Friday, December 29, 2023

"Amish Apple Harvest" by Samantha Price

It is nearing the time of year to harvest the apples, and for once, the Baker girl's stepfather seems to be willing to listen to advice and not simply do as he assumes is best. When he recognizes that Cherish knows more about it than he does & puts her in charge of it, she abandons the idea that she had been considering about causing the harvest to fail again in the hopes that he would then sell the farm to Florence.

Also, for once it is not Cherish who is the problem child in the family as Hope has invited her penpal, an Englisher girl, to visit them without getting permission or even warning them that she was coming until the girl arrived on their doorstep.

This was once again another enjoyable story with just a touch of family drama. I enjoyed this one, especially the dramatic reveal at the end. I will say that it was something I had been wondering about but still hadn't really expected to be the case.

If you enjoy Amish romance books or have read any of the previous Bonnet sisters series, then you'll definitely want to read this one.

This book may also be available through:

https://books2read.com/u/bx6rAd

Amazon requires me to state that I have an Amazon Associates account that I use to generate the links to the books on their website. Purchasing something after following those links will earn a few pennies for me off the sale, though as of yet I have not earned anything from my Amazon Associate links.

Monday, December 25, 2023

“The Ever Mage” by Angelina J. Steffort

This book picks up where the Last one left off. Sanja is alone in the Crow Palace, a prisoner in the dungeon after making a deal with the Crow King, Taking Clio's place as his promised bride has managed to save the lives of her mate, King Recienne (aka Rogue), as well as his sister, Clio, and her mate, Tori, though it has left her to suffer and eventually be killed. It is well known that few Crow Brides manage to survive for more than a year, and most last far less than that. This book starts out with your heart aching for all of them, and it grows from there.


I can’t tell you how often this book had my heart aching for the characters and multiple times had me nearly in tears. Yes, there are happy moments as well, but this book definitely takes you through the entire range of human (and fae) emotions, both the happy ones and the dark ones. Honestly, it was the perfect conclusion to an enthralling series. I absolutely loved it.


This book kept me on the edge of my seat much of the time. Sometimes in a hopeful way, and other times despairing that the characters that I have come to love will be able to find their happy ending, as much as I was praying that they would. (And I can't tell you if they do or not, as that will spoil the ending for you, and you really will want to experience it for yourself.) There are certainly a lot of twists and turns, as well as unexpected happenings along the way, even though looking back, there were hints of what was coming from the very beginning of the series.


And in case you are wondering, yes, I feel this book well deserves a 5-star review. If you haven’t read the previous books in this series, I strongly recommend going back & reading them first as you will have missed so much that if you don’t, this book might not make as much sense to you.. I do need to warn you that there are some sexual scenes in the book. (How can there not be when you are dealing with newly-mated fairies?) But while somewhat intense, are not so overly graphic as to warrant concern save for very young readers. (If you are old enough for some of the darker themes in this series, then you are likely old enough for the sex scenes, especially if you have read the previous books.) I also need to warn you that there are some scenes involving torture as well.


I received a review copy of this book and would recommend this one to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy novels that take you on an emotional rollercoaster, if you enjoy stories involving magic and romance, trust and betrayal, and if you have been reading the previous books in the series, then you really don’t want to miss this one. It’s that good. I honestly didn’t want to put it down to sleep at night. It was definitely the perfect ending to this series.


This book may also be available through:

https://books2read.com/u/mg5YN0


Amazon requires me to state that I have an Amazon Associates account that I use to generate the links to the books on their website. Purchasing something after following those links will earn a few pennies for me off the sale, though as of yet I have not earned anything from my Amazon Associate links.

Friday, December 22, 2023

“In the Shadow of the Pyrenees”
by Kathryn Gauci

In the earlier days of WWII many Jewish people were not able to flee from France before the German occupation began rounding up the Jewish people and sending them to concentration camps. Many of those people just couldn’t believe that France would allow it to happen to them. Some citizens were sent to German work camps, and there were many other  atrocities taking place throughout the countryside. It was a rough time for everyone, not just those who happened to be Jewish.


