Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Review: Luther and Katharina

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

About This Book

She was a nun of noble birth. He, a heretic, a reformer…an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire.

In the 16th century, nun Katharina von Bora’s fate fell no further than the Abbey. Until she read the writings of Martin Luther. His sweeping Catholic church reformation—condemning a cloistered life and promoting the goodness of marriage—awakened her desire for everything she’d been forbidden. Including Martin Luther himself.

Despite the fact that the attraction and tension between them is undeniable, Luther holds fast to his convictions and remains isolated, refusing to risk anyone’s life but his own. And Katharina longs for love, but is strong-willed. She clings proudly to her class distinction, pining for nobility over the heart of a reformer. They couldn’t be more different.

But as the world comes tumbling down around them, and with Luther’s threatened life a constant strain, these unlikely allies forge an unexpected bond of understanding, support and love. Together, they will alter the religious landscape forever.

- See more at:

My Review

What a gripping story!  The courage, the persecution, the loneliness, the faith!  The depth of this book is amazing.   With plenty of rich drama, action, history, and romance, you'll be glad you picked up this book to read.  It is very well written!

If you've ever wanted to know more about Martin Luther, this book will satisfy.  The reformation of the Catholic church came about with much blood, sweat, and tears.  The life of persecution that Martin Luther lived was more than any of us could ever imagine.  I like the thought that the last 20 or so years of his life was brightened by his marriage to Katharina.

Although this book is heavy with history and the persecution that was prevalent in that time period, the author does not neglect the romance.  The attraction that Luther and Katharina feel towards one another is denied by both to the point that I wanted to slap both of  Katharina has a warm heart despite being strong-willed and yearns to have the family that she was denied when her father took her to the Abbey at the age of 5.  However, she struggles with the pride of being of noble birth and through many trials has to learn to let go of her lineage in order to move on to a future of love and family.  Luther struggles with the fear of being rejected by this woman that has created passionate feelings in a man that believed he would be alone all his persecuted life.  He also fears for her safety and well being if she were to marry him.  They go through a lot before they find the path that God has laid out for their future.

Content warning:  The reality of the persecution of the time is not glossed over in this book.  Although not graphic, there are mentions of physical persecution and violence (some sexual).  Like I said, not graphic but still there.  (Probably less graphic than some crime shows on TV.)

See the Author's website page for information, reviews, discussion questions, trailers, and more!
Luther and Katharina: A Novel of Love and Rebellion & Additional Information About Luther and Katharina

*Thanks to Blogging For Books for the complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions stated are my own.*

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About the Author

Jody Hedlund is a CBA best-selling author of ten books. Her first novel, The Preacher’s Bride, won the Reader’s Choice Award as part of the RWA Faith, Hope, and Love contest. Her book, A Noble Groom, was the winner of the 2014 Carol Award and INSPYs Award. She received a bachelor's from Taylor university and a master's from University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Hedlund revels in bringing forgotten historic women to life and can usually be found with a book, a cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate. She lives in Midland, Michigan with her husband and five children.   You can find her on her website as well as:

 Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Instagram / Amazon / Pinterest


Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: Autumn Brides: A Year of Weddings Novella Collection

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Happily ever after begins today. The honor of your presence is requested at three autumn weddings.…

A September Bride by Kathryn Springer
When Annie moves to Red Leaf, she’s ready to call the little town home. Deputy Jesse Kent can’t believe his mother has handed the keys to her bookshop over to a woman she met on the internet. Jesse has seen his mother taken advantage of before, and he decides to keep a close eye on this Annie Price. But when a close eye turns into a historical wedding reenactment with Jesse and Annie as the couple, make-believe nuptials quickly give way to real-life emotions.

When Deputy Jesse Kent comes home after a three week training course, he's appalled to learn that his mother has handed over the keys and management of her bookshop to Annie, a woman she met on an online book club. Determined to keep a close eye on Annie, he finds himself pulled into a historical wedding reenactment with Jessie and Annie as the couple. As they spend time together, Jesse is quickly won over by this friendly, loving, somewhat absent minded lady. I loved this sweet story about a girl who had a difficult life who gets the chance at a happily ever after.

