Celebrate Lit Tour – Pretending to Wed by Melissa Jagears


About the Book

Book: Pretending to Wed

Author: Melissa Jagears

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: May 28, 2020


It’s a match made in heaven…as long as they don’t fall in love!

The ranch Nolan Key has spent decades working for, even lost a leg for, is now his—or at least it should be. But an absurd clause in his father’s will means he’s in danger of losing the place to his lazy, undeserving cousin. Nolan finds himself scrambling to save his home—by proposing marriage to the town laundress.

Corinne Stillwater’s hands have betrayed her. Numb from hours of doing the same work over and over, her hands will only heal, according to the town doctor, if she gives up the laundry and marries. But she’s been stung repeatedly by love before, so that is one remedy she can’t swallow.

When Nolan offers Corinne a marriage in name only, how can she refuse? Such a partnership could give them the security they seek, but what if the ranch isn’t as secure as they believe, and their lives—and dreams—aren’t quite as compatible as they thought?

Pretending to Wed is the second book in the Frontier Vows Series by award-winning Christian romance author Melissa Jagears. If you like marriage-of-convenience stories that deal with the nitty-gritty of making a relationship work, you’ll love this authentic romance set in a time gone by that tackles issues still relevant for today.

About the Author

Melissa jagears

Award winning author Melissa Jagears is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian Historical Romance into the wee hours of the night. She lives in Kansas with her husband and three children. Her ebook novella, Love by the Letter, is her ACFW Carol Award winning novella and free to try. You can learn more about her, her books, and where she hangs out online at www.melissajagears.com

More from Melissa

The Elusive Electrical Spark to Awaken Frankenstein’s Monster

The plot of Pretending to Wed just wasn’t coming together for me. I had the romantic dilemma, but I didn’t love the characters. They were boring. And if I’m going to write a book, a.k.a. read it a bazillion times, I have to really want to read the book myself. I decided to take a break from the weeks of struggle and read. I was recommended a book because of the author’s great voice (I can’t recommend it because it’s not a clean novel), but I loved the fact that the heroine was a scientific illustrator. I wondered if I could give my heroine a scientific hobby and came up with inventing. That single character tidbit was the jolt that awakened Frankenstein’s Monster. She came alive! The research into what she could have patented at the time led my imagination to the egg hatching romance scene in the middle of the story and I was hooked! I couldn’t wait to read my book that didn’t yet exist.

My Thoughts

This book was an enjoyable marriage of convenience story!  I liked Corinne and her spunky, independent personality.  Nolan, too, is a great hero.  Despite the fact their marriage starts as a partnership for each of their goals, you cannot help but cheer for their romance as the story unfolds. Melissa Jagears knows how to create a great romantic tale!  The writing is also well done and the book flows well.  I think the ending was a little rushed, but this didn’t detract from the good aspects of this book.  The setting was great, the spiritual truths were well integrated, and the growth of the characters was done well.  I enjoyed this novel and recommend it to those who love historical romance!

I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from Utmost Publishing and Celebrate Lit Tours. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 17

Writing from the Heart Land, September 17

Through the Lens of Scripture, September 17

Texas Book-aholic, September 18

Inklings and notions, September 18

For Him and My Family, September 19

Connie’s History Classroom, September 19

deb’s Book Review, September 19

Batya’s Bits, September 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 20

lakesidelivingsite, September 21

Genesis 5020, September 21

The Book Chic Blog, September 21

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 22

The Collaborative Press, September 22

Betti Mace, September 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 23

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 23

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, September 24

Remembrancy, September 24

Wishful Endings, September 24

Life of Literature, September 25

Book Love, September 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Bizwings Blog, September 25

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 26

Bigreadersite, September 26

Labor Not in Vain, September 26

CarpeDiem, September 27

Hookmeinabook, September 27

Splashes of Joy , September 27

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, September 28

Artistic Nobody, September 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 29

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, September 29

Blessed & Bookish, September 29

Simple Harvest Reads, September 30 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Maureen’s Musings, September 30

NovelsCorner, September 30

And now… a giveaway!