In this book we followed the lives of some of the people helping those fleeing from this oppression as well as some of the members of the resistance. It was as dangerous for those trying to escape as it was for those trying to help them. In this book the escape routes talked about were very difficult routes going through the mountains and into Spain. Anyone caught was doomed to be tortured as the Nazis sought to find everyone involved in helping those trying to flee, whether they were Jewish or not. And many were either killed right away or were sent to concentration camps and prisons where they often died from disease.


I received a review copy of this book and feel that I should warn you that parts of it were very emotionally intense. That is something that is unavoidable given the time period. It was a dangerous time, and no one was ever entirely safe. My eyes were teary as I read at some points in this book. The story was well written and I enjoyed reading it. Given the time period it takes place in, please be aware that this book does contain some violence. That is unavoidable in a book about WWII.


If you enjoy WWII stories about the people fleeing from the Nazis and the people/networks of people helping them, then you will enjoy this book. It was a fascinating look into why  many chose to help despite the risks to them and their families, as well as what life was like for the average person living in the countryside at the time, whether or not they happened to be among those trying to either flee from the Nazis or helping them to escape. And be sure to read the notes at the end talking about the people and locations that this story was based on. It was as interesting as the rest of the tale.


This book may also be available through:

https://books2read.com/u/mZpY0p


Amazon requires me to state that I have an Amazon Associates account that I use to generate the links to the books on their website. Purchasing something after following those links will earn a few pennies for me off the sale, though as of yet I have not earned anything from my Amazon Associate links.

Monday, December 18, 2023

“Peppermint Cookie Murder”
by Trixie Silvertale

Cynthia Claus was born and raised at the North Pole. She is the daughter of Santa Claus, and grew up knowing that someday she was expected to take over delivering toys to the children of the world. There’s just one problem with that plan; that's not what she wants to do with her life. What she really wants is to live somewhere else and run her own bakery. Baking, rather than toy making, is where her passions truly lie. Yes, her parents are disappointed at first that she doesn’t want to follow in her father’s footsteps, but they do what they can to help her make her dream possible.

When she moves into her first apartment in a small town far from the North Pole and begins a new life for herself, her first friend is her neighbor, who soon happens to be murdered next door to Cindy’s  apartment. And being the first to find the newly dead woman who had been killed using a unique pen that Cindy had given away not long before, the police arrest Cindy as the murderer. Now she needs to discover who actually committed the crime. If she can’t, her first time leaving home may wind up with her spending years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit.

This was a fun little Christmas Cozy mystery. I received a review copy of this book, read it through in one day and really enjoyed it. It even includes the recipes for several types of cookies and other sweet treats that were made by the main character in the story. While I haven’t tried baking any of them myself (Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of peppermint), they do sound interesting, and at some point I may have to give the gingerbread cookies or maybe the lemon drop cookies a try. There’s also a cheesecake recipe that sounds pretty good as well.

This was the first book in a new holiday series, a quick read, and I think it’s a good story. I know that I enjoyed it and it made me smile. I’ll be waiting and watching for the next one in the series. This one came just in time for me to have a nice quick little Christmas-themed book to read and review before the Christmas holidays, though I have no idea when the next one will be released. But I will be keeping my eyes open for it.

This book may also be available through:

Amazon requires me to state that I have an Amazon Associates account that I use to generate the links to the books on their website. Purchasing something after following those links will earn a few pennies for me off the sale, though as of yet I have not earned anything from my Amazon Associate links.

Friday, December 15, 2023

“The Displaced Indian Bride”
by Florence Linnington

Kimana was left on her own after her family had died from illness. Her father had been determined not to ever live on a reservation, but there were increasingly few places where the Native Americans could live without harassment. It was because of this that Kimama found herself racing for the nearby reservations with two white cowboys chasing after her, their intent to do her harm quite obvious. Kimana did find safety there, but was clearly unhappy being placed with another family where the wife was treating her as a slave and the husband was beginning to look at her in other ways that she didn’t like. One thing led to another, and (while I won’t tell you how) Kimana wound up married to Dancing Stream, a man whose mother had been a Native American woman married to a white man.


