The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy


The Accidental Guardian is the first book in the new High Sierra Sweethearts series by Mary Connealy. The story takes place near Lake Tahoe, Nevada in 1867. This story combines my favorite topics, building America, men who take responsibility for those they love, all with suspense and a touch of romance.

Trace Riley was away on a hunt when his wagon train was attacked. At the age of 15 he was left all alone to survive. Years later he is on his way home from his first cattle drive when he comes upon a small wagon train that was hit the same way his was. What he does not expect to find is Deborah Harkness and her younger sister with 2 small children who survived. With no place for the new survivors to go, until they can travel in the spring, he takes them to his ranch. He gives them the less than perfect house to sleep in and the men sleep in the barn. With a lot of quick, hard work, his ranch hands put up a proper home as well as a bunk house. The women take on the responsibility of meals, laundry, and mending for the men.

Trace watches over the wagon trains for disaster. When he goes to talk with settlements to find those responsible, Deborah insists on going along. She is the only one who saw who the attackers were. One of the attackers is in the town and overhears the conversation with the sheriff and now Deborah and Trace are being hunted.

I loved this story! I look forward to the rest of this series to see who the next two sweethearts are. The things that stand out in this story to me are the way men treat the women, “Most men in the West treated women with almost reverent respect. There were just too few women. They were rare and precious and to be protected above all.” We also see how Deborah’s father has shaped her life and her thoughts of men. And we see how dedicated the ranch hands are to Trace and build up his ranch. This is a must read for anyone who likes historical fiction based in the United States.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House, this is my honest review.

Series: High Sierra Sweethearts (Book 1)

293 pages

ISBN: 9780764219290

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In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson


In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson is book one in the Golden Gate Secrets series. The Coulter family have not heard from their son and brother for three months. He typically sends them letters regularly and this is alarming for the family. The parents have become ill so the younger daughter, Camrainne, goes to San Francisco to search for him. On her travel there she meets two other young ladies also going to San Francisco for various reasons. Kenzie’s fiance has canceled their wedding and Judith is in search of an aunt she never knew. Together the girls work at Kenzie’s uncle chocolate factory, saving money to search for Caleb Coulter.

Caleb is an attorney that represented Patrick for a false murder charge. Shortly after he goes missing. While Camri’s is searching for him, she meets Patrick and his sister and become friends with them. Patrick helps Camri in her search for her brother. He takes a job at a local hotel where men are drugged and women are held again their wishes.

This is a great story that is hard to put down. There are a lot of characters but they are well introduced and easy to follow. The story is so well written it was easy to imagine the tremors the city felt as well as the stench of the run down area of town. In this story we see the change that takes place in Camri as she gets to know the other ladies. She once felt everyone should want an education and it would make a better life for them. Kenzie and Judith help her see that some women just want a husband and a family and that is not wrong. This story also points out the way the Chinese and the Irish were treated and looked down on, even blamed for situations out of their control.

I think anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction will enjoy this story. It is a good clean story that is encouraging and enjoyable to read. The story has adventure and suspense with a touch of romance. Another thing I really enjoy about this series is that the rest of the books will be out this year, so no long wait to read them.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing. This is my honest review.

Series: Golden Gate Secrets (book 1)

316 pages

ISBN: 9780764218996

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Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

9780735289567 (1)

Where the Fire Falls is book 2 in A Vintage National Parks Novel series by Karen Barnett. This story takes place in 1929. Olivia Rutherford has been carry the sins of her father with her for so long. She has changed her name and appearance and is now an artist who is traveling thought Yosemite National Park painting for a travel magazine. Olivia has been sending money to her aunt for the care of her sisters and is trying to make enough to care for them. She is traveling through Yosemite with the help of Clark Johnson, a local guide and a couple her agent has introduced her to. Her paintings have been stolen and she is forced to start over again. Her stolen painting are selling for enormous amounts of money and magazines are printing articles full of lies about Olivia. And now people begin showing up where she is staying and she is in danger.

Clark, a former minister, was falsely accused and released from his duties. He took a job at Yosemite as a guide and is now needing to make the decision to take on the responsibilities of national park ranger.

This is a beautiful story. Through Olivia’s paintings we get to envision the beautiful scenery of Yosemite. The things that stand out for me in this story is how both Olivia’s and Clark’s lives have been affected by the wrongs others have done and how these wrongs have made others view them. This story has adventure, suspense and a touch of romance.

I have really enjoyed reading the stories in this series. I look forward to reading more of them. I think anyone who enjoys reading stories based on the early 1900’s in our country will enjoy this series.

I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook publishing through Blogging for Books, this is my honest review.

