First Line Fridays – The Baron’s Daughter

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. Today is an FLF from one of my go-to authors; Laura Beers. See my full review on Goodreads.

Barons daughter

The Baron’s Daughter by Laura Beers

“The coach slowed to a creaking stop outside an unobtrusive, two-level, white building, near the outskirts of the fashionable part of London.”

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.

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.

Book Boyfriends 2018

Here’s a roundup of swoony heroes from my 2018 reads! In no particular order:

The Sheehan Brothers Stephanie Dees

The Sheehan brothers slid in in the last week 2018 and right into my heart. There is something about a man and his interactions with kids that make me swoon every time and Joe and Ash are great dads – even before they’re dads.

Jonathon Beckett – A Peculiar Courtship – Laura Beers

I love Jonathon while also wanting to inform him about women’s independence, but his boyish ways contrasting with his protectiveness win me over.

Barclay Pearce – An Hour Unspent – Roseanna White

Barclay. Swoon. I love him.


Noble Rynallt – The Lacemaker – Laura Frantz


Noble lives up to his namesake in this revolutionary tale.


Trace Riley – The Accidental Guardian – Mary Connealy

I relate to Trace’s desire to want to be alone, but I help but love him for the way he took on his three girls.

Graham, Lord Wharton – A Defense of Honor – Kristi Ann Hunter

I have to respect, admire, and swoon over Graham’s steadfastness. No floor is too hard, no sticky fingers too daunting. He pushes Kit to be a better version of herself while also giving her room to grow.

Cole “Tox” Russell – Warrior’s Seal – Ronie Kendig

Tox is your classic wounded hero. What I like about this series is that we get to see Tox develop beyond the initial romantic relationship onto a husband and father.

Adam Carrington – Freedom’s Kiss – Sarah Monzon

You can’t help but love a Carrington man. Plus, they’re hot.

Rudy Moser – Love in Three Quarter Time – Rachel McMillan

I love Rudy because he is such a different hero for a romance. This story is told from Evelyn’s perspective, but I would really love to hear it from Rudy’s!


Henry Wright – When You Look at Me – Pepper Basham

Because Henry is Mr. Wright after all (hardy, har, har). I also love Henry because he’s different than your typical hero. And his patience, oh my goodness, he’s so patient and gentle. Swoon.

I hope you found a few to add to your TBR pile for 2019! Who are your book boyfriends for 2018?

Lost Christmas Memories

About the Book

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.

My Review

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!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 22

Christian Bookaholic, November 22

Among the Reads, November 22

Inklings and Notions, November 23

Just Your Average reviews, November 23

Blogging With Carol, November 23

Because I said so -adventures in parenting, November 24

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 24

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, November 24

Moments, November 25

Simple Harvest Reads, November 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 25

Genesis 5020, November 26

SusanLovesBooks, November 26

Remembrancy, November 26

Kat’s Corner Books, November 27

Pause for Tales, November 27

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 27

Quiet quilter, November 28

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 28

Book by Book, November 29

A Rup Life, November 29

To Everything A Season, November 29

Older & Smarter?, November 30

Have A Wonderful Day, November 30

Cafinated Reads, November 30

KarenSueHadley, December 1

Lighthouse Academy, December 1

Daysong Reflections, December 1

Bibliophile Reviews, December 2

A Baker’s Perspective, December 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2

Janices book reviews, December 3

Bigreadersite, December 3

Texas Book-aholic, December 4

Carpe Diem, December 4

Godly Book Reviews, December 5

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Lost Christmas Memories, a $50 Amazon gift card and this cute reading charms necklace!!Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d626/lost-christmas-memories-celebration-tour-giveaway

Firethorn

About The Book

FirethornDon your tactical gear and enter the world of black ops and espionage within the pages of Ronie Kendig’s thriller Firethorn. Former Marine Griffin “Legend” Riddell, a fugitive from injustice, finds it difficult to trust anyone. Covert operative Kazi Faron, the woman sent to free him, has a dangerous secret that may jeopardize her life, mission, and the only man she respects. As Griffin and Kazi race around the globe to save Nightshade, the danger mounts. Will they find the culprit sabotaging their black ops team? Can their newfound feelings and trust survive when Griffin and Kazi face truth and terror?

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My Review

This book is most definitely on Hubs’ Hot List. As our current Read Out Loud book, we finished the story up last night. You know those books that when you’re finished you just sit there for a bit going “wow.” Yeah, this book. You also know those books where you should be going to sleep because you have to get up early and go to work but you’re so close to finishing and you JUST CAN’T PUT IT DOWN? Also this book.

But, I also think part of that feeling was the culmination of the series. While I’m not usually a big series reader if you can’t read them standalone, I think that with this one Ronie wraps up just enough threads in each story to keep me from going crazy and coming back for more. I love that her stories have a balance of romance and action and that hubs and I can find in her stories what we both like. I’ll admit that there are times the action gets a bit intense and icky sounding for me, but the hearts she puts in these men I just can’t resist.

Toward the end there is a plot twist. We didn’t see it coming. Hubs sat with his mouth agape for a few minutes. By the end his eyes were red. Guys, I doubly melted – for Griffin and for hubs and his huge loving compassionate heart. If Legend was real, I think they would be good friends. Funny story? I’m convinced we sit next to Legend at church – and of course I told him about this book. Now I just have to convince him to read it. Maybe it’ll help him find his own Kazi.