I found this story very interesting. While it wasn’t your typical mail-order bride story, it has most of the elements of one. Two near strangers finding themselves in a situation where the only option for one (or both) is to marry. In this case, Kimana’s only options were to return to living with the household where she was treated as a slave, marry another man from the reservation, one who had previously attacked her and most likely would treat her as badly as the other family, be sent to a women’s prison in the east (where she would be much worse off) or to marry Dancing stream, a half-white man who owned a homestead in the mountains. Given these choices, which would you choose?


I enjoyed watching Kimana and Dancing Stream get to know and trust each other, and eventually, as with most all mail-order bride stories, find love. This one had more difficult moments than many of the others that I have read, but as always, it finds the happy ending that I have come to expect and enjoy in this series.


This book may also be found through:

https://books2read.com/u/3y6W5e


Amazon requires me to state that I have an Amazon Associates account that I use to generate the links to the books on their website. Purchasing something after following those links will earn a few pennies for me off the sale, though as of yet I have not earned anything from my Amazon Associate links.


Monday, December 11, 2023

“The City of Marble and Blood”
by Howard Andrew Jones

Hanover was considered a hero among his people, the Volani, and the worst sort of enemy by the Dervans. They were the ones who won the war and tore apart his country, killing many of his people, and selling the rest of the survivors as slaves all across the Empire. Hanover, thought by most to have died during the last battle, has made it his purpose to find and free all of his surviving people. It may be an impossible task, but it is one that he is determined to accomplish.


This was the second book in the Chronicles of Hanovar series. I will start off by warning you that like the previous book, it appears to be a very long book, but reading it, it keeps you enthralled and does not feel like it is nearly as long as the page count claims. The story is compelling and quickly draws the reader in. It had me wanting to know how the characters would solve many of the problems they encountered along the way.  


And don't assume that this is simply a story of one man traveling around and freeing his people without care for those who might have once been his enemy. This story is much more than that, for wherever Hanovar travels on his quest, he finds himself helping not only the Volani, but people belonging to all the other races who are now part of the Dervan Empire.


This series is an epic fantasy adventure of the highest degree. I truly enjoyed reading both this book and the previous one in the series. I love how the story is presented as a tale written by a descendant of the man assisting Hanovar on his quest. If you enjoy epic fantasy adventures, then you won't want to miss this series. Recommended.


This book may also be available through the following:

https://books2read.com/u/bx6e7D


Amazon requires me to state that I have an Amazon Associates account that I use to generate the links to the books on their website. Purchasing something after following those links will earn a few pennies for me off the sale, though as of yet I have not earned anything from my Amazon Associate links.

Friday, December 8, 2023

"Coconut Wireless" by Toby Neal

Kat is a Secret Service agent who had the bad luck of needing to reject the advances of someone powerful. Because of that, her boss was forced to remove her from her position, at least for the time being. And that's how she wound up being transferred into the position of Postmaster in the small town of Ohia in the Hawaiian Islands. Unfortunately, being an outsider brought in to fill a position that a local postal employee had expected to get leaves her with a less than pleasant start in both her new job & and her new town.


Things take a turn for the worse, when the feral cat living in Kat's new home brings her a human hand that just happens to belong to the previous postmaster. Now Kat has decided to help the local police solve the murder. Which is not the easiest of tasks when most people consider you an outsider.


I enjoyed reading this book. Parts of it were light hearted, but it also dealt with some serious topics, like the fact that Kat has been dealing with PTSD and is currently very touch sensitive in a community of people who are big on hugs, not always with a warning that they are about to hug her.


There was a lot of interesting information on Hawaii in this book, some of which I was aware of, but much of it was new to me. I loved the local flavor that was added in by using the native language by the people in the town. And the depictions of characters at first resenting Kat's presence, and later accepting her into their community, gave this book a great deal of authenticity.


I think anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries, the Hawaiian Islands, or both will enjoy this fun story. I will definitely be continuing on with reading this series in the future.


