Top reads of 2020

Welcome to 2021. It’s been a year, hasn’t it.

At the end of every year I compile my favorite reads. Last year I compiled a list for the entire previous decade. That was hard, but fun! 

Now for the top reads of 2020, in no specific order. All of these reads, I’ve rated 5 stars. Some of them I’ve reviewed on my blog, some of them didn’t make it onto my blog yet.

Polarized Love was a fun read. I fell in love with Lachlan immediately. So swoony and romantic. A whirlwind romance with a shocking twist I didn’t see coming. Kept me turning the pages. 

I can’t stop talking about The Socialite. Such an amazing book. Full of intrigue, romance, and fast-paced adventure. One of the best historical fictions I’ve read recently. I need more books from this new-to-me author. 

Stepping into the light by Candee Fick was a pleasant surprise. I love her contemporary romances. To discover she writes equally gripping and entertaining historical romances was such a pleasure. I enjoyed this story for its authentic dialogue, and engaging characters and storyline. 

Susan May Warren’s Knox blew me away. I was wondering about all the hype surrounding the author and this series specifically and now I know. It’s just that good. 

In Spite of Ourselves … if I had to pick a #1 top read of 2020 this would be it. Absolutely phenomenal book with a powerful, beautiful message  about God’s love, woven within a beautiful, messy, heartbreaking romance. I can’t say enough good things about this story.

Mishaps on the Mainland is part of a unique series of connected novels set within a chain of islands. This book was so fun – full of witty banter, lots of animals, and romance of course. What I am most excited about, though, is the sequel 😉 😉 I don’t have a review up on my blog yet, but you can check out the book here on Amazon.

I don’t typically read paranormal romance, but Eternal Curse by my friend Karda Leigh Miller blew me away. I love contemporary YA and it reads just like that of course, being set in a contemporary small town. The beauty of this romance, the engaging characters, and the fact that it was clean were all huge reasons I adored this book. 

 

From Sky to Sky was a unique read, for me. Maybe others who read spec fic frequently may have found it more ordinary, but for me, I enjoyed the thought-provoking plot. The idea that immortals can exist, and believe in a one True God, was fascinating to me. How do young people handle immortality? How far would they go to keep it, or lose it in order to become ordinary? Such a fun book. 

The moment I picked up the first Connilyn Coseette book, Counted with the Stars, I knew I had stumbled upon a phenomenal author. Every single book she writes is absolutely beautiful and fantastic. Shelter of the Most High is no different. Biblical fiction at its finest.

Draw me to your side was a timely read. I’d been looking for a Revolutionary War reed and this one fit the bill and kept me turning pages. Very engaging and moving. I’m hoping to pick up more books in the series soon.


What were your favorite reads in 2020? Let me know your top read in the comments.

Book review + Giveaway: Her Merriweather hero

Welcome to the blog tour for Her Merriweather Hero through Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: Her Merriweather Hero

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 27, 2020

He just wanted a place to rest and recuperate.

She only needed a repairman to help fix up her beach house.

For marine sergeant, Tyler Banner, nothing could be further from the memories of his time in Iraq than the slow, easy pace on Merriweather Island. Taking up a job as a physical trainer serves to keep him in shape while he enjoys a little downtime. Making friends with the local vet—veterinarian, that is—on his morning jog is just a bonus.

When Kendall’s sister tricked her into recruiting Tyler’s help one day, she didn’t fortify herself against a breach to her heart. Making friends with the marine was easy, but helping him overcome the PTSD that holds him captive isn’t. As she picks her way across a minefield of memories and horrors Tyler endured, Kendall begins to hope he could be the man she’s prayed for.

Falling in love wasn’t in Tyler’s orders, but a new deployment to Iraq is. How can he convince Kendall not to go AWOL when she hears? What can he do to convince her that they’ll make it… together?

This “Merriweather book” is the fourth in a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

Click here to get your copy!

My thoughts

I’m excited about this island series, as it is a unique idea, to write a series of novellas with interconnecting characters and even interconnecting storylines. 

The island sounds like a fun place to be. The setting, and the idea of a vet clinic, sounded fantastic. It’s not often you meet characters with pets, and it sounds like, in general, this series may incorporate characters with pets as we continue on through the series. That’s awesome. 

I also admired that the hero had a physical disability in the form of a prosthetic, but I wanted to see more from him about what it’s like to have a prosthetic. The way he maneuvered and handled himself was a little bit unrealistic in my opinion. I however did find all of his mental anguish over his injury and the death of his friend believable. He was a great hero. 

The heroine fell flat for me in the beginning, but her character improved significantly as the story progressed. I like the dynamic between the sisters as well.  I loved how faith was woven into the lessons they all learned about life and love. 