To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of a Gift Certificate for the winner’s Choice of Book (up to 16.99 plus S&H) from Melissa’s Local Christian Bookstore, Faith & Life Bookstore, and a signed copy of Pretending to Wed!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Thanks for stopping by!

Nine by Rachelle Dekker

Zoe Johnson has been through a lot in her short life—and she is content just keeping her head low and working at a diner in a small town in Texas.  But when a teenager running from some potentially dangerous men stumbles into her diner with a strange story and no memories, Zoe finds herself drawn towards the girl.  As she decides to help the stranger, she realizes that they both have pasts that could be dangerous to them and those they love.

This book is a thrilling ride!  It is a truly enjoyable read from start to finish.  The plot is carefully laid out so that you discover tidbits of the backstories for each character at certain times, contributing to a suspenseful plot. I liked Zoe a lot and enjoyed her character as she grows and changes in the book.  I thought I had the ending figured out but then there were surprising twists and turns that kept me guessing.  There are some scenes of torture and violence that may be better suited for more adult audiences.  Nonetheless, I would consider this a clean novel.  There isn’t a strong faith element in the story but there is definitely triumph of good over evil.  Overall, I enjoyed this story and recommend it to those who like contemporary suspense. I look forward to more from this author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick

Abigail Scott gave up her career as a schoolteacher in 1853 when she married Ben Duniway.  However, after her husband is injured, she returns to work to support the family.  It does not take her long to realize that women need a stronger voice, so she devotes the rest of her life to fighting for women’s rights.

I love Jane Kirkpatrick’s stories because she does a fantastic job of researching her history! This particular novel is based on a true story, which is very fascinating.  I was intrigued by all the history surrounding women’s rights and felt that the story was well researched and well written.  The tone of this story is more serious than other fictional works I typically read, but I did learn a lot.  I think the book was a little dry at times.  I appreciate the author’s hard work in writing a character that is flawed, with mistakes along her journey, but she still triumphed and paved the way for women.  Overall, I liked this book, although I think those who like history and even nonfiction works may enjoy this more than others.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Beholden by Jody Hedlund

Lady Gabriella is forced to work in Warwick’s gem mine after her father passes away.  She vows to avenge her father’s death and stop Queen Margery’s cruelty.  While in the mines, she meets Prince Vilmar, who has gone undercover to work the mine to prove to this father that he has what it takes to be a good successor. However, he finds himself drawn to Gabriella’s cause and is determined to do whatever he can to aid in her quest—even if that means giving up his chance at being a successor or even his very life.

Jody Hedlund writes some of the best young adult stories and I greatly enjoyed this first book in her new series, The Fairest Maidens.  This particular novel is based on the story of Cinderella.  There are some mentions of characters from her last young adult series, The Lost Princesses, but you do not necessarily need to read those books first. I am an adult but I have still very much enjoyed reading these books tailored for younger audiences.  There are fairytales, villains, goodness, and love in this novel and it is a very enjoyable read!  It was easy to get drawn into the story and I had a hard time putting it down.  Jody Hedlund is such a great writer and storyteller that time passed easily as I read chapter after chapter.  I really liked Gabriella and her sweet kindness that was evident throughout the novel. There are spiritual truths intertwined in the book well.  This is a great novel and definitely recommended!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Celebrate Lit Tour – To Love a Prince by Rachel Hauck

About the Book

Book:  To Love a Prince

Author: Rachel Hauck

Genre:  Royal Romance

Release Date: August 11, 2020

An enchanting new royal romance from NYT bestselling author Rachel Hauck

Daffodil Caron is not a princess, even though she once dreamed of being one. After all, she grew up as a playmate to royal princes, running through the halls of Perrigwynn Palace and dining with the queen. But the day she stumbled upon a royal secret, everything changed.

