Book Review: ‘Silent Shadows’ (Harbored Secrets) by Natalie Walters

Pecca Gallegos moved to the tiny town of Walton, Georgia, to protect her son and escape the dangerous lifestyle that once defined her. When a series of strange circumstances evolve into threats, Pecca finds herself confiding in an unlikely ally–her stubborn patient.

Army veteran Colton Crawford is desperate to recover from the undiagnosed disorder that is ruining his life, and his instincts are on high alert when threats against his nurse and her son force him to take action. But Colton’s involvement only ramps up the danger when he uncovers a family secret revealing that whoever is after Pecca is closer–and more deadly–than they realized.

With this suspenseful new story, Natalie Walters welcomes you once more to Walton, Georgia, where everyone knows your name–but no one knows your secret.

My world revolves around GIJOE and our three adult (or almost adult) children who keep my life anything but predictable. Our boots hit the ground wherever the Army sends us but home is when we’re all together no matter the zipcode. My passion is writing stories where adventure meets love and share my belief that life rooted in purpose is a story worth telling. (less)

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘Even Lazarus had to die before the Lord could do his work.’

Natalie Walters’ debut novel, the first in her Harbored Secrets series was wonderful and I was happy to have found a new author to read. Book two was good and further cemented my decision to follow Walters. With the finale to the series, she has done her best work ever! This was the perfect ending! She has crafted wonderful characters, a great plot and the best cast of secondary characters a reader could want. Highly recommended.

*My thanks to Revell Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions in this review are my very own.

Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: March 31, 2020

Book Review: ‘The Blue Cloak’ (True Colors) by Shannon McNear

Fiction Based on Strange, But True, History
True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through unique stories of historical romantic suspense. Collect them all and be inspired by the hope that always finds its way even in the darkest of times.
Based on real events beginning in 1797 — Rachel Taylor lives a rather mundane existence at the way station her family runs along the Wilderness Road in Tennessee. She attends her friend’s wedding only to watch it dissolve in horror has the groom, Wiley Harpe, and his cousin become murderers on the run, who drag their families along. Declaring a “war on all humanity,” the Harpes won’t be stopped, and Ben Langford is on their trail to see if his own cousin was one of their latest victims. How many will die before peace can return to the frontier?
About Shannon McNear
Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. A Midwestern farm girl who lived in Charleston, South Carolina, for more than two decades before being transplanted to North Dakota, she’s a military wife, mother of 8, and a member of ACFW and RWA. When not cooking, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies.

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘These men–it’s like they ain’t even men. Ain’t got the heart God gave ordinary human beings.’

This series has been good for the most part, but this one is outstanding! Shannon McNear has taken a true crime story and turned it into a read that is both riveting and horrifying at once. Telling the tale of Micajah and Wiley Harpe, often considered the earliest documented serial killers in the United States, she is absolutely fascinating and her research is truly impeccable, with even more for the reader to learn in the afterword.

Beginning in 1797 on the American frontier, these men tore a path of brutality and destruction everywhere they went. McNear doesn’t shy away from recounting their evil deeds, either. Her words are hard to read at times, but truly fascinating to this history buff, who had never heard of the Harpes. She weaves a fictionalized account of Rachel Taylor and Ben Langford into the story, as Ben rides with several posses intent on bringing these true monsters to justice.

This book was incredibly well written and totally held my interest throughout. If you’re a lover of true crime stories, this one is one you definitely should read. Recommended.

*My thanks to Barbour Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion in this review is entirely my own.

Book Review & Giveaway: ‘Before I Called You Mine’ by Nicole Deese

Before I Called You Mine Synopsis
Lauren Bailey may be a romantic at heart, but after a decade of matchmaking schemes gone wrong, there’s only one match she’s committed to now—the one that will make her a mother. Lauren is a dedicated first grade teacher in Idaho, and her love for children has led her to the path of international adoption. To satisfy her adoption agency’s requirements, she gladly agreed to remain single for the foreseeable future; however, just as her long wait comes to an end, Lauren is blindsided by a complication she never saw coming: Joshua Avery.
Joshua may be a substitute teacher by day, but Lauren finds his passion for creating educational technology as fascinating as his antics in the classroom. Though she does her best to downplay the undeniable connection between them, his relentless pursuit of her heart puts her commitment to stay unattached to the test and causes her once-firm conviction to waver.
With an impossible decision looming, Lauren might very well find herself choosing between the two deepest desires of her heart . . . even if saying yes to one means letting go of the other.