About the Author

Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming, Brides of Pelican Rapids and Independence Island Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: www.rachelskatvold.com.

More from Rachel

Her Merriweather Hero has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding stories I have written. Often when I am starting a new book, I immerse myself in the world-building process, which involves a lot of research and notetaking. This time around, I had the amazing opportunity to work with Celebrate Lit and the authors in the Independence Islands Series to map out these beautiful island stories. It has been an exciting journey so far.

This story was inspired by my parents who met through letters while my dad was in the Marine Corps. They both came from different backgrounds, with my mom being from Massachusetts and my dad from a small town in Iowa, but their differences didn’t stop them from falling in love. For Her Merriweather Hero, I used themes of opposites attracting, New England, and the Marine Corps from my parent’s love story.

Kendall is a young veterinarian who moves to the Independence Islands with her sister to start a new mobile clinic. There, she meets Sergeant Tyler Banner who is on medical leave after a tour overseas. She tries to avoid Tyler at first, determined to concentrate on making her business a success, but over time she can’t ignore the handsome military guy who keeps ‘accidently’ crossing her path. It doesn’t help he lives a few doors down from her fixer-upper beach house. Can she continue to try to ignore him or is it true that opposites attract?

This romantic island tale is also inspired by the verses from Hebrews 6:18-19 which describe God as our anchor. The characters feel tossed around by waves of difficulties at certain parts of the story, but He is always the anchor who keeps them secured.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 16

Daysong Reflections, November 16

Texas Book-aholic, November 17

lakesidelivingsite, November 17

Inklings and notions, November 18

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 18

Joanne Markey, November 18

For Him and My Family, November 19

Emily Yager, November 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 20

deb’s Book Review, November 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 21

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 21

Artistic Nobody, November 22 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Rebecca Tews, November 22

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 23

The Cafe Scholar, November 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 24

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 24

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, November 25

She Lives To Read, November 25

Simple Harvst Reads, November 26 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Livin’ Lit, November 26

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 27

Rebekah Reads, November 27

Connect in Fiction, November 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 28

Life, Love, Writing, November 28

Blossoms and Blessings, November 29

Batya’s Bits, November 29

Godly Book Reviews, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/103a0/her-merriweather-hero-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wish Upon a Star: Book Review

Wish upon a Star by Tabitha Bouldin

Contemporary Christian Romance

SynopsisB

Bryce Masters had everything he needed…or so he thought. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, would disagree. They were going home, moving back to Jingle Junction where Bryce would take over the local bookstore just in time for Christmas. Losing his wife, Molly, during the birth of their daughter six years ago was tragic, but Bryce has no idea just how much it weighs on young Anna’s heart until she confesses her deepest wish. What Anna wants for Christmas is a mother, but Bryce’s heart is not ready to love again. Only God can give Bryce the desire to make Anna’s wish come true. Only He can heal the hurt and open Bryce’s heart to the power of love. But Bryce will have to be willing to listen. And when the perfect woman reveals a secret that could devastate them all, will Bryce be able to look beyond what was and accept what might be?

My Thoughts

Tabitha has a unique voice, and has written a beautiful and romantic Christmas story. The child’s adorable-ness in her mission brings this heart warming and touching story to life.

I loved the sweetness of the child. It’s also interesting and unique to have a romance novel in a male POV, but i thought it nicely done. I’d have loved a dual POV, to see what our heroine was thinking and feeling.

The small town setting was quite charming and presented some unique characters who will likely return.

If you enjoy small town romances, you’ll enjoy this charming little Christmas story.

Book Review + Giveaway: Secret Beach Boyfriend

I’m excited to review this new Independence Island series through Celebrate Lit! Read on to find out my thoughts on Secret Beach Boyfriend, and don’t forget – there’s a giveaway!

About the Book

Book: Secret Beach Boyfriend

Author: Kari Trumbo

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 29 , 2020

She met Rafe on the beach when she was just five and it seemed like fate tied them together. When a chance encounter returns him to the islands twenty years later, Annie finds her beach friend has grown up and now needs her help.

Damaged and scarred from a past that still hasn’t healed, Annie needs help of her own. True to character, Rafe comes up with a perfect solution, but a temporary island romance does not fit into his agenda at all.

Will an offer to be her secret boyfriend give her heart a second chance? How can it turn into something more and prove there’s power in prayer and that love can triumph over a painful past?

He was Annie’s hero long ago, but can the man he has become save her now?

