Sweet on You(Bradford Sisters #3) By Becky Wade Christian Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages April 30th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers
Britt Bradford and Zander Ford have been the best of friends since they met thirteen years ago. Unbeknown to Britt, Zander has been in love with her for just as long. Independent and adventurous Britt channels her talent into creating chocolates at her hometown shop. Zander is a bestselling author who’s spent the past 18 months traveling the world. He’s achieved a great deal but still lacks the only thing that ever truly mattered to him–Britt’s heart. When Zander’s uncle dies of mysterious causes, he returns to Merryweather, Washington, to investigate, and Britt is immediately there to help. Although this throws them into close proximity, both understand that an attempt at romance could jeopardize their once-in-a-lifetime friendship. But while Britt is determined to resist any change in their relationship, Zander finds it increasingly difficult to keep his feelings hidden. As they work together to uncover his uncle’s tangled past, will the truth of what lies between them also, finally, come to light?
I feel like I have been waiting for forever for Britt to fall in love with Zander. I can’t even imagine a 10th of what his waiting has been like. He is an insanely loyal man which makes him beyond swoon worthy. While I get the fear of not wanting to screw up a great friendship, I also keep shouting “Kiss her, already!!!!”
And then they do…I have no words…
We see some big character development in Britt through this story. I like a twist on the independent woman in that she takes it too far, carrying a burden of guilt that isn’t hers and declining help because of it. I get a bit of where she’s coming from in that feeling guilty that you didn’t have to go through “X” that your siblings did.
(Tiny, kind of, but not really spoiler for those like me who were agonizing) I am so thankful Becky didn’t make us wait until the end for that first kiss. I think I would have perished. But, I’m not going to tell you when it happens! That would ruin the magic!
I loved checking in with Willow and Nora and their lives; it brought me deeper into their worlds. But, the story was written in such a way that you could read it as a stand alone and not feel lost. I also enjoyed the subplot of unraveling the mystery of Uncle Frank. I have to say, there were some enjoyable twists there that kept me guessing.
If you like contemporary romance with a mystery, but not suspense, thread, delicious chocolate, and a friends to more story, this one is for you.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Christy Award and Carol Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series. Website│Blog│Goodreads│Facebook│Twitter│Pinterest│Instagram
ONE WINNER WILL RECEIVE:
Tote bag highlighting Britt’s chocolate shop, Sweet Art
3 Page-Turners Under One Cover from Reader Favorite Michelle Griep! Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?
The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady Cornish Coast, 1815 When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?
The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!) Dakota Territory, 1862 Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.
A House of Secrets St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890 Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.
Three stories in one; the first is longer followed by two novella length.
The first story starts in a gripping manner with your classic kidnapping, but it’s quickly apparent that things are not as they seem. Isaac is a loyal man who I liked for forging a way through tough times and working hard to provide for those dependent on him. Helen has no problem telling Isaac what she thinks of his actions and she gradually comes to understand Isaac’s heart, but also isn’t afraid to push him to be a better man. Each page kept me turning as I wanted to see their story unfold. The style is what I would term an easy suspense; provides mystery and action but does not get intense. I was surprised when it ended earlier than I thought it would, but it was a good spot to end the story. I would’ve happily continued reading about them.
The second story did not resonate with me as much. While I enjoyed the developing romance and the sexual tension written into the story line without even a kiss, I struggled to believe in their developing relationship as the story mostly revolved around their internal thoughts and the medical actions, not as much about them getting to know histories, likes, dislikes, etc. I think this was a function of the limited length.
The third story features an already engaged couple. It’s not often that we get a romance with a couple in this stage of the relationship which was refreshing. I liked Amanda and Joseph immediately. Joseph for his clear adoration of Amanda and good heart. Though I don’t agree with him hiding something from her, I do understand and his motives are so honorable, you can’t help but love him more. I admire the way Amanda is determined to break the mold from an overbearing father, but still clearly loves him while doing it.
Each story brings a unique perspective to being an intriguing lady and I encourage you to give it a read.
