Category Archives: Romance & Chick Lit

Fiction about character’s relationships, or engagements (a story about character development and interpersonal relationships rather than adventures). The majority of Romance feature the mutual attraction and love of a man and a woman as the main plot, and have a happy ending. Chick Lit can include romance but focuses on all relationships not just romantic ones.

The Captain’s Daughter by Delamere

London, 1879 When a series of circumstances beyond her control leaves Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater putting on the most popular show in the city. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. That is, as long as the shadows from her past don’t catch up with her.

The Captain’s Daughter
by Jennifer Delamere
Baker Publishing Group
June 2017

After a hand injury forces Nate Moran from his army regiment in India, he returns home to London, a place that holds bitter memories. He agrees to fill in temporarily as a stagehand while his brother recuperates from a broken leg, but Nate is counting down the days until he can rejoin his regiment. His future is decided—until he meets a beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate yearns to leave behind.

My thoughts:

I decided to step out of my regular book genre again.  Sometimes I just need something completely different than what I normally read.

This is the first book in “London Beginnings Series.”  

I’m a fan of historical fiction. Jennifer Delamere is a new author for me. The historical setting of the story is 1879 London- and the historical characters of Gilbert and Sullivan that feature with their musicals made the story’s setting delightful.

The story is based off of three girls who become orphans after the death of their parents and end up in George Müller’s orphanage. Then focuses on Rosalyn the eldest eventually finds work as a housemaid. You find yourself skipping 6 years in the future and Rosalyn is accused of stealing and the unwanted advances of her employer’s new husband. She flees to be with her other sister to Bristol.

This was an easy read. I found the character interesting and likable.  Not a lot of depth with the character but, there is a lot of action to keep the book interesting. The book wasn’t predictable and it did leave you wanting more depth with the characters.

I’m not going to give away the story so you will have to read it for yourself. Overall, this was a fun read that I had a hard time putting down.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher via Litfuse Publicity as a review copy.

The Ebb Tide by Lewis

Oh, to see the ocean, Sallie thought. And to spend the summer as a nanny. She shook her head in amazement. This seemed too good to be true, but she really must talk it over with Dat and Mamm, especially since she’d be gone so long. And after I promised Mamm I’d take baptism classes this summer . . .

The Ebb Tide
by Beverly Lewis
Baker Publishing Group
April 2017

Sallie Riehl has dreamed of traveling at least once before settling down to join church, so she is thrilled at an unexpected summer opportunity to nanny in Cape May for a well-to-do family. However, saying even a temporary good-bye to Paradise Township means forgoing baptism another year, as well as leaving behind a would-be beau. Yet the weeks in Cape May soon prove unforgettable as Sallie meets a Mennonite young man whose friendship she quickly begins to cherish. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will she only find what her heart is longing for back home?

My Thoughts:

Beverly Lewis has a wonderful way to make stories come alive within the pages of her books. Every time I finish a book or a series I’m sad to see it come to an end.

Sallie is not the typical Amish girl and wants to explore places before she joins the church.  After her first trip to a faraway place by airplane doesn’t happen she is give an opportunity to see the ocean for the summer. Her intent is to return home and join the church. Life isn’t always laid out in a neat package. Sometimes God has different plans for us and Sallie has to find out which path God is leading her on.

This is just a beautiful story that is so descriptive in the details of Sallies surrounding and of her heart. You can’t help but not to be swept away in her dreams. Not to mention that this is a page turner to the very end.

All of Beverly Lewis books have such intriguing characters and plots. Most of all a message about our Christian walk. This story I see waiting on God to direct our paths and not trying to please others but, letting go and let God direct our way.

I’m not going to give away the story. I enjoyed this story and look forward to more books from Beverly Lewis.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Newcomer by Woods Fisher

In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after 10 weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It’s a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn’s shipboard romance to blossom. But this perfect moment cannot last.

The Newcomer
by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Baker Publishing Group
January 2017

As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World – isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father – his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him? When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not – bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not. Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Amish Beginnings Series. Overall, this could be read without the first book in the series. The first book in the series is Anna’s journey to the new world. You will miss some of the character interactions and some of the history behind the individuals. Suzanne Woods Fisher’s books always does a good job laying the ground work on a series in each book. I love stories that are historical.

The story picks up when they arrive in the port of Philadelphia after they crossed the Atlantic Ocean. They are preparing to make the journey in the wilderness were Jacob Bauer has secured some land for the community.

I find it intriguing the Amish coming to the New World to create a community to worship God without persecution. The details of the era and the worked needed to create a community was intriguing and made for an interesting read. The courage and faith of the individuals kept the group going despite the difficulties they faced.

