Book Review: ‘The Runaway Bride’ (The Bride Ships Book 2) by Jody Hedlund

Wealthy Arabella Lawrence flees to British Columbia on a bride ship still wearing the scars of past mistakes. One of the few single women in the boomtown, she immediately has suitors, but she is determined not to find herself trapped again by a poor choice.

Vying for her hand are two very different men. Lieutenant Richard Drummond is a gentleman in the Navy and is held in high esteem. Peter Kelly is the town’s baker and has worked hard to build a thriving business. He and Drummond not only compete for Arabella’s affections, but clash over their views of how the natives should be treated in the midst of a smallpox outbreak.

As Arabella begins to overcome her fears, she discovers someone in dire need–a starving girl abandoned by her tribe. Intent on helping the girl, Arabella leans on Peter’s advice and guidance. Will she have the wisdom to make the right decision or will seeking what’s right cost both her and Peter everything?
About Jody Hedlund
Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Maybe it was time to let the wisdom of God’s Word guide her.’

Jody Hedlund brings us the second book in her Bride Ships series with this one, my favorite so far. Arabella Lawrence, a wealthy young woman, escapes from a forced marriage in England by getting on a bride ship, ships that carried women to marry men they’d never even seen. But anything was better than the brutish and cruel man her father was forcing her to marry. Arabella is determined not to fall prey to such a man on Vancouver Island. There are two men here who would love to marry her. Lt. Drummond, a Navy gentleman who is upstanding and Peter Kelly, the town’s baker who has worked very hard to build his business. Both these men would make good husbands, but they clash constantly. Their stance on the natives of the island and how the smallpox outbreak among them must be treated are at opposite ends of the pole.

Arabella is beginning to overcome her fears of somehow going into a disastrous marriage and then she finds a starving native girl. She accepts Pete’s help in caring for the girl, but then things start turning sideways. Can she find hope and have her heart fulfilled and keep the girl and Pete safe? Or is she headed down the wrong side of the aisle again?

I loved these characters. Pete Kelly was such a fun character in this book. He could win over anyone’s heart. He was absolutely delightful and had such a heart for God. I especially loved how he knew where he came from, what he had become and what he came out of. God can indeed make a person a new creation! And Arabella’s character touched me greatly, too. She knows God loves her but is scared He will not bring her to a happy ending.

Hedlund is at her best here. I love the research she puts into her books and love learning about all the different plots she writes, based on actual events. It prompts me to check it out even further. Well done!

*My thanks to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.

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Book Review: ‘Dead Heat’ (Truth Seekers #4) by Susan Sleeman

Tracing cyber criminals is what he lives for…

When hackers breach hospital security to steal patient records and begin blackmailing them, Veritas Center’s cybercrime expert, Nick Thorn is hired to locate security holes and patch the system. But he doesn’t stop there. He wants to bring down the hacker and make her pay. Problem is, he inadvertently inserts himself in FBI Agent Piper Nash’s sting to catch the same hacker, and Piper has no choice but to arrest him and force him to stand down.

But the job is suddenly hitting too close to home.
Nick finds himself attracted to Piper and wants to comply, but when his grandmother falls prey to a cyber-attack by the same hacker, he takes the assault very personally and will stop at nothing to find the hacker. Not even stop for Piper’s warnings to take care. They’re in a dead heat to the finish line, but what Nick doesn’t realize is the hacker has no intention of going to jail, and she’s reserved a bullet with Piper’s name on it. With time ticking down can Nick partner with Piper to find the killer before a point-blank shot takes her out?
About Susan Sleeman
SUSAN SLEEMAN is the bestselling author of over thirty-five novels with more than one million books sold. She writes romantic suspense novels that are clean with inspiring messages of faith. Readers love her series for the well-drawn characters and edge-of-your-seat action. She graduated from the FBI and local police citizen academies, so her research is spot-on and her characters are real.
In addition to writing, Susan also hosts She has lived in nine states but now calls Oregon home. Her husband is a retired church music director, and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law, and an adorable grandson.
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My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘Evil radiated like forest fire from the hacker who seemed to have no morals.’

Susan Sleeman gives us book four in her Truth Seekers series and it is so good! I knew Nick had a story when I first met him in previous books and it sure lived up to my expectations. I loved every single minute.