Series: A Vintage National Parks Novel (Book 2)

352 pages

ISBN: 9780735289567

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The Innkeepers Daughter by Michelle Griep

224358The Innkeepers Daughter by Michelle Griep is set in Dover England in 1808. This story is full of action and suspense with a touch of romance and lots of twists and turns. Something I typically enjoy. For me, this was a hard story to follow. I felt it had too many characters to keep them all straight. That being said, it is a good story and I especially liked how hard Johanna struggled to keep the family inn going and the family together.

If she cannot pay the bills on time she and her family will end up in the workhouse and separated. Her younger brother hears her commenting if they could get a band to play at the inn, they would have people coming for miles around. He brings home a group of men who supposedly make up a band. He has made a deal with them room and board in exchange for them to play.

Alex is an undercover officer who has been given an assignment to find a traitor. He is to spend time with the Viscount Lord Coburn and marry his daughter Louisa. Louisa plans to run away with another man her father does not approve of. And while staying at the inn, Alex has developed feelings for Johanna.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

320 pages

ISBN: 9781683224358

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The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse


The Mayflower Bride is the first in a new series by Kimberley Woodhouse. This is such a good book. The author has done extensive research to write a Historical Fiction based on the real events of the Mayflower voyage and it’s passengers. The story is so well written you will feel like you are right on the boats with them. The author has written the first 10 pages of the book to explain the story as well as to give meanings of words and list of people mentioned in the story. While this may seem extensive, the reader can jump over these if they wish.

The story starts out in Holland with a group of Separatists who are leaving their country for the New World. The Chapman family is a part of this group. The family recently lost their beloved wife and mother. Mary Elizabeth does not want to leave where her mother is buried.

William Lytton was orphaned young and was raised by an elderly man. He was taught carpentry skills that others are in need of. When the elderly man nears his death, he purchases passage for William. He is also asked to keep records of for the Merchants and Adventurers who provided the passage for many on the ship. The Merchants and Adventurers want to know those they paid passage for are abiding by their agreement.

The voyage is taken too late in the year and the waters are very rough. Many of the passengers get seasick and Mary Elizabeth and her friend spend their time caring for them. William also gets sick, and Mary Elizabeth spends time each day caring for him. While they felt an attraction to each other, since he is not a Separatist, they can have no future.

I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the rest in the series. The thing I like best about this story is how the Separatists would go to such extremes to be allowed to practice their faith. They left their homes and sailed to America to get away from the Church of England. The Chapman family spent almost a months wages to have a Bible of their own. I think anyone who enjoys reading Christian Historical Fiction will enjoy this story. There is suspense with the dangers of the voyage as well as establishing a new community. But there is also friendships and romance.

“I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.”

Series: The Daughters of the Mayflower (Book1)

ISBN: 9781683224198

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My Hearts Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele’s Story by Amanda Barratt

Adele’s Journey, by Amanda Barratt, is a story of the daughter of an English aristocrat who has taken things into her own hands. When the family finds themselves possibly losing their beloved home, Adele goes to America to visit her mother’s brother and his family. Her real reason is to find a wealthy man to marry that will take care of her family and home. She thinks she has found that man in Franklin, but she also meets Drew, a poor man who is doing dangerous acts to bring in the money to care for his handicapped sister.

This is an enjoyable book to read. It takes place in Niagara Falls, New York in 1870. To make even more money, Franklin has hired Drew to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. In this story we see the caring person Drew is. He is willing to lose his life to care for his sister, But we see the manipulating person Adele is. Not only does she take things into her own hands to get what she wants, she puts other people’s lives in danger. When one of her schemes ends up seriously injuring Drew, she takes responsibility and care for him and his sister. While caring for Drew, he asks her to go to church and take notes of the sermons for him. Though this act, Adele’s eye are starting to open.

I enjoyed reading this book. Even though it is a romance story, there is also suspense and adventure to keep the readers attention. This book is very well written with very well defined characters. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction based in the United States.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Series: My Heart Belongs

254 pages

ISBN: 9781683223412

Publisher: Barbour

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Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke


Claire Stewart has joined the French Resistance, helping smuggle French Jewish children across the channel before the Nazis can get to them. Her last trip does not go as planned and she is left alone with the children and no place to go. She decides to take the children to her mother’s estranged sister, Lady Miranda Langford, who lives in England’s Lake District. She does not plan to stay with the children, but the only way her aunt will take them is if she stays. She knows very little of her aunt and quickly learns her aunt lost her husband many years ago and then her son.

Her aunt also agrees to take in German Jewish children and American, David Campbell. While Claire does care for the children, they are not her priority, but rather a responsibility. Despite many advances for attention from the youngest child, Claire does not respond and the child runs away. One night while sitting in a tree in the secret garden Claire notices a light is on in the house after it is suppose to be all dark. She finds the children trying to celebrate their Jewish religion. With David and the local doctor’s help, a Rabbi is located to help the children in their faith.

