15 June 2019

A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd

A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd.
Audience/Genre: Historical Romance.
Publication: April 2nd 2019 by Shadow Mountain.
Inspired by a true story

Hawaiian Islands, 1779

As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiancé is the best navigator in Hawaiʻi, and he taught her everything he knows—how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love.

But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a misunderstanding ends in battle, and Maile is suddenly widowed before she is wed.

Finding herself in the middle of the battle and fearing for her life, Maile takes John Harbottle, the wounded man who killed her fiancé, prisoner, and though originally intending to let him die, she reluctantly heals him. And in the process, she discovers the man she thought was her enemy might be her ally instead.

John has been Captain James Cook’s translator for three voyages across the Pacific. He is kind and clearly fascinated with her homeland and her people—and Maile herself. But guilt continues to drive a wedge between them: John’s guilt over the death he caused, and Maile’s guilt over the truth about what triggered the deadly battle—a secret she’s kept hidden from everyone on the island.

When Maile is tasked with teaching John how to navigate using the stars so he can sail back to England, they must also navigate the challenges of being from very different cultures. In doing so, they might also find the peace that comes when two hearts become one.

Reviewed by Kelly.

This is a very touching book that is based on facts. I found myself crying several times and I read the book in one sitting. I just couldn't put it down! I wanted to know how this would end! If you don't want to know some of the things that happen skip the next paragraph and see how it makes you feel!

John and Maile( daughter of chief of the island) meet under not so good circumstances! John killed Maile's fiance. When John gets hurt, Maile takes him to a secluded area of the island. She has such a kind, good and stubborn heart. She wants to kill him or let him die of his wounds (that she accidentally gave him). But it is not in her nature and she is facinated to see that John wants to understand her culture. They form a sort of friendship/frenemy relationship. When he is healed enough, he finds her home area and again he is captured. But Maile won't let him be killed and when Maile's father hears John out and offers to help their island from an oncoming war with another island, Maile is furious. She doesn't want for her people to use guns. But to her father the chief, she is just a girl. But she is so very wise and compassionate, she just wants to be heard.

I love the way they dance around their feelings for each other. She is tasked to teach him how to navigate without the navigation tools that were taken. After all, he is the only one who can communicate with Maile's people. So they spend a lot of time together and John becomes totally and willingly engrossed in their culture. He listens and trusts Maile! Maile trusts John too.

I can't begin to describe this book and the way you feel the culture and how important family is to these islanders from Hawaii! You start to feel as if you are there and watching it all and feeling what the author is describing. I feel the humidity, the ocean waves and the movement of the water. I feel the bang of the guns and want to drop to the ground myself. I feel the love that the people feel for each other and the influence even Maile has over them. I feel the tide coming in and out, the rocking of the canoes, the sadness of a person lost, and how Maile's sister plays with her hair and relaxes her. I feel the love the sisters have for each other. I feel the love and joy of the first kiss from Maile and John and I feel the heart beating when they first touch fingers by mistake and then not by mistake. Ugh, it is a beautifully written book that just makes you feel all kinds of good and happy! Read it, you won't regret it!

If you like Hawaii, cliffs, war and strategy, working together in a culture, the ocean, the constellations, whales, dolphins, brothers who are doing what brothers do and that is to annoy you, learning how to use a gun, journalling, making medicine with plants, flowers, protecting your way of life and finding love with someone who is so different from you and yet so full of life like you, then this book is for you!

I got this book from the net galley for review but I need to buy a paperback of my own for the pictures and to reread it and then share it with others!






Ilima Todd was born and raised on the north shore of Oahu and dives for octopus with her dad every time she visits otherwise she’s diving into books in the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her husband and four children. She graduated from BYU with a degree in physics and eats copious amounts of raw fish and avocados without regret. But mostly she loves being a wife and mama and wouldn’t trade that job for anything in the world.