Secret Beach Boyfriend is the third “Merriweather book” in a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

My thoughts

Kari’s writing doesn’t disappoint. I enjoyed this cute beachy read, perfect for right at the end of summer. For me, this was the first read of mine in the independence island series, but I’ll be reading more of them as I find them. There are six so far if I am not mistaken.  What’s not to love – the beach + romance = the perfect combination. 

The author handled some really tough topics of mental health and I appreciated that she included such topics in her story as a prominent plot point. That’s not something I see in much of Christian Fiction and I admire those who tackle mental health in writing.

While the characters had believable flaws and behaviors, there were things Annie did that I didn’t agree with at all, and a particular revealing plot point at the end of the book that shocked and angered me. I won’t reveal it or complain about it as it’s a major spoiler. 

That said, it’s still a well written, heartwarming story that readers will enjoy. 

About the Author

Kari Trumbo is a bestselling author of Christian historical and contemporary romance novels. Her books are known for characters who feel real, settings you could move to, and faith woven between the pages. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of over twenty years, two daughters, two sons, and never enough time.

More from Kari

Have you ever hunted for seashells on the beach?

This sweet story actually starts twenty years before the moment you open the front cover. Years before, on a solitary beach, a little boy comforts a girl he finds crying by offering to help her find seashells. He doesn’t know why she’s crying, just that he can help. Even though he knows his mother will be angry with him.

You see, Rafe (that’s the little boy) has a mother who has minor OCD and doesn’t let him go on the beach. But when Annie (that’s the little girl) is obviously heartbroken, he can’t leave her sitting there and not do anything. At that moment, a hero is born.

It’s the little things that make a hero. That moment in time when he made a choice to put Annie above his own discomfort created a past for them both, an anchor they could both look back on. It was pivotal enough for them both that they remembered it years later. Rafe, because he hid the shells and cherished the one time he got to collect them. Annie, because she was going through something no child of five should have to. His kindness was a glimmer of hope.

Fast forward twenty years and these two meet again, but don’t realize right away they are the people they’ve been thinking about on-and-off for most of their lives. Interestingly enough, that part of my story is true. I had a friend I met at a local beach when I was too young to recall names or anything else of great significance other than the feeling that it was the best day ever. She made me her best buddy for the day, and that stuck with me.

When I think of this story beyond the printed page, where Annie and Rafe live on in my mind, I have to wonder if shells will continue to be a theme in their lives.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 22

Texas Book-aholic, October 23

Stories By Gina, October 23

Captive Dreams Window, October 23

Inklings and notions, October 24

CarpeDiem, October 24

For Him and My Family, October 25

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, October 25

Older & Smarter?, October 26

21st Century Keeper at Home, October 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 27

deb’s Book Review, October 27

Connect in Fiction, October 28

lakesidelivingsite, October 28

Artistic Nobody, October 29 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Godly Book Reviews, October 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 30

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 30

Livin’ Lit, October 30

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 31

Life, love, writing, October 31

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 1

Batya’s Bits, November 1

Daysong Reflections, November 2

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 2

Blossoms and Blessings, November 3

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, November 3

Simple Harvest Reads, November 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Splashes of Joy, November 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kari is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/102a8/secret-beach-boyfriend-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline: Book review + Giveaway

Secret Life of Lady-banner

About the Book

Book:  The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline

Author: Jan Davis Warren

Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: September 22, 2020

LadyEvangeline

Everyone believes Lady Evangeline is dead, so why not let them? Her survival depends on it.

After escaping from assassins and healing from her injuries, Evangeline Stanton finds refuge in a crumbling abbey. Her physical scars are nothing to the wounds left by the death of her daughter and abandonment of her husband. She spends most days disguised as Sister Margaret Mary, but when necessary, she dons the disguise of the recently deceased bandit, the Fox, to steal from the rich and help the starving children and widows who come for aid.

Lord Henry Stanton still grieves the death of his beloved wife, Evangeline. Raising their young daughter is now the most important role in his life, even though the child serves as a daily reminder of the love he and his wife once shared. He may never shed the weight of his guilt for not protecting Evangeline from the band of outlaws who killed her, as well as the lies sown by his sister-in-law, which he allowed to separate him from his wife just before her death.

When Henry’s ailing father-in-law sends an urgent request for help to manage his lands, he has no choice but to take his daughter with him to Castle Brighton. But the nun who comes to care for the sick man catches Henry’s notice from the first moment he catches sight of her. When the life of their precious daughter is threatened, can they overcome the lies and secrets of the past and join forces to save their daughter before it is too late?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Jan Davis Warren photo

Jan Davis Warren is a mother, grandmother, and a young-at-heart great-grandmother. Her wonderful husband passed away the same year she won the ACFW Genesis Award for Romantic Suspense. That win and many others are encouraging reminders that God wants her to continue writing even in the tough times. Learn more at http://www.janwarrenbooks.com.

