The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz

grace

Pages: 384

Publisher: Harlequin – Graydon House Books

Published: March 3, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: A beautiful 3 generational story that will leave you filled with hope and love. I loved how it showed the importance of honoring our past. Our past helps make up who we are today whether we realize it or not.

My favorite storyline was the bride’s mother. There were many surprises that when revealed tied so much together and made the story.

The title is what drew me to this book as I remember reading a paperback over and over again throughout middle and high school about Grace Kelly. The cover had a picture of her in her wedding dress. I wish I still had the book.

This book is for all romance, fiction, and fans of weddings.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Harlequin – Graydon House Books through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above reviews are entirely my own.

NetGalley: Two years after Grace Kelly’s royal wedding, her iconic dress is still all the rage in Paris—and one replica, and the secrets it carries, will inspire three generations of women to forge their own paths in life and in love.

Paris, 1958: Rose, a seamstress at a fashionable atelier, has been entrusted with sewing a Grace Kelly—look-alike gown for a wealthy bride-to-be. But when, against better judgment, she finds herself falling in love with the bride’s handsome brother, Rose must make an impossible choice, one that could put all she’s worked for at risk: love, security and of course, the dress.

Sixty years later, tech CEO Rachel, who goes by the childhood nickname “Rocky,” has inherited the dress for her upcoming wedding in New York City. But there’s just one problem: Rocky doesn’t want to wear it. A family heirloom dating back to the 1950s, the dress just isn’t her. Rocky knows this admission will break her mother Joan’s heart. But what she doesn’t know is why Joan insists on the dress—or the heartbreaking secret that changed her mother’s life decades before, as she herself prepared to wear it.

As the lives of these three women come together in surprising ways, the revelation of the dress’s history collides with long-buried family heartaches. And in the lead-up to Rocky’s wedding, they’ll have to confront the past before they can embrace the beautiful possibilities of the future.

His Unexpected Amish Twins (Unexpected Amish Blessings #1) by Rachel J. Good

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Pages: 368

Publisher: Kensington

Published: February 25, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: I’m excited about this series based on the first book. I found this book provided a fresh approach to Amish fiction. It is a complex story of grief from three different points of view, addiction in an Amish world, fear from a man’s point of view, and a strong Amish business owner in a business other than the typical culinary business.

My interest was riveted from the first page to the last. It is a clean romance with parts that are tissue worthy.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Kensington, through Netgalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: When Micah Miller’s brother and sister-in-law are killed in a buggy accident, he’s devastated. But he fulfills the promise he made when their twins were born seven years earlier: to raise Jabin and Chloe should tragedy strike. Still, coping with the children’s grief as well as his own requires extra support. He’s surprised to find an Amish farm that offers just that . . .

Hope Graber had to find a way to save the family farm after her daed’s health forced him to stop breeding horses. Providing animal therapy proved to be the answer—thanks to the help of expert trainer Logan Russell. Together, they not only pay the bills, they make positive changes in children’s lives. Hope loves working with each child, but she takes a special interest in the Miller twins. She even makes Micah smile again—and he does the same for her. In fact, as Micah emerges from his depression, he longs to make them one happy family. But will Hope’s debt to her Englisch trainer, and their close partnership, stand in the way?

Murder Makes Scents (A Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery #2) by Christin Brecher

scents

Pages: 272

Publisher: Kensington

Published: February 25, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: This series has quickly become one of my new favorites. I love the location of Nantucket. Especially during this unexpected, questionable time. I feel like I can truly escape.

I enjoyed that this book focused on a positive relationship with her mom. So many books focus on the negativity between adult children and their parents that I found it refreshing that Stella and her mom enjoyed a trip together. Although I am not sure the mystery and solving of the mystery were entirely believable and that was ok. Sometimes we need the unbelievable to pass the time. Stella sure found an exciting way to bring in her 30th birthday. I believe I would prefer something a little more boring to bring in my birthday.

I am excited to learn that a 3rd book is already in production. This series provides candle information at the end of each novel. Very interesting.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Kensington, through Netgalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: Stella Wright loves creating candles at her Nantucket store—and she also has a burning passion for justice. Now, after visiting a perfume conference, she must solve a vial crime . . .