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07 June 2019

Tour & Giveaway: The Heart of a Vicar (The Jonquil Brothers #6) by Sarah M. Eden



The Heart of a Vicar
(The Jonquil Brothers #6)
by Sarah M. Eden.
Audience/Genre: Historical Fiction, Clean Read.
Publication: June 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications.
Young love is all too fleeting, as Harold Jonquil painfully discovered years ago when Sarah Sarvol, the niece of a neighboring landowner, captured his heart. After an idyllic few weeks in the throes of blossoming love, reality intervened. They could have no future. Following their disastrous parting, Harold attempted to push aside thoughts of love and regret, but Sarah has never left his heart. Now, years later, he has achieved his lifelong aspiration of becoming the local vicar. However, the role proves more difficult than he imagined. He feels hollow and uninspired—until the most important person in his past returns, challenging him as no one ever has.

When Sarah’s ailing uncle summons her back to the family estate in England, there is only one person from her past she is reluctant to see again: Harold Jonquil, the only man who has ever claimed her heart. But when she comes face-to-face with her former beau, she hardly recognizes the aloof and dull man before her. She is determined to help Harold rediscover the passion he once felt toward his chosen profession. Soon, despite their exasperation with each other, they cannot deny the stirring of feelings long buried—but is it too late for second chances?

Reviewed by Kelly.

I could have told you this was a 5 star book before I even opened it! I have loved all the Jonquil Brothers and I have a connection to Harry, Harold, Holy Harold and Monkey (his life seemed to have given him several nicknames and while he is tormented by some of those, he is also uplifted by another). I am the same type of person as he is. I loved watching him work through figuring out what kind of person he was and how he fit in and what made him whole. I loved his quirkiness. He would have fit well into this day and age. He loved to climb things and climb walls and rocks. He even fashioned his shoes for climbing. In the end, this love of climbing, helps him become a better person and he finds it helps him better connect to people and save the day! Harold is an introvert but he loves to help others. He just needed the right person to help him become the man he is.

Sarah is the woman that has always had a place in Harold's heart. And her heart has always had a piece of Harold in it as well but things ended abruptly years ago and she left for America. But Sarah is back. She finds Harold to be boorish and aloof and knows that the Harold she knew is still there. She issues a challenge that she can be a better vicar than he is. Although it was a sting to his ego, He listened to what she had to say. I keep going back to Harold and I am trying to tell you about Sarah. I just can't help it, I love Harold and all the Jonquils. I really love it when they all get together and have their motto moment and they all rally together for a cause!!! I cried when they do that! Every time with every book!.

Any way, Sarah is really good for him. But meanwhile her uncle is the villain of the story. He is despicable and men could be cruel to women in those days! But the Jonquils know how to save the day!

I love this story and I want more and I am going to go and reread this book right now!.

If you like finding love, villains, loving families, climbing just about anything, historical fiction, finding yourself, becoming a better person, this might be for you too!!




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Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today Bestselling author of witty and charming historical romances, including Foreword Review’s 2013 “IndieFab Book of the Year” gold medal winner for Best Romance, Longing for Home, as well as 2014 Whitney Award winner for "Best Novel of the Year," Longing for Home: Hope Springs. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a Bachelor's degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah lives with her husband, kids, and mischievous dog in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain she has never attempted to ski.






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24 May 2019

Blog Tour & Giveaway: A Proper Scandal by Esther Hatch



A Proper Scandal by Esther Hatch.
Audience/Genre: Historical Romance.
Publication: May 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications.
Grace Sinclair has been callously cast out of her home. And though taken in as an orphaned child by the vicar and his wife, her unsurpassed beauty makes it impossible for her to remain in the vicar’s household—with two daughters of their own about to enter Society, the vicar and his wife see Grace as nothing but competition. Thankfully, Grace’s estranged Aunt Bell has agreed to take her in to her home in London. But Grace soon learns her situation has just gotten much worse.

It takes only a moment’s acquaintance for Grace to ascertain that her aunt has married a detestable rake. And Aunt Bell, recognizing the danger of having her lovely niece too near her husband, gives Grace an ultimatum: the young woman has two weeks to find a man to marry, after which she will be turned out. With no experience in the art of attracting a husband, Grace quickly realizes that a worthy suitor might not be so easy to ensnare.