An October Bride by Katie Ganshert
No one but Jake and Emma know the true reason they’re getting married — so Emma’s dying father can walk her down the aisle. While Jake and Emma plan an autumn wedding together, it becomes clear that their agreement has a few complications—the biggest being their true feelings for each other.

Emma Tate has a problem - she's seen her Dad's bucket list and it includes walking her down the aisle. The problem is her dad has cancer and doesn't have much time to make that happen AND Emma isn't engaged or even seeing someone! When she runs into her lifelong friend Jake Sawyer they hatch a plan to become engaged and get married in order to make her Dad's wish come true. The problem is the more time they spend together planning this wedding the more they struggle with their deception and with their true feelings for each other. I enjoyed this short novella in the Year of Weddings series. It's a fun, sweet, small hometown story with fun and quirky family and friends as supporting characters.

A November Bride by Beth K. Vogt
Having celebrated the big 3-0 by ending a relationship, Sadie is tired of romantic relationships-by-text. The only man she knows willing to put down his iPhone and have face-to-face conversations with her is Erik. It’s time to put a 21st-century twist on the Sadie Hawkins’ tradition of a woman going after her man. But when he realizes he’s fallen for her, can Erik convince Sadie his just-for-fun dates were the prelude to “‘til death do us part”?

Erik and Sadie have been best friends since high school. When Sadie gets dumped by text on her 30th birthday, she turns to the only man who has been constant in her life, her best friend Erik. Erik has commitment issues and only dates for 3-4 months before breaking up with, but remaining friends with, his girlfriends. When Sadie faces a choice in her career that could be life-changing, Erik decides that he is going to risk their friendship in order to show Sadie that he's the man for her. I loved this sweet romantic novella. It was fun to see these two connect romantically after being friends for so long. I also liked how both characters had friends who helped them get over their fears.

*Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Review: An Endless Christmas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An award-winning novelist’s heartwarming story about family and love lost, found, and finally truly revealed at Christmas.

Christmas takes a very different turn when the guests of honor break up instead of announcing their engagement. Trapped with his family, they learn that love looks different than either imagined.

Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their grandson Micah is planning to ask his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him so they can celebrate with the whole family. But things go very wrong when she says "no." Now they are stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it's Christmas.

I loved this book!!! It was very heartwarming, perfect for Christmas! I loved the big family togetherness that is portrayed in this book. Also the family's determination to become better people and learn from the past instead of letting regrets and mistakes in life stop you or make you bitter and destroy you. It's advice all of us need to take to heart. (I love the scene where they throw their regrets into the bonfire!)

Katie has VERY dysfunctional parents and has never known what it means to love and be loved by a family like Micah's. She's so sure that her life will follow the path of multiple past generations of her family that she determines she can't marry Micah and ruin his life. However, the warmth and generosity and love that Micah and his family show her is so real that she decides to stay for the holiday and find out what a Binder Christmas is all about.

You'll have no problem getting involved in this book while you snicker, laugh, and then cry tears of joy and sadness. There were so many inspirational and teachable moments in the book - I just loved it!!!

*Thanks to First Look and Worthy Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions stated are my own.*

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Review: Knit, Purl, Pray: 52 Devotions for the Creative Soul

Knit, Purl, Pray: 52 Devotions for the Creative Soul Knit, Purl, Pray: 52 Devotions for the Creative Soul by Lisa Bogart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Knit, Purl, Pray is for the knitter who recognizes that when she is creating
something beautiful with yarn, it is also a way to be quiet and reflect. The
devotions make connections between knitting and all manner of things from joy and
service to boredom and confession. These reflections help the reader think about
the craft they love in a new way and perhaps see their problems as something
that can be unraveled and reworked into something beautiful. Each new day is an
opportunity to create something new.

I don't knit but I would love to! I thought this was a unique devotional that was very inspirational. There are 52 devotions with each chapter starting with a scripture and ending with a prayer. The author incorporates analogies of knitting techniques, stitches, tools, concepts, etc. and relates them to a daily Christian life. This is a delightful easy to read book that also includes a couple of patterns.

You can find Lisa Bogart at .