Stella and her globe-trotting mom, Millie, have come home from a perfume industry conference in Paris, where their trip was marred by witnessing the stabbing death of a young man. It’s a relief for Stella to be back on her picturesque island, with the comforting company of her cat, Tinker. But lingering danger may have followed them back across the ocean.

After someone breaks into her candle store, the Wick & Flame, Stella starts feeling spooked. And just as things threaten to ignite, Millie suffers a blow to the head. Stella receives an anonymous note claiming that her mother smuggled a secret formula out of France—and threatening her life if it isn’t returned. Now Stella’s picked up the scent of a cold-hearted criminal and an intriguing puzzle, and things are about to get wicked . . .

An Amish Picnic by Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin, Kathleen Fuller and Vannetta Chapman

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Pages: 400

Publisher: Zondervan

Published: March 3, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: A comforting read during this time of fear and uncertainty. A read that provides a few hours of escapism.

For fans of Amy Clipston, we get to know more about Phoebe from The Bake Shop. A great story to gently show up how we can make things more difficult than we need to at times.

Kelly Irvin reminds us love and friendship can be found in the most obvious places, right in front of our face.

Kathleen Fuller lets us know that family and friends are always willing to give you that gentle or not so gentle push towards love.

My favorite is the story from Vannetta Chapman. We get two love stories wrapped in one. When love is meant to be it will find a way no matter how long it takes.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Zondervan, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: From bestselling authors in the Amish genre come four sweet stories about picnics and romance.

Baskets of Sunshine by Amy Clipston
Kevin Weaver has lived with his brother’s family since his parents passed away when he was young, but he craves a home and family to call his own. Freeman Kurtz owns a successful brick mason business, and Kevin takes the job as Freeman’s apprentice to pursue his own financial freedom.

Phoebe Kurtz is helping her sister with her booth at the marketplace when she notices Kevin, her father’s employee. Their friendship grows, but Kevin is convinced that the difference in their ages makes a relationship between them impossible. Amidst summer outings, Kevin and Phoebe must decide if taking a chance on love is worth the risk.

Candlelight Sweethearts by Kelly Irvin
Esther Marie Shrock loves her job at Valley Grocery Store where she’s worked for four years. Despite a stutter that has plagued her since childhood, she thrives filling orders from a steady stream of customers. Still, at 25, she and her family wonder if romance is in her future.

Jasper Cotter isn’t good with people, but he’s found himself obligated to take over day-to-day operations of the family-owned grocery store—a store he doesn’t have the first clue how to run. Thrown together, Esther Marie and Jasper don’t exactly see eye to eye. One night, the store loses power, and the candles aren’t the only things shooting off sparks. Esther Marie and Jasper are suddenly forced to discover common ground when it matters most, and they might be surprised with love along the way.

Reeling in Love by Kathleen Fuller
Nina Stoll and Ira Yoder are just friends. Just friends and fishing buddies. Every Saturday afternoon, they have a picnic at their favorite fishing hole and see who can out fish the other. Until Nina starts to wonder if there’s more.

Her plans to share her feelings go awry and circumstances seem destined to keep Nina and Ira apart. With both Nina and Ira confused and hurting, it’s going to take courage, some help from the community matchmakers, and a little bit of divine intervention for Nina and Ira to realize they’re each other’s perfect catch.

Picnics and Prospects by Vannetta Chapman
Faith Troyer is claustrophobic, and David Lapp builds tiny houses. They went on a date years ago with disastrous results. Now that they’re in their late twenties, their families and friends are beginning to wonder if either will ever find that special someone. When a picnic outing is diverted by the discovery of a package of letters dating back to the 1970s, they take it upon themselves to find answers to a mystery that causes them to rethink their past and consider their future.

The Elephant by Peter Carnavas

elephant

Pages: 176

Publisher: Myrick Marketing and Media LLC

Published: March 17, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: I solely picked this book based on the title and was greatly surprised by how deep the theme of the story. We met Olive who along with her family is working through the grief after the death of her mother.

