Book Review, Books and Reading

The Noble Servant book review

 Once upon a time, there lived a nobleman’s daughter and a duke….

Magdalen of Mallin has received a proposal from a duke. It almost seems too good to be true. Her future looks bright and hopeful now. On her journey to his home, however, she discovers that things are just that, too good to be true. Magdalen is overpowered by her maid and in order to protect herself and her friend, she must trade places with the maid, allowing the servant to marry the duke. Magdalen is trapped, stripped of her identity and forced to tend to the geese. She soon befriends the shepherd boy and begins to suspect that he is carrying his own secrets. Can she trust him to help her gain back her rightful place? Or is he working with her maid, making sure Magdalen stays quiet?

I was very excited to jump back into another Melanie Dickerson fairytale. Her writing style is so easy to follow, her characters are entertaining, and the stories themselves are like little portals of time travel, taking me back to happy days of my childhood. And that for me, is the best part. I also have to mention the cover image. I love how colorful it is, it suits the fairytale theme so perfectly. Melanie Dickerson has become a new favorite author of mine. In fact I bought all of the other fairytale books she has written that I had not read yet. If you are looking for a fun, light read with a bit of childhood reminiscing, I highly recommend this book, as well as The Silent Servant, the other story from Ms. Dickerson I have read.

*I received this book free from The Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review. What I have expressed are my own thoughts, and I was not compensated by any financial way for this review.*

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Book Review, Books and Reading, My Life

Top Favorite Books of 2017

Good afternoon, friends!

I hope this day is going well for you and wherever you are it is warm. Last week in my area we had below zero temperatures and wind chills made it around -25/-30 degrees! Yes, I hibernated as much as possible, lol. Today it is still cold out but compared to what we have had it is pretty nice. And the sun is shining.

I have taken the last couple of weeks to look back on the books I read last year and have my list of favorites ready. the stories took me on so many different paths. I walked through family secrets, fantasy worlds, countries, centuries of adventures. But out of all of them, there were four that really left their print on me. In no particular order….

 

A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz

Laura Frantz swept me away to the wild land of Kentucke. A place filled with surveyors and pioneers determined to colonize the area even amidst dangers all around. Tempe Tucker, the innkeeper’s daughter, guides the new surveying party through the land. 1777 Kentucke wilderness, an adventurous heroine, secrets. This story had so much. I felt as if I was part of the surveying party. The details brought everything to life. It is a story richly filled with history, mystery, adventure, and love. For a deeper look into my review of this story the link to the original review is here:

https://kymberlibriggs.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/a-moonbow-night/

 

Child of the River by Irma Joubert

Everything about this story did it for me. The cover image, the heroine, the other characters, the way Ms. Joubert wrote the story, the setting, everything Persomi had to face. This was my first story set in South Africa, add in that it was set in the 1940’s and 1950’s and I was transported there instantly. I could not put this book down, I stayed up late to read it. This is a book I highly recommend.

https://kymberlibriggs.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/child-of-the-river-book-review/

 

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

Julianne Chevalier has been branded a criminal in France and sentenced to the New World in exile. She is shipped to Loisiana and quickly discovers she needs more strength than she ever imagined. Again, I was swept away to different worlds. 1700’s France into Louisiana. There were trials and dangers around every corner and Julianne quickly had to learn who she needed to be if she ever thought of staying alive.

https://kymberlibriggs.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/the-mark-of-the-king/

 

True to You by Becky Wade

I was introduced to my fictional twin when I read this story. Nora’s love of books, vintage styles, genealogy, BBC and PBS. Her house is filled with books. Nora is asked to help a former Navy SEAL find his birth parents and it takes each of them on a journey neither planned for. Family secrets, second chances. This story is my favorite Becky Wade book to date.

https://kymberlibriggs.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/true-to-you/

 

There you go. I hope I may have helped you find some good reads for this coming year. What books did you read last year that left their mark on you? I would love to hear about them. I can never have too many books!

Book Review, Books and Reading

True to You

    If ever there was a story written that reminded me of myself, this is it! I do believe I have found my fictional twin! Lover of books, genealogy, vintage clothing and accessories, tea, BBC and PBS. I am still waiting for the family reunion with Nora. Let me introduce her to you.

Nora Bradford, genealogist, has known heartbreak. She buries her life in her job, which also includes maintaining a historical village. She has learned to protect her emotions the best she can and disappears into the fictional world of books and British TV shows. When John, a former Navy SEAL, comes to Nora needing assistance in finding his birth parents, he causes the kind of distraction she loves. However, as they get closer to finding out the truth behind his birth not only does she feel her heart opening up again, they also uncover family secrets neither of them were prepared for.

Becky Wade continues to be a favorite author of mine and this particular story is my #1 favorite of hers. As I mentioned already, Nora is basically my fictional twin. It was so easy for me to connect with her personality. Throw in family secrets and this was a definite winner for me. A five star book for sure!

*I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. What I have expressed are entirely my own thoughts and I was not compensated in any financial way.*

Book Review, Books and Reading

Love Held Captive

    Major Ethan Kelly raided a woman’s home shortly before being taken prisoner. He has never forgotten what he did to Lizbeth Barclay and is determined to right the wrong. Captain Devin Monroe meets Julianne VanFleet and knows she is the one. When they both find out their former colonel is responsible for both women’s pains they band together to earn their trust and help.

This is the third in the LoneStar Heroes Love Story trilogy. I had tried reading, and could not get into, the other two. I gave this one a shot as well and like the others, I was unable to get into it. It is, for me, the combination of the story’s flow and how the story is written and described. I think, after three books, it is safe to say that books by this author are not my style. I, however, will be passing it along because I know someone who does enjoy them.

