Author of Sweet Hope and Happy Endings

Category: Romance (Page 1 of 19)

Book Review: AFTERMATH

BOOK BY: Terri Blackstock

A page-turning, nail-biting, who done it new release from Terri Blackstock will have readers hooked until the final page.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I can’t believe this is the first suspense I’ve read by this author!

Terri Blackstock is a talented writer who keeps readers guessing until the very end.

A victim of a stadium bombing copes with the trauma of leaving her friends behind to rescue herself. An innocent veteran is accused of the attack. A criminal defence lawyer who knows the accused. A best friend and wife’s last hope is an experimental treatment. All of these characters have something to prove and their paths will twist, turn and cross in so many different ways it may leave your brain spinning.

Descriptions of the bombing, post-traumatic stress, and the struggle with cancer and experimental treatments are detailed and create empathy toward the victims and their families. There’s a beautiful faith thread that ties two of the characters together, bringing about forgiveness and restoration into each of their lives.

An excellent read that I didn’t want to put down.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Net Galley. All opinions expressed are my own.



A beautiful narrative of how stories can help mend the broken parts of our past and provide a foundation for our future.

Contemporary heroine Clara Blackwell inherits the one hundred year old family Bookshop in Asheville, NC. There’s a question of ownership that sends Clara, her mother and cousin Robbie on a search for a missing deed, before her smarmy Uncle’s client can file a lawsuit against her.

Historical heroine Sadie Blackwell is the resident librarian for the Vanderbilt’s estate. She has a gift for bringing books alive and for choosing the exact one that a patron of the estate’s personal collection requires. A whirlwind romance, an adventure across the ocean and a tragedy from WW1 creates a trail of letters, hidden missives in books and locked away documents that will either prove or disprove the true identity of Blackwell’s Book Shop one hundred years later.

There are interesting characters and sweet romances that play through both the contemporary and historical time lines. Readers will cheer Clara on as she digs through the dusty boxes left untouched for decades. Readers will boo the villains of Clara’s and Sadie’s stories. Readers will admire characters who rise above the adversity, and the ways in which they do it.

Though the ending is somewhat predictable, the slow romance in the contemporary line and the thrill of discovery is a delight. And our hero from Sadie’s story, is the kind of hero readers will swoon over.

I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.


BOOK BY: Amanda Wen

A solid debut by time slip novelist, Amanda Wen.

I’m an avid dual time/time slip reader. This novel is different from the majority of the books I’ve read in the genre, in that the ever moving target of how the past and present can possibly be related was conspicuously absent. Right up front readers are given a historical story that is completely narrated to the contemporary heroine through diaries left in an old homestead. The property and original farm house is too much for the elderly occupant to maintain, so her grandchildren prepare the house to sell or make liveable for their grandmother. As they clean, they unearth the diaries which hold all the details of the lives lived in the farm house.

What made this story interesting for me was the twist that was added in the contemporary story. Readers are introduced to several secondary characters of whom have varied interest in the property being vacated. It is within these relationships that readers discover, along with our heroine, where her true roots come from.

The narrative flows well and the descriptions are detailed enough for readers to imagine themselves in the run down farm house or in the brand new house that Jack built. Music from the jazz scenes comes alive with the detail given on the page. There are enough characters to not like and ones who endear themselves to the reader.

If you want a light time slip read that will keep you turning the pages for the sweet story, Roots of Wood and Stone will satisfy your desire.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

About The Book

Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn’t expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she’s on the hunt to find out more.

Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother’s historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer’s, he can’t afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who’s fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.

A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love—and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.

Q&A With Amanda

Q: What drew you to the split-time genre? What unique challenges does writing in two time periods present?

I’ve always loved reading both historical and contemporary books, and I’ve long been a fan of TV shows that hop from era to era. From the ‘80s sci-fi show Quantum Leap and the 2000s crime drama Cold Case to the new hit This Is Us, series like these illustrate in dramatic fashion just how deeply the past impacts the present. Split-time novels do the same thing: characters’ past decisions have ripple effects, both good and bad, for generations to come.

In addition, one of my favorite things about split time is watching the contemporary characters dig into the past. My mother is a genealogist who’s been tracing our family history since before I was born, and her passion for uncovering our family’s stories has been an important backdrop my entire life. Her research has given me an appreciation for those who came before and a desire to pass along this appreciation to my own kids. Given all this, I think the split-time genre is a natural fit for me!

However, split time doesn’t come without its challenges. Instead of writing one story, I’m writing two, and they have to weave together in an organic way. If you can lift one story line out of the book without hurting the other one, then it’s not integrated well enough. With two stories come two heroes, two heroines, and two plot lines, all of which must be correctly paced and equally interesting to the reader.

Enter the Giveaway

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BOOK BY: Sarah Sundin

It’s hard to believe, the huge historical fiction fan that I am, that this is the first book I’ve read of Sarah Sundin. The author’s name keeps popping up in various reading groups as an author to read.

When Twilight Breaks is part of a series, I’m not sure where it falls – perhaps book two. There are quite a few references to the previous novel, but a reader can still enjoy this novel without having read the other one. At any rate, the heroine from this novel apparently had quite the adventure in Paris before she arrives in Germany.

Our story takes place pre-WW2 in a changing Germany. The focus is on Americans visiting Munich and Berlin right before Kristaalnacht – when Jewish businesses were looted and owners taken from the premesis. Evelyn, an American Correspondent witnesses the utter horror of the event and finds herself being pursued by the Gestapo. Peter, an American PHD student studying linguistics at the University finds himself entangled in espionage. Evelyn and Peter work together to reveal the truth and to escape Germany before it’s too late to get out.

It took me a long while to get into the story. I’m not quite sure why, but I suspect it might have to do with reader fatigue. I’ve read several books in the last month that have focused on WW2 events. However, by mid-way through (during the events of Kristaalnacht) I wanted to keep reading to find out how Peter and Evelyn would escape a seemingly impossible situation.

There was plenty of action and a smooth narrative that pulls readers into Peter and Evelyn’s world.

It was an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more from this author.

I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

BOOK REVIEW: The Vanishing at Loxby Manor

Book By: Abigail Wilson

A secret society outlawed decades ago. A woman gone missing. A family who isn’t all they appear to be. The Vanishing at Loxby Manor is a chilling read – make sure your lights are on for this one.

Charity Halliwell has returned to England after being whisked away by her parents five years prior. Instead of heading to America with her family to visit her older brother, Charity begs to return to the home she left. Her wish is granted. If only she’d gone with her family…

I won’t spoil the story and give more detail than that.

The easy narrative pulls the reader in to a time and place where legends were created and brought to life. Loxby Manor and the people who reside in it are hiding secrets. Is no one to be trusted? Charity is pulled into intrigue and has a personal stake with the woman who disappears the very night Charity arrives. The novel is spent searching for the woman, questioning those who last saw her and chasing leads that brings her nowhere.

There are twists and turns that the reader may not easily predict, which makes this a delightful experience. There are enough clues sprinkled throughout the pages to help readers draw their own conclusions and then quickly squashed as Charity uncovers the truth.

If you enjoy regency romance with a whole lot of intrigue (and don’t mind murder), you’ll enjoy this read.

I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

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