My thoughts

I was hooked within the first paragraph. This book is a never ending adventure. I could hardly put it down. It’s fast paced and emotional and all the historical information is extremely well executed. I am so impressed!

I truly enjoyed the character of Evangeline. She had so many layers. She was fierce, yet deeply scared and emotional. The author did not simply create a strong heroine without flaws. Instead, her flaws were many and played a significant role in the overall plot. I loved the blurring of her physical and emotional scars. 

I loved how faith played such a strong role throughout the novel without being preachy in any way. It was the faith journey each main character embarked on to overcome the terrible hurts they endured that captured me. Their journeys involved true and deep struggles in every aspect of their lives; physically, emotionally, spiritually. All that combined together made for an excellent story. 

I loved all the twists and turns. What I expected to happen was turned on its head. Even the way the romantic arc played out surprised me. This book is a wild ride. It is rather violent, just so you’re aware, but without being extremely gory.

I really enjoyed this story! If you love historical novels (more historical than romance) full of action and adventure, this is the perfect story for you. 

Don’t forget to check out the Giveaway below! 

More from Jan

Hello Dear Reader,

That you are reading this means you come from some hearty and courageous ancestors. Over thousands of years, they survived good times and bad, plagues, famines, wars, and all manner of tribulations. No matter how many different places around the globe your ancestors ventured, or where they lived and died, you are living proof they existed.

This thought never crossed my mind while writing and winning awards with contemporary romantic suspense, westerns, and even sci-fi. It wasn’t until Lady Evangeline stirred me with her story that I was lured into writing about the Middle Ages. I was even more surprised when I won RWA Faith Hope & Love chapter’s, Touched by Love historical category and the overall award with The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline. Thus began my next exciting adventure, for I had never written a medieval.

While doing research for the time period, I was humbled by the revelation that I’m alive because of ancestors further back than my genealogy has thus far revealed. They survived not only the medieval era, but many other difficult, even horrific times over the centuries before my birth. You and I are truly blessed by our ancestors’ perseverance. We are alive at such a time as this for a reason. Help us Lord to be the light so others might find You and through You life eternal.

Blessings!

Jan Davis Warren

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 25

Blogging With Carol, September 25

For Him and My Family, September 26

Inklings and notions, September 27

deb’s Book Review, September 27

Texas Book-aholic, September 28

Connect in Fiction, September 28

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 29

Romances of the Cross, September 29

Connie’s History Classroom, September 30

The Book Chic Blog, September 30

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 1

CarpeDiem, October 1

Older & Smarter?, October 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 3

Life, Love, Writing, October 3

Artistic Nobody, October 4 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Labor Not in Vain, October 4

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 6

Emily Yager, October 6

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 7

Mary Hake, October 7

Splashes of Joy, October 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jan is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10116/the-secret-life-of-lady-evangeline-celebration-tour-giveaway

Spies and Sweethearts blog tour: Book Review + giveaway

Spies & Sweethearts

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: April 15, 2020

A secret mission. A fake bride. A run for their lives.

According to the OSS training manual, the life expectancy of a radio operator in Nazi-occupied France is six weeks. Partnered with one of the agency’s top spies, Gerard Lucas, newly-minted agent Emily Strealer plans to beat those odds. Then their cover is blown and all bets are off.

The border to neutral Switzerland is three hundred miles away—a long way to run with SS soldiers on their heels.

Will Emily and Gerard survive the journey?

And what about their hearts? Nothing in the manual prepared them for falling in love.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is also a trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

More from Linda

Dear Reader,

Take a moment to travel back to an era when ordinary women did extraordinary things. After the attack at Pearl Harbor, stalwart American gals stepped out of their comfort zone to take jobs never before held by women…sometimes dangerous jobs. Jobs in which they could lose their lives.

As a docent at the Wright Museum of WWII, I meet people from all walks of life who lived and served during the second “war to end all wars.” Many of these people haven’t shared their stories with loved ones for myriad reasons, but when they arrive at the museum, the floodgates of memories open, and words begin to pour out.

I’ve listened as ladies shared the stress of working outside the home, and juggling finances and childcare issues while their husbands were away in the armed forces. I’ve heard some speak about the excitement of learning new skills and gaining confidence. However, others were not as forthcoming because what they did was not only perilous, but secret. Fortunately, in the last few years, documents been declassified to shed light on the undercover work and projects performed during the war.

It is my hope that Spies & Sweethearts, book one in my Sisters in Service trilogy, will honor these brave women in some small way.

