Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen

The Painter's DaughterThe Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't know if I can say enough good about this book to let you know how much I thoroughly enjoyed it!! Julie Klassen has written such a solid book in The Painter's Daughter!! This book held my attention throughout and is my new most recent favorite book!! I love how Julie pushes the edginess just a little in her characters but never to a point that a book is inappropriate for younger ages. She writes real, raw, honesty into her characters and the ones in this book are no exception!

Sophie finds herself at a moment of weakness and not really sure how to handle her situation when Wesley just up and leaves. She is a very private person, even more so with her painting. How could Wesley just up and leave for Italy without even saying goodbye? Then, Wesley's brother Stephen comes to town, looking for his brother only to find him out gallivanting around the world again. He meets Sophie and learns that Wesley has just up and left her. Stephen makes Sophie no promises other than to take care of her if she will be HIS wife. Sophie accepts and moves to Stephen's family home. When Stephen is called back into duty and his brother Wesley shows up to find "his girl" has married his brother, whatever will happen?

There are so many themes in this book that brought home some very important points. I think my favorite theme is that of forgiveness. That seems to be my life theme this year and I'm gravitating towards books that focus on this theme. Sophie needs the forgiveness of many of her friends and family members, while others are also in need of her forgiveness. The relationship that Sophie has with Stephen is so intriguing to me as well. I would say that theme would be one of endurance. So many times, people give up so easily but Sophie and Stephen weather life's storms with endurance.

Thank you, Julie, for another fabulous book! I look forward to reading many, many more!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer

No Other Will DoNo Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's been awhile since I've snuggled down with a Karen Witemeyer book and I have no idea why because she never disappoints!!

I loved this book and devoured it rather quickly!! Set in 1882, Emma Chandler is in charge of a women's colony in Harper's Station. She provides a safe haven for women who are in need of a fresh start. However, there is a sinister man who is doing everything he can to ruin Harper's Station and to demolish the safe haven that Emma has created. Feeling like she has no other option, Emma contacts her life-long friend, Malachi Shaw, to come and help get her colony back under control. How will the women react to having a man in their midst? How will Emma react to seeing Mal after all these years apart?

As I mentioned before, Karen Witemeyer does not disappoint!! I love her writing style and how she creates a mystery intertwined with romance!! Her characters are well developed and I feel as though I lived in Harper's Station while reading this book!

I appreciate Bethany House Publishers providing a complimentary copy of No Other Will Do in exchange for my honest review. This is one of my most favorite publishing companies and I'm honored to be able to review for them and read high quality books from authors I love!

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The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury

The BridgeThe Bridge by Karen Kingsbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not one to usually one to watch a movie before I read a book, but in this case, I did. After seeing the movie on Hallmark and absolutely loving the movie, I wanted to read the book. I also have not read many Karen Kingsbury books. I was pleasantly surprised as to how close the movie was to the book!!

I just love this story!! I've already watched the movie twice too! Two bookstore owners take their personal pain and turn it into something so beautiful!! Being able to put their pain aside to help others in their times of needs is so very unselfish. Charlie and Donna stole my heart from the very beginning!! The fact that they named the bookstore "The Bridge" is also such an inspiration! Leaving your troubles at the door to overcome a world of impossibles seems to be their underlying theme. I was heartbroken by Molly's story, as I felt she had the most to lose in the whole process. Her ending was the most beautiful though, in my opinion.

I would encourage those who love a good romance to read on a rainy day to check this book out!

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Lethal Harvest by William R Cutrer

Lethal HarvestLethal Harvest by William R. Cutrer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is a re-release with updated technology information! I never read the original version of this book but I'm fairly sure it did not include the sophisticated medical advancements, along with technology such as cell phones.

This book is steeped in mystery, drama, and a little bit of romance. It keeps you on the edge of your seat as you are reading and trying to figure out exactly what happened to the twins and how they got in the situation they were in. A lot of smaller mysteries surrounding the embryo clinic and it's studies. Suspense amongst friends and colleagues. This book will appeal to those with a scientific mind, especially concerning IVF, stem cells, and biotechnology. There is a Christian theme woven throughout and the end result came as somewhat of a surprise to me.

The characters are well developed but I have an issue with a particular couple in the book. Without going into much detail and giving away any spoilers, I felt that a certain male character made some pretty fast moves onto another character considering the situation. That bothered me a bit, especially give the man's position. However, that situation also shows that man is not perfect and that sometimes it's hard to control emotions and feelings.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the thrill and mystery behind it, I did give this three stars because I don't feel that the themes were all interwoven as much as I would have liked. The situation with the couple really concerns me, especially since this is promoted as a Christian novel. I'm also concerned about the ethics involving the clinic and it's practices in regards to Christianity. However, to come to the defense of those doctors, they were not all Christians. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it with caution to readers. Know your ground and where you stand before you read this book as it could attempt to sway your convictions one way or another.