*Thanks to First Look and Worthy Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions stated are my own.*

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Blog Tour Review: Autumn Masquerade

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Timeless Regency Collection: Three Brand New Novellas from Bestselling Regency Romance Authors...

A MERRY DANCE by Josi S. Kilpack. When Lila overhears her uncle talking about a man coming to look for property in the county, she doesn’t think twice, until her uncle says he hopes Lila will find enough interest to marry the man. How can she marry someone named Mortimer Luthford, not to mention that his advanced age of thirty-three, and especially since she’s already in love with her absent cousin Neville? But when Mortimer arrives, Lila has to try every trick known to women to act not interested in the rather fascinating man, which proves a very difficult fa├žade to maintain.

I enjoyed this story about Lila and Mortimer. There were several times I had to laugh out loud at Lila's antics in trying to appear unsuitable to Mortimer. Her nature is so curious that she's practically bursting to engage in a meaningful conversation with this interesting man. A sweet fun story that will warm your heart.

UNMASKING THE DUKE by Donna Hatch. The last thing Hannah Palmer wants to do is flirt with men in a crowded ballroom, but when her sister throws a Masquerade Ball, Hannah can’t say no to the invitation and takes comfort behind a mask. She dances with a charming masked man, matching him wit for wit. When the glorious evening culminates in a kiss, and the two remove their masks, Hannah is horrified to discover the man she’s been flirting with all night is her most despised neighbor, the Duke of Suttenberg. No matter how charming the duke was at the ball, and how wonderful the kiss, he is the last man she’d ever accept.

I really enjoyed this novella. Hannah is on the shy side and wants nothing to do with crowds and the ton. She especially doesn't want to have anything to do with the Duke of Suttenberg, who has met her more than once but never deigns to remember her. I enjoyed the way Hannah was able to come out of her shell and become a confident person while at the masked ball. And I loved the passion with which the Duke falls in love with her. But I never really understood his reasoning for not noticing her or remembering her after having met her multiple times. Definitely a character flaw on his part. As the story progresses though, you do get to see him in a better light. A passionate story that will keep you turning pages.

WHAT’S IN A NAME by Nancy Campbell Allen. Penelope Timely has a terrible secret. She’s been writing letters to the Duke of Wilmington, pretending to be her ever-proper twin sister, Persephone. Now, the duke has written that he’ll be coming for the Autumn Masquerade Ball and Festival. Penelope will have to continue the charade while the duke is in town in order to protect her sister. The Duke of Wilmington isn’t fooled for a moment, but instead of confessing that he knows about the deception, he finds himself utterly charmed by Penelope and jumps into the game of deception to see how far the twin sisters will take it.

I really enjoyed this novella as well. I love that it's about twins although I felt like the character of Persephone was a conflict. How could she be so unaware of how her sister is being treated and unconcerned with her feelings and yet at the same time not be too good for the town doctor? A little bit of a disconnect there. But I enjoyed the fact that the Duke saw right through the act and was still charmed by Penelope. A delightful story that will make you want more.

This is the start of a new line of clean romances called Timeless Regency Collection and I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to the next book!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*

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Other Timeless Regency Collections:
A Midwinter Ball (Coming December 2015)
Spring in Hyde Park (Coming March 2016)
Summer House Party (Coming June 2016)
A Country Christmas (Coming October 2016)


Friday, October 9, 2015

Review: Dubiosity

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Savannah Harris vowed to leave behind her old life as an intrepid investigative reporter. But when a friend raises suspicions about two migrant workers who’ve gone missing from the sleepy coastal town Savannah calls home, her curiosity spikes.

As ever more eerie incidents begin afflicting the area, each works to draw Savannah out of her seclusion and raise the stakes—for both Savannah and the surrounding community. Even as Savannah’s new boarder, Clive Miller, makes her feel things she thought long forgotten, she suspects he’s hiding something too, and he’s not the only one. Doubts collide in Savannah’s mind: Who can she really trust?

As secrets emerge and danger closes in, Savannah must choose between faith and uncertainty. One wrong decision might spell the end…not just for her, but for everyone around her.

Will she unravel the mystery in time, or will doubt get the best of her?