This is a really good book that will take you back to the time of WWII. The fears those who lived through it was very real. From the sirens that went off to having to have black out curtains and not being outside after a certain time. We also see the danger the civilians faced with escaped prisoners of war who are trying to survive. It is very evident the author did research to make this story as close to reality as possible.

I like how the author wrote in familiar names, such as the children’s author Beatrix Potter and C.S. Lewis. I like how the author shows that they are normal people who reach out to help those seeking help. The author also writes in the normal issues the people faced as well, rationing, shortages, illness and grief. I feel anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction will enjoy this story.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers and this is my honest review.

408 pages

ISBN: 9781496410962

Publisher: Tyndale Fiction

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Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman


Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman is book 2 in the Hidden Justice series. This is one of those books you will not want to put down until you finish it! While part of a series, it is a very good stand alone book as well. The story takes off running and the suspense builds during the story.

Emilie Wesley is an attorney for a women’s resource center. She helps women who want to escape from their abusers. While she is at the court house waiting for Kaylene, to move forward with Kaylene’s restraining order against her husband, things have gone terribly bad at Kaylene’s house. Kaylene is accused of shooting her daughter’s and then herself. This event has totally shaken Emilie and she cannot move on without getting to the bottom of what really happened. She is all consumed with Kaylene’s death and neglects her other client and her reporting job.

Some time before Kaylene’s death, she delivered boxes to her brother’s home and tells him, Reid, not to open them. He opened them after her death to find a letter from her asking him to watch over her daughters should something happen to her and to contact her attorney. Reid and Emilie start working together to find evidence that will hold up in court for Reid to get custody of Kaylene’s surviving daughter.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It is full of action and suspense. While the topic of abused women and children is a tough subject to read about, the author did a great job of not dwelling on that, but rather wrote about the legal issues involved with them getting away. I think anyone who enjoys legal thrillers will enjoy this book. There is just a little romance in the story for the romance readers as well.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers. This is my honest review.

Series: Hidden Justice book 2

334 pages

ISBN: 9780718083489

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

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My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah: Leanna’s Choice by Angie Dicken


This story takes place in 1910 in a small mining town. Greek immigrants have come to the area to earn money to help their families. These miners have to pay a fee to have the job and their chance for promotion is limited. There also is a belief that they do not interact with Americans. When Penelope Pappas become bedridden during her pregnancy her brother-in-law, Alex, asks a young widow to walk his niece and nephew to school and back.
Leanna McKee turned her back on her family and way of life when she married Jack. When Jack gambled their money away, they were forced to leave Boston. They settled in Castle Gate and Jack worked in the mines. Jack lost his life during a mining accident and Leanna turns to teaching to survive. When Alex asks her to help with the children, she sees it as a way to earn money to move on.
When Alex and Leanna’s feelings for each other start to show, they get opposition from Americans and the Pappas. Alex’s father strongly feels that Alex is to only marry a Greek, so he contacts a friend in Greece to arrange a marriage for the friend’s daughter and Alex.
This is a really good story. The author shows us the struggles the Greeks have with fitting into society and the prejudices against them. We also see the strong Greek heritage and pride that keep them from following their hearts. The part in the story that stands out to me is when Alex helped an elderly lady to church and she told him “There are neither Greek nor Jew …: for ye are all one in Christ.’ So the Good Book says.” Another part that stands out is the guilt Leanna has regarding how she treated and felt about her husband before his death.
I think anyone who enjoys reading historical romance stories will enjoy this story. There is romance but there also is suspense and family issues to make this a great story.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Series: My Heart Belongs
253 pages
Publisher: Barbour
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An Unexpected Role by Leslea Wahl


Josie’s mother is a famous author who uses incidents in Josie’s life as inspiration for her book. Her fellow students picked on her about the latest book and Josie felt she needed to get away. She went to visit her Aunt in South Carolina. Josie’s dream of getting away from home and the book vanished when she met a young girl on the island who is her mother’s greatest fan. She also found out one of the students, Ryan, from her school was in the area to play ball for the summer. When Ryan wanted to spend time with Josie, she felt he was just trying to get information that he could send back home about her.

While she was with her Aunt, her mother sent her post cards with Bible verses on them. Those together with the sermons Josie heard at her aunt’s church helped Josie realize she needed to turn toward God in prayer and she needed to have faith that God will help her be who He wants her to be.

An Unexpected Role by Leslea Wahl is a really good book written for teens. This book is full of adventure with the break ins that happened on the island. The “who done it” factor holds the readers attention to the very end. The book also has a little romance. This is a good clean story with great life lesson, I would recommend it for teen girls, but it will be enjoyed by adults as well.

 I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

250 pages

ISBN: 9781632133045

Publisher: eLectio Publishing

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