Flash forward eighteen years, and Daffy’s living a sweet, non-royal life. A skilled art curator for the Royal Trust, she has friends, a flat in the heart of the city, and a handsome, successful fiancée. The last person on her mind is Gus, a prince she once called her best mate.

HRH Prince Augustus is no longer “Prince Pudgy,” as caricaturized by the press, he’s charming and gorgeous, possessing a world-famous smile. But when he’s jilted at the altar by an American heiress as millions of people around the world watched, the spare heir to Lauchtenland’s ancient House of Blue escapes, finding solace on a Florida beach.

A year as a regular bloke allows him to rethink his purpose. He’s half decided his calling is to pour pints at a tiki bar, rather than serving his country and the Family.

Until an accident on the beach with a Frisbee changes his course.

Despite his long hair and beard, Daffy recognizes her prince, and their childhood friendship is renewed. She assures Gus Lauchtenland needs him, giving him the courage to return home.

When Daffy and Gus find themselves on assignment to Hadsby Castle in preparation for his brother’s wedding, their friendship blooms into affection.

But Gus cannot, will not, trust his heart again. Daffy’s engaged. And she also remains a royal family outcast because she knows the Queen’s secret.

When affection grows into love and secrets are exposed, trust is destroyed. Gus must choose which is stronger: the lies of his past or the hope of his future. And Daffy must face every fear to prove she will forever love a prince.

“Another compelling royal story by the master of princely tales!”  Susan May Warren, USA Today best selling, RITA award-winning novelist.

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

More from Rachel

Hello Royal Rockstar Readers!

I’m thrilled to share To Love A Prince with you. So many of you who loved the Royal Wedding Series have asked for more royals so as I noodled over new story ideas, my thoughts drifted toward princes and princesses. What’s more romantic than a royal wedding?

This royal story, the first book in a new series, True Blue Royal, is set in a new fictional country, Lauchtenland, in the North Sea. I’m really squeezing all those oil wells currently occupying that body of water.

The beauty of royal stories is they remind us of who we really are: princes and princesses. There is always a point in the story where the royal character, as well as the commoner, must come to grips with his and her true identity! Who God says we are!

Stories are a powerful reflection of life and it’s fun to insert ourselves into the tale. While fiction employs a lot of hyperbole we can find ourselves on the page somewhere, somehow.

Thanks for going on this little tour with me and To Love A Prince. You are so vital to my story as an author. Thank you!



My Thoughts

For those who love romantic tales with princes and princesses, this story is for you!  I loved the characters in this book and was engaged in Daffy and Gus’s tale from the very beginning.  Rachel Hauck is a true storyteller as she weaves together interesting plots, fun dialogue, and romance in a wonderful way.  I was easily engrossed in the story and could not put the book down.  The spiritual aspect of the story was unique.  I enjoyed the book and look forward to more in the series!

I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the Hauck House and Celebrate Lit Tours.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Blog Stops

Worthy2Read, September 10

Captive Dreams Windows, September 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 10

Genesis 5020, September 10

Novels Corner, September 10

Connect in Fiction, September 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11

deb’s Book Review, September 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 11

Remembrancy, September 12

Breny and books, September 12

Texas Book-aholic, September 12

Inklings and notions, September 12

For Him and My Family, September 13

Artistic Nobody, September 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 13

The Book Chic Blog, September 13

Among the Reads, September 14

Soulfully Romantic, September 14

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 15

lakesidelivingsite, September 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 15

Betti Mace, September 16

Where Faith and Books Meet, September 16

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 16

Blossoms and Blesssings, September 16

She Lives To Read, September 17

Wishful Endings, September 17

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 17

Life of Literature, September 17

Life, Love, Writing, September 17

Book Love, September 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Maureen Timerman, September 18