Christy Barritt is an awesome mystery writer and I've enjoyed other books I've read by her so my expectations for this book were high. It didn't disappoint! There was no lack of suspense and action with this book - it was great!

Dubiosity. Definition: doubt, uncertainty.
(I loved the way the author used words and definitions in this book. It was different and cool. I also love the cover!)

I really liked both of the main characters and felt like they complemented each other well. They were both dealing with tragedy from their past and therefore could understand each other's pain. Although he was still struggling with resentment and the desire for justice, Clive was strong in his faith while Savannah was still struggling with disillusion in God for what had happened to her husband and baby girl. She comes to the realization that while she had believed in the evidence that God was real, she had not developed a relationship with Him and had not developed a faith in God that would transform her. I loved that! (That could preach! LOL)

The suspense in this story was pretty much up front the whole time! You know Savannah's in danger because we occasionally get a glimpse through the eyes of the stalker/killer! And the thread of mystery in Clive's story soon becomes tangled with the mystery Savannah has been drawn into. There were several possible villains that kept me guessing and second guessing myself. I did get aggravated at Savannah they way she naively kept telling everyone her suspicions. I was like, really?!, you're telling him/her that?! LOL And I felt like there were a few threads that didn't get resolved but overall this was a really good suspense that kept me riveted to the story!

*I was gifted this book from a friend and was not required to write a review.  All opinions stated are my own.*

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About the Author

Christy writes both mystery and romantic suspense novels that are clean with underlying messages of faith. Her books have won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery, have been twice nominated for the Romantic Times' Reviewers' Choice Award, and have finaled for both a Carol Award and Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year. She's married to her Prince Charming, a man who thinks she's hilarious--but only when she's not trying to be. Christy's a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who's known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado. When she's not working or spending time with her family, she enjoys singing, playing the guitar, and exploring small, unsuspecting towns where people have no idea how accident prone she is. Christy is most well-known for her Love Inspired Suspense novels, as well as her Squeaky Clean Mystery series.  For more information, visit her website at: / Facebook / Twitter

:) ON SALE NOW! :)
(Always check the price before you buy!)


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review: Picture Perfect Love - A June Wedding Story

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Meet the people who make it all happen - the planners, the photographers, the musicians who have helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples as they find their own happy endings in the second Year of Weddings novella collection. When image becomes everything, it's up to love to refocus the heart.

Photographer Jenna Harrison wants every bride and groom to look picture perfect on their special day, putting her heart into every wedding to give the couple memorable images of their love. But her own heart is still broken, the unworn wedding dress hanging in her closet a reminder that relationships aren't always as perfect as they look through her camera lens. But Jenna has faith that she will find true love. Until then, she must be patient and trust in God's plan and His perfect timing.

Attorney Ashton Vance is the one that got away. When an embarrassing Photoshopped picture of put an end to his political aspirations, he blamed Jenna. So what if the photo led to his being offered a dream job and changing his life for the better? Jenna betrayed his trust, and two years later, Ashton's heart still hasn't recovered.

It was me. His younger sister's three words turn Ashton's world upside down. He must ask Jenna's forgiveness, but can he risk his heart a second time? Even if Jenna can forgive him, dare he hope for a second chance at her love?

I wasn't crazy about this story.  I liked the character of Jenna.   She overcame the hurt of being jilted by finding her way back to a relationship with God with the help of the pastor and friends she makes at the church she starts attending.  She becomes stronger instead of letting it destroy her.   However, this story just didn't flow for me.  I didn't like the way Ash comes back into her life and definitely didn't think that Amber did enough to show any kind of remorse over what she had done.

A nice novella about forgiveness and a second chance at love.

*Thanks to Zondervan and BookLook Bloggers for the complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*

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About the Author:

Melissa McClone has always been a fan of fairy tales and "happily ever afters." She holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University but eventually decided to follow her dream and write full-time. She lives in Washington with her real-life hero husband, two daughters, indoor cats, and a forty-eight-pound Norwegian Elkhound who thinks she's a lap dog. She also loves to ski, rock climb and read. Visit her online at Twitter: @melissamcclone Facebook: Melissa McClone