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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