Batya’s Bits, September 18

Labor Not in Vain, September 18

Bigreadersite, September 19

Hallie Reads, September 19

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 19

Splashes of Joy, September 19

Christian Bookaholic, September 20

Musings of A Sassy Bookish Mama, September 20

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 20

Inside the Wong Mind, September 21

By The Book, September 21

Mary Hake, September 21

Godly Book Reviews, September 21

Hebrews 12 Endurance, September 22

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, September 22

Livin’ Lit, September 22

Writing from the Heart Land, September 22

Simple Harvest Reads, September 23 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mamma Loves Books, September 23

Daysong Reflections, September 23

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, September 23


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a royal gift box of Pampering Princess items that includes bath balms, tea, tiara and other surprises!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna M. White

Zivon Marin is forced to flee Russia for England after the October Revolution uproots his job as cryptographer and tears apart his family.  When he and his brother are involved in a train crash as they travel across Europe, he is desperate for word that his brother is still alive.  He focuses his attention on serving the code breakers in England, hoping that his efforts will help to end the war.  Lily Blackwell is a talented photographer and is excited when her father helps her get a job working secretly to assist the British code breakers and intelligence agency.  When she meets Zivon, she is drawn to his quite intelligence and they form a friendship.  However, Zivon’s loyalties are soon called into question and Lily has to determine if she can trust him with her heart.

I have really enjoyed this series!  This third book once again has great characters that draw you into their story with ease.  I liked Zivon and Lily and enjoyed their intelligent conversations and their keen observations of each other and their environment around them.  I loved the descriptions of Lily’s photography as well! The secondary characters are equally engaging and I enjoyed reading their convictions and story.  I loved the author’s attention to detail, especially the history woven throughout the novel.  I really learned a lot about the time period and different parts of the war! I also found myself relating to the spiritual truths and struggles in the book.  This novel can be read as a standalone but the entire series is definitely worth a read!  I’m a little sad to see it end.  I have really enjoyed getting to know more about a unique set of individuals from World War I.  I definitely recommend this book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Celebrate Lit Tour – The Black Midnight by Kathleen Y’Barbo

The Black Midnight FB Banner

About the Book

Book: The Black Midnight

Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo

Genre: Christian Historical Suspense

Release Date: August 1, 2020

The Black Midnight

Death Seems to Follow Harriet’s New Friend

Book 7 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Three years before Jack the Ripper began his murderous spree on the streets of London, women were dying in their beds as The Midnight Assassin terrorized the citizens of Austin, Texas. Now, with suspicion falling on Her Majesty’s family and Scotland Yard at a loss as to who the Ripper might be, Queen Victoria summons her great-granddaughter, Alice Anne von Wettin, a former Pinkerton agent who worked the unsolved Austin case, and orders her to discreetly form a team to look into the London matter.

The prospect of a second chance to work with Annie just might entice Isaiah Joplin out of his comfortable life as an Austin lawyer. If his theories are right, they’ll find the The Midnight Assassin and, by default, the Ripper. If they’re wrong, he and Annie are in a bigger mess than the one the feisty female left behind when she departed Austin under cover of darkness three years ago.

Can the unlikely pair find the truth of who is behind the murders before they are drawn into the killer’s deadly game? From Texas to London, the story navigates the fine line between truth and fiction as Annie and Isaiah ultimately find the hunters have become the hunted.

About the Author


Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of more than sixty novels with almost two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad.

More from Kathleen Y’Barbo

I am a tenth generation Texan, but London has held a place in my heart for over ten years. You see, I have a son who has lived there for more than a decade. Thanks to him and his family of three—my granddaughter was born there on New Year’s Eve 2019—the city will always be special to me. There is absolutely nothing like walking those streets with a thousand years of history close enough to touch.

It was on a walk with my son through this great city that the stories of nineteenth century London came alive. With fog shrouding the rooftops of buildings that were hundreds of years old and our footsteps echoing on the cobblestones, I could imagine a time when lack of electricity and CCTV would make this place less than charming on a dark night. What reminded me of my favorite childhood movie, Mary Poppins, quickly became more reminiscent of Jack the Ripper. And then a story was born.