Nicole Deese’s eight humorous, heartfelt, and hope-filled novels include the 2017 Carol Award Winning A Season to Love. Her 2018 release, A New Shade of Summer, was a finalist in the RITA Awards, Carol Awards, and Inspy Awards. Both these books are from her best-selling Love in Lenox Series. Her newest contemporary romance, Before I Called You Mine, from Bethany House Publishers has recently received a starred review from Booklist.

When Nicole’s not sorting out characters and plots of her own, she can usually be found reading near a window overlooking the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest (most often while sipping on a sparkling water). She lives in small-town, Idaho with her happily-ever-after hubby, two towering-over-her teen sons, and her princess daughter with the heart of a warrior.

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My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘God’s way is rarely easy, but it’s always better than mine.’

Lauren Bailey is committed to international adoption and has agreed to remain single, per the agency’s requirements. After all, she has had enough failed relationships. But then Joshua Avery shows up as a substitute teacher in the school she teaches at. Lauren doesn’t want to like him, but it surely seems as if God has placed him in her path. Will Lauren before to choose between the very deepest desires of her heart? Would God do that to her?

Nicole Deese once again pulls out all the stops with an emotionally charged novel that had me fighting tears more than once. What a precious and God honoring story. Recommended.

*My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions in this review are my own.

Giveaway Instructions:

Due to postage, giveaway is only open to the 48 contiguous states.
To enter, please leave a blog post comment, including:
Your full name
Your email in a non-spammy formula. For example: susan (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Your entry will not count if you do not follow the instructions. Contest ends Thursday, April 2, 2020. You will be notified via email. If no response within 48 hours, another name will be chosen. Thanks so much!

Praise for Before I Called You Mine

“A Carol Award-winner, as well as a RITA and Inspy nominee for her inspirational romance novels, Deese is also an adoptive parent, which shapes her latest novel. . . . Deese’s involving novel is full of genuine feeling and compelling challenges.”

Booklist starred review

“Nicole Deese will crack your heart wide open with this funny, tender, and brilliant story about a woman who finds herself forced to choose between two great loves. I could not put it down.”

Kara Isaac, RITA Award-winning author of Then There Was You

“Before I Called You Mine is Nicole’s finest work yet. Thoroughly engaging with charming characters you’ll want to call friends, an authentic emotional storyline that will touch every part of your heart, and, as expected, exquisite writing that will leave you captivated long after the book is finished.”

Tammy L. Gray, RITA Award-winning author

“A story about tough sacrifices, impossible choices, and the love that makes it all worthwhile, Before I Called You Mine is a captivating adventure of the heart that will stay with you–and maybe even change you–long after the final page.”

Bethany Turner, award-winning author of Wooing Cadie McCaffrey

“Beautiful, poignant, funny, and romantic–all wrapped into one heartwarming story. Deese knows how to spin a tale that makes you fall in love with the characters and feel like they’re friends. Before I Called You Mine will stay with you long after the last page.”

Christy Barritt, USA Today bestselling author

“With its unique right-love-wrong-timing premise, Before I Called You Mine is a novel that will keep readers ignoring their chores, reaching for their tissue boxes, and sighing with contentment. It’s fresh, soul-stirring, and wi

Book Review: ‘Starfish Pier’ (Hope Harbor) by Irene Hannon

A year ago, ex-Delta Force operator Steven Roark left the rigors of combat behind to run fishing charters in Hope Harbor, decompress, and talk some sense into his kid brother. Business is good–but making peace with his past is more challenging than he expected.

First-grade teacher Holly Miller leads a quiet, low-profile existence–until she’s recruited to advocate for a cause that’s dear to her heart. When she solicits Steven’s assistance, sparks fly–especially after they find themselves on opposite sides of an issue that disrupts their placid seaside community.

As these two seemingly incompatible souls search for common ground, might they discover a deeper connection–and find that love can banish darkness and light the way to a future filled with promise?

Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon invites you back to Hope Harbor–where hearts heal . . . and love blooms.

Irene Hannon, who writes both contemporary romance and romantic suspense, is the author of more than 50 novels. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA awards from Romance Writers of America (the “Oscar” of romance fiction) and she is a member of that organization’s elite Hall of Fame. She has also received a Career Achievement award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work. Other awards for individual books include National Readers’ Choice, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Retailers Choice, Booksellers’ Best, and Reviewers’ Choice from RT Book Reviews. She is also a two-time Christy award finalist.