Blessings,

Linda Shenton Matchett

My thoughts

This was a fun read. I’ve read quite a few spy novels this year, more than I usually do, and they all have different strengths and weakness, and tell a similar story in a unique way. I admire that!

I enjoyed these characters, and their instant chemistry – not just romantic tension, but how well they got along on the page. When you think about two characters in a movie, even when they’re not romantically involved, they need to be able to get along well together on screen. On-screen chemistry. The same thing applies to a book. This author nailed it. Besides the romantic tension, you had a great pair of characters who bickered, bantered, and got along as friends, and later on, as more. It was so fun to read. 

The World War II backdrop has been very popular recently, but this story took it in a new direction. There was a little bit of spying and espionage, but for half the book, they were literally running for their lives  and that was tense! While coping with secret identities, and with their attraction to each other. I really enjoyed this story. If you love a good historical romance with great characters and some tense action, you’ll enjoy this story.  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!

Blog Stops

Hebrews 12 Endurance, September 15

lakesidelivingsite, September 15

Worthy2Read, September 16

deb’s Book Review, September 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 17

Genesis 5020, September 17

Betti Mace, September 18

Emily Yager, September 18

Texas Book-aholic, September 19

The Book Chic Blog, September 19

Inklings and notions, September 20

Get Cozy Book Nook, September 20

For Him and My Family, September 21

Where Faith and Books Meet, September 21

She Lives To Read, September 22

As He Leads is Joy, September 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 23

CarpeDiem, September 23

Artistic Nobody, September 24 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 25

Connect in Fiction, September 25

Connie’s History Classroom, September 26

Mary Hake, September 26

Blossoms and Blessings, September 27

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, September 27

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 28

Life, Love, Writing, September 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of Spies & Sweethearts, an autographed copy of WWII Word Find, hand cut wood fleur de lis earrings, pewter Eiffel tower ring holder, and a fleur de Lis Coaster!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/100e4/spies-sweethearts-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review: To Love a Prince

An enchanting new royal romance from NYT bestselling author Rachel Hauck.

Daffodil Caron is not a princess, even though she once dreamed of being one. After all, she grew up as a playmate to royal princes, running through the halls of Perrigwynn Palace in the North Sea’s Lauchtenland. But the day she stumbled upon a royal secret, everything changed.

Flash forward eighteen years, and Daffy’s living a sweet, non-royal life. A skilled art curator for the Royal Trust, she has friends, a flat in the heart of the capital city, and a handsome, successful boyfriend. The last person on her mind is Gus, the prince she once called her best mate.

HRH Prince Augustus is no longer “Prince Pudgy,” as caricatured by the press—he’s charming and gorgeous, possessing a world-famous smile. But after he’s jilted at the altar, then dumped by his second fianceé, the spare heir to Lauchtenland’s ancient House of Blue finds solace on a Florida beach.

A year as a regular bloke allows him to rethink his purpose. He’s half decided his calling is to pour pints at a tiki bar rather than serve his country and the Family.

But a wild Frisbee toss down the beach changes his destiny.

Despite his long hair and beard, Daffy recognizes her prince. She reminds Gus of his heritage and assures him that he’s needed in Lauchtenland.

When Daffy and Gus find themselves on assignment at Hadsby Castle in preparation for his brother’s wedding ball, their friendship blooms into affection.

Then secrets are exposed, and Gus must choose between his past hurts and his future hope. And Daffy must trust her heart to forever love a prince.

“To Love a Prince is breathtaking and enchanting! Rachel Hauck is the queen of inspirational royal romance.” – Teri Wilson, bestselling author of Unleashing Mr. Darcy and Christmas Charm

Click here to get your copy!

My thoughts

I truly enjoy the contemporary romance story lines that Rachel writes. Reading this book was a delight. I’ve read some of her early royal romances, and enjoyed those. This one was beautifully written as well. I enjoyed the lore of the small British-style cities she created and wove into our world as if it truly existed. I loved the background, the beauty of the city. I enjoyed the story line and the characters overall,

However some of the behaviors of the prince made me uncomfortable. He knew full well Daffy was engaged and for me, reading about his choice to advance with her anyway made me uncomfortable. Just in my opinion – they walked a dangerous line. Some might read it and feel that there are justifications as to why he acted the way he did. That’s your opinion and you’re welcome to it. It personally makes me uncomfortable. I honestly thought it could have been handled a little differently. But that is life right? Life can get messy, and people make unwise choices in the midst of their feelings.

Overall, there was so much beauty in the story, in the redemption of characters and situations, and in the setting. Rachel is fabulous at creating wonderfully charming settings and weaving the history of her town into our real world. It’s why I enjoy her royal romances!

