Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Review of Fatal Code by Natalie Walters

 


About the Book ~

In 1964, a group of scientists called the Los Alamos Five came close to finishing a nuclear energy project for the United States government when they were abruptly disbanded. Now the granddaughter of one of those scientists, aerospace engineer Elinor Mitchell, discovers that she has highly sensitive information on the project in her possession--and a target on her back.

SNAP agent and former Navy cryptologist Kekoa Young is tasked with monitoring Elinor. This is both convenient since she's his neighbor in Washington, DC, and decidedly inconvenient because . . . well, he kind of likes her.

As Elinor follows the clues her grandfather left behind to a top-secret nuclear project, Kekoa has no choice but to step in. And with danger closing in on all sides, Elinor will have to trust the man who has been spying on her to ensure her discoveries stay out of enemy hands--and she stays alive.

For more information about Natalie Walters and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

If you're looking for a sweet romance, an intense suspense, and some hilariously bad puns all in one place, then look no further because Fatal Code by Natalie Walters has arrived! 

Fatal Code was a wildly fun ride, and I thoroughly enjoyed every twist! One of the things I loved most about Fatal Code was how the author made the characters come alive. Kekoa and Elinor were not flat, two-dimensional characters, but memorable, unique people! They had hopes, fears, wounds, strengths, failures, and hilarious quirks. Seriously, Elinor's puns were some of my favorite parts of the story! I also loved Kekoa's Hawaiian culture and the authentic way the author incorporated that into the story. It made them feel so real. Additionally, the action and drama moved at a good pace. I was trying to figure out how everything would fit together, and I was very satisfied with how the author concluded the suspense.

The spiritual journeys that Kekoa and Elinor took were just so beautiful! From the loving memory of Elinor's grandfather urging her towards freedom to Kekoa's struggle to give God his all -- complete and utter trust. While packaged in a fun story, the messages were just so achingly relatable. 

Five Stars ~ Fatal Code by Natalie Walters was an entertaining ride! Fatal Code is the second book in the author's SNAP Agency series, but it can be read as a standalone. I am looking forward to the next book 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, June 18, 2022

Review of When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer


About the Book ~

How will she choose, knowing all she must sacrifice?

Libby has been given a powerful gift: to live one life in 1774 Colonial Williamsburg and the other in 1914 Gilded Age New York City. When she falls asleep in one life, she wakes up in the other. While she's the same person at her core in both times, she's leading two vastly different lives.

In Colonial Williamsburg, Libby is a public printer for the House of Burgesses and the Royal Governor, trying to provide for her family and support the Patriot cause. The man she loves, Henry Montgomery, has his own secrets. As the revolution draws near, both their lives--and any hope of love--are put in jeopardy.

Libby's life in 1914 New York is filled with wealth, drawing room conversations, and bachelors. But the only work she cares about--women's suffrage--is discouraged, and her mother is intent on marrying her off to an English marquess. The growing talk of war in Europe only complicates matters.

But Libby knows she's not destined to live two lives forever. On her twenty-first birthday, she must choose one path and forfeit the other--but how can she choose when she has so much to lose in each life?

For more information about Gabrielle Meyer and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer will haunt you long after the last page — in the best way possible!

When the Day Comes was a fresh, unique, and utterly romantic tale! I read the ending over and over again, savoring each word because I didn’t want the story to end, but also because it was — simply put — perfect. The time-traveling premise was unique and unlike anything I’ve seen in historical fiction. Additionally, I loved the two eras in which Libby lived, and I savored the history as it came alive. I also enjoyed the yin-yang twist to Libby’s conflict, fighting for freedom from the British in one life only to be forced back into British society in the other. The conflict and angst built with each page, and while I could go on and on about all the little facets and nuances that made When the Day Comes an exemplary read, you’ll be better off taking the journey yourself! Trust me!

Libby’s story is a well of spiritual truths that’s just waiting for the reader to drink deeply! Themes such as trusting that God has a good plan for you, sacrificial love, and pursuing God’s will for your life. All of these and more are beautifully and at times heart wrenchingly played out in Libby’s memorable life. I should note that there were two off-page scenes of marital sexual assault that could be potentially triggering. However, I thought that the author handled this painful subject gracefully and in a way that didn’t destroy the story or the beautiful messages woven throughout it. 

Five Stars ~ When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer was utterly enchanting! When the Day Comes is the first book in the author’s Timeless series, and I can’t wait to read 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!

Friday, May 20, 2022

Review of All That It Takes by Nicole Deese

 


About the Book ~

When the ever-cautious Val Locklier moves cross-country with her son for a secure job, everything she'd planned unravels within the first week. After Val reluctantly agrees to rent an apartment from her best friend's brother, an unexpected chance at an elite filmmakers' mentorship ignites fresh hope for a dream career. But as Val's community begins to expand, so do her insecurities, especially those heightened by her growing attraction to a certain friendly landlord. 