A former corporate communications executive with a Fortune 500 company, Irene now writes full time. To learn more about Irene and her books, visit

My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘God wouldn’t be interested in the likes of him.’

Irene Hannon once more takes her readers back to the quaint, peaceful, and encouraging town of Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast. I’ve grown to love this place, even if I’m not a beach person. The residents work their way into your heart and you just can’t help but love them. My favorite is Charley, the taco man, who I’m convinced in an angel. Just my opinion.

This time in Hope Harbor, we meet Holly Miller and Steven Roark, both of whom have issues that plague them from time to time. Holly’s is physical, due to a birth defect, and Steven’s is emotional. Along the way, we hear from both the town’s pastor and the priest, who are completely endearing. I want to visit the priest’s meditation garden! Issues arise that have both Holly and Steven in turmoil and they have to search their hearts to determine if they can overcome these deeply felt emotional qualms if they are to even have a chance at a happily ever after.

Irene Hannon is always good. Just good. She delves into her characters’ hearts and gives the readers glimpses of what lies beneath. She also manages to incorporate plot lines of secondary characters into these wonderful Hope Harbor stories. This one’s was precious. Another great read from an author I love. Recommended.

*My thanks to Revell Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion stated here is entirely my own.+

Publication Date: March 31, 2020
Publisher: Revel Publishing

Book Review: ‘The Cowboy’s Secret’ (Wyoming Sweethearts Book 2) by Jill Kemerer

Even a millionaire in disguise can’t hide his true heart.

He’s secretly worth millions of dollars…

But is he worthy of her trust?

Dylan Kingsley has learned to hide his millionaire status from strangers. So it’s no wonder Gabby Stover—his infant niece’s guardian—thinks he’s just another drifter. To prove his worthiness, Dylan takes a job as a ranch hand…and accidentally finds the purpose he’s been seeking his whole life. But could the truth steal Dylan’s chance at a happily-ever-after with Gabby and the baby?
About Jill Kemerer
Jill Kemerer is a Publishers Weekly bestselling, multi-published romance novelist with Harlequin Love Inspired. Her essentials include coffee, M&Ms, a stack of books, her mini-dachshund, and long walks outdoors. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two almost-grown children. For more information, please visit her website,

My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘Cowboys aren’t deadbeats. They’re strong and dedicated and they never quit.’

Jill Kemerer brings us book two in her Wyoming Sweethearts series and it’s so very good. We come to know and cherish two people who have been hurt in the past by those they loved and are scared to step out in faith again and allow love to enter their hearts. And we watch as God touches those hearts and helps them be able to receive love again. There was a section in this book that really ministered to a situation in my life, and truly spoke to me. I’m quite thankful for that. Don’t miss this one, folks. I look forward to more in this series.

*My thanks to the publisher and author for a copy of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Publisher: Love Inspired
Publication Date: March 17, 2020

Book Review: ‘Small Town Girls Don’t Marry Their Best Friends’ (The Beaches of Trumanville Book 3) by Carol Moncado

He’s her best friend.
She’s happy with the way things are.
Too bad everything’s about to change.

Beaches of Trumanville: Book 3

When Tessa Braverman’s best friend, Gray Beach, attended his sister’s royal wedding without her, she insisted he take her to dinner.

Then he tried to turn it into a date.

And things got awkward.

Until her great-grandfather died.

But when the will is read and Tessa discovers what she’ll have to do to keep the family farm, awkward moves to a whole new level – including what might (or might not) have been a proposal from Gray’s brother.

When she suddenly finds herself married to Gray, she’s pretty sure their friendship is over.

Because Small Town Girls Don’t Marry Their Best Friends.

Unless the family farm is on the line.

Then all bets are off.
When she’s not writing about her imaginary friends, Carol Moncado is hanging out with her husband, four kids, and a dog who weighs less than most hard cover books. She prefers watching NCIS to just about anything, except maybe watching Castle. She believes peanut butter M&Ms are the perfect food and Dr. Pepper should come in an IV. When not watching her kids – and the dog – race around her big backyard in Southwest Missouri, she’s teaching American Government at a local community college. She’s a founding member and President of MozArks ACFW, category coordinator for First Impressions, blogger at InspyRomance, and represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Carol Moncado is always a good read. This time she does the best friends turn into a couple trope and it really works well! I enjoyed it very much. I recommend this author so much.

*My thanks to the author for a copy of the book. My review is entirely my own opinion.

