Sunday, March 7, 2021

February 2021 Reading Recap & March 2021 TBR

My February 2021 Reads:

February blessed me with more reading time than January did. As you can see below, I exclusively read books I had received for review. I would like to get into my TBR stack of books I received for Christmas, but that might be awhile away still. Not complaining though, I love received books for review. In February, I finished:
  1. The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  2. Beauty Among Ruins by J'nell Ciesielski - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Review coming soon.

  3. The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark. - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  4. Stay with Me by Becky Wade - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - This was a second reading. Read my original review.

  5. Suitors for the Proper Miss by Jen Geigle Johnson - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  6. His to Keep by Sherrinda Ketchersid - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  7. The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fischer. - ⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  8. A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel. - ⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.
















Expected March 2021 Reads:

In March, I hope to read:
  1. A Dark Beauty by Clarissa Kae.

  2. Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green. - I started reading this book with by local book club, but did not manage to finish before our meeting. 🤦 However, I need to finish it because I have the sequel waiting for me. Read my original review here.

  3. Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green - sequel to Veiled in Smoke.

  4. Can't Buy Me Love by Andrea Christenson.

  5. What We Inherit by Jessica Pearce Rotondi - A step out of my normal genre, but it sounds so interesting!

  6. Under the Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee - My local book club's selection for March.

  7. The Piano Teacher by Kristie Self.

  8. Stronger Every Day by Janell Rardon. - Currently Reading!





What will you read this month?

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Book Review: His to Keep by Sherrinda Ketchersid

About the Book:

He’s fighting for his inheritance—she’s marrying her sworn enemy.

When Ian McGowan attempts to claim Whitfield Castle as his rightful inheritance, he finds himself barred by a tempestuous lass who is entailed to be the bride of the castle’s new owner.

Claire Beaumont, the orphaned ward of Whitfield, has good reason to hate Scots, and she is not about to let a Scot enter her beloved home. But when the handsome knight steals into the castle and proves his claim on the land, she must face her ultimate nightmare—marriage to her sworn enemy—in order to save those she cares about most.

Restoring the failing Whitfield Castle while wooing his defiant intended proves more challenging than Ian anticipated. His struggles reach a crisis when his nemesis arrives at the castle, and he must overcome his past demons to prove his worth. He must fight for what is his to keep—and it could well cost him his heart.


My Thoughts:

His to Keep by Sherrinda Ketchersid features a romance with strong tension and positive themes about personal healing and growth. I enjoyed the enemies-to-lovers progression, though I partly think that Claire started admiring, if not liking, Ian too soon. The plot clips right along and some situations progressed quickly. I think I wanted the story to slow down and dig down deep into each character. Still, the themes about forgiveness and self-worth added a pleasing depth to the novel.

Overall, His to Keep by Sherrinda Ketchersid was a fun read. I especially enjoyed the medieval setting and unique customs presented. Due to mentions of “bedding” one another and the emphasis placed on it by certain characters, I recommend this book for older teens and above.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


Friday, March 5, 2021

First Line Fridays: Beauty Among Ruins by J'nell Ciesielski

 
Happy Friday!

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books and participants share the first line from a nearby book.

Today, I'm sharing the first lines from Beauty Among Ruins by J'nell Ciesielski.

"Creeping through the back door, Lily Durham slipped across the black-and-white tiled kitchen and checked the hallway before scurrying up the stairs to the main floor."

Have you read Beauty Among Ruins? I loved J'nell's prior novel, The Socialite, and I'm looking forward to reading this one!

What are you reading this weekend? I'd love for you to share your book's first line!

Happy reading!



About the Book:

In Ciesielski’s latest sweeping romance, an American heiress finds herself in Scotland amid the fallout of the Great War, and a wounded Scottish laird comes face-to-face with his past and a woman he never could have expected.

American socialite Lily Durham is known for enjoying one moment to the next, with little regard for the consequences of her actions. But just as she is banished overseas to England as a “cure” for her frivolous ways, the Great War breaks out and wreaks havoc. She joins her cousin in nursing the wounded at a convalescent home deep in the wilds of Scotland at a crumbling castle where its laird is less than welcoming.

Alec MacGregor has given his entire life to preserving his home of Kinclavoch Castle, but mounting debts force him to sell off his family history bit by bit. Labeled a coward for not joining his countrymen in the trenches due to an old injury, he opens his home to the Tommies to make recompense while he keeps to the shadows. But his preference for the shadows is shattered when a new American nurse comes streaming into the castle on a burst of light.