I received this book from Kregel Publications in return for my honest review, which you have received here.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

COTT Featured Novel: Bitterroot Bride by Angela Breidenbach


A beautifully spun story about the power of second chances. ~ Amazon Reviewer
I loved The Bitterroot Bride! The part where she compares church 
to riding a trot made me laugh out loud.  ~A. Chatman




About the book:

No one knows the real Emmalee Warren, just what they want from the infamous prostitute. Men are coming out of the woodwork to stake a claim on the miner's widow. They wanted her body before. Now they want her money. Hiring a lawyer, Richard Lewis, to save her from financial ruin might let her start over where no one knows Miss Ellie. Becoming an unknown is the only way to freedom…or is it? Can she leave her past and build a new future?

Purchase


Chat with Angela:

Ques: We heard there was something special that happened to you while writing your fourth book in the historical romance series, Montana Beginnings. What was special about the Bitterroot Bride heroine for you?
 
Angela: Writing Miss Emmie learning to read became an amazing experience. Though I’d learned to read at four, I didn’t understand how to connect and read people until well into my adulthood. So while Miss Emmie became proficient in reading, I became proficient in relationships. She’d eat up every book she could get her hands on and studied with intensity. I did the same thing, but about relational topics.

Ques: When did you realize the parallel character arc had so much in common with your real life?

Angela: About halfway through the first draft an epiphany happened. I stopped, took a day or so to really think about my personal experience, then began an intentional focus on writing the emotional parallel.

Ques: What do you hope Bitterroot Bride does for readers?

Angela: I hope this story is both entertaining and encouraging. I’d like readers to absorb the idea that like Miss Emmie and me, if you have the desire to learn something then you can. Age doesn’t matter.

Ques: Can you tell us the titles and a little about the Montana Beginnings series?