Book Review: ‘The Happy Camper’ by Melody Carlson

Home is the place to heal, right? At least, that’s what Dillon Michaels is hoping as she leaves her disappointing career and nonstarter love life behind to help her grieving and aging grandfather on his small Oregon farm. The only problem? Her eccentric mother beat her there and has taken over Dillon’s old room. After a few nights sleeping on a sagging sofa, Dillon is ready to give up, until she receives an unlikely gift–her grandfather’s run-down vintage camp trailer, which she quickly resolves to restore with the help of Jordan Atwood, the handsome owner of the local hardware store.

But just when things are finally beginning to run smoothly, Dillon’s noncommittal ex-boyfriend shows up with roses . . . and a ring.
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus.

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars!

‘Sometimes a life needs to get shaken up…in order to put the pieces together right.’

Dillon Michaels has had enough of her life in Colorado and her unwilling to commit boyfriend. So she heads off to Oregon to help her grandfather out after her grandmother dies. She wasn’t happy with her career, anyway. When she arrives, she finds her eccentric and erratic mother has arrived before her and taken up residence and trying to boss her grandfather around. Dillon pitches in and goes to work, but after a few nights on an old worn out sofa, her grandfather gives her an run down vintage travel camp trailer. She falls in love with it and sets out to restore it, with the help of the town’s hardware store owner, Jordan, who is quite handsome. Then….her bumbling boyfriend shows up wanting to make amends, with flowers and a ring! Ooops!

Melody Carlson has written a delightful tale of quirky characters, some likeable, some not. And the travel trailer portion of the story is precious. So, sit back and be prepared to enter a sweet story.

*My thanks to Revell Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion here is my own.

Book Review: ‘Out of the Embers’ (Mesquite Springs Book One) by Amanda Cabot

Ten years after her parents were killed, Evelyn Radcliffe is once more homeless. The orphanage that was her refuge and later her workplace has burned to the ground, and only she and a young orphan girl have escaped. Convinced this must be related to her parents’ murders, Evelyn flees with the girl to Mesquite Springs in the Texas Hill Country and finds refuge in the home of Wyatt Clark, a talented horse rancher whose plans don’t include a family of his own.

At first, Evelyn is a distraction. But when it becomes clear that trouble has followed her to Mesquite Springs, she becomes a full-blown disruption. Can Wyatt keep her safe from the man who wants her dead? And will his own plans become collateral damage?

Suspenseful and sweetly romantic, Out of the Embers is the first in a new series that invites you to the Texas Hill Country in the 1850s, when the West was wild, the men were noble, and the women were strong.
About Amanda Cabot
With both parents avid readers, it’s no surprise that Amanda Cabot learned to read at an early age. From there it was only a small step to deciding to become a writer. Of course, deciding and becoming are two different things, as she soon discovered. Fortunately for the world, her first attempts at fiction, which included a play for her fifth grade class entitled “All About Thermometers,” were not published, but she did meet her goal of selling a novel by her thirtieth birthday. Since then she’s sold more than thirty-five novels under a variety of pseudonyms. When she’s not writing, Amanda enjoys sewing, cooking and – of course – reading.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Evelyn Radcliffe was sent to an orphanage when her parents were killed. Now the orphanage has been burned down and she is homeless once against n, but this time she is caring for a young orphan girl. Evelyn runs to Mesquite Springs in Texas. There she meets Wyatt Clark, rancher and horse breeder.

Evelyn and Wyatt soon form a bond, but it seems danger has followed her to town and it’s up to Wyatt to protect her.

Amanda Cabot has woven together an intriguing mystery with danger and a sweet romance. All the while, readers are soon endeared to this small Texas town. Recommended.

*My thanks to Revell Reads for a copy of this book. The opinion here is my own.

Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Buy it Here:

Book Review: ‘One Little Lie’ (The Pelican Harbor Series Book 1) by Colleen Coble

It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth in this gripping new romantic suspense. 
Jane Hardy is appointed interim sheriff in Pelican Harbor, Alabama, after her father retires, but there’s no time for an adjustment period. When her father is arrested for theft and then implicated in a recent murder, Jane quickly realizes she’s facing someone out to destroy the only family she has.
After escaping with her father from a cult fifteen years ago, Jane has searched relentlessly for her mother—who refused to leave—ever since. Could someone from that horrible past have found them?
Reid Bechtol is well-known for his documentaries, and his latest project involves covering Jane’s career. Jane has little interest in the attention, but the committee who appointed her loves the idea of the publicity.
Jane finds herself depending on Reid’s calm manner as he follows her around filming, and they begin working together to clear her father. But Reid has his own secrets from the past, and the gulf between them may be impossible to cross—especially once her father’s lie catches up with him.
“Colleen Coble always raises the notch on romantic suspense, and One Little Lie is my favorite yet! The story took me on a wild and wonderful ride.” —Diann Mills, bestselling author 
Full length romantic suspense
Includes discussion questions for book clubs
Part of the Pelican Harbor seriesBook One: One Little Lie
Book Two: Two Reasons to Run (available September 2020)
Book Three: Three Missing Days (available June 2021)
About Colleen Coble
Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 4 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘Faith wasn’t something Jane could wrap her head around. How did you trust something you couldn’t see?’