Only I just had half the story.

The other half came to me several years later when I stumbled across an article in Texas Monthlymagazine about a serial killer who rampaged through Austin, Texas in 1884 and 1885 and was never caught. Some surmised this madman, called “The Midnight Assassin” by some, might have been Jack the Ripper honing his skills before he crossed the Atlantic to begin his famous crime spree in Great Britain.

But Austin? Ironically, my other two sons lived in Austin. So while part of my heart was in London, two more parts of that same heart resided in the Texas capital. I thought I knew Austin inside out. Between one of my sons getting not one but two degrees from the University of Texas (this Aggie grad is still proud of him in spite of what I jokingly call his burnt orange rebellion) and my other son living there and managing a restaurant at the time (and who just graduated from Texas A&M Galveston last month!), I had spent many years in the city. And yet I had never heard of the Midnight Assassin.

Research turned up a tale that sounds so close to fiction I had to write about it. Discovering the theory that the Austin killer might also be the Ripper just added to my interest—neither had been caught. And I like to write about Pinkerton detectives.

From there the story unfolded. If you’ve read any of my historical romances, you know that I love incorporating actual history into my stories. As you’ll see when you read The Black Midnight, this book is no exception. While I will continue writing the historical romances I love to bring to you, I will confess that writing this book has me itching to research another one like it.

What’s next in my foray into true crime novels? Maybe Houston. You see, I have a daughter who lives there…

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy reading The Black Midnight as much as I enjoyed writing it!

My Thoughts

The True Colors series has been so creative!  This particular book allows us a fictional perspective on the true murders in Austin, Texas, and London often thought to be committed by Jack The Ripper.  I liked that the author first introduced the characters in 1889 during their reunion before jumping back four years to Texas to detail their initial friendship and first set of crimes that they worked on together.  I was momentarily confused by the timeline, but once I understand where she was going, it was the perfect way to get to know the characters before once again jumping forward four years to London to read about them once again trying to solve the murders.  I liked the settings in both Austin and London and enjoyed reading about the crime solving skills of English Pinkerton detectives.  The plot held my attention with its multiple murders and suspicions of who the real murderer might be.  I thought the ending wrapped up a bit too quickly for my taste, which meant the climax felt a bit rushed, but nonetheless, I overall enjoyed this story and thought it a great addition to a wonderful series.  I recommend this book for those who enjoy historical fiction based on true events, and those who don’t mind a bit of murder and mystery in their stories!I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the Barbour Publishing and Celebrate Lit Tours.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 27

Genesis 5020, August 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 27

Inklings and notions, August 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 28

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 28

Older & Smarter?, August 29

Texas Book-aholic, August 29

Artistic Nobody, August 29 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For the Love of Literature, August 30

Connie’s History Classroom, August 30

For Him and My Family, August 31

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, August 31

Betti Mace, September 1

Robin’s Nest, September 1

Bigreadersite, September 1

deb’s Book Review, September 2

Splashes of Joy, September 2

Just Your Average reviews, September 2

Rebecca Tews, September 3

Just the Write Escape, September 3

Emily Yager, September 3

Christian Bookaholic, September 4

reviewingbooksplusmore, September 4

KarenSueHadley, September 4

Remembrancy, September 5

Through the Fire Blogs, September 5

21st Century Keeper at Home, September 6

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 6

Blogging With Carol, September 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 7

Life of Literature, September 7

Mary Hake, September 7

Godly Book Reviews, September 8

Back Porch Reads, September 8

Daysong Reflections, September 8

Pause for Tales, September 9

Blossoms and Blessings, September 9

Hallie Reads, September 9

And now… A giveaway!

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Thanks for stopping by!