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

More from Rachel

Hello Royal Rockstar Readers!

I’m thrilled to share To Love A Prince with you. So many of you who loved the Royal Wedding Series have asked for more royals so as I noodled over new story ideas, my thoughts drifted toward princes and princesses. What’s more romantic than a royal wedding?

This royal story, the first book in a new series, True Blue Royal, is set in a new fictional country, Lauchtenland, in the North Sea. I’m really squeezing all those oil wells currently occupying that body of water.

The beauty of royal stories is they remind us of who we really are: princes and princesses. There is always a point in the story where the royal character, as well as the commoner, must come to grips with his and her true identity! Who God says we are!

Stories are a powerful reflection of life and it’s fun to insert ourselves into the tale. While fiction employs a lot of hyperbole we can find ourselves on the page somewhere, somehow.

Thanks for going on this little tour with me and To Love A Prince. You are so vital to my story as an author. Thank you!

Yours,

Rachel

Enter the giveaway below

Blog Stops

Worthy2Read, September 10

Captive Dreams Windows, September 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 10

Genesis 5020, September 10

Novels Corner, September 10

Connect in Fiction, September 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11

deb’s Book Review, September 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 11

Remembrancy, September 12

Breny and books, September 12

Texas Book-aholic, September 12

Inklings and notions, September 12

For Him and My Family, September 13

Artistic Nobody, September 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 13

The Book Chic Blog, September 13

Among the Reads, September 14

Soulfully Romantic, September 14

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 15

lakesidelivingsite, September 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 15

Betti Mace, September 16

Where Faith and Books Meet, September 16

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 16

Blossoms and Blesssings, September 16

She Lives To Read, September 17

Wishful Endings, September 17

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 17

Life of Literature, September 17

Life, Love, Writing, September 17

Book Love, September 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Maureen Timerman, September 18

Batya’s Bits, September 18

Labor Not in Vain, September 18

Bigreadersite, September 19

Hallie Reads, September 19

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 19

Splashes of Joy, September 19

Christian Bookaholic, September 20

Musings of A Sassy Bookish Mama, September 20

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 20

Inside the Wong Mind, September 21

By The Book, September 21

Mary Hake, September 21

Godly Book Reviews, September 21

Hebrews 12 Endurance, September 22

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, September 22

Livin’ Lit, September 22

Writing from the Heart Land, September 22

Simple Harvest Reads, September 23 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mamma Loves Books, September 23

Daysong Reflections, September 23

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, September 23

Book Review: Rescued Hearts + GIVEAWAY

Rescued Hearts is on tour with Celebrate Lit!

About the book

Book:  Rescued Hearts

Author: Hope Toler Doughtery

Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Release Date: September 19, 2017

Rescued Hearts cover

Children’s clothing designer Mary Wade Kimball’s soft spot for  animals leads to a hostage situation when she spots a briar-entangled kitten in front of an abandoned house. Beaten, bound, and gagged by the two thugs inside, Mary Wade loses hope for escape when a third villain returns with supplies.Discovering the kidnapped, innocent woman ratchets the complications for undercover agent Brett Davis. Weighing the difference of ruining his three months’ investigation against the woman’s safety, Brett forsakes his mission and helps her escape, the bent-on-revenge brutes following behind.When Mary Wade’s safety is threatened once more, Brett rescues her again. This time, her personal safety isn’t the only thing in jeopardy. Her heart is endangered as well.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Hope Dougherty

Hope holds a Master’s degree and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College. Her novels include Irish Encounter and Mars…With Venus Rising, Rescued Hearts, and Forever Music. She’s a member of ACFW and RWA. Residing in North Carolina, she and her husband enjoy visits with their daughters and twin sons.

My thoughts

Overall i enjoyed this romantic suspense. Strong romance, some fast-paced action scenes, good characterization. It kept me interested. What fascinates me is, with every new suspense author I read, I find that there isn’t always a pattern to the way suspense is paced out. That’s a good thing. I enjoyed the characters, the realistic progression of romance, and the practicality of the hero’s mindset. I won’t give it away but it’s that kind of practicality that you don’t really see much of in heroes these days. It was also great to have a story move through so many different settings throughout.

Overall a decent romantic suspense.

More from Hope

I live in the country on land my great grandfather owned. For exercise, I ride my bike on our two-lane roads. One afternoon a few years ago, I took a detour off the paved road and onto a dirt path not too far from my house.

The lane meanders by the location of a distant cousin’s long-since demolished house. Trees and a few bushes still outline the phantom house’s parameters, but no boards or bricks mark the spot. Farm equipment waits under nearby shelters.