My Review

I laughed often reading about Grace's situations! She is true to herself and with her being so kind, liking to work, and honest she has a hard time trying to flirt! She gets herself in these predicaments and she just makes me smile!! She knows whom she wants and she tells Mr Barton she is trying to make a scandal! Mr. Barton, although trying to fight it, is slowly falling for her too!

I was missing something in the beginning and I couldn't figure it out until over half way through the book! And an interesting twist it was.

Some of the men in this story are disgusting! Just sayin...

If you are looking for a book with a little scandal, seeing that a lot of men were disgusting in the 1800's, that makes you laugh, finding a real love where you care about what each other's lives are about, family, a home of your own and a happily every after then here it is! As for me, I want to reread it again!!


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Esther Hatch grew up on a cherry orchard in rural Utah. After high school, she alternated living in Russia to teach children English and attending Brigham Young University in order to get a degree in archaeology. She began writing when one of her favorite authors invited her to join a critique group. The only catch was she had to be a writer. Not one to be left out of an opportunity to socialize and try something new; she started on her first novel that week.






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10 May 2019

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Charlotte's Promise by Jennifer Moore



Charlotte's Promise by Jennifer Moore.
Audience/Genre: Historical Fiction, Clean Read.
Publication: May 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications.
One year ago Charlotte Bower's life was ripped apart when Creek Indians attacked, killed her parents, and separated her from her young brother—now, she will stop at nothing to find him. After a year of captivity, she has finally made her escape. Her search will begin in New Orleans, where captives were taken after the raid. But how to reach a city hundreds of miles away? As she watches men boarding a waiting ship, Charlotte formulates a bold plan: if it's men they need for the ship's crew, it's a man they'll get. Taking on her childhood nickname, Charlie, it is all too easy to gain passage on the New Orleans-bound vessel. Easy, that is, until Charlie is caught . . .
From the moment he sets eyes on the new deckhand, Captain Alden Thatcher knows one thing for certain: Charlie Bower is no man. But for reasons of his own, he keeps her secret. As their journey progresses, however, the voyage is increasingly ill-fated. With danger ever present, Charlie and the captain find themselves relying on one another in ways they'd never imagined. As they draw closer to her goal, Charlotte is faced with the most perilous adventure of all—an adventure that may risk her heart.

Reviewed by Kelly.

If you are a history buff, this might interest you. It ends in New Orleans at the end of the War of 1812.

Charlotte, or Charlie as she’s known in the book, is desperate to find her young brother! Their parents were killed and they were sold off. Charlotte manages to escape. Her brother, Will, is taken by Indians and she hears that he is probably in New Orleans. She is on a quest to find him and she will do whatever it takes to find him. Including to dress as a boy and become a “swabbie” on a ship heading to New Orleans.

Captain Alden Thatcher is not easily fooled. He knows that she is a girl. He also realized that she was in a dire situation, so he decides to keep her secret to get her away from the men looking for her. In order to keep it, he allows her to work very hard. She is a hard worker and her father taught her to use a gun and how to swim before they died. She is also an “arbitrator” and she knows how to get other people to become loyal and friends with her. She also sacrifices a lot in order to do it. But she wins the crew over, even though she is a very scrawny 18 year old “boy”.

Alden begins to care for her. And through many conversations, mishaps and events, Charlie begins to love him. But she knows it could never be, she could never tell him who she is.

War happens and events happen that find everyone bonding with each other to stay alive and find love and happiness.

For me, I am not much of a war reader. I did learn a lot. Some really cool facts, actually. I liked how Alden and Charlie found each other after being separated and how that whole, “sorry I lied to you” scene played out. And Charlie won my heart when she found the person who had her brother and what she does! Made me stop to get some kleenex!

If you like wars, ships, swabbies, New Orleans, life with french, spanish and indians learning to live together, family, and finding love in impossible situations then this might be for you.



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Jennifer Moore is a passionate reader and writer of all things romance due to the need to balance the rest of her world, which includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that are anything but romantic. Jennifer has a BA in linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family.