All the characters have a lot of depth about them to make you feel almost part of the story. I love all the history put into the pages and the individuals you meet.

I look forward to the next book in the series.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Slender Reeds by Gregory

This is a story of the Hebrew people living, in slavery under the rule of Pharaoh Ramas, struggling to hold on to God’s promises and a mother’s hope to save her infant son from sure death by the hand of an Egyptian soldier.

Slender Reeds
Jachebed’s Hope
by Susan Gregory
Barbour Publishing, Inc.
November 2016

Jachebed is a young Hebrew woman, living with her mother Elisheba, married to Amran, a godly man who believes in the one true God of the Hebrew people. These people are living in slavery under the cruel rule of Pharaoh Ramas.

Shephrad is the daughter of the High Priest Nege. Nege is an evil priest and very cruel to his daughter. After a severe beating, she runs away from home. She is found, near death, by Jachebed and her mother. They befriend the young girl, teaching her to be a mid wife.

Ramas is concerned about the large Hebrew population and orders his solders to kill every male child up to the age of three years. Jachebed has a young son she has been hiding. A lot of the Hebrew mothers have lost sons and she is afraid someone will tell the solders about her son. She is a weaver of reed mats and baskets. She will make a water proof basket and send her son adrift on the Nile River. She has observed that Pharaoh’s daughter and her ladies bathe daily near the reeds. This will be a good place to place her son. Hopefully he will be discovered by Princess Meril and not eaten by the crocodiles that inhabit the Nile River.

A very interesting read. This is the first book I have read by Ms. Gregory, but look forward to reading more in the future, Highly recommend the book.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “an 86 year young great-grandmother and an avid reader.”

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

La La Land Review

A love story. But not the one you think it is.

[SPOILERS ABOUND] The first scene of the film sets the stage for a fun reintroduction to Hollywood musicals with a single shot dance number on a gridlocked freeway, but the story actually starts when we see Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) meet for the first time. Preoccupied when traffic finally moves a few spots, Mia doesn’t move forward fast enough so Sebastian honks long and hard at her before passing her – and her up raised middle finger. And so we are introduced to the two main characters in this highly lauded film who we will watch develop from strangers to friends to lovers to something else over the course of a year.

Why this movie won seven Golden Globes, among other awards, is clear from the opening song to the surprising ending.

First, this movie is amazingly charming. Overflowing with nostalgia of Hollywood’s golden ages of musical films and a love of creativity and the arts that exudes from (in-movie) film scene to jazz music. Constant references to the great actors, films and musicians accompany the dreams that Mia and Sebastian have – Mia to be an actress and Sebastian to open a jazz bar. Watching Gosling and Stone sing and dance in the twilight in the hills of Hollywood is fantastic!

As the movie progresses, and the seasons change, so too does the love story between Mia and Sebastian evolve. [EXPLICIT SPOILERS] By the end of the film, in the final act, the two lovers are on the edge of achieving their dreams… and the end of their relationship. This is where the film falters and the second reason why I think so many in Hollywood loved it so much.

The lesson we learn in this film is that we can follow some of our dreams, but not all of them. After a tender scene where Mia and Sebastian tell each other that they will always love each other, we find ourselves 5 years later after Mia becomes a successful actress. We see her perfect life where she was able to achieve her dream and just as our happiness for her is almost complete we see her kissing a different man and we meet her daughter with that man. The moment we realize that Mia choose her film dreams over her love for Sebastian is the moment the film loses its luster for me.

Hollywood may love this decision because perhaps many who have been successful have had to make similar decisions. Perhaps they see this sacrifice as worthy because of the achievement. My dream or my love, but not both. Maybe it makes them nostalgic and feel better about their choices. Whatever emotions it prompts in Hollywood, it prompts very different emotions in me: pity and sadness.

This isn’t Rick and Ilsa’s ending in Casablanca, which is also bittersweet and doesn’t end happily ever after. There are no political under tones, no sacrifice for a cause as great as the Allies war effort in WW2, or even the ambiguity accompanying whether or not they truly loved each other out were better off with someone else. La La Land’s ending is the sudden introduction of a new love interest making it clear that the sacrifice of Mia and Sebastian’s relationship by Mia was solely for personal ambition.

If Mia and Sebastian truly loved each other, and would have been overwhelmingly happy, as we see in a sad montage of the film re-imagining each scene working out perfectly for their relationship to have been successful, including a home as a family and even a son, the loss of their relationship is far sadder than not being an actress or owning a jazz bar. To give up possible life-long fulfilment and happiness to chase after fleeting fame and riches is sad to me.

