Storing Up Trouble

About the Book

When Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s Chicago-bound train ride is interrupted by a heist, Mr. Norman Nesbit, a man of science who believes his research was the target of the heist, comes to her aid. Despite the fact that they immediately butt heads, they join forces to make a quick escape.

Upon her arrival in Chicago, Beatrix is surprised to discover her supposedly querulous Aunt Gladys shares her own suffragette passions. Encouraged by Gladys to leave her sheltered world, Beatrix begins working as a salesclerk at the Marshall Field and Company department store. When she again encounters Norman on a shopping expedition, he is quickly swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract.

But when another attempt is made to part Norman from his research papers, and it becomes clear Beatrix’s safety is also at risk, they soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

My Review

First, if you haven’t heard, Jen’s welcomed a new family member: Remee. She’s cattle dog rescue, is as adorable as can be, but apparently doesn’t like cats. It’s ok Remee, we love you anyway. I stole this photo from Jen’s Instagram account where you can learn all about her royal cuteness.

Now on to the review.

I enjoyed traveling outside of New York to a new setting with Beatrix: Chicago! This story opened with intriguing action and a very annoyed heroine. It made me smile and wonder what was in store for Beatrix and Noman, but I knew they had to get along somehow.

Norman made me smile right away, from his ungainly ride on a horse to his devotion to running past a certain house. While it made him endearing to both me and the heroine, there were times when he got her in trouble at work that I wanted to yell at him to leave. Learning about the disparity in women’s wages and how they were judged differently made me thankful for the century of progress of women’s rights in the workplace.

The house full of women was a new home life setting for Jen’s books, but I loved all the women and their interactions. The way they embraced whoever came their way (except the villain) put them right in my heart. I enjoyed the variety of personalities and how they were each unique.

You have your usual quirky banter, slapstick comedy, and animal antics that make her unique style shine. Though, there were a few times that I felt like the banter was over-the-top in the no-one-would-ever-come-up-with-that-good-of-comeback kind of way that is the beauty of being able to write what one says rather than come up with it on the spot.

Bonus: you also get a small secondary love story with the delightful Theodoasia.

If you’re looking for a fun read that’s clean with enough faith but not getting preachy, give this one a read. I received a copy from the publisher, but was not required to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and www.jenturano.com

Giveaway

To celebrate Jen’s new release, I’m giving away a print copy of Flights of Fancy, Book 1 in the American Heiresses series. U.S. addresses only. Please see my giveaway page for rules. Giveaway ends June 22 at midnight.

Enter via Rafflecopter. For extra entries, hop over to Instagram!

On Wings of Devotion

“‘You’ll either be a hero or a villain, Phil.
Try to pick the right one, will you?'”

Series: The Codebreakers (Book 2)
Paperback: 390 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 7, 2020)

Against Every Warning, She’s Drawn Ever Closer to the Man Known as “Black Heart.”

All of England thinks Major Phillip Camden a monster–a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But he would have preferred to die that day with his men rather than be recruited to the Admiralty’s codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved.

As nurse Arabelle Denler observes the so-dubbed “Black Heart,” she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their families and paths twist together unexpectedly, she realizes she has a role to play in his healing–and some of her own to do as well.

With Camden’s court-martial looming, an old acquaintance shows up, intent on using him in a plot that sends the codebreakers of Room 40 into a frenzy. With their fragile hopes for the future in the cross hairs, Arabelle and Camden must hold on to hope–and to each other–if they want to survive.

My Thoughts

Roseanna hits another story out of the park with this tale of forgiveness, mercy, and joy during the darkest of days.

“Angry was angry. There was comfort in it. In clinging to the only thing one could trust-one’s own raging bitterness. The one thing in the world guaranteed not to leave without warning, whose promises to hold one close could be counted on.”

“Oh, Phillip. You have the weight of the world on your shoulders and I just want to wrap you in a hug.” This is what I thought when I first met Phillip Camden in The Number of Love. I haven’t stopped loving him since. On the surface, Phillip appears to be your typical cocky broody pretty boy, but it hides a heart that feels deeply. Through the course of the story Roseanna takes him on a journey of learning the importance of not only asking for God’s forgiveness but forgiving himself.