I received a complementary copy of this book for the purpose of this tour. All opinions are honestly my own.
About the Author
Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit michellegriep.com.
Guest post from Michelle
3 Reasons to Read Historical Fiction
Guest post by Michelle Griep
Believe it or not, some readers snub historical fiction, preferring instead to stick to contemporary reads. Several have good reason to, simply preferring one genre over another. But others have never given historical fiction a try. If you fall into that camp, here are some reasons you should consider reading a tale from the past.
Historical fiction books are not as boring as your high school history class.
Does the thought of endless names and dates make you break out into hives? Good news! Historical fiction is a painless way to glean some historic facts without mindless memorization. You can experience a different era and culture vicariously through heroes and heroines that live on the pages of yesteryear.
Makes for great conversation.
In a world that prides itself on keeping up with the Kardashians, dare to add a little cultural zest to your next dinner conversation. Reading historical fiction arms you with interesting tidbits of things that’ve happened in years gone by.
Because truth is timeless.
Some people yearn to go back to a simpler time. The truth is, though, that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the historic side of the fence. People have had tough issues to deal with no matter the era. . .but therein lies a great reason to read historical fiction: truth is timeless. Be it ancient, biblical, medieval, Victorian, or anything in between, truth never changes.
In my new release, Ladies of Intrigue, you’ll experience all these things and more. Find out about the smuggling trade in Cornwall in The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady. Learn about the rough and dangerous life on a military fort during the 1860’s in The Doctor’s Woman. Find out why the gilded age wasn’t as glittery as we often think in A House of Secrets.
Don’t be doomed to repeat history. Grab a cup of tea and master it with a great read!
I want to know – who has ever cleaned out their TBR pile all the way to the bottom? Not me! And, it’s steadily growing larger as we kick off 2019. Goodreads has a running list of “Most Anticipated Inspirational Novels of 2019,” which currently has 82 entries. I encourage you to browse through the list and add some new titles to your pile.
Here are my most anticipated inspirational reads. I know that more will be added as some authors haven’t listed their to be published for this year. What are your most anticipated reads?
P.S. Reviewing my post it occurred to me that all but two of these (Ever After and Wooing Cadie) are by Bethany House. I’ve come to expect great stories from them, but there are other great publishing houses and indie authors too. I’d like to know what others you love.
Book: Lost Christmas Memories Author: Dana Mentink Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense/Christmas Release Date: November 1, 2018 A witness with amnesia Can she trust this Gold Country Cowboy with her life? Tracy Wilson witnessed a murder—but after a head injury, she can’t remember what she saw. Now someone plans to silence her for good, and only cowboy Keegan Thorn believes her. With a killer after her at Christmas, Tracy is running out of time to remember…and falling dangerously hard for the cowboy who could break her heart.
We meet Keegan Thorn in the first book in the Gold Country Cowboy series, and honestly, I wasn’t too sure about him then. Keegan is your classic reformed bad boy, but it’s up in the air at the beginning of the story just how reformed he is. Personally, having worked with a lot of kids with hard back stories, I’m not surprised by Keegan’s behavior, and while I get frustrated with him and his hatred towards his father and half-brother, I also get it.
I can’t imagine being in Tracy’s shoes; what a horrific occurrence to stumble into. As the reader who knows more than the character (why I love 3rd person!) I keep wondering if Tracy is trusting Keegan too much or too little. At the beginning you see this conflict clearly, and much like I do to the movie screen, I start yelling “Trust the Thorns! They’ll protect you!” But, of course Tracy can’t hear me and appropriately stays hesitant as to why Keegan and his family are helping her.
In the end it all works out, by Christmas, of course, and is a pleasant read with some twists and turns. It’s a typical Love Inspired story while offering enough characteristics to make it its own beyond the normal boy meets girl developments. If you’re looking for Christmas Reads, I’d recommend it.
I was provided a copy of this story for the purposes of this tour. All opinions are honestly my own.
About the Author
Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com.