About The Author

Ronie photoRonie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author of over twenty titles. She grew up an Army brat, and now she and her Army-veteran husband live a short train ride from New York City with their children and retired military working dog. Ronie’s degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters. Visit Ronie online at:
ronie@roniekendig.com
http://www.roniekendig.com
FB: RapidFireFiction
Twitter: @RonieKendig
Instagram: @kendigronie

A Deceptive Bargain

The Beckett Files

Today’s post is the newest book in The Beckett Files by Laura Beers!

About The Book

Deceptive BarginHiding 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.

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My Review

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.

Other books in the series: #1 and #2#3

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

Edited Author's PhotoLaura 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.

An Hour Unspent – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

an hour unspent FB banner copy

About the Book

An Hour Unspent

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.kats-corner-cat-amazon

My Review

Oh, Barclay. I always love the mysterious types, especially this one who has melted my heart over the past two books caring for his siblings. His heart is so compassionate, even if a bit misguided, a bit of a Robin Hood. I can’t fault him; in the same place, I think I’d have acted similarly. But, we’ve had glimpses of him changing over in the first two in the series and I fell in love a little more getting inside of his head and heart over the course of this story. He’s a redeemable bad boy, but was only a bad boy because he was taking care of others with his giant compassionate heart; what’s not to love?

I wasn’t sure what to think of Evelina, especially at first, but she grows so much other the course of the story and comes into her own. I did get frustrated with her how she loved or thought she knew others so much and then just doubted them; I found it aggrevating. But the way she dove into the family, embracing them, and testing her wings of independence, she changed. So while I was frustrated at the start, by the end I thought she was a good addition.

So far as I know, no more books in this series are planned, but I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to keep getting to know this boisterous chosen family. And as we head into National Adoption Month, a topic you all know is close to my heart, I just want to wrap up in their fictional world and be chosen to be a part of their family too.

I was provided a copy for the purposes of this tour. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Roseanna 2018

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.

Guest Post from Roseanna

Last year, as I finished up the writing of An Hour Unspent, my great-grandmother passed away at the age of 103. As I sat at her funeral service and listened to the heartfelt memorial raised up to her by her kids and grandkids, I realized anew that this woman had been a matriarch in the truest sense of the word. She’d taught my family for generations how to love the Lord and each other, how to serve the Lord and each other, and how to trust the Lord and each other. Grandma Seward was, in so many ways, the one who instilled in me my idea of what family really is.

That idea—that it’s those knit together by love more than blood, and that faith is the strongest foundation—is what I built my unusual family of thieves upon in the Shadows Over England series. And strange as it is to liken my twenty-something reformed-thief hero to my 103-year-old-grandmother, Barclay Pearce is very much to his family what Maxine Seward was to mine.

The founder. The caregiver. The leader.

I knew as I began the series that I would write about Barclay in book three, and as I got to know him better throughout the series, I grew so excited to share his story! This is a man who led his family first into and then out of a life a crime, always for the right reasons—so he could provide for the children under his care. All he ever wanted to do was give them what he himself had lost. To show them love. To prove to them that they were worth any sacrifice.

It was truly a blessing for me to get to write the story in which Barclay found someone to come alongside him, to appreciate and learn to understand him. To finally share what started him down this path. I loved the idea that only a reformed thief could steal the time another family needed to overcome their own trials.

There are many historical items in the book that were such fun to explore—watchmaking of the era, the suffrage movement in England, technological advancements of the war—but at the heart, this isn’t a story about any of those.

It’s a story about how far people should go for love. I hope you enjoy Barclay’s story as much as I did!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 30

The Power of Words, October 30

Back Porch Reads, October 30

Kat’s Corner Books, October 30

Janice’s Book Reviews, October 30

Where Faith and Books Meet, October 31

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 31

Faithfully Bookish, October 31

Genesis 5020, October 31

Fiction Aficionado, November 1

Among the Reads, November 1

The Lit Addict, November 1

Just the Write Escape, November 1

Multifarious, November 2

Godly Book Reviews, November 2

Real World Bible Study, November 2

Madeline Clark, November 2

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 3

Christian Bookaholic, November 3

Inspirationally Ever After, November 3

Bookworm Mama, November 3

Bigreadersite, November 3

Blogging With Carol , November 4

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 4

Life with the Tribe, November 4

The Becca Files, November 4

Kathleen Denly, November 5

Cordially Barbara, November 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 5

Simple Harvest Reads, November 5 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

God’s Little Bookworm, November 6

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 6

Faery Tales Are Real, November 6

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 6

Carpe Diem, November 6

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, November 7

Blossoms and Blessings , November 7

Maureen’s Musings , November 8

Connie’s History Classroom , November 8

Book by Book, November 8

Just Commonly, November 8

cherylbbookblog, November 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 9

Have A Wonderful Day , November 9

With a Joyful Noise, November 9

KarenSueHadley , November 10

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 10

Baker kella, November 10

Bibliophile Reviews, November 10

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 11

Inklings and Notions , November 11

Two Points of Interest, November 11

Inspiration Clothesline, November 11

A Baker’s Perspective, November 11

Henry Happens, November 12

Proud to Be an Autism Mom, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

Giveaway

an hour unspent giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a London mug, and a 48-pack Twinings tea sampler!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d570/an-hour-unspent-celebration-tour-giveaway