Saturday, July 22, 2017

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island : Maude's Moor

GIVEAWAY
PAGELS, CARRIE FANCETT
MY HEART BELONGS ON MACKINAC ISLAND : MAUDE'S MOOR

A tangled romance forms at Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel

Although the Winds of Mackinac Inn has been in her mother's family for generations, Maude Welling's father refuses to let her run it without the guidance of a husband. So she seeks to prove her worth and independence by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel. While undercover journalist Ben Steffan pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel, he becomes attracted to an intriguing mad. By an act of heroism Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders -- including Maude -- and he digs deep for his story. But when scandal threatens, will their love be able to survive the truth?

Journey now to Mackinac Island of 1895, where individual quests are interrupted by a chance meeting.

My Review:

A sweet romance set on Mackinac Island -- what a great locale for a summer read! I've had a fascination for this spectacular vacation spot for years and admit to googling images as I was reading. Pagels creates the ambiance of island life and I loved the close-knit community that always had Maude's well-being at heart. Lots of busy bodies -- especially since she's related to half the islanders!

She's spunky -- not about to allow being jilted to define her future. She's more mad than heartbroken and sets about trying to eke out her future on her own terms. I didn't always understand or agree with her decisions but I give her high marks for sheer determination.

I admit to having a problem with Ben's elaborate deception -- especially when he knows his actions will have a detrimental effect on the young woman he is beginning to have feelings for. It seems everyone harbors secrets in this idyllic setting and Ben is close to exposing them all.

A complicated love story unfolds on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Book provided courtesy of the author.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island, leave a commet below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday July 23 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Friday, July 21, 2017

An Amish Courtship

GIVEAWAY
DREXLER, JAN
AN AMISH COURTSHIP

Amish Redemption

Samuel Lapp all but accepts his estrangement from the Amish community -- until Mary Hochstetter moves in next door to care for her elderly aunt. The young woman with the pretty brown eyes sees Samuel differently than his neighbors do. If he can earn her respect while helping with her aunt's chores, perhaps the rest of the community will follow. But Samuel can't let Mary get too close, lest he disappoint her, as well.

Mary's relocation to Shipshewana, Indiana means confronting her deepest fears. By helping Samuel rebuild his life and his farm, she finally feels ready to embrace her future. But as their delicate friendship grows deeper, they both must overcome their painful pasts before they can build a home together.

My Review:

Sometimes a romance reader loves the challenge a reclusive, grumpy, close-to-broken-down hero brings to a novel. Samuel's story is poignant and funny and heart-wrenching. And the way some characters treated him made my blood boil! Emotionally engaged doesn't begin to describe the way An Amish Courtship hit me. Samuel has all but given up the fight to prove his worth in a community bent on judging him by his father's actions. And then Mary moves to Shipshewana.

And even though she's burdened by a horrific secret, she finds herself drawn to Aunt Sadie's taciturn neighbour. The fresh perspective Mary brings both captivates and terrifies Samuel. The truths he has grown up with suddenly shift and, as a result, he's challenged to rethink his future. And he begins to think Mary belongs in it.

A stupendous historical romance filled with heart and faith and a hard-earned happily ever after.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of An Amish Courtship, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to your subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday July 23 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

On Love`s Gentle Shore

GIVEAWAY
JOHNSON, LIZ
ON LOVE`S GENTLE SHORE

Natalie O`Ryan had no plans to return to Prince Edward Island. But when her fiancé books their wedding in her hometown and schedules a summer at Red Door Inn, she sets out to plan the perfect wedding. Yet she can`t possibly plan for a run-in with Justin Kane -- the best friend she left behind all those years ago after promising to stay.

Justin has never forgotten Natalie. He`d been prepared to follow her off the island until tragedy struck, leaving him to run the family dairy farm. He`s done the best he can with the life that was thrust upon him -- but with Natalie back in the picture, he begins to realize just how much joy he`s been missing.

