Friday, May 22, 2015

The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia by Rachel A. James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary
It is 616AD, and one fatal night the ancient Kingdom of Elmetia falls. Saxons kill the Elmetian King, and capture Princess Teagen. Teagen poses as a slave girl and works for the Saxons in the Kingdom of Deira, until she discovers her brother is alive. She finds a way to escape, and her path crosses with Ryce the Warrior.

Struggling with his past, and angry against the tyrant Saxon king, Ryce helps the princess in pursuit of her brother. But just as the connection between them intensifies, obstacles get in their way. The Saxon king now wants vengeance, and will stop at nothing to get it.

My Review
The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia was a captivating tale filled with strong characters and intrigue. The author’s writing style was perfect for the time period and flowed effortlessly, drawing me in from the very beginning.

The characters were interesting to read about and readers will not be able to dislike them. Teagan, while a princess at birth, was in hiding as a servant. Her strength, fortitude, and perseverance were inspiring and admirable character traits. Her determination to find her brother, and stay true to herself even when society’s views insist that she should act a certain way are something that we can all learn from, for Teagan will not be swayed. When she goes in search of her brother the action truly begins, and you will be turning pages at the speed of light to find out what happens around every corner. As she gains the aid of Ryce and Sherwin, a palpable attractions arises, and trust me, you won’t be able to get enough of their fun and entertaining banter. Through all the pain and trial Teagan had witnessed and gone through, she remains strong in her faith in the Lord, relying on Him to see her through and guide her. Can she show Ryce and Sherwin the light too, or will stubborn Ryce insist on holding on to his guilt instead of allowing the Lord to wash it white as snow?

Ryce and Teagan were a fantastic hero/heroine team and my only disappointment was that the story ended. The journey they go in is full of action, sweet romance, entertaining banter, beautiful faith, and just altogether awesomeness! There were so many obstacles for each of them to overcome, and it doesn’t stop with the main characters because the secondary characters were just as well developed! This is one historical fiction tale that everyone needs to read! There is something for everyone!

For fear of spoiling something, I must stop now, but go read The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This in no way affected my opinions, and all thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary
Bella Rossi may be nearing thirty, but her life is just starting to get interesting. When her Italian-turned-Texan parents hand over the family wedding planning business, Bella is determined not to let them down. She quickly books a "Boot Scoot'n" wedding that would make any Texan proud. There's only one catch - she's a country music numbskull because her family only listens to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Where will she find a DJ on such short notice who knows his Alan Jackson from his Keith Urban?
When a misunderstanding leads her to the DJ (and man) of her dreams, things start falling into place. But with a family like hers, nothing is guaranteed. Can the perfect Texan wedding survive a pizza-making uncle with mob ties, an aunt who is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and a massive delivery of 80 cowboy boots? And will Bella ever get to plan her own wedding?

My Review
Fools Rush In was such a fun and entertaining read, perfect for hot summer days relaxing outside! I laughed so hard throughout the entire book. The entire cast of characters were fantastic, I loved getting to know them and all of their family dynamics and quirks. I can't wait to read more about all of them in the sequels.

When the Italian and countryfied families started to merge, I was impressed at the faith and diversity between both families. From the Rossi's to the Neeley's, to Bella's best friend, they all found their way into my bookish heart with likeable personalities. Dwayne was such a nice guy, so sweet - I couldn't get enough of their conversations!

I really enjoyed getting inside of Bella's head. She had such a unique, fun, and witty voice that just made reading this book so much fun. I also loved watching Bella learn that their families really weren't that different after all. Her faith journey was beautiful and inspiring, and I'm taking the lessons she learned to heart - trusting the Lord with all of my worries, and just letting his plan play out the way he wants it to.

From the pizza shop to the wedding planning, there is lots of stuff going on, and not a minute to lose! Get your cowboy/cowgirl on, this is one cast of characters that you really want to get to know! Be forewarned that you will laugh a lot, so don't read this in any awkwardly quiet public places...or do, so you can convince everyone to read the book too! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I'm Back!