Not just me. As Mia kisses this new man, my teenage daughter watching with me cried out, “what?” My wife left dissatisfied with the ending as well. It wasn’t a happy one from their perspective. Because loving relationships and family are a higher goal than getting a job.

Hollywood clearly doesn’t agree. And we don’t have to. Lovers of film, including of musicals, as I consider myself to be, may not enjoy the whole vision of the director to enjoy the film and appreciate that it was made at all. Stone and Gosling do an outstanding job – Gosling really was playing the piano the whole time! – singing and dancing their ways into our hearts.

While I didn’t like the ending it is clear that director and writer Damien Chazelle was successful on at least two fronts: making the musical popular again and making the audience, including me and my family, fall in love with Mia and Sebastian.

4/5 stars. Language, including the f word, GD, and others. Mia moves in with Sebastian prior to marriage. Drinking alcohol. No nudity or sex scenes.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, Zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.

The Lassoed By Marriage Collection

LassoedNine relationships started after saying I Do

The Lassoed by Marriage Collection
by Bell, Breidenbach, Carter, Connealy, Jepson, Lillard, Welborn, Y’Barbo, Zediker
Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Jan 2016

Lassoed by Marriage is a collection of short stories about unwilling marriage. Start a journey with all the characters that start off in a situation that forces them into marriage. Walk with them as they try to overcome obstacles and try to start a relationship. See them try to overcome their fears and reservations and strive to help better their relationship. Follow Cynthia and Lord Elliot Carlyle struggle to get past her sister’s deceptions and work to make their marriage work. Observe Katie as she strives to keep her son by marrying George her son’s uncle. See as she fights to break the stigma that follows her as she is the mother of a illegitimate son. Root for Penny as she fights to keep her family’s land by marrying a prisoner. Watch her try to teach her husband forgiveness for past wrongs done to him. Watch Coral and Hiram try to break the family feud despite being virtually forced to marry each other. Witness as a lord without title preform act of mercy as he rescues a widow and her land from people that threaten her. But both have secrets they are keeping from each other will they drive them apart or bring them together. Notice as a new minister offers sanctuary to Molly who was in a desperate situation. But will her outlaw brother drive the m apart? Laugh at Hattie’s antics that land her married to the town sheriff. Watch Maila fight to free herself and her husband from Rose the first wife. Observe as Tanner discover Debba after 4 years of isolation.

This book is filled with so many different elements its impossible to get bored.


Myra Ovalle is your average typical girl. She loves to read. Her favorite types of books are historical fiction, biblical fiction and action adventure fiction. She would love to share her love of books and all the wonderful books she have read with you. Check out her new blog: From a Book Worm To You

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

 

Whispers in the Reading Room by Gray

ReadingCan a man with a mysterious past and naive librarian work together to solve a murder.

Whispers in the Reading Room
Shelley Gray
Zondervan Fiction
Nov  2015

Lydia is fascinated by the handsome mysterious stranger that visits her library every day. Not knowing who he is or having ever spoken to him she feels puzzled when he rescues her at the lobby of a prestigious hotel. She discovers his name and the fact that everyone in the city is either afraid or intrigued by him. After rescuing her at the Hartman Hotel they ensue a fragile relationship. Sebastian Marks is intrigued by the quiet librarian but is hesitant to form any kind of tie to her due to his secrets. After peering into her seemingly happy life he discovers that she is penniless, with a demanding mother hounding her to marry anyone for money. On the other hand Lydia knows nothing about what he does and demands that he take her to his establishment. When he finally agrees to take her to his establishment things take an unexpected turn. A gentleman’s murder puts both of them in danger. Sebastian afraid that because of him Lydia will get hurt tries to break off their blooming relationship. Will Sebastian and Lydia realize their feelings for each other and find the murder?

I loved the book it was mysterious and hard to put down. I loved how much detail was put into the book and the perfect balance of mystery. I will probably read the rest of the series as soon as I can. I would recommend this book to historical fiction lovers. Get ready to be blown away by this book.


Myra Ovalle is your average typical girl. She loves to read. Her favorite types of books are historical fiction, biblical fiction and action adventure fiction. She would love to share her love of books and all the wonderful books she have read with you. Check out her new blog: From a Book Worm To You

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

 

A Spy’s Devotion by Dickerson

CSpy an two people who seemed to be destined to be apart work together to stop a traitorous plot?