After Natalie`s reception venue falls through she must scramble to find an alternative, and the only option seems to be a barn on Justin`s property. As they work together to get the dilapidated building ready for the party, Natalie and Justin may discover that there is more between them than broken promises and old friendship.

My Review:

True confession: I really don't like love triangle romances. And I really, really don't like it when either the hero or heroine is engaged to one person while developing a relationship with someone else. So I hesitated reading On Love's Gentle Shore since Natalie is engaged and is getting married in her hometown where her first love just happens to still live.

Angst Alert!

But, here's the thing -- I adore this series and I trust Liz Johnson to deliver an impactful story so...I took a deep breath and dived in...and loved every emotionally gut-wrenching minute. (Not to mention the Prince Edward Island location softens the blow somewhat.)

Johnson has such an exquisite way with words that she lulls me into a reading stupor even in the gnarly parts. Like this: "Russell's words hung out there like underclothes on the line, too embarrassing to take down after someone else pinned them up for the whole town to see." (p.40) I mean, if you're going to read a tumultuous story you might as well enjoy the prose!

Natalie and Justin reunite after fifteen years of misunderstandings and bitterness. They were seventeen when their respective worlds shattered and acted with as much immaturity as you'd expect teenagers to. I had to keep reminding myself of that as the story unfolded. Especially where Natalie was concerned.

She might have fled the island but the emotional damage she endured as a child stayed with her. She just buried the hurt and uncertainty under a polished facade. Her life is a charade and it starts to unravel the second she sets foot on the island. Justin has allowed bitterness to take hold of his heart. Resentment and anger surface when he lays eyes on Natalie for the first time since they were kids. These two have a lot to work through before they can finally be free to see hope in their future.

Painful and thought-provoking and uplifting. This isn't just an exceptional love story -- it's a cautionary tale on the power words play in our lives. Both words spoken to us and by us. On Love's Gentle Shore would make an excellent book club read because of the depth of discussion starting points.

Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Ltd.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to read a copy of On love's Gentle Shore, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday July 23 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Name Unknown

GIVEAWAY
WHITE, ROSEANNA M.
A NAME UNKNOWN

She's out to steal his name. Will he steal her heart instead?

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins who helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets -- instead they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary is beginning to question whether she can continue in this life when she's offered the challenge of a lifetime -- determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. After all how does one steal a family's history, their very name?

As Europe moves ever close to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can't help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown -- so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstep pretending to be a well-credentialed historian, Peter believes she's the right person to help him dig through his family's past.

When danger and suspicion continue to mount, both realize they're in a race against time to discover the truth -- about Peter's past and about the undeniably attraction kindling between them.

My Review:

Clever concept brilliantly executed and I'm in a euphoric tizzy because this is the first in a new series. A kind of Dickens meets Austen with a healthy dose of Downton Abbey thrown in.

Rosemary is such a complex character. Charming and intelligent and fiercely dedicated to her self-made family of orphans picked off the London streets. As a child she survived by her prowess as a pickpocket; as an adult she's graduated to more refined thievery. She's a chameleon who can fit in anywhere so it isn't a stretch for her to take on the persona of a historical librarian. Squeeeallll. Yes, I said librarian. I do so love stories that glorify my chosen profession. :-)

Dear, sweet Peter is an atypical hero and I so love that about him. I'll let you discover his eccentricities for yourself, but though his demeanor might not always show it, he possesses a warrior's heart. Peter looks for the good in everyone, even though his German name is causing unfounded prejudice in his Cornish village. Cue the political intrigue and the reason Rosemary enters his household under false pretenses.

I'm still swooning over the snappy dialogue -- especially when Rosemary gets her Cockney dander up. Hysterical. She's an enigma that Peter can't quite grasp. She finds his mysterious ways  at odds with his gentle kindness. No matter how hard she digs, Rosemary can't find any dirt on Peter...until she discovers the most astonishing secret of all!

The dynamics between these two are sublime. Especially as Peter gently leads Rosemary to Christ in the touching inspirational thread that weaves its way through the story. This book has it all -- romance, humour, intrigue and the wonder of new found faith.