“‘My sparkling personality has convinced you that I’m just the sort of person you need for a friend.'”

Then Phillip meets Arabelle Denler. Arabelle is sunshine itself. I admire the way she is practical and realistic but also is so full of grace and joy. And I mean JOY; the kind that only comes from resting in the confidence of your Heavenly Father. I was humbled by her reactions to situations again and again; they challenged me to ask “would I react so compassionately in that situation?”

I was on pins and needles until the very end wondering if the story would turn out with the happy ending my heart craved. Until the last second I was wondering how it was going to work out. But, Roseanna wrote a beautiful ending at just the right speed to satisfy your “awww” factor while bringing true healing to her characters, even if not in the way you expect.

I encourage you to pick up a copy now! While you can read this story as a stand alone, I’d encourage you to read The Number of Love first as it’ll give you a deeper connection to some of the characters. We also get to revisit character from her last two series: Shadows Over England and Ladies of the Manor.

I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are honestly my own.

About the Author

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
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The Number of Love – Roseanna M. White

Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network–field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy who just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the intelligent Margot, but how can he convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amid biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save themselves from the very secrets that brought them together.

My Thoughts

“‘God understands how you’re feeling – that you’re mourning, that you’re angry, that you can’t accept the way this has happened. But He’s still there. His hand is still sheltering you. He’ll wait for you.'”

I was intrigued by Margot when I first met her on the pages of A Song Unheard as a strong young lady figuring out life amidst the Great War; her intelligence and love for her family shown through. Now that she has grown into a young woman of 18 with an old soul and started spreading her wings, it was enjoyable as a reader to watch her her own golden ratio, even as more heartache comes her way.

Drake. Sigh. I love a hero that falls fast and hard determined to hold on and wait for the woman he loves. His patience and steadfastness waiting for Morgot to be ready was swoon worthy.

I enjoyed the excellent research I can always count on from Roseanna as well as the way she weaves history through a fictional story in a way that makes it come alive. Between peaks into the villain’s perspective and check-ins with my favorite motley band of siblings, I was drawn into a story of blooming where God has planted and learning to rely on His strength.

I received a complementary copy of this story from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions are my own!

About The Author

Roseanna M. White Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. She and her family make their home in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

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Can you relate to Margot’s feelings of grief and wondering if God will wait for you?
I know I have.

More Than Words Can Say

“Maybe the Big Man was doing more than laughing it up with the seraphim, after all.”

About the Book

After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.

Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn’t the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him.
When vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence?

My Thoughts

You know a book is going to be good when it starts out with this:

“At the word benefits, images jumped immediately to Zach’s mind. Vivid images. Of bedsheets and unpinned hair…
‘To start with, you can have all the sticky buns you like free of charge. For life.’
Breakfast. She was talking about breakfast.”

For those of you new to Karen’s writing, you might be a little concerned it’s not a clean read, but I assure you it is! What I most liked about this story is how Karen twines love and passion into a marriage of convenience turned real in a way that is completely clean while maintaining the romantic tension needed to pull a reader in.

Another I loved about More Than Words Can Say is having a heroine who looks more like me. No, I’m not blonde, but I am fluffy. Like Abigail I wonder how a man ever finds me beautiful and struggle to see it in myself.

Karen always writes faith themes with characters who need to grow in different ways. In this book she brings out God’s sense of humor. While His serious side is on display as well, I think God’s humor is often overlooked in our efforts to be pious, but if we’re created in His image, than He has to have it too, right?

Overall, I’d recommend this story for those who enjoy western historicals. But, unlike so may westerns, there’s not a cowboy, which is a pleasant change, as much as I love cowboys.

“Helping a woman make biscuits should not make a fellow this happy. But when the woman was the fellow’s wife, and she smiled at him as if he were the noblest hero of her acquaintance -well, it couldn’t be helped.”

I received a complementary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at http://www.karenwitemeyer.com.