Cyber hackers breach the security in a hospital and are stealing patient records, then blackmailing them. The impressive Veritas Center’s cybercrime expert, Nick Thorn is hired to find out how this happened. However, FBI expert Piper Nash is also doing the same job. They join forces to form a sting to catch this devious and evil hacker. And believe me, this hacker is a seriously dangerous threat not only to the hospital and its patients, but to both Nick and Piper. A deadly danger.

I liked this one best of the whole series, but I love everything Sleeman writes. She is a master at suspense and my go-to for inspirational suspense. Her books are well written and populated with super believable characters who immediately feel real to the reader and her plots well thought out. Her research is impeccable and you know she is just not making up things about the intricacies of the specialties involved in her books. I love it so much! Highly recommended.

*My thanks to the publisher and author for a copy of this book. The opinion expressed in this review is entirely my own.

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Book Review: ‘Always You’ by Jennifer Rodewald

They made a pact of friendship. Love was not supposed to be part of the deal.

Lauren is desperate to escape the massive shadow of her father’s and sister’s political careers.

Matt is running from the biggest disappointment of his life.

After a messy meeting in a snowbound airport, they launch a new friendship, founded on a mutual love for the Lord and an agreement of respect. They find themselves working together at the Lake Shore Resort, thankful to have each other as they each carve out a fresh start. But as the winter season wears on, and through a few interesting predicaments, one begins to feel more, and the other…well. Maybe neither knows what they really want. Already wounded from the things they’ve left behind, Matt and Lauren wrestle with what comes next. Afraid to move forward. Not wanting to go back.

Each must face a dilemma that only the hand of the Potter can smooth into a hopeful, promising future. Can they surrender past hurts, as well as their future hopes and plans and trust the good intentions of the God they both love?
About Jennifer Rodewald
Jennifer Rodewald/J. Rodes lives on the wide plains somewhere near the middle of Nowhere. A coffee addict, pickleball enthusiast, and storyteller, she also wears the hats of mom, teacher, and friend. Mostly, she loves Jesus and wants to see others fall in love with Him too.

She would love to hear from you! Please visit her at

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘He could trust the goodness of God’s heart even if it felt harsh in Matt’s moment of blindness.’

I love it so much when I begin a book and from the very first, the characters seem to leap into my heart, real as anything! I can’t stand to see characters walk woodenly across a page. From the first paragraph, I knew Jennifer Rodewald had created those characters that just burst into life in my heart. Lauren and Matt will remain two of my favorite characters a very long time, I’ll tell you that.

Lauren is headed toward a new life away from her overachieving family. She just wants to be her own person in her own life. Then she gets sick getting off a plane. On a total stranger. Who is nice about it! I mean, seriously, who is nice after getting puked on by a strange woman? Matt Murphy is. He is also running, but away from a broken heart. From what he had prayed and prayed and prayed for what he thought was God’s path for him. Turned out, it wasn’t. Because sometimes the very thing we know for certain is what we want and will make us happy is the very thing God does NOT want us to have. Because He’s got something way better for us!

I loved how these characters allowed God to penetrate their hearts and root out the wrongness of their attitudes and asked Him to then change them. It reminded me of King David’s heart when he said, ‘Cleanse me, O God.’ Both Matt and Lauren wanted the best for each other, even if it meant their own heart got broken.

Rodewald always manages to craft characters that have the most emotional depth I’ve ever seen in a fictional person. I was completely all in this book from the very first page. I hated for it to end. It was totally heart-deep. I highly recommend this book.

*My thanks to the author for a copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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Book Review: ‘Woman of Sunlight’ (Brides of Hope Mountain 2) by Mary Connealy

After years of isolation on top of Hope Mountain, Ilsa Nordegren may finally be ready to leave. Raised to fear the world, Ilsa and her sisters never planned on coming down, but when the Warden family arrived in need, they had to help. And it may cost them everything.

Having made his fortune, Mitch Warden returned home and found the family homestead abandoned. In a land grab, a ruthless cattle baron had forced his family to escape up the mountain, and when he follows, the last thing he expects is to fall smitten to a black-haired woman who dresses like Robin Hood.