Book provided courtesy of Bakers Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of A Name Unknown, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you leave your email in your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday July 23 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Plain Retributiion

GIVEAWAY
LYNN, DANA R.
PLAIN RETRIBUTION

Amish Abduction

Ten years ago while on rumspringa, Rebecca Miller and her friends were kidnapped and held captive...and now, living in the English world, she's nearly abducted again. One by one her friends, who once helped send their abductor again. One by one her friends who once helped send their abductor to jail are targeted, and she is next...unless police officer Miles Olsen can stop a killer. Deaf since birth, the only person on the force that Rebecca can communicate with is Miles, and he needs this case to redeem himself of past mistakes. When the relentless killer tracks them deep into the heart of Amish country, protecting Rebecca must be Miles's sole focus. Because a mistake this time will cost something worth more to him than his job -- the woman he's falling for.

Amish Country Justice: Protected in Plain sight.

My Review:

Phew! I'm still breathless from the page-turning ending to this gripping suspense. Talk about a white-knuckled read! My poor book is a little worse for wear after the reckless way I raced through it. Compelling doesn't begin to cover it.

First off -- loved the insights the author shares about the Deaf community and ASL. Some things I knew and some I didn't and Lynn does an excellent job of portraying the many facets that make up Rebecca. The author really got under her skin and helped me see the world through Rebecca's unique perspective. Particularly how she could feel a part of something but left out at the same time. This heroine has an inner core of strength that has helped her carry on after the devastating abduction she endured as a teen. And she has to face a whole lot more as the past catches up to her.

Miles is determined to serve and protect and that means viewing Rebecca as a victim instead of the captivating woman he can't seem to resist. Romantic tension in spades! But dodging a ruthless killer while trying to figure out who he is takes precedence over love...until it's nearly too late. A thrilling story with a light Amish flavour.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Plain Retribution, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday July 23 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Dark Deception

GIVEAWAY
MEHL, NANCY
DARK DECEPTION

Kate O'Brien's quiet life in  small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas, is shaken when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Only Kate survived, and she's been in witness protection ever since.

When new evidence arises to suggest the convicted man wasn't the murder, she's subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Afraid to go back into that world, Kate only agrees if Tony DeLuca, the deputy Marshal who protected her during the original trial, escorts her to St. Louis.

Tony readily takes on the assignment; Kate's beauty and inner strength made more of an impression on him than he expected. But when Kate's safety is threatened, Tony must race against the clock to keep her alive and put this ugly case to rest before anyone else gets killed.

My Review:

A nail-biting thriller that kept me riveted (and checking my windows and doors to make sure they were locked!) The intricate plot includes some fascinating police procedurals that had me puzzling over clues right along with law enforcement. Mehl masterfully pulls all the pieces together at a tantalizing pace -- not too fast, not too slow. There's plenty of time to ponder and figure things out while looking askance at something a character says or jumping out of your skin when the hero or heroine gets that edgy feeling. I was on tenterhooks the whole read!

Kate's personal journey really made an impact on me. She has been through something so horrendous it's hard to grasp and she's done an admirable job of getting on with her life - battling the darkness by holding it at bay. It isn't until she reconnects with Tony that she discovers burying the past isn't the same as getting through it. What results is an astounding faith journey that brings her peace at last.

A compelling addition to the Defenders of Justice series. This is Book Two in the series but reads easily as a standalone. Looking forward to the release of Blind Betrayal next spring.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Dark Deception, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday July 23 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

July Giveaway - Week Three


WON BY MARIAN BAAY

WON BY MINDY

WON BY SUSAN P.

WON BY PAULA

WON BY CC

WON BY CARYL KANE
As always, I will contact the winners by email, however, thanks to the nefarious ways of the Internet, my email might land in your spam folder so keep your eyes peeled! If you haven't heard from me by Monday evening, please email me your snail mail address at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. From time to time a winner and I don't seem to connect so I have a month time frame. If I can't reach you within four weeks your win will be forfeited.