While this may be considered a middle grade/children’s fiction book I think adults could get a lot of info from this. One is how children are more perceptive to what we as adults are experiencing and feeling. We try to keep on a happy face in front of them but they know when we are upset or are bothered. A lot of children will try their hardest to fix us but do not understand why their fix is not working.

Another review mentioned she was a little worried that this book would convince children that with a little hard work they could fix the adult troubles and that is not always the case. My personal opinion is that it shows children that with hard work they can overcome their own grief and depression when the time is right.

I am intrigued to look into the author’s other works.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Myrick Marketing and Media LLC, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: A jewel of a middle-grade novel about a resilient little girl who longs for her dad to break free from the elephant of his depression.

When Olive’s dad drags himself to work in the morning, the elephant goes with him. When he comes home again, so does the elephant. It’s always there, heavy and silent, casting a shadow of sadness over him. Olive knows it has been like this since her mother passed away when she was a year old, and she can’t stand to see her father burdened anymore. With help from her grandfather and her best friend Arthur, she hatches a plan to rid her family of the elephant once and for all.

Before long, she’ll learn that while happiness isn’t that simple, small things can move mountains—or elephants.

Award-winning author-illustrator Peter Carnavas portrays a child’s response to her father’s depression with naïve wisdom. In defiance of the looming grey presence, The Elephant is an intergenerational story of resilience, family, and hope.

Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery #1) by Maria DiRico

here

Pages: 304

Publisher: Kensington

Published: February 25, 2020

Rating: 4 almost 5 out of 5 stars

My Review: Mia with her mob family and Italian grandma is just the medicine I needed during this crazy time. I laughed so often my husband had to ask what I was reading. The look on his face when I said a cozy mystery. He knows enough about cozy mysteries to know murders occur. He may be worried about me laughing at murder. I will correct him one day that I wasn’t laughing at murder. One day…

This was a great start to a new series. I almost did not request from NetGalley until a read a review from another reviewer and he raved about the book. If you need laughs but still want to read your cozies then this is the book for you. Mia’s grandma is a doll. I want to dive into the book and sample her cooking.

A bonus: recipes provided in the back. Not all Italian either there are some yummy Greek ones as well. If I have the ingredients I might be trying a few.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Kensington, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: After her philandering husband’s boat went down, newly single Mia Carina went back to Astoria, the bustling Queens neighborhood of her youth. Living with her nonna and her oversized cat, Doorstop, she’s got a whole new life—including some amateur sleuthing . . .

Mia is starting work at Belle View, her father’s catering hall, a popular spot for weddings, office parties, and more—despite the planes that occasionally roar overhead on their way to LaGuardia and rattle the crystal chandelier. Soon she’s planning a bachelor party for a less-than-gentlemanly groom. But it goes awry when the gigantic cake is wheeled in and a deadly surprise is revealed . . .

Since some of her family’s associates are on the shady side, the NYPD wastes no time in casting suspicion on Mia’s father. Now, Mia’s going to have to use all her street smarts to keep him out of Rikers Island . . .

The Sea Glass Cottage by Rayanne Thayne

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The Sea Glass Cottage Cover

I am happy to be able to participate in the Harlequin Blog Tour for Raynne Thayne’s newest release (March 17, 2020). I stayed up way too late to finish this delightful romance. It left me with the urge to binge-read all her novels.

If you find yourself under a mandated lockdown, self-quarantine, or are just looking for an escape from this scary situation at the moment, The Sea Glass Cottage is the book for you. You will find yourself transported to a quaint little town in Northern California and into the lives of three generations of women who are all trying to find themselves. By the end, you will be smiling from ear to ear and believing in love all over again.

Treat yourself a few hours of clean entertainment while your own kids are getting their reading minutes in during the day.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Harlequin, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The Sea Glass Cottage Excerpt

The Sea Glass Cottage Buy Links and Info

RaeAnne Thayne

 

 

Hope Deferred: An Amish Romance by Linda Byler

hope

Pages: 336

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (Good Books)

Published: March 17, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: I was on the fence whether I liked this book or not but after I finished and thought about it I found I really liked it. I was quite impressed with the subtle way the message was given.

