Friday, September 23, 2016

Review of When Love Arrives by Johnnie Alexander




From the Back Cover:

Dani had planned to spy on Brett--so how did she end up on a date with him?

Dani Prescott can't believe the lie Brett Somers is trying to sell to the media. During an interview about the plane crash that killed his parents, he blamed Dani's mother. But the crash killed her as well. Vowing to restore her mother's reputation, Dani has been following Brett and taking photos, hoping to find something she can use to discredit him. But when she catches his eye instead, she quickly finds herself agreeing to a date. Brett knows this mystery girl is hiding something--but he's got his own secrets to keep. What will happen when he discovers who she really is?

My Thoughts:

How does the naïve girl with the sordid past catch the eye of the area's most eligible bachelor? Find out in this delightful contemporary romance, When Love Arrives, by Johnnie Alexander!

I adored all the witty banter! Loved seeing Dani and Brett go back and forth for pages. And all the references to classic movies - LOVE! Cause Cary Grant. *Swoon* A dreamy guy who knows and quotes Cary Grant? *Fainting Swoon*

Dani is really sweet. I can understand her hurt and her desire to clear her mother's name. Oh, and Dani, I probably would have done the same thing with the ring. ;) Brett was very well developed. You could see him fighting his playboy past, trying to be the man he should be for his family. You could feel his charm oozing off the pages, and then you'd want to slap that arrogant smirk off his face. And I think when a character makes you want to go from hugs to slapping, they are making you feel. Which is kinda the point. ;)

The spiritual plot is subtle. Dani and Brett both found their way back to God over the course of the story. It is a good read for someone who doesn't like to feel like they are being preached at throughout the story.

When Love Arrives is the second book in Johnnie Alexander's Misty Willow Series. You can read this as a stand alone novel, but some of the drama and character interaction will make more sense if you read Shelby and AJ's story, Where She Belongs, the first book in the Misty Willow Series. I'm looking forward to Amy's story!

I received a copy of When Love Arrives by Johnnie Alexander from Revell in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

See you guys next time! God bless and hugs!

V. Joy Palmer

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Review of To Have and to Hold by Betsy St. Amant, Becky Wade, and Katie Ganshert



From the Back Cover:

They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Love Takes the Cake: A September Wedding Story by Betsy St. Amant

Charlotte Cantrell is always the baker; never the bride. When Will, a regular at Charlotte’s bakery, catches her attention, she can only hope that he is the reliable man this single mother has always hoped to find. The problem is that he’s regularly stopping in to buy cookies for another girl. But when Charlotte is hired to bake a host of wedding goodies for a difficult bride and finds out Will is the best man, she has the perfect opportunity to get to know him better—and find out how serious Will is about this other girl in his life.

The Perfect Arrangement: An October Wedding Story by Katie Ganshert

Amelia Woods is a small-town wallflower and the proud owner of Forget-Me-Nots, a quaint flower shop. Her love life has always been a bit lackluster—until she ends up in an embarrassing fender-bender with handsome Nate Gallagher. Meanwhile, Amelia’s younger brother, William, has proposed to his girlfriend. Amelia would be excited except she has evidence that the fiancée is not who she says she is. It seems Nate is the only one available for any advice-giving, and he’s good at it—and pretty fun to talk to too. As Amelia works to craft the perfect flower arrangements for other people, she begins to wonder if real love is better than the dream. And if it is, will Nate still be interested when he learns who she is?

Love in the Details: A November Wedding Story by Becky Wade

When Josh returns to his hometown of Martinsburg, Texas, to help his best friend get married, he didn’t intend to run into church wedding coordinator—and ex-girlfriend—Holly. He can’t help but pine after the girl he never got over. Holly broke up with Josh years ago in an attempt to ensure his future success. But she loved him then and still loves him now. As she helps him plan his best friend’s wedding, she longs to be with Josh but doesn’t feel worthy of his big-time lifestyle when she is more comfortable in her smalltown world. Will Josh and Holly be able to keep things as they are when their true feelings threaten to surface at every turn?

My Thoughts:

I love this novella collection! Sweet! Sassy! Romantic!

Bliss.

Love Takes the Cake ~

Such a sweet story. I love Betsy St. Amant's wit! Some people might feel like Charlotte and Will fall into the cliché of just needing to talk. Yeah, there are some misunderstandings, but I felt like they were pretty believable. Charlotte acted out of a place of deep hurt and because she had her daughter to protect.  And Will. What a guy! He was well developed for such a short story.

The Perfect Arrangement ~

LOVE THIS STORY!