This book may also be available through:

https://books2read.com/u/bOjRK9



Amazon requires me to state that I have an Amazon Associates account that I use to generate the links to the books on their website. Purchasing something after following those links will earn a few pennies for me off the sale, though as of yet I have not earned anything from my Amazon Associate links.

Monday, December 4, 2023

"The West Haven Undead" by Nick Savage

This is the third book in the West Haven Undead series. And it does not disappoint. Another among their group has died, and the young group who have not been aware that Legends existed—let alone that they were Legends themselves —are all struggling with how to deal with their loss. But now they have someone and something else to focus on. There is a new drug on the streets that poses a great threat to their ability to remain hidden. And both the drug itself and the people behind it need to be dealt with.


I read the previous two books in this series and really enjoyed them. This story is one that draws the reader in and leaves you wanting to know more. I had a hard time putting it down to sleep at night. While it answered a lot of the questions I had after the end of the previous book, it left me with even more questions that I need answers for. I love the concept that this book is based on. The idea that Vampires, Werewolves, and others are not supernatural beings, but that they are simply people who have an autoimmune disease that causes them to sometimes appear as what people call Vampires, Werewolves, or others.


I do need to warn you that this book ends leaving you with a couple of very big questions that won't get answered until book 4 is released, which I believe will be in 2024. I know that I'll be waiting to find out what happens in that one, and if you've been enjoying this series so far, then I expect that you will enjoy this book and be waiting patiently with me for the next one too.


If you enjoy stories about Vampires, Werewolves, Fairies, and other unusual creatures, then you will enjoy this book. But I strongly recommend reading the first two in the series if you don't want to feel a bit lost.


This book may also be available through:

https://books2read.com/u/boXrVL


Amazon requires me to state that I have an Amazon Associates account that I use to generate the links to the books on their website. Purchasing something after following those links will earn a few pennies for me off the sale, though as of yet I have not earned anything from my Amazon Associate links.

Friday, December 1, 2023

“The Extinction Trials”
Written by A.G. Riddle,
Narrated by John Skelly

Things in the world have been going poorly for quite a while. In many fields, Artificial Intelligence systems have all but taken over, leaving humans almost unnecessary. Then one day, it seems that the machines meant to make life easier for most people, are suddenly working against them. While many people die, some are saved. One such group awakens in what appears to be a laboratory somewhere, but they have no idea where. The land outside appears barren and the air deadly. There are limited supplies in their shelter, and it is obvious that they must find their way elsewhere if they have any hope of survival. Discovering what has happened and where to go next is of utmost importance. Fortunately, there are clues left for each of them. And if they can solve the puzzle, maybe they can find out not only what has happened, but how to survive.

I listened to the audiobook version of this story, and wow, was it very well done. Not only did the narrator do a great job of depicting the various characters, but the author wove a tale that is both fascinating and draws the reader into the story, leaving you waiting to learn what will happen next as well as trying to figure it out yourself. I very much enjoyed listening to this one.

This story was particularly interesting to me as I could see much of what happens in the beginning of this tale happening in the real world if something doesn’t improve sooner rather than later. While I did eventually guess the ending, this book did take many unexpected turns before then that I never saw coming. While it was an easy enough story to follow, what happened was often very surprising. And it was only very near the end before I was able to guess what would be coming next. I read a lot of books in quite a few genres, and as such, it’s not too often that a book can keep me guessing incorrectly for as long as this one did.

If you like post-apocalyptic / end-of-the-world stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to solve what is actually happening before the author leads you to the final answer, then you will love this book as much as I did.

This book may also be available through: https://books2read.com/u/bajZAa


Amazon requires me to state that I have an Amazon Associates account that I use to generate the links to the books on their website. Purchasing something after following those links will earn a few pennies for me off the sale, though as of yet I have not earned anything from my Amazon Associate links.


I'm engaged to Mothman by Paige Lavoie

Heather and Moth are very happy with the life they are building in their cabin in the woods. But when a portal suddenly opens and takes them...