Guest Post from Dana
Writing this book was bittersweet for me. It was lovely to finally be able to tell youngest Thorn brother Keegan’s story, but I sure am sorry to say goodbye to this series! It was such fun to write about these four kinsmen and the family bonds that held them together through all manner of murder and mayhem! Here at Mentink Manor, we have recently sent a bear cub away to college for the first time. It feels like I have lost a limb now that my Boo Boo is gone! Fortunately, we will enjoy having her home for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Though it won’t be a cozy country Christmas like it is for Keegan (we live in a city of 80,000 here in Northern, CA) we will be thrilled to have all our family home to celebrate together (Mama Bear, Papa Bear, two cubs, a naughty terrier, and a senior citizen box turtle!) I hope you enjoy this last installment in the Gold Country Cowboy series. I am sending along our best wishes for a blessed holiday season, from our Mentink household to yours!
Today’s post is the newest book in The Beckett Files by Laura Beers!
About The Book
Hiding from the horrors of her past, Miss Martha Haskett is content living her days serving as a lady’s maid to her friend Eliza, the Marchioness of Lansdowne. But then her father, the new Earl of Waterford, shows up, with the shocking news that she is now a titled lady. Further turning her life upside down, he proposes a bargain. She will have a single Season in London, and if she does not marry by the end of the Season, she will be gifted with her dowry and a small estate. Despite her mistrust of her father, Martha accepts his offer, but can’t seem to let go of the anger that has been festering inside of her, or her discomfort with a position in Society where she feels she does not belong.
Dr. Emmett Maddix is tired of the frivolity of the ton and spends his time atoning for his past sins by providing medical care to the poor. His life takes an unexpected turn when he is recruited to be an agent of the Crown. He is assigned to run a charity hospital as a front to collect information about a vicious band of smugglers known as The Cursed Lot, who have managed to overtake the entire town of Gravesend with a reign of murder and oppression.
As Emmett delves further into The Cursed Lot’s domain, he quickly discovers that not everything is what it seems, and it will take far more than one new agent to take down this ruthless gang. While the tangled web of intrigue begins to unravel, Martha and Emmett battle an undeniable but unspoken attraction that grows between them. But before either can be ready to share their hearts, they must overcome their past mistakes, and find their own reasons to keep fighting. With more than just their hearts at stake, surviving the mission will be more difficult than either of them could ever imagine.
I thoroughly enjoyed another clean romance by Laura Beers – I can’t get enough of them. But, Martha does have a difficult back story that some may find a trigger point (physical and sexual abuse). However, I think Laura does a great job bringing the seriousness of the issue and Martha’s healing without allowing the burden of her story to burden the reader. While I wouldn’t place the story in the inspirational genera, Laura offers the reader solid advice about healing and being at peace with your past through the development of her characters.
On the lighter side, the story is filled with cameos from already loved characters and their antics. While Laura offers enough back story to read this novel stand alone, I’d recommend reading the previous books in the series as it will enhance your enjoyment of this story and because they’re just good stories.
I received a copy of this book from the author but was not required to give a review. I did it because I really love them.
About The Author
Laura Beers spent most of her childhood with a nose stuck in a book, dreaming of becoming an author. She attended Brigham Young University, eventually earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management. Many years later, and with loving encouragement from her family, Laura decided to start writing again. Besides being a full-time homemaker to her three kids, she loves waterskiing, hiking, and drinking Dr. Pepper. Currently, Laura Beers resides in South Carolina.
Sarah Monzon kept me company on my travels last week with both Literarily for Keeps and Freedom’s Kiss. I only had one problem: I wanted to read both at the same time and didn’t want to put either down to read the other. It’s tough wanting to read ALL THE BOOKS.
About the Book: Literarily for Keeps
She only has to pretend to be married for five days. What’s the worst that could happen?