Warden is intent on helping his family reclaim their land, but doesn’t realize the risks his past has brought. Dangerous men have tracked him, and rather than risk innocent lives, he’s determined to end the danger. But that means a journey to the city–and when Ilsa insists on joining him, the mismatched pair suddenly find themselves on a venture they’ll never forget.
About Mary Connealy
Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is independently publishing a contemporary romantic suspense series called Garrison’s Law, book one is Loving the Texas Lawman. Her new historical series, High Sierra Sweethearts begins with The Accidental Guardian. She is also the author of these series: Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Wild at Heart, Cimarron Legacy, Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages and Sophie’s daughters, and has man other books.
She is a two-time Carol Award winner and has been a finalist for the Rita and Christy Awards. She’s a lifelong Nebraskan and lives with her very own romantic cowboy hero. She’s got four grown daughters and four spectacular grandchildren.
Find Mary online at:
Her website:
Her blog for aspiring writers: Seekerville
Her blog for lovers of western romance: Petticoats & Pistols
Sign up for her newsletter at
Mary is on Facebook at
And Twitter at

My Rating: 5 stars!

‘She’d swung in from the treetop. Into a gunfight. She’d brought a knife to a gunfight. What’s more, she’d won.’

Mary Connealy adds to her Brides of Hope Mountain admirably with this second novel. I just adore Mary Connealy. The Nordegren sisters have lived on Hope Mountain all their lives, raised to be afraid of the world by their grandparents, who are now dead. Now they must learn that the world is a very odd place for them. This installment deals with the sister Ilsa. We came to know her in book one and also to love her. She and Mitch Warden caught chicken pox together and now they are well, someone is after Mitch to kill him. He decides to go back east to face his would be killers rather than endanger his family after coming back west to help them reclaim their land from a sneaky varmint. But Ilsa insists on coming with him to the city. She has never ridden a horse, never seen a train, much less eaten in a restaurant. Things get strange pretty quickly, especially when they must dodge bullets nearly every day!

Mary Connealy has long been a favorite of mine. Her wit and dry sense of humor have me cackling out loud during every book. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book and look forward to sister Ursula’s story next year! Oh, why does it have to be so long? Highly recommended.

*My thanks to Bethany House Publishes for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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Book Review: ‘Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge’ by Ruth Logan Herne

Creator of the bestselling “Welcome to Wishing Bridge” and “At Home in Wishing Bridge” award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne invites readers back to the little town with the big heart with “Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge”.

Being a supermodel isn’t just hard.

It can be a killer, so when international sensation Jazz Monroe answered a friend’s call for help, she’d just taken a hiatus from the job that made her a very rich woman and almost took her life. Outwardly Jazz was everything anyone would want to be. Beautiful, confident, rich and famous, and often seen on the arm of some of the world’s most eligible bachelors, Jazz knows the truth she hides. Her self-confidence is an act and the eating disorder that plagues her refuses to let her rest.

But then she and her old friend Thea are called to help a friend and fulfill a pledge they’d made a dozen years before as high school seniors. If any one of the three ever needed help, the others would come running. Last December, Kelsey made that call and her two old friends, the other members of the “Soul Sisterhood”, responded. They’re here now. Thea is practicing medicine, Kelsey has married the hero deputy that saved her life and Jazz is finding the hints of peace that have eluded her for nearly two decades. She settles into the little town, helping out at a local diner, waiting for the sky to fall.

It doesn’t. Instead, the sun begins to shine, winter fades to spring, and surrounded by new and old friends, Jazz begins to believe in herself. She loves the small town, the kindness of the locals, the warmth of the family diner and the special attention from two very different and distinct men makes her think new thoughts. Thoughts of family and picket fences and settling down.

But an unexpected attack on a wood-edged path reignites her fears and insecurities. Now she’s looking in shadows again, doubting herself and others. In Manhattan, locked elevators and a staffed entrance desk kept her safe from intruders.

Wishing Bridge has nothing like that. Here, she lives life at ground level, with no bodyguards watching out for her. But when a local contingent makes it their job to keep her safe, Jazz learns not to sell the small town short. Folks here mean what they say because that’s the kind of town Wishing Bridge is.

As Jazz rediscovers the most important things in life, she realizes that happiness isn’t about where you are: it’s about who you’re with. And who you love.

Join Jazz, Kelsey, Thea and the rest of the Wishing Bridge cast as they band together to help the town and one another because together– in Wishing Bridge– they can make anything happen.
About Ruth Logan Herne
USA Today bestselling, award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne is the author of over 50 novels and novellas. She loves God, her family, country, coffee, chocolate and dogs, and wishes possums would leave the cat food on the side porch alone. And yet… they don’t. With over two million books in print, Ruthy is living her dream of touching hearts and souls by writing the kind of books she likes to read.