I guess I kind of went on an unexpected, unannounced, hiatus for about 10 days, but really longer because my posting was so sporadic for about a week before. If you missed, well fear no longer, because I am back and ready for some fun!

Why the unexpected hiatus? Well, first of all I was super busy with my last couple weeks of high school and stress over a speech I had to give for a scholarship I received. All of that stress put me in a blogging slump, and I just couldn't bring myself to blog at all. I wondered if blogging was even worth all the stress, when my Netgalley review books won't open up (is there anything I can do about that, or are they just gone?). On top of that, my computer won't connect to the internet, so I have to use my mom's and that was kind of irritating because I miss my laptop where I don't have to log into everything every single time, and I don't want her to blame me if her computer gets messed up too.

But now, it's summer! I am officially done with high school (pretty much - our last day was last Thursday, but graduation is this Friday, and unfortunately I have to speak). I missed blogging, and I'm ready to come back! I did do some reading, so I'll have some reviews and blog tours up soon, and I'll get back to doing Top Ten Tuesday posts, discussions, and more! I'm excited to be back to blogging where I can release my voice and share my love of books! 

Now I have some "spring cleaning" to do - reviews to link to my review archive, organizing my blog planner, etc. Really I just need to get back on track when it comes to blogging! So, wish me luck!

I also plan to cut back on the number of times I post weekly. It just won't be possible for me to post every day when I'm in College, so I am going to schedule less for a week and schedule farther ahead.

Have you ever gone through a blogging slump? How did you get through it? Can I ever read those Netgalley review books or do I have to go buy them when they come out?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cover Reveal: A Wish Made of Glass by Ashlee Willis

Today, I am thrilled to present you with the cover reveal of Ashlee Willis's A Wish Made of Glass! 

Displaying AWishMadeofGlassFinal.jpgBLURB:
Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.
The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.
Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.
Displaying AshleeWillisAuthorPic.jpg
Ashlee Willis is the author of fantasy for young adults. She lives in the heart of Missouri with her husband and young son. While most of her days are balanced between writing, reading and being a stay-at-home mom, she also finds time to enjoy forest rambles, photography, and playing the piano.
~ ~ ~
Isn't it gorgeous?! I love the contrast between the colors, and the design is beautiful. And that synopsis? Oh, doesn't it just make you want to dive right in? I know I want to! It will be hard to wait until this summer to read it.

What are your thoughts? Do you love the cover as much as I do?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Blog Tour: A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade

Fall in love with Becky Wade's new book, A Love Like Ours, a story of healing, romance, and cowboys. A glimmer of the hope Jake thought he’d lost returns when Lyndie lands back in Texas, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

To celebrate the release of her new book, Becky is giving away a $100 cash card and a book-inspired prize pack!


One grand prize winner will receive:

love like ours - prize pack 
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 26th. Winner will be announced May 27th on Becky's site.

    About the book:
  • A $100 cash card
  • A copy of A Love Like Ours
  • A copy of the Secretariat DVD
  • A scarf
  • A dog-tag/cross keychain
  • A pair of earrings
  • A Scarf
  • A Texas-shaped cutting board
  • A Jake Porter mug
    A Love Like Ours (Bethany House, May 2015)
    • Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

      When Lyndie James, Jake's childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion's reluctance to run.

      Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake's will, Lyndie's sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he's built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he'd thought he'd lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

      Purchase a copy:

      About the author:
      Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, took time off to raise her children, then felt God nudging her to pursue contemporary Christian fiction. Becky's work has been a finalist for both a RITA and an INSPY Award.

