An Inconvenient Beauty

The Hawthorne House series by Kristi Ann Hunter has come to a close. I have long anticipated Griffith’s story and am happy that all the rest of you are finally jumping on the Griffith is awesome bandwagon. Griffith and I share the perpetual desire for control, and I hope, like Griffith, that I can learn to “let go and let God.”

An Inconvienent BeautyGriffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, so he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. While he’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, she is strangely elusive, and he can’t seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, she has no choice but to agree to a bargain that puts her at odds with all her romantic hopes–as well as her conscience. And the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she regrets the unpleasant obligation that prevents her from any dream of a future with him.

As all Griffith’s and Isabella’s long-held expectations are shaken to the core, can they set aside their pride and fear long enough to claim a happily-ever-after?

My Review

My expectations for An Inconvenient Beauty were high and Kristi did not disappoint. It was extremely entertaining watching Griffith, master of control, lose control, particularly a scene where he couldn’t control his words and they all came tumbling out (not saying any more though, I don’t want to spoil it). Isabella is exactly the heroine he didn’t know he needed.

A theme of this book that was unique in Christian Fiction (especially without diving into A LOT of drama) is that life is not so black and white. We often face decisions about which direction we need to go without much time to consider our path, and sometimes when we feel, for whatever reason, that God is not there for us. That idea exists more in our heart/mind than it does in reality, but in our humanness and the seemingly bleak choice in front of us, it is easy to lose perspective about how God is working in our lives and what path we are to take. Both Griffith and Isabella figure out that the path they thought was theirs to take, was indeed not the one God was calling them too. They had to learn how to turn back to Him, how to work through the guilt of not listening in the first place, and how to trust in His plan, even when they have no idea how it’ll work out.

While Griffith is eternally swoony, Kristi weaves a deeper meaning into his gradual loss of control and growing trust in God’s plans over his, resulting in a story that is light while providing a depth of story. I really encourage you to pick this one up for your personal library. While it is a final in a series (and you should really get the others, as well) you can also read it as stand alone.

kats-corner-cat-amazonkats-corner-cat-goodreadskats-corner-cat-bn

Author

hunter_headshotKristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Computer Science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is an RWA Golden Heart contest winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.

First Line Fridays – Just The Way You Are

This is my first ever First Line Friday post! Yay! I’ve been thinking about jumping into that pond for awhile and now that they have an awesome new widget hosted by Hoarding Books, I can link up on the weeks that it works for me. So, today, while hanging out in jury duty, I bring you:

Just The Way You Are by Pepper Basham

Just the Way You Are

“One step into the massive, glass-walled waiting area was all it took.”

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is

(with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other books/blogs featured today.

 

Top 10 Summer Books

It’s technically fall, though the weather here disputes that fact. So, that means it’s time for the summer round up! This is for books read July-August-September. (There were so many in June, I just couldn’t include it, and I’m resisting a great book I just finished today, because it’s already October!) I surprised myself when I started narrowing down the options and saw how many contempories there are; I normally consume mostly historical fiction, but it appears to have been a summer of contemporaies!

Enjoy!

All This Timealways watchingAn Inconvienent BeautyBlind SpotJust Look Upaoy cover final(1)A Name UnknownMatter of TrustPeace in ValleyThen There Was you

All of You – Celebrate Lit Giveaway

All of you FB banner copy

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

aoy cover final(1)

Book title: All of You

Author: Sarah Monzon

Release date: May 15, 2017

Genre:Dual-timeline/Contemporary Romance

Maryland, Present Day

Jacquelyn Rogers can rebuild anything…except the shambles of her past. A restorer of vintage planes, she’s worked hard to earn the reputation of being one of the guys. The last thing she needs is a former Navy pilot fighting his own inner demons stepping in to defend her from dangers she thought she’d outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone.

After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington’s dreams, as well as two limbs, he’s left with nothing but a fragile faith and a duty-bound promise to watch out for his friend’s baby sister. A promise she insists is as unnecessary as it is unappreciated. But when she turns the tables and begins to weld together the broken parts of his life, it may be his heart that is in need of protection.

England, 1944

With the world at war yet again, Alice Galloway rejects her father’s traditional expectations and offers her piloting expertise to the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be a woman in a man’s world, but when she overhears key intelligence, she must find the strength to transcend boundaries and her own fears. Or countless people may die.

Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future.

My Review

Sarah had me at “Maryland, Present Day.” I love reading books set not only in my hone state, but near where I live. But, a story is more than its setting, right? Right. And I blame Sarah completely for why my house did not get cleaned the weekend I started reading All of You, because I just COULD NOT put it down. Thankfully, the hubs has to work Saturday, so I was left to my reading. I had planned to get some things accomplished, but about 15 minutes in I realized that wasn’t going to happen.