Hope Deferred is different than most Amish romances in that you get the feel of for true Amish life and I credit that to the novel being written by an author who was raised Amish and still practices her Amish faith. She shows us the difficulties young Amish have when it is time to decide to stay with the faith or become English. I’ll admit I did not like Dave’s character at all as I thought he was selfish and mean to just about everyone around him. When I think back on his character though he was so conflicted and really had no one to talk with for true guidance. Anna loved Dave but her faith was strong and that carried her throughout the novel. Never once did her faith sway.

The repetition of details is my biggest complaint in that I felt it drug the novel down in several places. That is purely a personal observation.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Skyhorse Publishing (Good Books), through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: Will Daniel and Anna be able to reconcile their faith struggles and their love for each other? Beloved Amish novelist Linda Byler once again writes a compelling and surprising love story, showing that even the Plain People struggle with complex feelings, questions, and relationships.

David Stolzfus and Anna Fisher have been best friends as long as they can remember. Sure, it was a bit unusual in the Amish community for a boy and a girl to be so close, but nobody questions it with David and Anna—it has just always been that way. They live on neighboring farms in Lancaster County, they walk to school together (with all their siblings) every day, and when David learns to drive a pony, Anna is the first one to ride with him. Their lives are intertwined, the way the borders of their properties are joined by the Pequea Creek.

As they approach their teen years, David and Anna’s friendship turns quickly to deep love and attraction. But David is headstrong and full of an insatiable hunger for knowledge and new experiences. When Anna’s conservative parents require that he join the church before the two can begin dating, he rebels, eventually taking off to Australia for the adventure of a lifetime, leaving Anna to sort through her feelings alone.

When Anna receives a letter from Leon Beiler, a young man she can’t deny she has feelings for, everything changes again. How can she reconcile a lifetime of love for David with this new potential romance? And what will happen when David returns home?

Judy Moody and Friends: Prank You Very Much by Megan McDonald

judy

Pages: 64

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Published: March 10, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: A good book for young elementary school readers. It would be a good read-aloud for first graders.

Illustrations have great detail and will draw the littlest reader’s attention.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Candlewick Press, through Netgalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: Judy can’t wait for her mischief to bear fruit when Stink discovers that his backyard science project is an overnight success. Hardy-har-har!

Prankenstein strikes again! The Summer Science Showdown is just around the corner, and Stink is positive that he has the recipe for a winning entry. Soon he’s acting like a mad scientist, with strong-smelling potions in hand and visions of super tomatoes dancing in his head. Judy takes one look at her busy brainiac brother and sees a situation ripe for a little mischief! Everyone knows that Judy has never met a practical joke she doesn’t like, and soon the Princess of Pranks is cooking up a recipe of her own. From Megan McDonald comes an epic match of wits in a Judy Moody story perfect for newly independent readers.

One Little Lie (The Pelican Harbor #1) by Colleen Coble

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Pages: 354

Publisher: Thomas Nelson – Fiction

Published: March 3, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: I was not happy with the ending! Why, do you ask? The ending left cliffhangers I wasn’t expecting. I thought I still had another chapter to go. I wanted closure.

One Little Lie kept me riveted to the edge of my seat. I was surprised so many times that I lost count. I’m happy to learn that book two is set to be released in September.

The is a clean Christian suspense with a little romance. There is mild violence but nothing with gory detail.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Thomas Nelson – Fiction, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth in this gripping new romantic suspense.

Jane Hardy is appointed interim sheriff in Pelican Harbor, Alabama after her father retires, but there’s no time for an adjustment period. When her father is arrested for theft and then implicated in a recent murder, Jane quickly realizes she’s facing someone out to destroy the only family she has.

After escaping with her father from a cult fifteen years ago, Jane has searched relentlessly for her mother—who refused to leave—ever since. Could someone from that horrible past have found them?

Reid Bechtol is well-known for his documentaries, and his latest project involves covering Jane’s career. Jane has little interest in the attention, but the committee who appointed her loves the idea of the publicity.

Jane finds herself depending on Reid’s calm manner as he follows her around filming, and they begin working together to clear her father. But Reid has his own secrets from the past, and the gulf between them may be impossible to cross—especially once her father’s lie catches up with him.