      Find Becky online: website, Facebook, Twitter

    My Review
    5 Stars
    I honestly do not have the right words to express my love for this book. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, and had high hopes for A Love Like Ours, and it definitely did not disappoint! My curiosity about the gruff, statuesque Jake couldn't have been satisfied in a better way.
    I was drawn in from the very first page, and loved how the book started out with a flashback of Jake and Lyndie as childhood best friends, giving us their personality and friendship background as well as Lyndie's move that broke them apart. 
    I've also always had a soft spot for horses, and the horses portrayed in this book, as well as both main characters love for them burrowed it's way into my heart in lightning speed. I especially fell in love with Silver Leaf, who I met in Undeniably Yours (book 1). Lyndie's sister, Mollie, was such a shining light in A Love Like Ours as well, full of inspiration and hope. I really loved how that aspect was portrayed, with Lyndie's personality and her whole family - they were so supportive, and faithful through all of the trial and pain. Mollie's circumstances really spoke to me, and were instrumental to Jake's 360 degree turn.
    I really liked both main characters. Lyndie was so full of compassion, kindness, capability, determination, strength, and had a special touch with horses, her sister, and well... Jake. She was a really good friend. I loved hearing about her stories and art, and her love for animals (I loved her dogs names - Empress Felicity and Gentleman Tobias!). I pretty much just loved every minute spent in her head. Jake was full of hidden emotions. He was so stoic and the epitome of strength, even though he was hurt, bruised, and battered on the inside. His love of horses and protective nature toward Lyndie showed his soft, vulnerable side, and will make any girl fall for him. There were flashbacks showing the "full story" behind Jake's PTSD, and I loved every aspect of how his, and Lyndie's journey, and how perfect they were for each other! It was so sweet and made me smile. Oh the unexpected banter (I should have known - Becky Wade is a pro at it)!
    I also really appreciated and enjoyed seeing more of Amber and her son Jayden! She really made a complete turn around as well, and I was so proud of her. (But I can't say any more than that!)
    Be forewarned that A Love Like Ours is an emotional roller coaster - a really amazing and beautiful one! I laughed, smiled, cried, and felt every single emotion imaginable plus ten more! This book, and its characters now have an indefinite place in my heart.
    There are so many more things that I loved about this book, and I could talk about it all day long, but I really think that you NEED TO READ IT FOR YOURSELF!  You won't regret it - I promise - but I will take full responsibility if I am somehow wrong (but that won't be necessary)! Oh, I want to go reread this one immediately!
      I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion, and all thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

    Friday, May 1, 2015

    Silenced by Dani Pettrey

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars
    Goodreads Summary
    Romantic Suspense's Rising Star Returns with an Electric New Thriller

    A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna's route leads her face to face with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something sinister? When the case is handed to the overburdened sheriff, he turns to Jake Westin. With Jake's past now revealed, he's ready to use his talent for investigation again--but he could never prepare for where the case will take him.

    Kayden and Jake soon realize that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is on to them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger. But the truth is far worse than he could ever imagine.

    My Review
    I'm going to try to keep this short in order to avoid spoiling any of Dani Pettrey's genius!

    I love the entire Alaskan Courage series! I've read the other four so this is the last one for me, and I don't think I've ever been so extremely curious to read a characters story as I was to read Kayden and Jake's, and Silenced did not disappoint!

    What I love most about this book and this series is the faith messages and the family dynamics. It is so beautiful to watch these characters grow, and trust in the Savior. I love how Dani Pettrey uses multiple perspectives so we get to see into previous and future main characters as well.

    The mystery was very intriguing, and intense - it takes a lot to scare strong Kayden so I had a feeling it would be. I loved seeing inside Kayden's hard exterior into her inner emotions, and Jake's past...I was so curious! I can't say anymore, just go read it!

    Plus readers get to experience more of Alaska through Kayden and Reef's rock climbing!

    I can tell that there is plenty of action, romance, faith, family, Alaskan adventure, and more! I promise you won't regret reading Silenced, but I do recommend you read books 1-3 first though you obviously don't HAVE to read them in order - I didn't (kind of my Library's fault because they weren't available in order).