Author of Sweet Hope and Happy Endings

Category: Romance (Page 1 of 17)

A Castaway in Cornwall: A Book Review


BOOK BY: Julie Klassen

Another long-awaited Julie Klassen tale at last!

As usual, Julie Klassen delivers a poignant regency that tells of love lost and the mystery that surrounds it.

Laura Callaway has lost everyone who loves her and struggles to find a place with a distant relative in Cornwall. She spends her days scouring the beaches for lost treasure she can return to the rightful owners, or to sell the unclaimed items. She assists her uncle who is a minister in recording the deaths of those washed up on shore from the shipwrecks that plague their small community.

Alexander Caraway is caught between a political shift in history, his loyalties lying with the crown of France though the throne has been stolen by Napoleon. A captain of a French military ship, he loses the battle and finds himself a prisoner of war and accused of crimes he has not committed. Caught in a storm, Alexander is one of two survivors to wash up on shore and the one Laura nurses back to health.

There is a whole slew of cast members that bring the story to life. Characters a reader can’t help but to love, hate and wish a better outcome for. Many characters have their own hardships which end satisfactorily, even some happily. It’s hard to pick a favourite secondary character from this bunch – so I won’t.

The connection between Laura and Alexander is seamlessly woven through the pages of this novel. A beautiful story of loving a neighbour – even when he or she is considered the enemy. It’s a story of overcoming the past, forgiveness and looking to God to provide.

And I have to admit, I’m thrilled to read a novel where the French guy gets the English gal (although I might be a biased when it comes to that).

In the beginning of the novel, I found there were quite a few spots with a lot of information – historical details that were significant to the time and geography but a bit jarring. It seemed quite out of the ordinary for a Julie Klassen novel. After about the third chapter the pertinent facts had been recalled and the story flowed from there.

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

A Portrait of Loyalty (The Codebreakers #3)


BOOK BY: Roseanna M White

This is the final book of The Codebreakers Trilogy which ties up all the loose ends from the previous two books into a nice neat bow at the end.

As always, Roseanna White’s books are well researched, rich with description and full of characters readers can fall in love with. This book is no different. It’s pleasant to be re-introduced to previous characters who have had their own stories throughout this series and other ones that take place during World War 1.

The questions of loyalty, trustworthiness, and art as a means to an end are addressed throughout the pages. There are some interesting arguments presented for the use of art in propaganda, and a question our heroine struggles with as she uses her photography talents to help end the war for Britain.

Our newest cast member was introduced in the final pages of the previous novel so it was a delight to read Zivon’s story. He is one of those guys you love and can see that his struggle to share information is real. Can he trust the allies? Can he trust anyone? Can they trust him? It’s an interesting conundrum that plays throughout the novel.

Lily is a likeable character, if not conflicted. She works secretly with her father for Whitehall, but must keep her true job a secret from her artistic – and very opinionated – mother. When Lily meets Zivon, there is attraction but keeping her job a secret brings strain. Theirs is a slow romance, one that is challenged, but of course – there’s a happily ever after for them and everyone else around them.

A PORTRAIT OF LOYALTY is probably the least favourite of the whole series. I found the pace a lot slower than the other ones and quite a bit less action, but no less tension.

A reader could likely read this one as a stand alone, but to get the full appreciation of the series one should start with book one. Even better, start with the previous series Shadows Over England (or even Ladies of the Manor since they all make cameos throughout Shadows Over England).

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

Her Secret Song (Brides of Hope Mountain 3)


BOOK BY: Mary Connealy

A happy conclusion with all the loose ends tied neatly in a bow for fans of Brides of Hope Mountain by Mary Connealy.

Oldest Nodegren sister Ursula finally gets her story and readers have the chance to see what makes her tick. Overcoming fears is a huge theme in this novel and Ursula has fears in spades. After a long winter isolated alone in her stone house carved into the mountain, she ventures out – curious about the world that has enticed her two youngest sisters away. On her way to the edge of the mountain she discovers an injured man and her fears can be put to rest – at least for a while.

Wax Mosby is a man in need of forgiveness. In need of a change and boy does he get it! When the spring thaw starts to come, Wax decides to climb the mountain to find the family his boss wants to run off the land. What he didn’t see coming was the mysterious gunslingers riding into the ranch he just vacated. A gun fight leaves Wax injured, precariously hanging from the side of the mountain.

Ursula and Wax’s story is a beautiful story of rescuing each other. Their worlds are so different, yet both of them struggle with fears the other can relate to.

Our happy couples from books one and two reappear and married life seems to suit each of them well. As all join forces for the ultimate battle, strength lies in numbers – but also in the silence of the Nodregren women.

An epilogue ties the series together and answers the one question the girls had been searching for: whatever happened to their parents when they left the mountain?

This book could be read as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend reading the first two books before enjoying the final instalment.

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

The Black Midnight (True Color Crime #7)


BOOK BY: Kathleen Y’Barbo

I applaud Kathleen Y’Barbo for tackling the gruesome murders of the Whitechapel women and the unpleasant connection of similar murders in Austin, Texas a few years earlier. These are not easy stories to write and I can only imagine the struggles the author went through to present a story of hope through these historical, but tragic events.

The narrative invites the reader along and pulls him/her into the late 1800s, London and Austin. It’s easy to picture the locations with vivid descriptions provided by the author and one can empathize with the heroine as she tries to solve the unsolvable.

I wasn’t familiar with the connection of the royal family to the murders, so this was a new fact I learned from reading The Black Midnight.

It’s difficult to read this series. I think it really comes down to knowing these crimes actually happened. And it’s disturbing what some of these criminals did and what the victims went through. Authors have woven fiction and fact seamlessly into cohesive stories and this novel is no different.

If you enjoy true crime fiction, you will most definitely enjoy The Black Midnight. If you haven’t the heart for true crime, then you might want to bypass this series completely.

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

Acceptable Risk (Danger Never Sleeps 2)


BOOK BY: Lynette Eason

Sarah Denning, military journalist is taken hostage during her tour of the middle east, along with a group of teenaged girls and their teacher. What appears to be a random act is something that turns into something more sinister, following her rescue and trailing her back to the USA.

Gavin Black is retired military and the one person who can free Sarah from the terrorist group that holds her. Getting her safely back to the US is his only goal, until Gavin is given information that threatens the lives of Sarah and her military father.
Veterans from Afghanistan are dying and no one knows why. What follows on the pages of ACCEPTABLE RISK is a game of high stakes and life or death. Sarah and Gavin are pulled into the world of military secrets, drug development and an experimental drug that leaves a tragic tale behind.

There’s a lot of action and vivid description in this second novel of – series. Characters from the first book have cameos, but it does well as a stand-alone book. Readers are given enough backstory for secondary characters to understand their current roles/relationships.

I was expecting a bit more of a dramatic twist at the end since the first book had done that. This time, it was easy to spot what was making veterans sick and who was responsible, yet none of these details started to be acknowledged by the characters until mid-way through. The ending felt off for some reason, maybe too quick or too easy. Or perhaps I was wanting a shocking moment. I’m not sure what it was, but the finale was a bit of a downer after the fantastic ending of the first book of the series (although I’m not sure any ending would beat that particular one).

There was a small spiritual thread running through the book, though it wasn’t as prominent as the international problem the hero and heroine were trying to solve.

All in all, it was an enjoyable read.

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

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