As I passed the lonely trees and silent tractors, a creepy sensation tickled the back of my neck. My imagination kicked into gear. What if a bike rider rode by an abandoned house? What if she saw a kitten entangled in a honeysuckle vine at the porch steps? What if, while she tried to free the kitten, someone grabbed her and dragged her inside where she was beaten and threatened with rape?

My pedaling picked up speed, and I reached home in record time.

Those questions continued popping up in my mind, however. I began seeing the characters, then hearing them speak every night as I dropped off to sleep. I’d never written a romantic suspense story before, but the characters refused to leave me alone.

Those initial questions led to the first chapter of Rescued Hearts.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 26

Betti Mace, August 27

Texas Book-aholic, August 28

deb’s Book Review, August 28

Inklings and notions, August 29

For Him and My Family, August 30

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 31

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 1

Batya’s Bits, September 2

Older & Smarter?, September 3

CarpeDiem, September 4

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 6

Life, Love, Writing, September 6

Artistic Nobody, September 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Hope is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a print copy of Rescued Hearts!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ffb5/rescued-hearts-celebration-tour-giveaway

Author Interview: Lisa Renee + giveaway

I’m thrilled to welcome my friend Lisa Renee from Australia, to celebrate the release of her new novel Polarized Love. You can get a copy here!

To celebrate her new release, Lisa is doing a Book Launch Giveaway – a package worth $49! Read on to find out how to enter.

 

Welcome Lisa Renee!

Where are you from?

I’m a third-generation Australian, living in Perth.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

When I tell people I have seven children, it usually gains some raised eyebrows. LOL.

What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside writing and reading?

I enjoy developing businesses. I even branded and manufactured an organic smoothie and latte range, which I sold in Australia.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve read several lovely Christian novels of first-time love. Unfortunately, not all of us experience a healthy, lasting marriage. I’ve met women whose husbands have turned away from their faith and marriage vows. I want to encourage those women that God can bless them with a faithful man.

My message is not to rush ahead of God’s timing. My characters are more cautious since they know life can throw unexpected blows. They learn to trust and open their hearts again, which takes time.

My first series tackles the central issue of divorce. More Than A Second Chance also addresses the challenges of infertility and grief. The story wraps around a new romance with plenty of humor and light-hearted moments to balance out the themes.

The second novel, Acres of Promise, also shows the challenges of raising a teenager as a single parent.

The third in the series will address mental health issues. Gee, I sure don’t take the easy tropes!

Where is your series set?

Another desire of mine is to see more Australian themed novels released into the international market. So, the Single Again series begins in Perth, Western Australia. The third novel’s heroine ends up in the United States. Polarized Love releases Sept 1st 2020. All of my books have an American main character involved.

What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

Once into the flow of the story, I love seeing my main character’s personality shine through the dialogue. My female protagonist usually has a sassy aspect with lots of “spunk.”

What would you like readers to say about your books?

I’d like readers to feel encouraged through their trials and the body of Christ to swap judgment for compassion toward those that have made mistakes but desire to move forward, putting the past behind them where it belongs.

What’s your inspiration for writing Christian fiction?

I feel compelled to write about real-life people where their tragic story has a restorative ending. Real people overcoming setbacks inspires me.

Books available by Lisa Renee 

More Than A Second Chance

Does Cassie deserve another chance at love?

Cassie Chambers, a dedicated youth worker, is determined to rescue the troubled youth in the city of Perth, Australia.

Cassie has made mistakes but hasn’t allowed tragedy or divorce to stop her. She devotes every working hour at Youth Connect. But her own needs are neglected.

American Chef, Chris Evanson offers work experience to young men from Youth Connect. Cassie and Chris’s encounters become more than sassy bantering with a hint of attraction. Chris is a sincere romantic.

How will Chris respond when he finds out her secret? She must tell him before he falls in love. Will he believe she deserves more than a second chance?

To complicate matters, one of Youth Connect’s troubled teens needs rescuing. She’s pregnant and moves in with Cassie, bringing absolute chaos. Chris gains insight into what life with Cassie involves. Does he still want the total package? Will Cassie finally find her true soul mate?

Free Five Chapter Sample:

Buy the full length novel here

Acres of Promise

Join the journey with Chantelle Anderson as she actions all in her power to prevent her teenage son from falling into a life of crime and drugs.

Along the way, in her vulnerable state, she struggles to find a suitable life partner. With the trials she’s experiencing with her son, who’d want to take on the whole package? Unless, God intervenes and shows He hasn’t forgotten Chantelle’s desperate situation.

