A Dangerous Engagement by Melanie Dickerson

 

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About the book:

Just as merchant’s daughter Felicity Mayson is spurned once again because of her meager dowry, she receives an unexpected invitation to Lady Blackstone’s country home. Being introduced to the wealthy Oliver Ratley is an admitted delight, as is his rather heedless yet inviting proposal of marriage. Only when another of Lady Blackstone’s handsome guests catches Felicity’s attention does she realize that nothing is what it seems at Doverton Hall.

Government agent Philip McDowell is infiltrating a group of cutthroat revolutionaries led by none other than Lady Blackstone and Ratley. Their devious plot is to overthrow the monarchy, and their unwitting pawn is Felicity. Now Philip needs Felicity’s help in discovering the rebels’ secrets—by asking her to maintain cover as Ratley’s innocent bride-to-be.

Philip is duty bound. Felicity is game. Together they’re risking their lives—and gambling their hearts—to undo a traitorous conspiracy before their dangerous masquerade is exposed.

My Review:

You ever want a light and happy regency mystery? Look no further. Here you have one. Following the theme of spies and regency romance, this light and happy tale leads you down paths of intrigue. And it might have you questioning why on earth parents of that time period thought that sending your child off to stay with a unknown relative was a good idea.

I loved the whole big family idea/them that was in this one as being one of 11, I totally related to it!
Melanie Dickerson triumphs again with a great read!

You can pre-order it now on Amazon!

A Dangerous Engagement 

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Healing the Scars of childhood Abuse by Gregory Jantz

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Description

My Review:

I felt this was a fascinating book. It had some very good info in it, detailing what abuse was. It talked about how sometimes things we don’t even recognize as abuse can be that way, whether we mean them to be or not in our culture today. Lack of child restraints in a car for example, not getting medical care or help for children with learning disabilities, things that even 20-30 years ago was more commonplace, but now realizing that this is not an okay thing and is legally on a neglect scale.

The one key thing that I felt should been concentrated on a bit more, was delving into that even though you have been abused, you do not have to be an abuser. I felt that it instead highlighted some of the greatest fears that childhood abuse victims have of becoming their abuser. It was good to lay it out, but I felt this could have been a bit more key and clearly detailed.

The book was an easier read, despite it topic at hand, but clear and to the point.

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When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Tess Beaumont is tired of being thought of as just a pretty face. Eager to do her part for the war effort, she joins the Navy’s newly established WAVES program for women. Perhaps there she can convince people that there is more to her than meets the eye.

Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills in the fight against German U-boats and hoping to make admiral. The last thing he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess. Convinced that romance will interfere with his goals, Dan is determined to stay the course, no matter how intriguing a distraction Tess is.

But love, like war, is unpredictable. When Dan is shipped out at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he finds himself torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help the beguiling Tess root out a possible spy on shore. Could this fun-loving glamour girl really be the one?

 

My Review:

From the name change to hating her looks, Tess seemed like she had something to prove. Dan Avery has his own insecurities, yet for both of them they try to cover it up well.

This is one thing that I love about Sarah Sundin’s books. Her characters are strong, smart, often beautiful/handsome and the like, but they are flawed. They are like normal people, but we get to see what they fear the most. Then top it off with a good spy ring, this book has it all.

I really enjoyed learning more about the WAVES and what the USA did on this end against the German U Boats. I always think there is nothing new to learn about WW2 history and then I am surprised! If you like WW2 history, pick this one up!

 

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A Name Unknown by Roseanna White

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Description

My Review: 

I was not sure what to expect from this book and I found it started off a bit slow for me. But it did not stay that way for long. I found myself absorbed in the story of a thief attempting to basically infiltrate a life and lifestyle she did not know anything about.

Each twist and turn of the story, especially with a hero that stutters made this absolutely unique for me. I loved all the tidbits of history throughout, but the hero and heroine who had no focus on romance whatsoever, but you almost felt like it was a natural part of the story, but not the focus.

I would highly recommend this book, especially if you are stocking up on fall reads at the moment. Check this one out and put it on the “Must read” pile.

You can find this book for purchase from Amazon and other book sellers. “A Name Unknown” 

(This book was provided by NetGalley and Bethany House. The opinions are my own)

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The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Heartwarming and Touching New Contemporary Romance from Victoria Bylin

After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she’s focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who’s pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia’s plans.

Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He’s poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who’s asked him to be his best man at his wedding.

Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn’t expecting Jake. And Jake, who can’t help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he’ll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake’s courage and Mia’s caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . .

My Review:

PTSD, broken engagements, teen pregnancy, wounded warriors and hurt people, hurting other people seemed to be the theme of this novel. It was done very well.

The only complaint I would have was the childbirth scene needed a bit more research. But other than that, this was an amazing contemporary novel that handled the issues very well. I found the twists with the F-NP to really fun to see a different career path as well as the detective with hearing loss as the hero.

This book was given to me for review by Netgalley and the opinions contained herein are my own.

This can be preordered on Amazon right now! “The Two of Us”

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With you Always by Jody Hedlund

 

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850s New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York Children’s Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society’s orphan trains is not all that it seems.

Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possesses everything except the ability to step out from his brother’s shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire, Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.

Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn’t be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they’ve been working toward?

 

My Review: 

This was not exactly what I expected from an Orphan train read as it was not your typical story. Or maybe it was, and I have read ones that are not like this before.