Sarah is known for weaving a contemporary and historical story together and since I like both genres, I appreciate the art it takes to put both together in a way that doesn’t make your head spin. I knew that eventually the two would intersect and had an idea about how it might happen, but Sarah wove two romances together in a manner that keep me anticipating the convergence rather than feeling like it was predictable.

It was also refreshing to have a male lead who was rock solid in his faith, despite his circumstances. Many authors (including Sarah in past books) use the hero’s trials to help him return to God, but seeing Michael firm, despite the circumstances, while still struggling to accept them and asking questions was a journey I can relate to; there have been many times in my life where I’ve asked God “why” and “what now” while not doubting Him and I like that Michael approaches faith like this as well.

I encourage you to pick up a copy. You won’t regret it!  I received  a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I was not paid nor required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.

About the Author

bio photo(1)

Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 Selah award for contemporary romance.

Guest Post from Sarah Monzon

I’m so excited to be here today and getting this opportunity to hang out with y’all in this virtual world. If you are anything like me, you devour books faster than my son drinks orange juice (and he really loves orange juice!). Because of that, it is sometimes hard to come across a book with a unique premise or a message that you haven’t seen incorporated a thousand times before. As a writer, I always try to bring something fresh to the table.

In the first book of the Carrington Family Series, Finders Keepers, neither of my characters were Christians. What? No Christians in a Christian fiction novel? Most Christian fiction books usually have at least one or both main characters a Christians. Don’t worry, they both found their way to Jesus. With All of You, however, I wanted to take yet an even different approach.

I’ve ready lots of books where the main character is angry or upset with God for such-and-such thing that happened in his/her life (I’ve even written a character like that), but I hadn’t really read a story about a character that, no matter what life threw at him/her, he/she was going to trust in God no matter what. As a life-long Christian, this is a message I can identify with. The “If not, He is still good” resonation that is sometimes harder to hold on to in the midst of pain and struggles.

So, as with all my books, I hope the freshness of the story and the realness of my characters will inspire and uplift you as you travel along with them on their journey.

God Bless.

Blog Stops

September 12: A Baker’s Perspective

September 12: Quiet Quilter

September 13: Books, Books, and More Books

September 13: Jeanette’s Thoughts

September 14: Cordially Barbara

September 14: Smiling Book Reviews

September 15: Avid Reader Book Reviews

September 15: Carpe Diem

September 16: Inklings and notions

September 16: Christian Bookaholic

September 17: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

September 17: Artistic Nobody

September 18Bookworm Mama

September 18Remembrancy

September 19Back Porch Reads

September 19Kat’s Corner Books

September 20Just Jo’Anne

September 20Margaret Kazmierczak

September 21The Power of Words

September 21Mary Hake

September 22100 Pages per Hour

September 22Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

September 23Zerina Blossom’s Books

September 23Simple Harvest Reads (spotlight)

September 24Blossoms and Blessings

September 24Moments Dipped in Ink

September 25Kathleen Denly

September 25His Grace is Sufficient

Giveaway

amazon gift card 25

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bd52

 

The Case of the Clobbered Cad – Giveaway

Case of the Clobbered Cad new July

I just finished a delightful mystery by Debra E.Marvin. I’ve only read one other novella by Debra (also a mystery, which I enjoyed, Desert Duet) and enjoyed that, so when she asked if I could be a part of her street team and told me a little about the book, I said sure! (required disclosure here about this being my honest opinion even th

ought I was provided a copy of the book). It’s not quite a cozy mystery, but pretty close to, and has a beginning amount of romance. So, for those of you who’ve asked for a mystery that is light (or nonexistent) romance and not scary, I think this would be a great fit for you.  It’s also a historical, but being set in 1956, it’s contemporary enough that if you tend to fall in either camp, I still think you’d enjoy it.

I was able to meet Debra and hang out with her for a bit at CFRR this year. She is super nice and we talked about all sorts of things. If you ever get a chance to meet her, take it! Here are some photos of her trip to Edinburgh.

Inspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy Heights Girls’ Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more sensible careers. Until…

Heather Munro’s youthful devotion to The Girl Detective led to a passion for digging around in history. Now pursuing her Master’s Degree in Celtic Studies, Heather must balance exploring Edinburgh with her determination to excel in her all–male classes at the University. Unfortunately, on her first night working in the Archives room, she discovers the dead body of a visiting professor, the same would-be lothario she’d hoped never to see again. 

