ensure he never returns to the conditions of his past.

He immediately earns Alice's respect by judging her based on her skills and not her gender, and a fast camaraderie forms. However, when Alice accidentally angers a jealous coworker and his revenge threatens both their reputations, Alice and Douglas are forced to confront what is truly important in their lives. Will their growing bond give them the courage to see the future in a different light?

For more information about Jennifer Delamere and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Line by Line by Jennifer Delamere is a delight for any Victorian-loving heart!

Loved, loved, loved the setting in Line by Line! I have always loved stories set in the Victorian Era, but I especially loved the way the author swept me into the world of the middle to upper working class of this time period in England. It was fun to read a story that didn't center around the aristocracy! I also loved the fun way the author sprinkled in real people, books, and such into Alice and Douglas' story!

I thoroughly enjoyed Alice's character! I love strong heroines, but I also loved the way the author dismantled the narrative that often surrounds working women. Alice viewed her life as a single woman as not only superior in some ways to the lives of married women but also closed her heart to the potential joys of starting a family. In Alice's mind, it was one or the other, but who says God can't have both in store for a woman's future? I loved the way Alice had to debunk this narrative in her life!

After coming from a life of poverty, Douglas was determined never to return to a life even remotely resembling that. In his quest to better himself, Douglas started down a crass and unfeeling road of losing his soul to the love of money. The author drew the firm line in the sand that the love of money is the root of all evil and showed how someone who values honor and integrity can still find themselves on this slippery slope. I greatly appreciated how the author handled this in Douglas' spiritual journey!

Four Stars ~ Line by Line by Jennifer Delamere is a sweet Victorian romance! Line by Line is the first book in the author's new Love Along the Wires Series. I'm looking forward to reading future books in the series!

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer loves to write romantic and comedic stories that proclaim God’s deep love for us. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and an avid blogger. In her spare time, Joy loves to sing (especially Disney songs), drink large quantities of coffee, and take flowery photos for Bookstagram. When Joy isn’t fighting with fictional people, she’s hanging out with her husband and their adorable little girl. Connect with Joy via www.vjoypalmer.com!


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Review of Don't Keep Silent by Elizabeth Goddard


About the Book ~

Justice comes easy for these two. But forgiveness? That's another matter altogether.
Investigative reporter Rae Burke will do anything to find her missing sister-in-law, even if it means facing Liam McKade, a man who almost lost his life saving hers. A former DEA agent, Liam thought he could find peace at his Wyoming ranch, but he doesn't feel at home anywhere anymore. When the reporter who blew his cover on an important investigation inserts herself back into his life, he's less than thrilled. But Rae's keen investigative skills have led her down the right path--and directly into the dragon's mouth--leaving Liam no choice but to protect her.

As the danger increases, the past they both tried to flee catches up to them, along with the feelings they once had for each other . . .

For more information about Elizabeth Goddard and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Ready for a mystery that will have you shifting the story's sands for that one and only clue that will tie everything together? If so, then Don't Keep Silent by Elizabeth Goddard is for you!

In addition to an intricate mystery -- no spoilers! -- there was several key aspects that I really loved in Don't Keep Silent! I loved the setting! The author does a wonderful job bringing this town in Wyoming to life, and the wildness of the land reminds me of my own backyard. Additionally, one of the things I was delightfully surprised to find in Don't Keep Silent was the representation for the Autism Community. As a mom to a young child with Autism, I love seeing Autism represented in stories! While this wasn't a huge focus in Don't Keep Silent, the fact that it was represented there at all blessed my heart!

The spiritual dynamic in Don't Keep Silent was more subtle. Due to Liam and Rae's history, they're struggling to forgive each other -- or are they? In reality, this was a convenient façade they each donned in order to keep them from dealing with the real issue -- that they are both uniquely called to protect those can't cry out for help. They are individually struggling with the painful realities of that calling and the traumatic ways it has impacted their lives. Because of this, they are afraid to open their hearts -- and each other -- up to the pain that love can bring. I loved that once they stripped that façade away and looked this fear in the face, they bravely choose one of the scariest gifts God gives us: love.

Three Stars ~ Don't Keep Silent by Elizabeth Goddard is an intricate mystery that will keep you asking questions! Don't Keep Silent is the third book in the author's Uncommon Justice Series. The overall mystery can be read as a standalone, but readers will understand the family dynamics better if the series is read in order.

Possible triggers ~ Death, abduction, human trafficking.

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer loves to write romantic and comedic stories that proclaim God’s deep love for us. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and an avid blogger. In her spare time, Joy loves to sing (especially Disney songs), drink large quantities of coffee, and take flowery photos for Bookstagram. When Joy isn’t fighting with fictional people, she’s hanging out with her husband and their adorable little girl. Connect with Joy via www.vjoypalmer.com!