One thing that made me very sad, was seeing how the country has not changed in their actions in treating immigrants, the poor and orphans.  This tale brings to life the hardships that were facing the young people of this time and their desperation. Women were seen as a cheap commodity rather than what they were really valued for. The other sad reality in this book, was parents that manipulate their children with money. So, with those factors being a part of this historical novel, you get a happy ending, which many people in that time did not get,  but after much pain and suffering which was reality.

I really liked this book overall. I could see that some people might not like certain pieces of it, but it was real life and it was not pretty. But for that reason, likely recommend for high school age and adult.

If you want a good historical book to read, pick this one up.

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

To purchase, it is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.  “With you Always”

 

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Summer Musings…

The summer heat is burning into my soul at the moment. It longs to impact my brain, my memory and my equilibrium if I choose to step outside of my home to participate in any activities.

I live in the north for a reason. I want to be able to live a happy life. For some reason, Montana has decided to be very hot for much more than just a couple of weeks of the summer.

You would think it would make the garden grow better, and it has, but not to the extent of producing the fruit I would like to see. The tomatoes are still green, the raspberries drying up even with copious amounts of water, and the cucumbers are being plagued by insects. Then there is the plants that are huge, producing amazing green leaves, and no fruit at all.

Fruit.  Sometimes I think that people are like plants.  Sometimes they can shout out their indignant posts on social media, comment on the news pages,  and appear to be living a fruitful and well intentioned life. Sometimes though, when we reach beneath the leaves, we can find that their fruit is lacking. Maybe it is insect ridden, or simply not there at all.

I observed recently in a book discussion we were having that sometimes the person that is crying out the loudest is not always the victim. I often wonder if when we stop, observe and see what we are hearing, and sought out the person they are speaking out against, what would we find?

Would we find beautiful fruit or half eaten peppers and squash hidden under the leaves?

I feel like for myself, this is a fear of mine as I do not want to be that type of person. I tend to error on the other side of this as much as possible. Seeking honestly when it comes to my flaws and faults, and not speaking evil of others unless absolutely needed.

I think and would hope that if someone knows me well enough, they would come to me and ask about anything that is abnormal. But also on the flip side, if I do have to speak out about someone, that I do it because it is the last resort.

I hope in the end, my plants have fruit under the leaves, and the bugs are not eating all my fruit.

Obviously, I have been spending a bit of time in the garden, so just a few musings as I putter around in my little hobby. Back to working to stay cool in the heat!

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Homeschooling. Getting started?

I was chatting with a friend today about getting started with homeschooling.

I was thinking of all the things that we tell people that want to start with homeschooling. You know, you start with the basics. The laws. The requirements. The curriculum.

What you don’t tell them is that often when you are 14 years into the journey or so, you sometimes feel like you are still just learning how to begin.

I haven’t been homeschooling that long compared to some moms that I know. But, since I am what is called a “Second Generation Homeschooler”, it feels a lot longer. Not only was I homeschooled, but I was an active participant in helping or teaching my siblings as well.

I think one of the best things I can say, is “You will mess up. You will spend all that money on a set of curriculum and sometimes it just does not fit with the way your child learns. Most days will not go as you plan. But the key here is that often you are homeschooling because it was what your child needed. If you are teaching him and educating, (I don’t mean the parents that claim to homeschool and really do nothing), you are doing what they need. It might not look like the pretty picture in your head, as your son is hanging upside down reciting his times tables. But keep it up.”

What is your mantra that you would tell someone that is beginning homeschooling?

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Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he’s remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana’s rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can’t seem to find his footing–or forget the woman he loved, who betrayed him.

Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the limelight as the second-youngest senator in the country. But she has a secret–one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track.

When Ella’s brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park’s most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn’t so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he’ll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother, a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain.

But old sparks relight as they search for the missing snowboarder–and suddenly, they are faced with emotions neither can deny. But when Ella’s secret is revealed, can they learn to trust each other–even when disaster happens again?

My Review:

This book is set in my local area, so of course that made it a bit more fascinating. Of course, she changed names, added places that do not exist, but the main part was fun to find the real places.

I am not a skier or snowboarder, unlike many people in this area, but as a mother of a son that is a bit of a daredevil, I could relate to many of the parts of this tale. It was a fun, quick, summer read, dreaming of the snow coming back!

I enjoyed it, much like many of her other books, light, but with little moments of depth that can speak to you throughout.

 

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Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.

But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.

With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances–along with her father’s precious dye–help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.

My Review:

I love Tessa’s books and this was no exception. Her historical details that she puts in these stories is one thing, but the life changing lessons are another.

I loved how she mentioned characters from “Land of Silence” briefly in this story as well, one of my favorite books.

I was struck again by the character of Lydia, her strength, and the fact that she was likely a single woman that ran a successful business in a time where women were not respected. You just want to read this book slowly to make the story last, while letting yourself absorb every detail of the life experiences.

As with her others, this character does not have an easy life. It is fraught with turmoil and evil people that sought to destroy and harm. I found myself, throughout the week, as I read the books, marveling at the words that kept being spoken into my life as I read, encouraging me. This book is not romance at all, but does have a brief romantic storyline.

I highly recommend you go out and buy a copy of this book as soon as you can! Buy Land of Silence too!  This book was given to me for review by Netgalley and Bethany House. The opinions contained herein are my own!

It is available for sale from Amazon and wherever books are sold.

Bread of Angels  for $10.16

 

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