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05 April 2019

Tour & Giveaway: Miss Adeline's Match by Joanna Barker



Miss Adeline's Match by Joanna Barker.
Audience/Genre: Historical Romance, Fiction, Regency, Clean Read.
Publication: April 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications.
Miss Adeline Hayes is the perfect lady's companion: pleasant, conversational, and unceasingly proper. But when her closest friend, Charity Edgeworth, breaks off her arranged marriage without explanation, even Adeline's superior skills are put to the test. Charity's father banishes the two young women to the country, sending Adeline with a charge to find Charity a husband or suffer dire consequences.

As Adeline takes on the role of reluctant matchmaker, she discovers more than one obstacle in her path. Not only does Charity prefer escaping in books to socializing, but Adeline soon finds her own attentions distracted by the standoffish—and irritatingly handsome—Mr. Evan Whitfield. Amidst an eventful foxhunt and the unexpected arrival of Charity's former betrothed, Adeline simply doesn't have time for a battle of wits with Evan. But the two are continually drawn together until Adeline begins to question her tightly guarded convictions about love and marriage.

However, when secrets are revealed and truths made known, Adeline must face her most fearsome obstacle yet: herself.

Reviewed by Kelly.

I liked this book. A Lot! It’s nice to read a book that shows how we are all flawed and we all feel like we are not enough and how we learn to overcome our own imperfections and how we can forgive others and find great joy in life! The characters in this book have their own challenges, and just about every character in this book has challenges and I loved to read how they coped. I loved the dynamics of the friends and family and I really want to go back in time and live with this group of people! I wouldn’t last long without my air conditioning though!

Anyway, Miss Adeline Hayes and Charity have been best friends since childhood. So when Adeline’s family circumstances leave it that they need money, it was perfect for Charity to have a lady’s companion. But Charity recently broke up with her intended and no one knows why. Miss Hayes is a little hurt that Charity didn’t tell her why. So when Charity’s father sends them off to his sister’s home in the country, he makes it clear to Adeline that she find someone for Charity to marry or her family will be forced into dire circumstances. Adeline does not share the threat with Charity and begins to play matchmaker.

Things seem going well and even Adeline is finding it hard to resist the unsmiling handsome irritating man that is Mr. Evan Whitfield. But as they get to know more about each other’s character, they see each other in a different light.

When Mr. George Henley makes an appearance, Charity is beside herself. She is still in love with him and no one's the wiser of why she broke off the engagement. As always, time tells all and things are said and done and more secrets and lies are told. And when everything comes to a head, it is awful. I had to put the book down. I was invested and loved all these characters and when everything is found out, it is awful and I had no idea how the issues would be resolved. But that is where forgiveness and mercy come into play and Ugh! I couldn’t get enough of them! I wanted to jump into the book and hug them all!


“Happiness does not equal perfection,” Mrs. Beckett said softly. “And neither do you need to be perfect to achieve happiness. There will always be difficulties in life, and we will always make mistakes. But happiness is what makes life worthwhile, what makes it bearable. We must find joy in the everyday things. “

We were forced to part ways for a minute, following the dance, and when we met once again, his face had regained more of his normal thoughtfulness. As I circled about him in formation with the other women, he traced my every movement. I knew I was a good dancer, my lines graceful, my feet light, but with him watching me, I felt like so much more. I was beautiful. I was alive.
I was loved.

If you like books that show how we all feel inadequate at times, forgiveness, apples, little boys who are selfless, little baby girls, snow storms, horse riding, charades, dancing, dementia, loving families, unloving families, and finding love and happiness than this might be for you! As for me, it will always be a book to reread over and over!



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Joanna Barker was born and raised in northern California. She discovered her love for historical fiction after visiting England as an eleven-year-old, and subsequently read every Jane Austen book she could get her hands on. After graduating Brigham Young University with a degree in English, she worked as an acquisitions editor before devoting herself full-time to writing. She enjoys music, chocolate, and reading everything from romance to science fiction. She lives in Utah and is just a little crazy about her husband and two wild-but-loveable boys.






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