Angela: All four titles are set in Helena, MT from 1889 – 1895. It’s right when we became a state, but mining couldn’t support us forever. The Debutante Queen introduces us to Calista who steals an orphan off the street to protect her from a cruel master. Eleven Pipers Piping brings forward the newsies, newspaper boys and orphan train leftovers, into Mirielle’s classroom. Then in Taking the Plunge, Delphina takes us back to the iconic Broadwater Natatorium as a swim instructress. Then Emmalee enters the scene as we find out how Montana chose her state flower. Each of these lovely Victorian ladies finds her true love while carving out a meaningful life in Montana’s frontier. 

~~~~~~~

About Angela:
Angela Breidenbach is a bestselling author and host of Grace Under Pressure Radio on iTunes. Angela is the Christian Author Network's president. And yes, she's half of the comedy duo, Muse and Writer, on social media.
Connect Here:
Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest: @AngBreidenbach

Friday, June 10, 2016

COTT Featured Novel: The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola




The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola, was the first book I've read from this author. It will not be my last… it is very well written and at times, you won't want to put it down. Looking forward to reading more of this talented author! 

~P. McGuire


The Babel Conspiracy 
by Sylvia Bambola

About the Book:
The Babel Conspiracy is a tale of intrigue and love. Two women engineers struggle to develop the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft amid ever intensifying global terrorism and muddled personal lives. Trisha Callahan has an abiding faith in God, and “those roots of middy blouses and pleated skirts, prayer books and incense-filled churches went deep.” This faith is tested when she finds herself in love with a married man. Audra Shields sees herself as a modern Lady Chatterley, “liberated but not forsaking breeding, intellect, or femininity.” When she becomes involved with a dangerous stranger, she begins to question her lifestyle. 

Both women try sorting out their personal problems while racing the clock to finish a project fraught with sabotage and murder. And who’s behind it all? When the Department of Homeland Security and the Mossad finally figure it out, the answer surprises everyone.

PURCHASE

What readers are saying:
“It has been quite a long time since I have read a book such as this one, one so pertinent to today's landscape of life. The author has written an excellent novel that could have been pulled from tomorrow's headlines - from both political and scientific advancement points of view. . . . I highly recommend this book for those who love intrigue, suspense, fiction, and a little bit of romance. The book is well paced, has plenty of action, and good character development.” Rachel Helms

“The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola is a very thought provoking novel about the way that things could be in the U.S. in the near future. We need to humble ourselves before the Lord and pray for America in these perilous times. The characters were well developed and the story shows God's love and redemption.” Linda Rainey




About the Sylvia Bambola:

Sylvia Bambola is the award winning author of eight novels, including Rebekah’s Treasure (2015 CSPA Book of the Year/Christian Historical Fiction) and The Salt Covenants (2015 Reader’s Favorite

Bronze Medal Winner/Christian Historical Fiction). A resident of Florida, she teaches women’s Bible studies and has two grown children.

Where to find Sylvia:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Her One and Only by Becky Wade

Her One and Only (Porter Family, #4)Her One and Only by Becky Wade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In book 4 of the Porter family series, Dru Porter has been assigned as an executive protective agent for Gray Fowler, a NFL superstar tight end. Dru feels the importance of this task as she is trying to prove herself to Sutton Industries, especially after her last protective duty didn't end well. The personalities of Dru and Gray couldn't be further apart! Where Dru is all serious and business, Gray is all fun and play. At times I even wondered if Gray took the threats to his life as serious as he should have. Between threatening letters, an overly obsessed fan, and an interesting housekeeper, can Dru find the person behind all the drama with Gray before she falls in love with him?

This was a fun book to read and it keep me interested from start to finish. I didn't know until I had finished this book that it was part of a series. There were side stories on Dru's family members that had me shaking my head as to why they were included. It all became clear once I finished the book and saw the other books in this series in the back of the book (I don't like to look at the back of a book for any reason until I'm done reading). Now, I'm curious as to these other stories so I will be reading the other books!! The characters in this book seem very realistic and the stories are believable, as if they were your next door neighbors. I enjoyed the suspenseful twist in this book in regards to who Gray's stalker was. I had this person on my list but this person was not my top suspect. The way this book ended was perfect!

This is a christian fiction book but it's not overly heavy on religious issues. Each character does have a vice that they must overcome but it's written in a way that's not overly preachy. There are themes of trust, forgiveness, and of course, love!

Many thanks to Bethany House and Baker Publishers for providing a complimentary copy of this book for review. This is my honest review.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Heart Failure by Richard L. Mabry

Heart FailureHeart Failure by Richard L. Mabry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everytime I pick up a Richard Mabry book, I know I'm in for an adventure! Heart Failure did not disappoint!! I loved the fast-paced nature of this book and the story of Adam and Carrie! I can usually pick out who the culprit is before it all becomes revealed and one of the many things I love about Dr. Mabry's writing is I'm almost always wrong!! He writes with such twists and turns and then surprises you in the end. I absolutely love this about his books!

My favorite character in this story would have to be Carrie. My heart really goes out to her. She's still struggling after the tragic loss of her husband a couple of years ago. Now, Adam has come into her life and just when she is starting to feel comfortable again, her whole world is turned upside down. How is it that she goes from being a happily engaged woman to running for her life? The twists and turns she experiences in this story about gave me heart failure!

The title is very fitting for this book as well. This book is about a doctor who works in a medical practice where heart surgery is common. Carrie's husband died from complications of a heart procedure. The real story lies in the physical and spiritual implications that a heart can have on someone. How is your heart? Is it in need of a defibrillator?