Jane Hardy fled a cult 15 years ago with her father. Now, living in Pelican Harbor, Alabama, her father has retired as police chief and she has been appointed as his replacement when she is called on to solve a series of vicious murders. But more is going on than these murders.

Reid Dixon films documentaries and is good at what he does. He has come to Pelican Harbor to film the chief of police for a few weeks as she does her job. Jane does not want him to do so, but the mayor does. Reid, however, has some secrets of his own from his past. It all started with one little lie. That lie has the potential to wreak havoc in Jane’s life.

After her father is arrested for theft, Jane is on a mission to prove his innocence while dealing with her own issues.

Colleen Coble has long been a favorite for me, but not since her wonderful Rock Harbor (which I have read several times) series has she done such fine writing! Some of her very best in my opinion. And this is going to be a series! So we have more to look forward to. Coble is at her very best here. I look forward to the next book in Pelican Harbor.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Net Galley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishing
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Buy it Here:

Book Review: ‘Still As Death’ (Juniper Grove Cozy Mystery Book 11) by Karin Kaufman

The 11th book in the Juniper Grove Mystery Series!
Rachel, Julia, and other members of Juniper Grove’s crafts fair committee are enjoying a fun evening at the home of Eve Coleman when the house lights suddenly go out. Two minutes later, finding her way in the dark to the breaker box, Rachel discovers the body of Eve’s husband.
Fortunately for the killer, the Coleman house is just outside Juniper Grove, within the county sheriff’s jurisdiction. Police Chief Gilroy’s investigative hands are tied. When the incompetent sheriff all too willingly jumps to the conclusion that Rachel is the killer, she and Gilroy must join forces to prove her innocence.
With her wedding to Gilroy a mere three weeks away, the last thing Rachel needs on her plate is another murder. But this time it’s dangerously personal. Between planning her wedding, dealing with Julia’s prickly attitude, and dodging the sheriff, Rachel must move heaven and earth to crack the baffling case.
This light, cozy mystery offers a clean read with a female amateur sleuth in a small-town setting. No foul language, sex, gore, or graphic scenes of any kind. It can be read as a standalone, but it will be enjoyed more as part of the series.
Always FREE on Kindle Unlimited.
Book 1: Death of a Dead Man
Book 2: Death of a Scavenger
Book 3: At Death’s Door
Book 4: Death of a Santa
Book 5: Scared to Death
Book 6: Cheating Death
Book 7: Death Trap
Book 8: Death Knell
Book 9: Garden of Death
Book 10: Death of a Professor
Book 11: Still as Death
Book 12: Grim Death (coming soon)
About Karin Kaufman
Karin Kaufman grew up devouring murder mysteries, especially of the cozy kind. Give her a good mystery, a comfy couch, and her sweet dog at her side, and she’s in heaven. She’s the author of the Juniper Grove Cozy Mystery Series, the Smithwell Fairies Cozy Mystery Series, and the Anna Denning Mystery Series. The Witch Tree, the first book in her Anna Denning series, was a finalist for a Grace Award. Karin has also written two children’s books, The Adventures of Geraldine Woolkins and More Adventures of Geraldine Woolkins.

For giveaways, exclusive content, and news on all Karin’s latest releases, sign up for her mailing list at

My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘Murder was an emotional, irrational act, and ordinary sense didn’t enter into it.’

I absolutely love Kaufman’s ‘Juniper Grove’ cozy mystery series. I eagerly await each new offering in this series and could read one every week. This one is no exception and I particularly enjoyed it very much. Rachel and the gang: Julia, Holly, Royce and James Gilroy meet every night to solve crimes committed in the tiny town in Colorado. Rachel herself is a mystery writer and quite good at sleuthing. Well, definitely great because she’s solved every murder ever committed in the town since the series started. I enjoyed this tremendously and now I can’t wait for another! Recommended.