Sins of the Past – The Cost of Betrayal

It’s a two-for-one deal today…or really…a six-for-one because I’m featuring two novella collections that have made it on Hubs Hot list. Make sure to scroll down to see hubs thoughts as well as mine.

The Cost of Betrayal

In Dee Henderson’s novella “Betrayed,” Janelle Roberts is freed–thanks to people she doesn’t know–after serving six years of a twenty-year sentence for a murder she did not commit. But a murderer is still at large, and Janelle needs to be somewhere safe with someone she can trust. She may not survive another betrayal.

In Dani Pettrey’s “Deadly Isle,” Tennyson Kent is trapped on the isolated island of her childhood by a storm surge, and she is shocked when the typically idyllic community turns into the hunting grounds of a murderer. Cut off from any help from the mainland, will she and first love Callen Frost be able to identify and stop a killer bent on betrayal before they become the next victims?

In Lynette Eason’s “Code of Ethics,” trauma surgeon Ruthie St. John saves the life of Detective Isaac Martinez. After a betrayal leads to him getting shot and then attacked while in recovery, Isaac is now a key witness determined to testify. But someone is intent on silencing him–and those around him–forever. Together, Ruthie and Isaac go on the run, desperate to escape the killers hunting him. 

Our Thoughts

After reading Sins of the Past, I knew these three authors teaming up would mean another great collection. Plus, that cover!

Dee’s story in this one features a couple whose story is told in Full Disclosure. After hubs and I finished the novella, I tracked down the ebook and promptly purchased it as I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I do hope someday I get to know more of Janelle’s story as well. I learned so much about the pardon process as my compassion for Janelle increased.

Dani’s was a fascinating story about a small island community based in the Chesapeake Bay (home turf!). I’ve always wanted to know more about these small communities and Dani brings one to life with a murderer on the loose. Having lived through several nor’easters, I never want to experience one on the islands. Perfect backdrop.

Lynette’s story continues the St. Johns series with the “odd ball” Ruthie. I liked her from the start for being brave enough to be different in a
law-enforcement family. This gives her a good background to think on her feet and believe the crazy guy (Isaac) who says someone is trying to kill him. Their relationship is a slow build with a satisfying ending.

Hubs: Riveting. I liked all three, but the one that stood out the most was Betrayed. It was interesting reading from the perspective of a crime that had already been committed rather than in the process of being committed as the story unfolds. The beautiful language of walking though a story of redemption and forgiveness drew me in, showing that through space, time, and God’s help, true healing can occur.


Sins of the Past

In Dee Henderson’s Missing, a Wyoming sheriff is called to Chicago when his elderly mother goes missing. Paired with a savvy Chicago cop, the two realize her disappearance is no accident, and a race against the clock begins.

Dani Pettrey returns to Alaska with Shadowed, introducing readers to the parents of her beloved McKenna clan. Adventure, romance, and danger collide when a young fisherman nets the body of an open-water swimming competitor who may actually be a possible Russian defector.

Lynette Eason’s Blackout delivers the story of a woman once implicated in a robbery gone wrong. The loot has never been found–but her memory of that night has always been unreliable. Can she remember enough to find her way to safety when the true culprit comes after her?

Our Thoughts

I picked up this collection right off the bat as I was excited to see what Dani and Lynette would come up with, especially since at that point I felt victorious getting hubs to read both author’s books. Dee was new to me, but I knew her excellent reputation and was looking forward to getting a taste of her writing.

All three novellas were exciting and well paced. My favorite was Dani’s because of getting to know the story of the McKenna parents felt like reconnecting with a favorite series.

Hubs: Compelling. I liked learning about the McKenna’s origin story. And it’s 10 pm and his words have run out. 🙂

Hubs: Riveting. I liked all three, but the one that stood out the most was Betrayed. It was interesting reading from the perspective of a crime that had already been committed rather than in the process of being committed as the story unfolds. The beautiful language of walking though a story of redemption and forgiveness drew me in, showing that through space, time, and God’s help, true healing can occur.