Monday, July 31, 2017

Book Review: The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller

Purchase HERE

Title: The Captivating Lady Charlotte

Author: Carolyn Miller

Series: Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace #2

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


Her heart is her own - but her hand in marriage is another matter.

Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility hen she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.

William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte's father's pick, not the young lady's own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return - and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte's sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.

Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace? Poignant and charming, this is another beautifully written, clean and wholesome Regency romance from Carolyn Miller.

**5 stars**

This book was so beautifully written, from the unique romance, to the authentic faith theme. From the painful experiences, to the heartwarming friendships. I think I have found a new favorite author in Carolyn Miller—The Captivating Lady Charlotte was definitely a five-star read for me.

Book Two in the REGENCY BRIDES: A LEGACY OF GRACE, this novel brings us to St. James’s Palace where the beautiful Lady Charlotte Featherington is officially being brought out into society. From thence forth, there will be many a ball and marriage prospect before her.
Little does she expect an older man to approach her, and her parents to jump on the idea … because he’s a duke.
But scandal and danger surround the Duke of Hartington. Will Charlotte and William learn to love and trust before it’s too late?

*sigh* The regency era ... there's just something so delightful about it. And Carolyn Miller did a lovely job bringing this time period to life. The Captivating Lady Charlotte made me think of the newest movie versions of both "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility" more than once, and I loved it! So much fun.

But beyond that, this author writes with such depth! Her characters think, are challenged, grow. They take their walk with God seriously. And it is a walk—a real relationship. I especially liked some of William Hartington's prayers and his mention of Proverbs 3:5-6 (some of my favorite verses!).
Charlotte was young and a little flighty in the beginning, but still she desired to do the right thing. And as the book progressed, she grew and matured and walked closer with the Lord. I simply felt the faith theme was so authentic and heart-touching. It really blessed me. ^_^

And the romance. William, the duke of Hartington. Ah, everything about the love story was unusual and beautiful! Charlotte is young (seventeen or eighteen?), just brought out into society, dazzled by the attention and flattery of masses of striking young men.
William is a widower (with scandal surrounding his late wife), ten years Charlotte's senior, and short-ish, more lean of build, and not particularly dashing.
Let me tell you, this was so refreshing. Why do all the men in novels have to be tall and devastatingly handsome, with "distractingly muscled biceps"? Ha! What about the short guys? Who don't have glorious blue eyes? What about their stories and adventures?
Anyway, enough of the rant. It was amazing to watch Charlotte realize that deep faith and strong character are what matter most. Realize that love is not just a feeling—butterflies in the stomach and heart skipping a beat—but something much, much deeper and beautiful.
To watch William's gentle and heartfelt pursuit! Eep! What a man. Though I did get frustrated with him a couple times, his struggles were understandable ... and overall, I just really, really loved his character. He was so unique. Such a gentleman. Such a godly man.

So there was a slowly-unfolding love story of beautiful depth. A few lovely and poignant peeks at the two main character from Book One. Just the normal Regency delightfulness. Lots of faith content. A generous dash of suspense and danger toward the end. Fun. Lessons. Pain. Beauty.

I loved it.

Absolutely can't wait to read The Elusive Miss Ellison (book one) and The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey (book three). Carolyn Miller, you have a new fan! *smiles*

I received a copy of The Captivating Lady Charlotte from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 24, 2017

It's time again ... Cover Love!

It's time for another delightful cover love post! Sorry to fantasy/fairy tale/dystopian lovers, I don't have any of those genres this time. But you must check out these covers, even if you won't read the books - they're gorgeous! *all the heart eyes*

I think my top three favorites are Keturah, A Dangerous Engagement, and The Heart's Appeal.
What about you? *smiles*

A Dangerous Engagement {The Regency Spies of London #3} by Melanie Dickerson

Expected Publication: September 12th, 2017 (Waterfall Press)

Sunset Lullaby {Christy & Todd: The Married Years #3} by Robin Jones Gunn

Expected Publication: November 10th, 2017 (Robins Nest Productions)

A Song Unheard {Shadows Over England #2} by Roseanna M. White

Expected Publication: January 2nd, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

Expected Publication: January 2nd, 2018 (Revell Publishers)

Judah's Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees {The Silent Years #2} by Angela Hunt

Expected Publication: January 2nd, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)