Pastor Miles McKenzie returns home from a short-term mission trip to discover that not only does he have an intriguing new tenant living upstairs, he's also been reassigned to a local ministry on life support. Disillusioned and restless, he distracts himself by throwing his energy into a host of new projects--not the least of which is pursuing Val--without stopping to consider the future. 

As Val struggles to stop hiding behind the camera and Miles wrestles with shattered expectations, they'll find that authentic love and sacrifice must go hand in hand.

For more information about Nicole Deese and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

From cover to cover, All That It Takes by Nicole Deese is a gorgeous story!

All That It Takes was the beautiful completion of a story that was merely hinted at in the author’s previous novel — and oh, was Miles and Val’s romance worth every second of the wait! Additionally, I really enjoyed getting to see previous characters in a way that didn’t overshadow Miles and Val’s journey. I loved the documentary angle, but the main setting of All That It Takes gripped my heart from the moment that Miles and Val stepped foot into the dilapidated and depleted facility. The voices, emotion, and realistic portrayal of single motherhood had me crying more than once as I cuddled my own newborn. There was a beautiful simplicity to All That It Takes, and it added a dash of everyday magic that I absolutely adored!

I loved how Val navigated her story within the stories of others via her documentary! I loved the way this showed how our stories are each unique despite any similarities and hold value, while also showing how sometimes all that it takes (wink, wink) to change someone’s story is for someone else to be vulnerable with theirs. I also really loved how the author didn't shy away from portraying someone in leadership who messed up and then had to face the natural consequences for that — including how that affected other people, like Miles. This deftly transitioned to Miles’ own issues, reaching a level of reality that packed a spiritual wallop!

Five Stars ~ All That It Takes by Nicole Deese is a beautiful yet equally powerful romance! All That It Takes can be read as a standalone, but there are some characters from the author's previous book, All That Really Matters, who appear in All That It Takes.

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, May 12, 2022

Review of The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart

 


About the Book ~

In 1917, Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in the House of Fabergé, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history--an unknown Fabergé Egg that Peter Karl Fabergé secretly created to honor his divided allegiance to both the people of Russia and the Imperial tsar's family. When Alma and her husband escaped Russia for their native Finland in 1921, she took the secret with her, guarding her past connection to the Romanov family. 

Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance--and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined.

For more information about Kelli Stuart and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

If you enjoy dual-time stories, mysteries, and a treasure hunt to boot, then The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart is the book to check all those boxes!

The Master Craftsman is a captivating hunt for an unknown Fabergé Egg! I loved this premise, and the treasure hunt itself was my favorite part of the story! It gave me a lot of Uncharted/Nathan Drake (the video game) vibes. Additionally, I'm fascinated by Russian history, so the immersive quality of the historical storyline as well as all the gleaned history in the modern storyline immediately drew me into the story and kept me turning the pages. The author also incorporated a plot twist full of betrayal and a whole lot of danger at just the right moment. 

While I didn't connect with the characters in a soulmate way, I did enjoy their journeys. However, there is ongoing mention of an affair in an almost justifiable way that could be potentially triggering. Though bittersweet at times, The Master Craftsman subtly points to our inherent value being given by the ultimate Master Craftsman as well as love being the greatest treasure of all.

Three Stars ~ The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart is a treasure of a story! The Master Craftsman is a standalone, but the author has other books 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!

Monday, March 14, 2022

Review of In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh


 About the Book ~

It seems like a dream come true . . . until it forces her to question everything.

Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha's Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops a bombshell--Brielle is really a princess in the island kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, off the coast of Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, the king, is failing.

Distraught by all the secrets her mother kept, Brielle is further left spinning when the Ọlọrọ Ilé Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before her coronation, or the crown will pass to another. Brielle is uncertain if she even wants the throne, and with her world totally shaken, where will she find the courage to take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring?

For more information about Toni Shiloh and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

I still remember my delight as I sat in the theaters for the first Princess Diaries movie, utterly captivated as I watched all the romance, angst, humor, and joy unfold... In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh brought back all those feelings while whisking me to a topical kingdom in this contemporary world! 

In Search of a Prince was filled with whimsey, charm, romance, and girl power from cover to cover! Largely set in the fictional kingdom of Oloro Ilé, I loved how the author created this gorgeous setting through researching islands off the coast of western Africa, tribes of Nigeria, and the language of Yoruba. It made this fictional story wonderfully authentic. The story moved at a good pace, and it even included a mysterious element with a twist I didn't completely expect. I loved the romance between Brielle and her prince, and I was delighted with her choice of prince in this twist reminiscent of The Bachelor.