She lives on a pumpkin farm in Western New York where they grow all kinds of cool things for fall from sumptuous squashes and veggies to gorgeous stacking pumpkins. Ruthy’s farm is quickly becoming the place to be every September and October. Ruthy herself is in charge of the kitchen and her very own baked goods, jams and jellies are for sale. The farm gives Ruthy a chance to chat with real people… then turn them into fictional characters during the quiet of mid-winter, so be careful what you say!

She loves chatting with readers through her website blog and hanging with readers and writers in Seekerville… where coffee is always hot, fresh and good! She loves playing in the kitchen, too, with a wonderful group of regionally-inspired inspirational authors at the Yankee Belle Cafe On Goodreads, she’s (yes, you guessed it!) Ruth Logan Herne, and that’s how to find this prolific author on facebook, too!

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘…a little town where prayer and wishes mingled so dreams could come true.’

When I first visited Wishing Bridge with the first book in this series, I knew right then I wanted to know more. I loved all the wonderful residents, the businesses and it just came alive for me. With each book in the series, I loved it more. And eagerly anticipated Jazz’s story, the last gal in the Soul Sisterhood, a group formed by three young girls who were in foster care together, after enduring painful lives, but raised by a very Godly and wonderfully nurturing foster mother. Now all three live in Wishing Bridge. And we get to see Jazz in her very own story, and what a story it is! I loved every single minute and wept many times during the reading of it, ugly, full out, bawling. And I’m not one bit ashamed of it, either. This book was worth every tear.

Ever since I read the first book from Ruth Logan Herne, I knew that she wrote with heart. Just so much heart. It wasn’t the wonderful characters, though they are abundant. It’s not the plots, though they are full and rich. It’s not her writing skill, though it is wonderfully evident. No, it’s the heart, her precious and full heart, that cause all her stories to reach out and grab our hearts tht make her books veritable treasures. Treasures that I am proud to place on my shelves. Because they are indeed rich treasures. I highly recommend this book and author.

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

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Book Review: ‘Critical Decision’ by Richard L. Mabry

It began with an innocent-appearing package on her front porch
The box contained a cell phone, which rang as soon as she opened the package. A voice that called Dr. Kathy Hoover by name said that her husband had been kidnapped. To get him back she would have to poison one of her patients.
At first, she didn’t believe that her husband had been taken from the conference he was attending, but soon she discovered that the kidnappers really had Darren. If she wanted to see him again, she had to give medication that would murder Kelton Rush, former Vice-President. What was she to do? How would she handle this critical decision?

Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, now writing “medical mysteries with heart.” In addition to his medical books, he is the author of one non-fiction book, six novellas, and thirteen published novels. His novels have been finalists for the Carol Award, the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, the Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Selah Award, and others.
He and his wife live in north Texas. In addition to regular efforts (thus far unsuccessful) to improve his golf game, he spends much of his time trying to convince his family that sitting at his desk staring into space does indeed represent work.
About Richard L. Mabry
I’m a retired physician who, in addition to writing, is a husband and grandfather, plays (and enjoys) golf, and does the hundred-and-one other things that retired people do.

I got into non-medical writing after the death of my first wife with my book, THE TENDER SCAR: LIFE AFTER THE DEATH OF A SPOUSE. I’m gratified that it continues to help those who have lost a loved one.

Now I’m writing what I call “medical suspense with heart.” My novels have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Award, Romantic Times’ Best Inspirational Novel and their Reviewer’s Choice Award, have won the Selah award, and been named by Christian Retailing as the best in the mystery/suspense/thriller category. My latest novel is GUARDED PROGNOSIS. I’ve also published fivenovellas, the latest one EMERGENCY CASE.

You can follow me on my blog ( and my web page (, as well as Facebook (rmabrybooks) and Twitter (RichardMabry).

My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘Why had she just agreed to double-cross the people who held the love of her life?’

Dr. Karen Hoover finds a package on her door step with a burner phone in it.  The phone rings and an electronic voice tells her that she is going to see a patient that she is supposed to kill.  What?  If she doesn’t, her husband will die.  Things take off from this point and don’t let up until the last few pages of the book.  I was completely all in from the very beginning of this one.  Despite my best efforts at sleuthing, I could not figure out the culprit of this book.  Dr. Mabry has done a very fine job here.  Well done!  Recommended.

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