Ok, first, this story is written in first person from Amelia's perspective - my favorite thing in the world! She's so much fun! And Nate. Sigh. He quotes Mr. Darcy and knows old Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart movies. Need I say more?

Love in the Details ~

Such a sweet story! Josh is a handsome nerd and Holly is a YA writer - I loved that! Becky Wade paints such lovely word pictures. And I love stories of unrequited love and second chances. <3 *Sigh.*

I received a copy of To Have and to Hold: Three Autumn Love Stories (A Year of Weddings Novella) by Betsy St. Amant, Becky Wade, and Katie Ganshert published by Zondervan from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

God bless you guys! See you next time!

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Ramblings from ACFW

So I was out of town this last week. I would have written this sooner, but I was recovering from major jet lag (I was on central time instead of eastern for four days! Yeah!), and a baby in the middle of a sleep regression (Ah, the days when I didn't know the horror of those words. The days when I slept...). Anyways. I was at ACFW. The American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference.

A. Maz. Ing.

Image result for images of acfw


I love this conference so much. I wouldn't be published without this conference. I wouldn't have met such wonderful friends without this conference. I wouldn't be pushed a little bit more out of my shell each year without this conference.

As an introvert, I could maybe do without that last part.

I had goals for this conference. I WASN'T going to chase appointments this year. I wanted to focus on making new friendships, connections, and actually sitting through a class from start to finish.

But I had another goal, as well.

I wanted God to show up. I wanted to be refreshed. Transformed. Revived.

And if you ask for God to show up, you had better mean it. Because He did. And I ended up ugly crying all over two dear friends. Seriously. I resembled a sniveling two-year-old.

And I forgot to put stinking tissues in my purse.

But God showed up. He came for me. And that was just the start.

Maybe you're feeling sort of how I was feeling. In a ditch and everything is a fight. Difficult. Like all of the joy has been sucked out of you like you're one of those vacuum sealed storage bags.

God's waiting for you.

Get out. Get away. Go somewhere different (I'm a fan of the lake or the river.). Bring your Bible. Cry and don't give a flying fig about what the random strangers passing by you are thinking.

Or don't do any of that.

Just ask God to show up. And He will.

Hugs, friends.
 
V. Joy Palmer

Monday, August 22, 2016

Review of Without Warning by Lynette Eason




From the Back Cover:

Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.

The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.


Katie Singleton, a partner with the Elite Guardians Protection Agency, stumbles upon her next assignment quite by accident. Spotting blue lights at a familiar restaurant, she stops to investigate, only to discover that owner Daniel Matthews has become the target of someone who will go to any lengths to put him out of business.

Daniel might be concerned, but he's not convinced that a bodyguard--and a female one at that--is necessary. A new attack and his niece's urgings are enough to make him reconsider. He and Katie must figure out who's behind the intimidation and threats--before a would-be killer strikes again.
 
My Thoughts:

Katie and Daniel both struggle with difficult pasts, one of their many similarities. But it takes a dead body in Daniel's restaurant to really bring the pair together. Prepare for ups and downs, raw honesty, explosions, and an angle you don't see coming. Without Warning is the second book in the Elite Guardians Series.

I enjoyed Without Warning. The suspense was well paced, with some hold-your-breath scenes. The last hundred and twenty pages flew because I HAD to keep reading.

The only drawback for me was that I didn't connect to the main characters as much as I normally do. Must be something wrong with me. LOL. I also would have liked to have seen the romance developed a little more between Katie and Daniel.

Three and half stars! Good story!
 
I received a copy of Without Warning by Lynette Eason from Revell Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.
 
God bless you guys! See you next time!! :)
 
V. Joy Palmer
 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Review of Perfection by Danyele Patrick




From the Back Cover:

To the outsider, Georgia's life appears perfect. She is a young up-and-coming Hollywood actress with her own television show and spot in the constant limelight of the tabloids. But when the ghosts of her past beckon her to come home to her small town, she must come to terms with the family she has left behind as well as the truth about herself. She must answer pressing questions: Is perfection truly attainable? And if so, is it worth losing yourself to find it?

My Thoughts:

Georgia is a famous actress with seemingly everything she could want, but there's a huge whole in her heart. It takes confronting the past and a handy handyman to help her realize what's missing - God.

So, I liked the premise of this story. A Hollywood star coming back to God and falling in love? Um, yes please! Perfection reminded me of a Hallmark movie, and it was a very clean read. The author worked in some great spiritual lessons, and I appreciated The Prodigal Son angle to the story.

However, some of the story felt too perfect for me. I didn't see enough consequences for Georgia's actions, and at times it didn't really feel like she was a famous star because there wasn't - in my opinion - enough blowback. Also, I would have liked to see more, deeper character development for Georgia and Chris. I think with more attention to these details an alright story would have become an award-winning, bestseller.