I highly recommend this book and can't wait until I can get my hands on more of Dr. Mabry's writing. He is truly one of my most favored authors!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll

Hidden in the Stars (Quilts of Love Series)Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sophia has just been chosen for the US Olympic Team in gymnastics and is loving the life she leads. She goes to visit her mother, Nina, a world renowned Russian ballerina, and her life changes in the blink of an eye.

Now, unable to speak due to the trauma of her attack, Sophia is set on helping Julian and his team find the people behind her mother's murder and the attack that took place. What secret does one of the quilts that Nina and Sophia made together hold that can crack this case?

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick read. I would not say this book is lighthearted, as it does involve a vicious attack and murder. The romance side of it does lighten the mood a bit. I did find the ending a bit predictable but that did not deter me from enjoying this book. I'm not sure I've read anything by Robin Caroll before but I do look forward to more of her work. I love how this book had a focus of forgiveness for several of the characters involved.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

The Golden BraidThe Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Calling all fairy tale lovers! This version of Rapunzel (or Tangled for the younger readers) is a delight to read!! I love how Melanie Dickerson wove this love story with themes of spiritual perseverance, forgiveness, and faith! This is a super fun read and one I highly recommend!

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White

The Reluctant Duchess (Ladies of the Manor, #2)The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book by Roseanna M. White that I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style! I regret that I have not read the first book in this series, but I will be reading it soon as I'm very interested in the history behind the rubies that Brice is concerned with.

Some of my most favorite books are historical Christian fiction. This one definitely did not let me down. I really appreciate the care that Ms. White gave to Rowena's father. He is such a brute of being (I wouldn't call him a "man"), yet we see that he is a human capable of emotion as well. I also feel that Ms. White focuses on an important issue that spans all ages of time. The majority of women today (and even back in the 1900s) do not feel adequate. We see this in Rowena as she feels she can never measure up to anyone. Once she meets Brice, however, I felt her confidence growing. She sincerely tried to reach out and help someone who she thought would be a friend. When that friendship doesn't work out, she still uses a negative situation and turns it into a positive. I feel a lot of this was because of Brice's support, but also because Rowena started to value herself as a person and a Duchess. Many times, people let titles get in the way of their success, either because they overuse their titles or underuse them.

There were parts of this story that were difficult to read. As a reader, I didn't want to have to go through those experiences with Rowena but they were important to understand. Ms. White wrote with lots of grace and fervor in these situations. I applaud her for bringing attention to issues that still plague people today.

I would highly recommend this book to lovers of Christian Historical Fiction! This was a fairly quick read for me and I did have a hard time putting it down! I look forward to going back and reading book 1 in this series, and also to reading book 3 when it is released.

I did receive a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion. These thoughts are all my own. Many thanks to Amy Baker at BHP and Ms. White for this complimentary copy!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

CFBA: Robin by Julane Hiebert

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Robin
Wings of Hope Publishing Group (November 15, 2015)
by
Julane Hiebert


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Julane is first of all a child of God. She is also a wife to Bob, mother to two living sons,Kip and Rob, two daughters in heaven, two wonderful daughters-in-law, Becky and Tami, and grandmother to six perfectly wonderful grands, as well as an additional three ‘other grands’. She lives with her husband in a wee cottage by a small lake nestled in the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas.

Though encouraged by many to pen the story of raising two daughters with an incurable disease, she has chosen to incorporate the lessons learned into the lives of her not-too-perfect characters. Her passion is to present the promises and hope found in God’s Word in down-to-earth, everyday experiences through her stories.

Julane loves reading, decorating, junking, antiques, and chocolate! No particular order, but one would be safe to insert chocolate between all other interests.



ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1877 the Wenghold sisters inherited an overwhelming debt with their father’s passing. An uncle they’ve never met offers a solution—come help on his Kansas cattle ranch. The oldest sister, Robin, agrees to go.

Ty Morgan has suffered through a year of misery after being jilted by the town beauty a few months before their wedding. But a tornado whirls an unexpected breath of hope into his heart when he rescues Robin, his neighbor’s newly arrived niece, and a small boy who was orphaned by the storm.

Robin’s crippled leg prevents her from being a real help to Uncle John, but she seems to be exactly who Ty needs to heal his broken heart. Until his former fiancĂ©e returns and a mysterious, elusive stranger casts worry over the entire community.

A woman determined to honor her obligations, a man entangled in a long ago-made commitment, an orphaned child in need of security . . . Can God guide these three souls to peace and fulfillment together?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Robin, go HERE.


I look forward to sharing a review of this book with you soon. Be sure to check back! I do have to say this cover is haunting me (in a good way) because this looks like someone I know. However, I can't remember the person's name (I'm pretty sure it's not Robin!). I love this book cover!!  

COTT: Free Historical Romance

The first three books in April W Gardner's Creek Country Saga have just hit the Amazon shelves! They are now available for purchase, but every subscriber to her newsletter gets the first in the series for
FREE!

Scroll to nab your copy!

Beneath the Blackberry Moon will sweep you away to another time, then make you sigh and wish you could stay just a little longer.


I cannot put this book down! April Gardner crafts the scenes and character interactions so well, you are there! What a powerful story. 