Lily and Alec are thrown together when a series of mysterious events threatens to ruin the future of Kinclavoch. Can they put aside their differences to find the culprit before it’s too late, or will their greatest distraction be falling in love?


First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Earl's Lady Geologist by Alissa Baxter

The Earl's Lady Geologist JustRead Blog & Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Earl's Lady Geologist by Alissa Baxter, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


The Earl's Lady Geologist

Title: The Earl's Lady Geologist
Series: The Linfield Ladies Series
Author: Alissa Baxter
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing
Release Date: February 28, 2021
Genre: Clean Regency Romance

Cassandra Linfield is a lady fossil collector who declares she will never marry as no man will ever take her studies seriously. When circumstances force her to travel to Town for the Season, Cassy infiltrates the hallowed portals of the Geological Society from which she has been banned. She is horrified when she comes face to face with her nemesis, the infuriating Earl of Rothbury. 

Lord Rothbury is a gentleman-geologist with a turbulent romantic past. After a youthful disappointment, he vows never to fall in love again and makes the decision, instead, to seek out a convenient wife when he returns to England from his geological travels abroad. 

Brought together by their close family ties, Cassy and Rothbury collaborate on a geological paper and discover a powerful attraction. Marriage, however, is the one subject they cannot agree upon. But when Cassy’s life is threatened, the two realize that love matters more than their objections.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub


EXCERPT

 

Rothbury frowned. “Miss Linfield is sincere in her wish to remain unmarried?”

“She has no desire to go to London for the Season, even though I have told her it will be quite delightful. As it is, she will be all but on-the-shelf when she makes her come-out. She is already twenty years of age.”

At that moment, the subject of their discussion entered the room. Rothbury studied her without being obvious. Miss Linfield had transformed from an untidy schoolroom miss into quite a presentable young lady. Her light brown hair, no longer tangled, had been tamed into submission, and a grey ribbon threaded through her curls. She wore a muslin morning gown with long, full sleeves, and her face, streaked with mud earlier, was now spotlessly clean. Betty had wrought a miracle in a short space of time.

Miss Linfield’s eyes shone with defiance as she sat on the sofa opposite her cousin. Rothbury took his seat in an occasional chair upholstered in striped silk.

The butler followed the young woman into the room. He left a tea tray on the coffee table, and Mrs. Linfield poured the hot beverage and handed Rothbury a cup.

“Thank you.” He sipped his tea and glanced at Miss Linfield again. The flush in her cheeks and the way she nibbled at her bottom lip made her seem very young.

The girl’s slightly tip-tilted nose and too-wide mouth rendered her far from the ideal of classical beauty. However, her thickly fringed sapphire-blue eyes were lovely, redeeming a face he had initially dismissed as plain.

He finished the tea and placed his cup and saucer on a side table. “My mother sends you her warmest greetings, Miss Linfield. She wishes you to come to London next month.”

The young woman’s teacup clattered onto her saucer, and brown liquid splashed on her gown. She gazed at him in horror. “But I am still in mourning for Papa. I cannot travel to London.”

“Mama has informed me that you will live quietly while you are in half-mourning. You will not be required to attend any social events until the end of February, when your period of mourning ends.”

“But…but I do not wish to leave Lyme.”

He tapped a couple of fingers on the wooden arm of his chair. “Why is that, Miss Linfield? Most young ladies are eager to have a London Season.”

“I am not like most ladies. I shall not go.”

“Your uncle is your guardian and, until you come of age, it is he who decrees where you will live. This house will be closed up, and I shall send my coach to convey you to London.”

She raised her chin. “When I come of age I shall return to Lyme.”

“I trust you will listen to the wise counsel of your relatives before making any imprudent decisions once you reach your majority,” he stated calmly.

“I have an interest in both fossils and geology, my lord. I enjoy my work in these fields, and I can continue it only if I return to Lyme.”

“Your work? A woman’s place is in the home.”

Her eyes kindled. “I am pleased we are in agreement, Lord Rothbury. This is my home, and my place is indeed here.”

“Don’t fence with me, my dear.”

She straightened her back. “Very well. Let me speak plainly. What you really meant to say is that a woman’s place is in her husband’s home. That, my lord, is quite a different matter.”



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Alissa Baxter 

Alissa Baxter wrote her first Regency romance, The Dashing Debutante, during her long university holidays. After traveling the world, she settled down to write her second Regency romance, Lord Fenmore's Wager, which was inspired by her time living on a country estate in England.

Alissa then published two chick-lit novels, The Truth About Clicking Send and Receive (previously published as Send and Receive) and The Truth About Cats and Bees (previously published as The Blog Affair). 