 A Spy’s Devotion
The Regency Spies of London
By Melanie Dickerson
Waterfall Press
Feb 2016

Julia Grey is an orphan that grew up in the charity of her uncle’s home. Growing up in upper society she was never let forget that fact she was not up in the social class. With a small dowry her hopes of landing a good match are slim. She and Phoebe her cousins have grown up as close as sisters, so when Phoebe is enamored with Nicholas Langdon and asks Julia’s help to land him she willingly agrees. Nicholas Langdon is a second son who needs to marry someone with a good dowry. Back from the army due to an injury he tries to fulfill a promise to a dying man to deliver his diary to someone at the War Office. When he gets mugged and the journal stolen he gets pulled in to the spy game. After being brought up to date his mission is to get as close as possible to Robert Wilhern who is suspected of treason. Using Phoebe as his way in, he meets Julia Grey who captures his attention and feelings. Having been burned by his past fiancé who left him for a much older richer man he decides to be cautious. Julia is trying her best to get Nicholas to notice Phoebe but soon realizes that she has growing feelings for him. After being continuously reminded by her aunt and uncle that she is the poor relation and should stay away from Nicholas she starts to see things more clearly. So when Nicholas reveals that he is a spy and asks for her help she agrees. As danger mounts and sparks fly will they be able to stop a traitorous plot and figure out their feelings?

This book was very hard to put down. It had mystery intrigue at every flip of the page.


Myra Ovalle is your average typical girl. She loves to read. Her favorite types of books are historical fiction, biblical fiction and action adventure fiction. She would love to share her love of books and all the wonderful books she have read with you. Check out her new blog: From a Book Worm To You

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Joline’s Redemption by McDonough

JolineCan a woman who has fallen so low receive redemption and leave her past behind?

Joline’s Redemption
Land Rush Dreams Trilogy
by Vickie McDonough
Barbour Publishing
Nov 2015

Two years after running away from her sister’s Lara house Joline has fallen deep. After her husband’s betrayal she falls into the hands of an abusive controlling man. The threat of her son being taken away from her makes her brave enough to run away from him with a young Indian girl. After narrowly escaping they take refuge at their sister’s house. Surprised at the welcome she receives she decides to stay a few weeks then continue running. She decides to keep the secrets of her past to herself. After running in with her husband’s brother she gets a job at the store she used to run with her former husband. A few close calls with the man she is running from she decides to leave again. Blind to the concern of her family, her husband’s brother, and the redeeming love of God Joline tries to figure it all out on her own. Will she let her family help her? Will she open her heart to love again? But most importantly will she let the loving grace of god redeem her?

I loved this book. I also was intrigued and could not put this book down. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction. This book demonstrates the love and grace of god clearly. It shows that no matter how low you fall or how bad your past gods lave can redeem you. He does not see your past and accepts you as are. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.


Myra Ovalle is your average typical girl. She loves to read. Her favorite types of books are historical fiction, biblical fiction and action adventure fiction. She would love to share her love of books and all the wonderful books she have read with you. Check out her new blog: From a Book Worm To You

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Calico Spy by Brownley

CalicoCan a Sheriff and Pinkerton agent work together to catch an elusive murder and work out their feeling for each other.

Calico Spy
Undercover Ladies #3
by Margaret Brownley
Shiloh Run Press
January 2016

Katie Madison, a Pinkerton operative, is sent undercover as a waitress to Calico Kansas. Her new assignment is to investigate the murder of two Harvey House restaurant waitresses . Branch Whitman as the town’s sheriff is mad at the fact that a Pinkerton is sent to solve the case. He is stunned at the fact that the beautiful waitress that frequents his thought is the Pinkerton operative sent to help. When a secret from the past threatens to tear away what the sheriff holds dear he must decide to trust Katie or risk losing it all. As they face challenges together they can feel the growing attraction between them and don’t seem to know what to do about it. Will they be able to work together and catch the elusive murderer and figure out their feelings for each other?

The Calico Spy is the third book in the Undercover Ladies series. I really enjoyed this book. Once I started it I had a hard time putting it down. I loved the vivid description that brought the story to life. The descriptions of the waitress protocol had me cringing and feeling sorry for Katie while laughing during the funny parts. It had me guessing what was going to happen throughout the whole book. The characters and their antics were very refreshing. The author wove the western, mystery and romance elements beautifully. I would highly recommend this book to historical romance lovers or someone who loves a good mystery. I will definitely read the rest of the series.


Myra Ovalle is your average typical girl. She loves to read. Her favorite types of books are historical fiction, biblical fiction and action adventure fiction. She would love to share her love of books and all the wonderful books she have read with you. Check out her new blog: From a Book Worm To You

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.