A Proposal to Die For: A Lady Alkmene Callender Cozy Mystery by Vivian Conroy (review)

aproposaltodiefor_conroy_carinaThe Lady Alkmene Cozy Mystery series, of which A Proposal to Die For is the first, are exactly what one expects (being cozy, a mystery, and starring Lady Alkmene) and even better, what one hopes for.  A slightly unconventional heroine, a hero with both a soft spot and a bit of edge, an intriguing mystery, and a bit of 1920’s high-jinks.   Continue reading


Madame Zero by Sarah Hall (review)

madamezero_hall_wmmorrowIn nine stories of various lengths, Sarah Hall takes the reader into the world of nine very different scenarios.  These are nine stories that in some ways are vastly different, as we experience different narrative voices and different situations, even different time periods, and in “Later, His Ghost” (possibly my favorite) to a new definition of ‘windswept.’  In other ways Continue reading

First Line Friday: A Rebel Heart

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.hoarding-books-button

Before I introduce today’s featured novel, a quick note regarding last week’s The Daisy Children by Sophia Grant (out 8/7/18 from William Morrow, won in a GoodReads giveaway – gotta mention it, federal rules and all):  I know about the trousers! They are not Katie’s and the way in which they are ridiculous is not their appearance.  I’ll be reviewing The Daisy Children very soon.

Now, on to this week’s selection: A Rebel Heart by Beth White,the first book in the new Daughtry House series.  Beth White has been a favorite author since I first read The Pelican Bride after impulsively ordering it from Book Outlet.  Luckily there weren’t many holds on the library’s e-book of A Rebel Heart, so I’m hoping to read it this month.

The main story is set in 1870, five years after the end of the American Civil War.  The prologue of A Rebel Heart, however, is set several years earlier.  Here is the prologue’s first line:

Continue reading

Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne (review)

killthefarmboy_dawsonhearne_delreyOkay, I admit it.  Reference The Princess Bride and you have my attention.  Tell me that it’s going to give a new spin on fairytales, fantasy, and be reminiscent of quite a few other authors, films and books and I am totally in.  Except, maybe not for a full length novel.  Maybe a novella, or better yet a short story.  Lesson learned (one hopes) – sample chapters exist for a reason. Continue reading

The Road to Magnolia Glen by Pam Hillman (review)

theroadtomagnoliaglen_hillman_tyndaleThe Road to Magnolia Glen has been one of my most anticipated reads for 2018 since I read Pam Hillman’s first Natchez Trace novel, The Promise of Breeze Hill, last year. I’ve been waiting to meet another of the O’Shea brothers and curious to see who his love interest would be.

Whatever happened, God had used Connor’s banishment to the colonies for good.

And Quinn would be forever grateful for that. (p.141)

Quinn O’Shea turns out to be quite a bit like his older brother, Connor, though at the start he would resent that being said.  Determined to take care of their youngest brother, to make his way in the world, and to avoid entanglements with any troublesome young ladies, Quinn is unable to stop himself from giving assistance when Kiera Young and her sisters meet with trouble.

Slowly his desire to abdicate responsibility for his brothers, Kiera, and her sisters to someone else was melting away, and he was like molten steel in her hands, ready and willing to be shaped into the kind of man that would stand by her side. (p.235)

Kiera Young is also determined.  Determined to take care of her younger sisters by accepting the marriage she believes was arranged for her.  But when a villainous character makes his reappearance as her supposed fiancé, she finds herself in need of rescue as she prepares to sacrifice herself to ensure the safety of her sisters.

Quinn made her feel cherished.  He made her want to depend on him.  Ad she didn’t want to be dependent on any man ever again. (p.236)

The O’Shea’s can’t help but be heroic, though the ladies they assist are not without pluck and resolve.  And as in the first book, it is not just an O’Shea coming to the rescue, but a community.

This is a wonderful return to the dangerous Natchez Trace of the late 18th century and Breeze Hill Plantation.  Though not quite as immersive than the first, this is a story brimming with history, adventure, danger, faith and romance.

Definitely a novel to read (and anticipate reading the next) for those who enjoy well crafted Historical Romance that sweeps you into another time and place.  Highly recommended.

The Road to Magnolia Glen by Pam Hillman (Natchez Trace #2) | Tyndale House, June 2018 | paperback, 448 pages

This review refers to a free finished copy I received courtesy of the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.

From the Publisher:

1792, Natchez Trace, MS

Bitter since his eldest brother abandoned their family in Ireland, Quinn O’Shea travels to Natchez, Mississippi, ready to shuck the weight of his duty and set off on an adventure of his own. It’s time Connor, as head of the family, took responsibility for their younger siblings. While aboard ship, a run-in with three Irish sisters lands Quinn in the role of reluctant savior. Though it may delay his plans, he cannot abandon the Young sisters, especially the tenacious yet kind Kiera.

Upon arriving in the colonies, Kiera Young prepares to meet her intended and begin her new life. But she soon discovers the marriage her brother-in-law arranged was never meant to be, and a far more sinister deal was negotiated for her and her sisters.

Quinn offers to escort his charges safely to Breeze Hill Plantation and his brother’s care, fully intending to seek his freedom elsewhere. But the longer he remains, the greater his feelings toward Kiera grow and the more he comes to realize true freedom might be found in sacrifice.

Kingdom Files: Who is Jesus? by Matt Koceich (review)

whoisjesus_koceich_barbourOne of a series of Kingdom Files biographies being released in August 2018, Who is Jesus? is a solid, biblically-based biography written in an approachable style for young readers.  In a “Dear Reading Detective” note at the beginning of the book, the author does a great job of setting up the reader to understand the intended purpose behind the different features of the book. Continue reading