Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

About the book:

 

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event shattered their idyllic family life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart as she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving —and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw  two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?

My Review:

I throughly enjoyed this story set in a small historical town, with a little mystery twist to it. As are her other books, this one is well written and entraps your attention, making you unable or unwilling to set it aside until you are done. It is not that it is fast moving, but it has little twists and turns throughout that make your mind keep moving from character to character.

I loved how the trauma in the story is not minimized, yet, it is not graphic. You realize to what extent it harmed the main character without feeling traumatized ourselves as readers.

The love story does not take the forefront of this story, but is more in sweet undertones, as it would be in real life. You have to check this out.

You can purchase this book $8.31 paperback right now. “Shine Like the Dawn”

This book was provided for review by “Blogging for Books”. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah Ladd

 

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

Description:
Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley?

In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question.

Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love.

My Review:

The lovely cover will make you pick up this book, but the story will not let you put it down. This book does not come out until May, so I generally try to read them closer to the time of publishing. However, this one was irresistible  Once I started it, I could not put it down. The story where the heroine found herself facing forced marriage because of money was very common in those times, and escape was not always something that was possible. The hero and heroine both, faced abuse, and yet persevered.

The spiritual elements in this book were quite open and keen, where this is not a book you might pick up and wonder if it was a Christian book. If you are not looking for one, don’t pick this one up. I found the message to be heart warming and encouraging.

I completely enjoyed this book!

“A Stranger at Fellsworth” is available for preorder through Amazon and through other book sources. The release date is May 16, 2017. Generally the price is better before it is released and I highly recommend you order this one.

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Beyond Justice by Cara Putman

 

 

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

Description
Hayden McCarthy is on track to become the youngest partner in her prestigious D.C. law firm . . . if the case she’s just been handed doesn’t destroy her first.

Hayden McCarthy knows firsthand the pain when justice is not served. It’s why she became an attorney and why she’s so driven in her career. When she’s handed a wrongful death case against the government, she isn’t sure if it’s the lucky break she needs to secure a partnership—or an attempt to make sure she never gets there. She keeps the case alive through sheer determination and more than a little creativity, but then she’s fired by a partner with a vendetta.

The longer she keeps the case active, the higher the stakes become. Unknown enemies seem determined to see either the case—or her—die. Should she fight alone for the dead young man by launching her own unfinanced firm, or abandon the case in order to save her own life?

My Review:

A well written legal thriller with a message relevant to our society today. I loved the inside view of immigration, especially illegal immigration and government politics laid out in this story. It is not often that I find myself saying, “Yes, yes!” to a fiction novel, but this one had me wanting people to read it that I know will never think about it with an open mind.

The author is a lawyer, which shows in her writing, but doesn’t take away from the story. The lively tale makes me want to read more of her books!  If you like suspense, a fight for justice and human interest, pick this one up. There is a slight romantic thread throughout, but it is not the focus of the story at all.

The publishing date on this book is April 4, 2017 and is available for preorder. “Beyond Justice” 

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An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Hunter

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Life for Lady Adelaide Bell was easier if she hid in her older sister’s shadow–which worked until her sister got married. Even with thepressure of her socially ambitious mother, the last thing she expected was a marriage of convenience to save her previously spotless reputation.

Lord Trent Hawthorne couldn’t be happier that he is not the duke in the family. He’s free to manage his small estate and take his time discovering the life he wants to lead, which includes grand plans of wooing and falling in love with the woman of his choice. When he finds himself honor bound to marry a woman he doesn’t know, his dream of a marriage like his parents’ seems lost forever.

Already starting their marriage on shaky ground, can Adelaide and Trent’s relationship survive the pressures of London society?

My Review:

The lovely cover draws you into the character before you even pick up the story. Marriage in a rush, based on rumors begins this tale.

I found myself pulled in as it was not your typical “marriage of convenience” story. The familiar characters were manipulated by those in charge and I found I related to that. In this case, the couple decided to work to court and have a relationship before actually acting on being married. I found that refreshing, although not totally realistic.  Men are generally not that honorable. Trent is the ideal gentleman and will keep you reading until the end, while you laugh over his “pineapple” dreams as well. The snappy wit of the the lady, kept me chuckling to myself as well.

You can purchase this book from Amazon or wherever books are sold near you. $8.27 paperback on Amazon. “An Uncommon Courtship”

 

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The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

 

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

About the book:

She lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted.

Since meeting Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, Lady Magdalen has not been able to stop thinking about him. She knows—as a penniless lady with little to offer in terms of a dowry—she has no real hope of marrying such a highly titled man, so it comes as a great surprise when she receives a letter bearing his seal, asking for her hand in marriage.

But all is not what it seems at Wolfberg Castle. Steffan has been evicted by his scheming uncle, and his cousin has taken over the title of duke. Disguised as a shepherd, Steffan hopes to gain entry to the castle and claim the items that will prove he is the true Duke of Wolfberg.

Journeying to the castle, Magdalen has no idea what awaits her, but she certainly did not expect her loyal maidservant to turn on her. Forcing Magdalen to trade places with her, the servant plans to marry the duke and force Magdalen to tend the geese.

Without their respective titles—and the privileges that came with them—Steffan and Magdalen are reunited in the shepherd’s field. Together they conspire to get back their rightful titles. But they must hurry . . . or else they risk losing it all to his uncle’s evil plan.

My Review:

I try to never go into Melanie Dickerson’s books with expectations. For some reason, even though I know that the ones based on fairy tales will be familiar, she never ceases to surpass my expectations I do have.
This story, light, fun, but with hints of deeper meaning, spoke to my heart. It reminded me of a story that I had mapped out years ago, but never wrote. I loved the sweet retelling of this fairy tale, with the depth and heart that she has. It is one that young adults and adults will enjoy alike.