Acres of Promise is a beautiful story of how God restores what was lost and stolen, replacing it with more than we can ask or imagine.

Free Five Chapter Sample:

Buy the full novel here:

Polarized Love

Polarized Love begins with a fun, romantic encounter on the shores of Rottnest Island. An American Navy chaplain meets a feisty Australian journalist investigating the Quokka mystery.

Why are the rare marsupials dying on the Island? Will the handsome American, Lachlan Peters, help Bethany Michaels with her cause or distract her from her mission?

Beth has served her family and father’s church faithfully, and now it’s her turn to leave the nest and spread her wings. But does her dad push her into the arms of the right man to launch his daughter into her God-given destiny?

When an American sailor, Nick DeHann, arrives on the shores of the West Coast of Australia, Beth is swept away with the promise of high aspirations. As the rushed relationship unfolds, Beth finds herself torn between following someone else’s dream or settling for the comfort of home and all she’s ever known.

Lachlan Peters returns to San Diego from his time in the Navy and tries to gain his footing in a life that has passed him by. Will Lachlan realize what he’s missing out on before Beth commits to another man?

Chock-full of romantic comedy, fast-paced action, and inspirational romance, Polarized Love offers a life lesson you won’t soon forget.

First six chapters free!

Buy the full length novel here

Click on the image to enter to win a package of goodies worth $49!

book launch

About Lisa Renee

Lisa Renée is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Omega Writers, Australia.

Lisa adores babies enough to have seven of her own. Recently, Lisa has taken up breeding Ragdoll cats instead of breeding humans.

The tribe lives in Australia, where Lisa and her husband enjoy their writing projects and publishing ventures.

Where to find Lisa Renee

Website  https://www.lisarenee.com.au

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/lisareneeauthorwriter  

Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/lisa.renee.author/

Twitter  https://twitter.com/lisareneeauthor

Amazon Author Page  https://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Renee/e/B07VXPD47T

Before you go – check out my book review of Polarized Love here

Book review: Polarized Love

Pre Order on Amazon now!

Polarized Love by LIsa Renee

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Grab your copy here:

Book Summary

Polarized Love begins with a fun, romantic encounter on the shores of Rottnest Island in Australia. An American Navy chaplain meets a feisty Australian journalist investigating the Quokka mystery.

Why are the rare marsupials dying on the Island? Will the handsome American, Lachlan Peters, help Bethany Michaels with her cause or distract her from her mission?

Beth has served her family and father’s church faithfully, and now it’s her turn to leave the nest and spread her wings. But does her dad push her into the arms of the right man to launch his daughter into her God-given destiny?

When an American sailor, Nick DeHann, arrives on the shores of the West Coast of Australia, Beth is swept away with the promise of high aspirations. As the rushed relationship unfolds, Beth finds herself torn between following someone else’s dream or settling for the comfort of home and all she’s ever known.

Lachlan Peters returns to San Diego from his time in the Navy and tries to gain his footing in a life that has passed him by. Will Lachlan realize what he’s missing out on before Beth commits to another man?

Chock-full of romantic comedy, fast-paced action, and inspirational romance, Polarized Love offers a life lesson you won’t soon forget.

My thoughts

This contemporary romance will take you across the world and back – elicit laughter, tears, and probably every emotion in between. It’s a beautiful story of love, faith, and trust. 

I fell in love with Lachlan. He was swoony, warm, handsome, heartachingly friendly. I just couldn’t get enough. The fall-in-love-fast story line immediately captured me. I knew, obviously, with the speed in which they were falling, that something was going to keep them apart. What I didn’t expect, was how much my heart would break. How much my emotions would be tested. How much I wanted to throw the book down because I couldn’t stand the thought of them not being together.

This story demonstrates that life sometimes throws you unexpected curve balls. And if we’re not happy with where we are in life, we might just jump on the wrong train going in the wrong direction and miss our destiny completely. I was hooked by the straight-forward, yet sometimes goofy personalities, and the worlds-apart love story.

Renee paints a heartbreaking story with tact, grace, and a unique voice and style. I haven’t read a book that forced so many different emotions through me in a long time. 

If you like inspirational romance, this one is a winner. I highly recommend this book! Find out more about Lisa Renee and her other books below. 

Lisa is doing a Book Launch Giveaway! Enter to win a $49 gift package below

Lisa Renee

About Lisa Renee

Lisa Ren’ee is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Omega Writers, Australia.

Lisa adores babies enough to have seven of her own. Recently, Lisa has taken up breeding Ragdoll cats instead of breeding humans.

The tribe lives in Australia, where Lisa and her husband enjoy their writing projects and manage a micro-enterprise.

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