~Amazon reviewer


This newsletter goes out only a handful of times each year to announce new releases, so no worries--your inbox won't be bombarded. April is generous to her email subscribers. Next month, each will receive another novel, absolutely free! See below to learn more about Better Than Fiction.


About the book:
War, captivity, hunger that will not be denied. And a blackberry moon with enough pull to endure the test of time.

Frontierswoman Adela McGirth has never feared her neighbors, the Creek Indians, but a suspicious encounter with a steely-eyed warrior shakes her confidence. As dreaded, a skirmish with the natives sends her family fleeing into a hastily constructed fort. But no picket is strong enough to hold off a party of warriors who fear nothing but the loss of their ancient ways.

Totka Lawe, a Red Stick bound by honor to preserve his heritage, will do what he must to expel the whites from Muscogee soil. But in the midst of battle, he is assigned to protect those he’s expected to hate and kill. One of whom is the copper-haired woman who has haunted his thoughts since that strange night under the blackberry moon. The war was simpler before his enemy became a beautiful face with a gentle warrior’s spirit he cannot resist.

But what woman would have a warrior whose blood-soaked hands destroyed her life?

Then again...does she have a choice?

PREVIEW BOOK BY CLICKING IMAGE


Learn more about this saga at 
and Like her on 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Coming soon...

To get your FREE copy of Better Than Fiction
(releases April 2016)

Better than Fiction
by 
April W Gardner and Michelle Massaro

Romance novelist Meghan Townsend’s marriage is slipping, and no amount of prayer seems to help. She aims to recapture her husband’s waning attention by getting in shape and finds escape by crafting her own fictional love story. Taking inspiration for the hero from a new friend—the attractive, spiritual, and attentive Curtis Jameson—she pours her yearnings onto the page, and craves the kind of pulse-pounding romance found in her book, Racing Hearts

In 1916 Corona, California, motorcars are all the rage, and racing them is what Meghan’s hero, Russell Keegan, does best. But when his competition vandalizes his car, the only mechanic available is a greasy woman in a man’s overalls.

After a racing accident claimed her father’s life, Winifred became the sole breadwinner for her family. She is disdained as a female mechanic, but her daddy's trade is all she has left. Can she swallow her hatred of the races and take up Russell's offer of big bucks to fix his car, or will she lose everything to mounting debt?

Under Meghan's skillful pen, these two embark on a thrilling, adventurous romance. But she finds that writing those love scenes with Curtis’s face in mind takes her heart places it shouldn’t go. Will she realize in time that real life can be better than fiction?


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Once Upon a Summertime by Melody Carlson

Once Upon a Summertime: A New York City Romance (Follow Your Heart, #1)Once Upon a Summertime: A New York City Romance by Melody Carlson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a light-hearted read that only took a me on a journey lasting a couple of hours. Anna is the hotel manager for the Value Lodge in her hometown of Springdale. She's had a "down on your luck" kinda life and lives with her grandmother. While she highly respects her grandmother and loves her dearly, Anna is ready for a bigger and better opportunity. When her friend Marley mentions the possibility of a new job and life in New York, Anna is excited about the prospects.

I enjoyed this book, and like another reader, was really afraid that something horrible was going to happen at some point. Some may read this and see that bad things really did happen, but I would consider those things in the past before this particular story took place. I did not like how this story just ended abruptly. I felt like the carpet had been pulled too quickly from under my reading chair!! I would recommend this read!

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Friday, January 15, 2016

With This Ring? by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears

With This Ring?: A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone AwryWith This Ring?: A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry by Karen Witemeyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Most girls dream of that perfect proposal. The one that will sweep them off their feet onto the white horse of their prince so that they might live happily ever after. We all know that the fairytale is mostly just that, a fairytale. Proposals end up being very special to the couple, no matter how many blunders and boo-boos take place. I know my proposal was incredibly unique, even shocking! ;)

In this novella, authors Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagearseach have a unique story to tell. The Husband Maneuver is all about a young girl named Marietta who loves reading the stories of Dead Eye Dan and his adventures. Dan is now a ranch hand on her father's farm. When it's time to take care of business, everyone leaves the ranch except for Dan...or so everyone thought. I loved the storyline in this one!! Karen has a way of writing to keep everyone in suspense right up until the very end!

Her Dearly Unintended is about a young lady named Katie who is watching over the homestead while her parents take care of business. A bad storm pops up and the neighbor boy, Josiah, happens along to help Katie get her livestock back across the bridge to her home. What Katie wasn't planning on was entertaining unexpected guests! I enjoyed the suspense of this one as well!! I don't believe I'd read anything by Regina Jennings before but I will definitely be looking for more of her work.

Runaway Bride is a novella by Mary Connealy. What I love most about Mary's work is that she incorporates characters into each set of novels that she's previously written about. It's like one big family reunion reading her books! Carrie is betrothed to a loathsome man all because her daddy is trying to pay off a gambling debt. She and her brother, Isaac, run away the day before the wedding is to take place. They sure weren't expecting that happened next!

Engaging the Competition is the most light-hearted read in this novella collection. Melissa writes of two young people who are highly competitive and out to best each other. Harrison has a whole new set of challenges when he loses his glasses and has to rely on Charlie for help.

I highly recommend this novella collection of proposals gone awry!! I read this in a short 2 days and it helped to keep my spirit up during a difficult week!

If you've read this, which was your favorite story and why?

I did receive a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House publishers in exchange for my honest opinion, which you have received here. Happy Reading! :)



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