Two and a half stars. A sweet story, but it wasn't my taste. However, don't let my opinion stop you. Read the story and decide for yourself.

I received a copy of Perfection by Danyele Patrick from the author in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

God bless you guys! See you next time!! :)
 
V. Joy Palmer

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Review of Forever Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon



Book Description:

With the witch of Doon on the throne, Jamie believed dead, and Duncan and Mackenna trapped in Alloway, Veronica has no choice but to put her grief aside and prepare her remaining followers for the impending battle against the false queen and her forces. But while on a covert mission to steal a powerful elixir from the castle, Veronica discovers her true love may actually be alive, and fighting a battle of his own.

With the Brig o’ Doon destroyed and the portal fragmented, Doon’s forces are not only divided, but also isolated in different dimensions. With the help of a storyteller as ancient as the witch herself, Kenna and Duncan learn they must rebuild the bridge to have any chance of crossing back into Doon with their ragtag army. But when Mackenna insists on fighting as well, Duncan soon realizes the only way he can ensure her safety is to turn her into a cold-hearted killer.

For Vee, Jamie, Kenna, and Duncan, saving their kingdom while keeping their lives intact will take a miracle.

*Reminder* Books published under the Blink imprint are intended for a general readership without being overtly Christian.

My Thoughts:

When I finished Forever Doon I texted my husband, "I finished Doon. I feel like I just lost my kingdom." So, yeah. I'm pretty much in love with this series. I'm suffering from sever book death now. (Book Death is a little know condition that refers to when you finish the last book of a series you completely adore.)

This story is... Breathtaking? Heart wrenching? Thought provoking? Funny? Intense? Swoony? Powerful? Checky, check, check. From the desperation in the beginning to the epic final battle to the bittersweet last page, you won't want to put down this spell-binding story. Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon weave in key details that continue throughout the series, and while the ending was perfect, it was written with losses, questions, and choices. And in my opinion, that is the mark of a mature writer, or in this case, writers. I held my breath, rejoiced, cried, and loved right along with Vee and Kenna! And I loved being able to read from Duncan and Jamie's perspectives, too!

You don't want to miss the stunning conclusion of the equally stunning Doon Series. Five Stars! If you haven't read the previous books, you may be a little lost if you read the last book. Normally it doesn't matter to me if you read a series out of order. Confession - I do it all the time. But seriously, why wouldn't you want to read the first three books? GO GET THEM! READ THEM ALL!

I received a copy of Forever Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon published by Blink from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

God bless you guys! See you next time!

V. Joy Palmer

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Review of No Way Up by Mary Connealy




From the Back Cover:

The Fight for the Cimarron Ranch Has Just Begun!

When Cimarron Ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, only the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Before leaving by train to receive treatment to save his leg--and possibly his life--Chance demands that Heath read the patriarch's will and see its conditions enforced immediately. If Chance's three bickering adult children, Justin, Sadie, and Cole, don't live and work at the ranch for an entire year, ownership of the ranch will pass to a despised distant relative.

Before long, however, Heath discovers that the avalanche may have been intentionally set--and that more danger lurks ominously. Finding his own future--and a desired future with Sadie--locked up in saving the Cimarron Ranch, Heath and the Boden siblings must work together against outside forces that threaten them all.
 
My Thoughts:
 
Realistic. Mysterious. Hilarious. Sadie Boden's father is trying to control her life! But maybe that won't be so bad with Heath Kincaid (Yes, Mary Connealy fans, Kincaid!) around, as long as she can keep her knuckleheaded brothers from running him out of town. Things become even more complicated when it becomes apparent that someone is targeting Sadie's family. I quite enjoyed this spunky story!

The setting and the details seemed so grounded in the time period. The description captured me from the first chapter. I love the history - both real and imagined - that Mary Connealy worked into the story.

I think what I loved most though, was the imperfections of the characters. I feel like a lot of series where each book portrays a different sibling makes them each look like the greatest thing since sliced bread. But you could see all the realistic imperfections of the characters. They were so relatable. From Chance's loving yet manipulative attempt to teach his children to Justin and Cole's pigheadedness. Even Sadie and Heath didn't have everything figured out at the end of the story. They just knew they loved each other, and that that love could overcome all the other obstacles. Love that!

Bottom line: I really liked No Way Up, and I recommend it to anyone who loves romantic westerns. Can't wait to read the rest of the series! Four Stars.
 
I received a copy of No Way Up by Mary Connealy from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

See you guys next time! Have an awesome day! :)
 
V. Joy Palmer