As clues come to light, it’s clear someone hopes to frame Heather for the murder. Besides her quirky landlady, whom can she trust? How can she clear her name? The police and the American Consul have plenty of suspects, but only two seem to have both motive and opportunity: Heather and the quiet Scottish historian she longs to trust.

My Review

At first I wasn’t sure how much I would like this story knowing it was light on the romance, was set post WWII (but not contemporary), and is written from one perspective. I am happy to say that my normal taste preferences were absolutely proven wrong. I can’t remember reading a story set in this time period previously, but the setting is a blend of history while being contemporary enough to relate to. I loved the Scottish accents and hope it comes to audio book soon so I can listen to them as well. I was also hesitant since I’m a very big romance fan, but the story was so fascinating that I didn’t notice that I wasn’t being drawn into a relationship, plus there was just a hint that was enough for the romantic in me to be happy about, while also providing a bit of will they or won’t they?

While the story is written from one perspective, it is not narrative in style, which in my opinion, gives readers a little more information on context, while still telling it from the heroine’s perspective. I’m not a huge narrative style fan, but this story was a nice blend of the two opposites of narrative and multiple characters POV. I not only like the heroine, but I adored Mrs. Kintyre, who provides some motherly advice while also being out of the box.

Tom is an unusual hero, especially since Heather’s first impression of him are lack luster, but he proves himself an all around good guy, and that is the most attractive characteristic in a swoon-worthy man. There are also a few other men thrown in that keep you guessing as to who Heather will pursue. I hope that we’ll see more of her story as the series continues and who she for sure ends up with. Don’t fear it’s a drop off ending, though! You know how I detest those, and this one wraps up nicely.

About Debra

IMG_0547

Debra on her 60th birthday trip to Scotland!

Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She’d like to live a wee bit closer to her grandchildren, but is thankful that God is in control, that He chooses to bless us despite ourselves and that He has a sense of humor.

Other than writing light-hearted romances and gritty gothics, she has rather normal obsessions such as fabric, peanut butter, vacations, British dramas, and whatever mystery series she’s currently stuck on.

kats-corner-cat-bnkats-corner-cat-amazonkats-corner-cat-goodreads

Giveaway

Debra has graciously agreed to giveaway one digital copy of The Clobbered Cad! She also believes in not filling up you email inbox with junk, so it’s super easy to enter and no subscription required, though we’d love to add you to our mailing lists (which will earn you extra entries). Please click the Rafflecopter link, and as always, refer to the disclosures page for full details on giveaways.

JOURNEY RELEASE

Mom’s Mystery Monday – #3

It’s a mystery week here at Kat’s Corner books. Today I bring you another installment from my awesome mom, and tomorrow’s review will also be a mystery, so be sure to come back if you’re a mystery lover. Thanks, mom, for guest reviewing!

And, here’s mom:

Christmas is Coming.

The temperatures have started getting cooler and leaves are starting to change which means only one thing….fall will soon be followed by Christmas.  Which means the wonderful Christmas movies hit TV and my reading turns to Christmas mysteries.

Candy Cane MurderLast year I picked up a mystery by Joanne Fluke, “Candy Cane Murder”.  Where a trail of candy canes leads to a dead Santa.  I have always enjoyed her writing and her character Hannah Swensen, who owns The Cookie Jar.  This time of year her inclusion of recipes is great for a new sweet baking tradition.

Unfortunately, I was just getting into the intrigue when the story hurriedly came to an end.  This seemed odd with so many pages left in the book.  It was then I realized this was a three story book.  Two more books followed, one by Laura Levine and the other by Leslie Meier.  So, on I plunged into “The Dangers of Candy Canes.”

The story starts with her trying to take a picture of her cat in a Santa hat.  It was, of course, unsuccessful.  I have two cats and could have told her it was a useless endeavor, so why it took a chapter to explain this dilemma confounds me.   After this, it does not improve.  The main character, Jaine Austen, talks to the readers and whines a lot which I find irritating.  At chapter seven I gave up.  By that point I simply didn’t care what happed.

Why these three books were put together I will never know, but at this moment all I can suggest is buy a cookie cook book instead and save yourself some disappointment.

Oh, and what about Leslie Meier’s last story?  Can’t tell you.  With Joanne’s abrupt ending of her story and Laura’s disappointing start to hers I didn’t bother to read the last.


 

Poor Leslie, not even getting a chance. Mom can be a tough critic sometimes; maybe I’ll be able to convince her to give Leslie a chance. It’s always tough when we don’t enjoy a book, especially when we like the author and have invested in them for just that reason. But, we all have down days, so as we head into fall, let’s give an author whose had a not-as-well-loved book another chance.

kats-corner-cat-goodreads