When you are looking for a good book, that will brighten your life, look to buy this one.

The publishing date is May 9th and is available for preorder for 8.42 for hardcover “The Noble Servant” 

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The Memory of You by Catherine West

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

About the book:

Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do.

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise.

But finding freedom from the past means facing it.

My Review:

Do you ever read a book that leaves you a bit feeling “hung over” when you are done? You don’t really want to pick up another book, because this one was just so good?
That is how this book was for me. The main character, as we dug into her past, her heart and her struggles, we see the breakdown of PTSD for laymen. We can see what it did to her, how it harmed her life, even years after the incident.
I felt like this made this book unique. It was not the setting, but the people that made this book uniquely special. If you are not someone that has known someone in your everyday life that has PTSD, this may help you understand it, but also relate to the story of a normal, everyday person, not off a battle front, that struggles, but is gifted in many ways still.
I loved the setting in wine country, and learned a few things about wine making that I did not know before. Catherine West has given us another masterpiece of fiction. It is more than fiction, it is a tale of forgiveness, grace, and overcoming when everything is against us.

You can purchase this book here. I highly recommend you do so!

The Memory of You 

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A Viscount’s Proposal by Melanie Dickerson

 

 

 

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My Review:

My heart overflowed with joy at a Christmas gift from the author of allowing me to read this book ahead of the time of publishing.
Christmas and Melanie Dickerson go together like cinnamon, Christmas trees and wrapped gifts do for other people. I made my own special tradition of reading her novels, preferably her latest novel on Christmas every year. So far, I have gotten to start a new one every year for last several years, curled in my Pj’s, by the light of my sister’s tree. I have loved her fairy tale rewrites so much, I wondered if I could like her regency reads just as well. I shouldn’t have worried.

The heroine of this tale is spunky, but not over the top in an irritating way. She is strong, and has definite thoughts of why she does what she does. I loved her! Her hero took a bit to grow on me, but like all “Mr. Darcy” like characters, we realized who he was under the prickles.

If you love a good regency, with hints of romance, without any graphic details, kisses or the like, this is perfect! It was just right. It hit the spot in a wonderful way.

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A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Description:

A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to wheedle her way into an audition with the new maestro at the Nashville Philharmonic. But women are “far too fragile and frail” for the rigors of an orchestra, and Rebekah’s hopes are swiftly dashed when the conductor–determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music–bows to public opinion. To make matters worse, Adelicia Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion and Rebekah’s new employer, agrees with him.

Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville’s youngest orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head, he must finish composing his symphony before the grand opening of the city’s new symphony hall. Even more pressing, he must finish it for the one who first inspired his love of music–his dying father. As Tate’s ailment worsens, he knows Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how can he win back her trust when he’s robbed her of her dream?

My Review:

It is hard to describe this book. I am not a instrument lover. In fact, many of my siblings would testify of my desire to destroy piano’s during many years of my life based on how annoying they were to me. But I do love beautiful music, when well played. This book is music, well played. The subject of music is artfully woven into the story of a pair of people struggling to find their proper place in life. The romance is here, but is not the focus of the story. It is a subtle part of the novel, but you could almost miss it, but yet you cannot. Instead, the music, life and the desire for freedom from abuse, standards placed on the characters by society, and a desire to belong is stronger throughout. I really enjoyed this closing novel of the Belmont series as well as the true, historical tidbits sprinkled throughout.

You can purchase your own copy here.

“A Note Yet Unsung”

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The Witnesses by Robert Witlow

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Book Description

Young lawyer Parker House is on the rise—until his grandfather’s mysterious past puts both of their lives in danger.

Parker House’s secret inheritance is either his greatest blessing . . . or his deadliest curse. The fresh-faced North Carolina attorney shares his German grandfather’s uncanny ability to see future events in his mind’s eye—a gift that has haunted 82-year-old Frank House through decades of trying to erase a murderous wartime past.

While Parker navigates the intrigue and politics of small-town courtroom law, Frank is forced to face his darkest regrets. Then, a big career break for Parker collides with a new love he longs to nurture and the nightmares his grandfather can no longer escape. Sudden peril threatens to shatter not only Parker’s legal prospects but also his life and the lives of those dearest to him.

Two witnesses, two paths, an uncertain future.

My Review:

There are times when a book hits you just right and there are times when it doesn’t. I have enjoyed Robert Whitlow’s books previously and thought this one sounded intriguing. Unfortunately, I was unable to complete this title and so my review is sadly lacking. I just kept setting it aside for other titles and it just was not something that grabbed me.

This author does an amazing job of detailing the courtroom, the law and giving you and insiders look at the suspense that can build up in that job. However, there is also a lot of other behind the scenes work that he gives you a wonderful glimpse of as well. Check out his books if you are a fan of legal mysteries.

This book was given to me for review by BooklookBloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook by

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

About the book:

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(From the back cover)

 

One of the most sought out food destinations in New York City sits at the end of the number 7 train in Flushing, Queens, where adventurous eaters trek for the best Chinese dumplings. Now you can easily make them at home with recipes for the classic and unexpected fillings and folds along with dipping sauces, salads and other dim sum.

My Review:

Looking for a cute little cookbook to add to your repertoire? This is a great one to pick up. I remember when I first made my own dumpling wrappers, simply because I was too poor to buy them. I was introduced to a new world! This little cookbook will have your mouth watering. The recipes are easy and so simple you will wonder why you ever purchased pot stickers or wonton wrappers at the grocery store before. If you are a healthier eater, this book has healthy recipes that you will enjoy as well.

I loved the photos throughout the book and the stories  in the introduction. You will love this lovely little book as well.

You can purchase your own copy here. “The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook” 

Blogging for books provided me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

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