Literature professor Ashleigh Darmody never imagined her life would turn into a classic trope, but that’s exactly what happens when her sister Claire calls with a bizarre request–quickly find a fake husband. Backstory is a powerful thing, and Ashleigh’s has plenty of shadows, but is her past so shady that it requires an elaborate scheme to ensure Claire’s prospective father-in-law, renowned TV evangelist Ken Abrams, will give her his blessing to marry his son? Already divorced from a man who turned out to be other than he claimed, Ashleigh now has to pretend to be blissfully married to a stranger for the next five days. But when the lines of fiction and reality blur with each tick of the clock, could a temporary deal turn into something for keeps?
About the Book: Freedom’s Kiss
They were both prisoners of their past. Could legacy be the key to setting them free?
Olivia Arroyo knows who she is and where she’s going—her sense of family responsibility a stepping stone to her dream of becoming a chef. When her employer refuses her the chance to move from server to the kitchen, she makes another opportunity for herself with the owner of a new food truck. But her life derails when a hidden piece of her past suddenly comes to light, and she discovers everything she thought she knew about herself has been a lie.
A single decision can have innumerable consequences—a truth that has changed Adam Carrington’s life. A criminal defense attorney turned food truck owner, he is haunted by his role in an unpardonable act and driven by his need to make restitution. Unexpected help comes in the form of a feisty, raven-haired beauty, but she soon begins challenging his kitchen as well as his heart.
Florida, 1816 Propelled by a fleeting hope of freedom, Winnie and her family escape slavery and find refuge and new life with the Seminole Indians of Florida. But their future is still uncertain as threats of war, a return to slavery, and removal to the west shake their tentative grasp on freedom. Will they ever step out of the shadow of fear to leave a legacy of deliverance?
I’ve yet to meet a Sarah Monzon book I haven’t liked and these two add to the count. I’ve had Freedom’s Kiss patiently waiting for me for awhile, and Literarily for Keeps just came out. I thought it’d be fun to focus on one author while traveling and so loaded both on my ereader (and on the Ipad, and the phone, because, you know, things happen and you don’t want to be BOOKLESS).
The books share some similarities: solid characters, contemporary settings, toe curling romance, and tough topics. Both stories deal with sexual abuse, so trigger warning for some. Personally, I think Sarah did great job of lending gravity and the seriousness the situations without requiring a box of Kleenex, breaking the tension with well placed levity. I also appreciate her note at the end of Freedom’s Kiss. Throughout both stories, Sarah weaves faith in naturally, never getting preachy while incorporating solid Biblical truths. Her characters aren’t perfect and have made mistakes, but all learn that God takes us as we are, not where we think we should be.
Literarily for Keeps: This is a quick fun read perfect for passing a Sunday afternoon. But don’t think it’s too sweet. It’s a first person narrative (which I usually avoid, but guys, it’s Sarah Monzon, so I couldn’t not read it) with an internal monologe that I related to so often, I wondered if Sarah had tapped into my own head. Granted, I don’t have quite as many literary reference bobbing around, but I think most will relate to the rambling monologue that frequently occurs in those 5 seconds before you make a decision but if you wrote it all down would take 3 pages.
Freedom’s Kiss: I’m a Carrington family fan for sure; weekly game night sounds ideal. For the first two books we see Adam as a secondary character, but I kept wondering what was going on with him and what his story was; now I know. I was a little surprised at how quickly the romance developed, but it made such a great platform for romantic tension for the rest of the story and allowed some toe curls. When I think about, Adam is such a passionate and compassionate man, he couldn’t help but jump in with his whole heart right away- he’s all or nothing.
I appreciated getting to know a slice of history I wasn’t familiar with and ended up with some time on Google reading up, so I know Sarah was trying to fit a long timeline in, but I found the secondary historic story a little jumpy at times. Being light skin, it will always be hard to understand the struggles that can come with dark, but I feel that I gained some understanding, especially of the Native American culture of that area. The book opened up a conversation for me with a Native American friend where we could talk points of spirituality. As she’s not a believer, I was happy to have some thoughtful questions I could ask as a result about the culture she was raised in and share a bit of my faith with her.
I received a copy of Freedom’s Kiss from the author. I was not required to post a review. These opinions are my own.