Brielle's journey took quite a ride, exploring many different facets and avenues for fear. Fear of failure, fear of our identity, fear of God's calling, fear of making the wrong choice, fear of physical harm -- just to name a few! I thought the author handled these different things well, incorporating them into Brielle's story in a realistic way while also pointing readers towards our loving God whose strength is made perfect in our weakness.

Five Stars ~ In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh is an absolutely charming princess story! In Search of a Prince can be read as a standalone, and I am looking forward to reading the author's next book set in Ọlọrọ Ilé! The author also has other books 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!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Review of The Lady of Galway Manor by Jennifer Deibel


About the Book ~

In 1920, Annabeth De Lacy's father is appointed landlord of Galway Parish in Ireland. Bored without the trappings and finery of the British Court, Annabeth convinces her father to arrange an apprenticeship for her with the Jennings family--descendants of the creator of the famed Claddagh ring.

Stephen Jennings longs to do anything other than make a career in his family's jewelry shop. The past has taught him to no longer believe in love and the "lies" the Claddagh ring supposedly promises. How can he peddle what he now finds offensive?

The war for Irish independence gains strength, and the De Lacy family is caught in the crossfire. As events take a life-threatening turn, Annabeth and Stephen will discover that the bonds of friendship, love, and loyalty can only be made stronger when put through the refiner's fire.

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

My Thoughts ~

The Lady of Galway Manor by Jennifer Deibel reminds me of Leap Year with its snarky, bitter hero clashing with the highborn heroine meets Downton Abbey with Lady Sybil and Tom Branson's romance. Sprinkle in the history, culture, and the war for Irish independence, and you've got a vibrant romance waiting in The Lady of Galway Manor by Jennifer Deibel!

The Lady of Galway Manor was thoroughly engrossing! The author painted a lush and vivid description of Ireland. Despite the fact that this story is set in the 1920s -- another thing I loved! -- I felt like I could envision every detail in my mind's eye. Additionally, the culture and history were fascinating and immersive. I also really enjoyed how some of the secondary characters were challenged and grew throughout the story in addition to Anna and Stephen. 

I loved Anna and Stephen! I loved the way they reminded me of some of my favorite romances while still being their own characters. But most importantly, I loved the deep themes of love that the author explored in their romance. Not only did the author beautifully illustrate sacrificial, Christ-like love through the Claddagh ring while navigating the trenches of disbelief in love, but the author also challenged prejudices and hate that can burrow into the heart when one has declared everyone on the other side to be the enemy. Wonderfully done!

Five Stars ~ The Lady of Galway Manor by Jennifer Deibel was a vibrant, romantic, and cultured read! The Lady of Galway Manor is a standalone, and I look forward to reading other books by the author!

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!

Friday, March 4, 2022

Review of To Disguise the Truth by Jen Turano

 


About the Book ~

When a man arrives at the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, anxious to hire them to find a missing heiress, Eunice Holbrooke realizes her past has finally caught up with her . . . and that she may no longer be able to hide under the disguise that has kept her safe for so long.

Arthur Livingston's goal in life is to make his mark on the world as a mining industrialist, but after the man who could help him achieve his goal is murdered, Arthur feels compelled to seek justice for the family--but he's left with more questions than answers after the eccentric Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency refuses to take on his case.

Desperate to conceal her real identity and avoid the irritatingly handsome Arthur, Eunice takes on a different case that requires her to go deep undercover and entangles her in one troublesome situation after another. When other secrets come to light, Eunice has no choice but to confront her past, hopeful that it will set her free but knowing it could very well place her life--and the lives of those she loves--in jeopardy.

For more information about Jen Turano and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

To Disguise the Truth by Jen Turano has loads of rollicking fun tucked between its pages!

To Disguise the Truth was absolutely delightful, witty, and romantic! Additionally, I loved the family drama that unfolded like an extended murder mystery party throughout the second half of the story. The characters were layered, and I appreciate how Eunice and her friends break the forced image of what it means to be a woman. I adored the banter -- the dialogue was probably my favorite part! The setting and pacing were different and surprising, and it kept the story moving at a good pace. I also really appreciated how one of those twists led to an asylum, showing some of the horrors of the day. This twist gave representation to a vulnerable portion of our population who continue to need love and support.

Eunice and Arthur had quite the compelling spiritual journey as well! Arthur had to let go of his plans, his pride, and even his well-hidden desire for revenge to discover what he really wanted in life. Meanwhile, Eunice had been battling fear for a long time. When she began to walk in the truth, the heart of freedom God has for us is beautifully on display!

Four Stars ~ To Disguise the Truth by Jen Turano is a delightful, witty romance with an engaging family drama! To Disguise the Truth is the third book in The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency Series, but it can be read out of order or as a standalone. 

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!