*I received this book free from Zondervan and The Fiction Guild in exchange for my own review. What I have shared are entirely my own thoughts and I was not compensated in any financially way to do so.*

Book Review, Books and Reading

Beyond Justice

    What would you do if, as an attorney working your way up the ladder, given a case no one else wants? And you shortly discover there is more at stake than you thought. Lives, including yours, now hang in the balance.

Hayden McCarthy is put exactly in that deadly position. As she uncovers the truths being hidden she begins having to fight against the same government she works for. The premise of this story sucked me in right away. Dangerous political secrets. corrupt people, immigrants, determination that Hayden showed in bringing the truth to light…. Everything about this story was on point! The story was easy to follow and hard to set down to do other things. I was happy to discover this is the first in a series and I am looking forward to jumping back into the political intrigue and dangers.

*I received this book free from Thomas Nelson and The Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review. What I have expressed about the story are entirely my own thoughts and I was not financially compensated in any way.*

Book Review, Books and Reading

The Memory of You

Thirteen years ago Natalie’s life crumbled when her twin sister died. As soon as she could, Natalie left home and all its heartache behind. Or so she thought. When another family emergency strikes, she returns home. Her goal- check on her ill grandfather and shut down the family winery. Once Natalie is back home, however, the past comes back and she must finally face it.

I enjoyed this story, but not as much as I was hoping I would. The writing itself was done very well and the characters were relatable. The actual story, unfortunately, seemed lacking. It did not provide the punch it set me up for, which disappointed me. Perhaps her next book will be better.

*I received this book free from Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review. I received no compensation for my review. All thoughts I have shared are entirely my own.*

Blogging, Book Review, Books and Reading

You’ll Think of Me

    Brooklyn Myers has had more heartache than a person should have; and then her husband dies. A husband who left her and their child. She learns he has left them with a house and land, something that definitely surprises her. Brooklyn sees this as a second chance. Derek Johnson is not happy. Not only did Brooklyn steal his best friend from him but she is now also the owner of the land he has been planning and saving to buy. Can each of them let go of the past and give themselves another chance at friendship? Maybe even love?

I started reading the book but was unable to finish it. As hard as I tried I could not get myself into the story. The characters were difficult for me to connect with and the story felt dragging to me.

*I received this book free from Thomas Nelson and the Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review. What I have expressed are my own thoughts and I have not been compensated financially in any way.*

Book Review, Books and Reading

If I’m Found

    Casey Cox is still on the run. The police are still searching for her, her picture is all over the news. Dylan Roberts is relentlessly hunting her. He claims he knows the truth, that Casey did not commit murder. Can Casey believe him? As she stumbles upon other injustices she risks her own safety to help others, knowing she may be caught. She must make a choice- her safety or strangers?

I greatly enjoyed the first in the series, If I Run. https://kymberlibriggs.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/if-i-run-book-review/    and I was excited to read the next part of Casey’s journey. Wondering if she would get caught, is Dylan really a good guy or is he fooling all of us? This sequel pulled me in. I am looking forward to the third and final book in the trilogy. I really want to know how this plays out. Terri Blackstock is also becoming a new favorite author of mine and I will be checking into her other books.

 

*I received this book free from Zondervan and the Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review of the story. I did not receive any compensation to do so. All thoughts I have expressed are entirely my own.*

Book Review, Books and Reading, My Life

The Illusionist’s Apprentice

the illusionist's apprentice    Not all illusions happen on stage.

 

Wren Lockhart was apprentice to the famous illusionist Harry Houdini. After his death, Wren is determined to continue her career, as well as keep her true identity hidden. But when a rival performer’s act goes tragically wrong Wren is called on to speak the truth, including revealing who she really is. Wren knows if anyone digs too deep, the past she has been so careful to hide could resurface and shatter her world.

I loved the setting of this story. The Jazz Age. Where do I begin? The music, the fashion, Kristy Cambron described the details so vividly and I felt as if I was there beside Wren. I enjoyed how carefully Ms. Cambron weaved the past and present together, giving just enough of each story to keep me up at night needing to read more. She really brought it all to life for me. All the while through the story I kept asking “How do you kill a man who is already dead??” My mom can verify that I was asking that, lol. We were on vacation when I was reading this book and she heard me voice that question a few times. How do you kill a man who is already dead? I will let you figure that one out!

 

*I received this book free from Thomas Nelson and Fiction Guild in exchange for my review. What I have expressed are entirely my own thoughts*

Book Review, Books and Reading, My Life

To the Farthest Shores

b8fd191a671a6b60b477f6a1618dbfa0Army Nurse Jenny Bennett has lived a hard life. Determined to put the past behind her she focuses on her job and hopes to gain a promotion. The sudden reappearance of Lt. Ryan Gallagher changes her life yet again.

Ryan Gallagher is one of a few who are able to carry out a certain mission. One that destroyed his reputation and the heart of the woman he loved. Now, returning years later, he not only cannot tell Jenny what happened, but he needs to ask for her help in his current assignment. Will she be able to put past hurts behind her, though? And when a threat to Ryan’s life becomes apparent, is it even safe to be near him? Does she want to be near him? Does she have any trust left in him? These are many things Jenny needs to face.

This was a very well-written story. The characters were developed nicely and my interest in their lives and the story as it unfolded was kept. I enjoyed the history that Ms. Camden incorporated into the story. There was enough to draw me in and hold my attention without becoming overwhelming. And I can’t not mention the cover art. I love it. It is so beautiful.

*I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. What I have expressed are entirely my own thoughts.*