Many years later, Alissa returned to her favorite time period and signed a three-book contract with Vinspire Publishing for her Linfield Ladies Series, a trio of Regency romances that feature women in trend-setting roles who fall in love with men who embrace their trailblazing ways... at least eventually. 

Alissa currently lives in Johannesburg with her husband and two sons. She is a member of The Beau Monde - Regency Fiction Writers.

CONNECT WITH ALISSA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!

The Earl's Lady Geologist

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 2, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 9, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: A Brother's Promise by Mindy Obenhaus

A Brother's Promise JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour for the A Brother's Promise by Mindy Obenhaus, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Brother's Promise

Title: A Brother's Promise
Author: Mindy Obenhaus
Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance

A little girl will change his world… 

 He didn’t realize he wanted a family… 

 until he suddenly became a single dad. 

 After his sister’s death, rancher Mick Ashford’s determined to ensure his orphaned niece, Sadie, feels at home. And accepting guidance from Christa Slocum is his first step. But just as Christa and Sadie start to settle into Mick’s heart, Sadie’s paternal grandparents sue for custody. Now Mick must fight to keep them together…or risk losing the makeshift family he’s come to love.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub


EXCERPT 


“Let’s get married. You and me.”

Mick’s expression went from dumbfounded to completely horrified in a matter of seconds. “Woman, have you lost your mind?”

Ignoring the direct hit to her ego, she said, “Perhaps. But if that’s what it takes to protect Sadie, then so be it.”

Standing, he crossed to where she stood. “Christa, I appreciate what you’re doing here, but you can’t marry someone you don’t love.”

“Oh, as if there aren’t plenty of married people who don’t love each other. And I wasn’t talking about moving in together or anything like that.”

He set his hands on her shoulders. “No, you were thinking of a little girl who’s been tossed around by enough of life’s storms. And I admire you for that. But I would never dream of tying you down in some marriage of convenience. You’re a beautiful, spirited woman who deserves to love and be loved.”

Christa knew Mick was just being nice, that her suggestion they get married was totally ludicrous, yet staring up into his green eyes, she found herself wondering what it might be like to be loved and wanted by a good, hardworking man like him.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Mindy Obenhaus 

Award-winning author Mindy Obenhaus is passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. She lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, two sassy pups, countless cattle, deer and the occasional coyote, mountain lion or snake. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, cooking and watching the Hallmark Channel. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com

CONNECT WITH MINDY: Website | FacebookInstagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a "Drink Tea, Read Books, Be Happy" teaspoon, English Breakfast tea, a $15 Amazon gift card, and a signed copy of the book!

A Brother's Promise JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 1, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 8, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Book Review: Suitors for the Proper Miss by Jen Geigle Johnson

About the Book:

She wants to marry a Lord, as Lordly and titled as possible. He wants nothing more to do with her than saddle her horses.

Miss Lucy Standish has wanted to marry a future duke for as long as she could remember. Days in the cold, with little coal for their small cottage and little to eat, she would dream of the days she saved all her sisters with a marriage to a man of such elevated title that they would never be poor again, that her children and their children forever would be cared for.

Mr. Conor Sullivan has never overstepped the lines of propriety. He does everything he can to treat Miss Lucy with respect. But his heart is overcome with love for the middle Standish sister, and he assumes he will spend his dying breath still wishing she were his.

But fortune changes for the Sullivan family. With new attention from the crown and past family secrets revealed, a path opens that just might mean happiness for Lucy and Conor. But will they be bold enough to seize the opportunity when it comes?

Read book Four in the Lords for the Sisters of Sussex Series for a hefty dose of delicious family relationships, Jane Austen type fun, and a delicious forbidden romance.


My Thoughts:

Suitors for the Proper Miss by Jen Geigle Johnson mixes clean historical romance with the lightness of YA fiction, plus the sisterly relationships and societal customs found in Jane Austen’s novels. The novel was fun and entertaining despite a few typos. Lucy Standish undergoes moderate character development as she learns what and who to truly value. Conor Sullivan is the type of man I would want my daughters to marry – respectful, ambitious, confident, determined, kind, loving. Watching the evolving relationship between Conor and Lucy added delicious anticipation that blossomed into a lovely romance.

Suitors for the Proper Miss stands as the fourth installment in the Lords for the Sisters of Sussex series by Jen Geigle Johnson. Though written as a stand-alone novel, several couples from prior books appear and remembering who was married to who was sometimes challenging. I would love to go back and read the rest of this regency-era series.

I recommend Suitors for the Proper Miss by Jen Geigle Johnson to readers who enjoy fun, clean, Regency-era romances.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.