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

Ivy Rose feels like her life is untangling at every side, so when her grandmother dies, she takes the opportunity to reset and recharge by returning home to oversee the estate sale. Ivy has always been curious about her adoption and is hoping that her grandmother left clues to her past among her belongings.  She enlists the help of her childhood friend, Reese, in seeking answers.  Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned infant along the road and immediately feels a connection to the child.  Despite his homelessness, Harvey is determined to give the infant the best life he can manage.  As a job opportunity entwines him in the lives of two people seeking help, he decides to risk everything to form a connection for the benefit of the little baby he has grown to love.

I loved this debut novel! Oh my goodness!  The book made me feel so many emotions I’m still having trouble catching my breath days after I’ve closed the last page.  Amanda Cox’s writing style is powerful and flawless, creating a story that easily pulled me in from the very first page (I’m not ashamed to admit I cried in the first chapter!).  I had a really hard time putting the book down as I was drawn into the story and wanted to read more about the characters—I developed very real emotions over these fictional people!  I think I stayed up much too late one night to finish the book.  This story is packed full of such great messages including adoption, homelessness, suicide, abuse, PTSD, depression, grief, childlessness, depending on God, being loved by God, and the sense of belonging both in family and in society.  I loved the spiritual themes that I could apply to my own life.  The connections across the split time narrative were such a joy to read.  I can tell the author poured her heart into writing this book and I am so appreciative of the incredible story.  I think I could write pages and pages about what I loved about this book, but to quickly summarize—it has become one of my favorite reads this year and I cannot recommend it enough!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Until I Met You by Tari Faris

Libby Kingsley is thrilled when she becomes the new librarian in the small town of Heritage, Michigan, but when she sees that the library is small and outdated, she is determined to revamp the building and create a new and cozy place to read. However, the architect, Austin Williams, has a poor history with the town and does not wish to integrate himself further by working with Libby, instead wanting to focus on his job redoing the town square and then quickly leave Heritage.  But Libby’s persistence begins to wear him down bit by bit, and soon he finds that Libby’s determination may also break down the walls of his heart.

We once again return to the charming town of Heritage, Michigan, to follow the story of Libby and Austin.  I liked the references to previous characters that we met in the first book in the series, You Belong With Me, and the prequel novella, P.S. Goodbye.  However, this book can also be read as a stand-alone novel.  Libby and Austin don’t like each other much at first and their spirited banter adds some dimension and humor to the book.  I liked the growth of Libby and Austin both individually and in their relationship as the novel progressed.  There was also a focus on repairing a relationship between brothers that was great to read.  There are wonderful spiritual messages woven in the story.  I particularly loved the theme of forgiveness.  The book is well written and an enjoyable read.  I recommend it to those who like contemporary fiction romances!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Almost a Bride by Jody Hedlund

Kate Millington leaves a destitute situation in England to join a bride ship in hopes of finding a husband in British Columbia.  She has no difficulty finding several interested men, but Kate has trouble staying engaged, doubting the intentions of the men as wedding days draw near. She is surprised to encounter an old childhood friend of her brother’s, Zeke Hart, in the remote mining town of Williamsville.  Zeke has struck gold and made a comfortable life for himself, causing him to begin to think about marriage and a family.  He admires his friend’s little sister, Kate, but he worries that he may not be enough for her.  As tragedy hits their small town, Zeke and Kate begin to question what is truly important in their lives.

I was excited to read this final book in the Bride Ship Series as we were introduced to Zeke in book three.  I enjoyed the banter and easy friendship of Zeke and Kate as they are reintroduced after years apart, their previous friendship allowing for them to quickly establish a deeper relationship.  However, I do not think I connected with Kate and Zeke as much as I did the main characters in the other books in this series, perhaps because I did not like some early aspects of their romance, but I do think it allowed for growth in both characters in the book.  I loved Mr. Peabody and some of the secondary characters.  I also liked the element of mystery to the novel and had trouble guessing the villain until the end.  The history is fascinating and well researched as well.  The book is overall well written and a good addition to the series. I recommend it to those who love historical romance.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.