Keturah {The Sugar Baron's Daughters #1} by Lisa T. Bergren

Expected Publication: January 6th, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)

A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story {Daughters of the Promised Land #4} by Jill Eileen Smith

Expected Publication: February 6th, 2018 (Revell Publishers}

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

Expected Publication: February 6th, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)

The Sea Before Us {Sunrise at Normandy #1} by Sarah Sundin

Expected Publication: February 6th, 2018 (Revell Publishers)

A Light on the Hill {Cities of Refuge #1} by Connilyn Cossette

Expected Publication: February 6th, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky

Expected Publication: February 20th, 2018 (Multnomah Publishers)

The Innkeeper's Daughter by Michelle Griep

Expected Publication: March 1st, 2018 (Shiloh Run Press)

A Chance At Forever {Teaville Moral Society #3} by Melissa Jagears

Expected Publication: March 6th, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)

The Heart's Appeal {London Beginnings #2} by Jennifer Delamere

Expected Publication: March 6th, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

Expected Publication: March 8th, 2018 (Blink/HarperCollins)

Beneath a Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Expected Publication: March 2018 (Waterbrook Press)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Book Review: Unraveling by Sara Ella

Purchase HERE

Title: Unraveling

Author: Sara Ella

Series: Unblemished #2

Genre: Fairy Tale/Fantasy

Audience: Young Adult


What happens when happily ever after starts to unravel?

Eliyana Ember doesn't believe in true love. Not anymore. After defeating her grandfather and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what's right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she's trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about - like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.

Now that the Verity is intertwined with her soul and Joshua's finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something - or someone - is missing?

When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her link to Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections - and keep herself from falling for him in the process?

**4 stars**

Oh my heart! *sobs*

Sara Ella certainly knows how to write a complex and captivating fairy tale-esque story! Unraveling was truly a perfect sequel to Unblemished, and I think I enjoyed it even more!

Realm-travel. Fantasy. Good vs. evil. Romance. Family and friends. Battles and secrets. Such a delightful fairy tale feel! I used to watch "Once Upon a Time" (though I discontinued it for various personal reasons), and Unraveling felt a lot like that tv show, in all the good ways! *smiles* It just has an irresistibly intriguing quality to it.
It was nice to be back with Eliyana Ember and all the other wonderful people who surround her. Ky is my absolute favorite! ^_^

Unraveling was definitely adventurous. The light vs. darkness theme was explored more, and I actually felt it brought across a pretty thoughtful message. There's no clear allegorical theme, which is sometimes hard for me ... But I think Sara Ella did a good job of just making this a crazy, complex, lovely fairy tale with some good lessons to take away from it.
It was fun and interesting to uncover secrets and figure out more of what's going on in this magical Second Reflection. Danger. Drama. Heartache. Sweetness.

There was a scene that I found quite unnecessary. It was brief and not explicit, but I certainly didn't approve! :p I'm kind of discouraged that that particular scene had to be added to an otherwise good book. Probably knocked a star off the rating for me, personally. We'll see how the third book does in this department ...

I once again found the fantasy realm intriguing ... the neat fantasy creatures and cool gifts. I loved the bit of a pirate theme that we got! *grins* Also, all the fairies and queens and legends! *heart eyes* Fairy tale, my friends! If you love fairy tales, the UNBLEMISHED series is probably for you.

THAT ENDING. My heart. Like, tear it out, why don't you?? I was so furious at a certain guy (view spoiler) and just upset that such a thing had to happen.
But I suppose it made for a totally heartbreaking, breathtaking, beautifully bittersweet, cliff-hanger ending.

I await Unbreakable. *winks*

I received a copy of Unraveling from BookLookBloggers review program in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cover Reveal: Children of the Forgotten by Charles Franklin

Hey, all! Today I'm taking part in the cover reveal for author Charles Franklin's Children of the Forgotten!

Take a look at this epic cover!

About the Book

In a post-apocalyptic world, most people by age thirty have succumbed to The Sickness, a mysterious deadly illness. But the Sickness is not the only enemy for Collin Mann’s city. Hordes of deranged killers live in the hills around it. With few trained protectors, the future of the little city looks bleak.

Collin, fifteen years old, buries those the Sickness consumes. Slight and awkward, he shuns warrior training, avoiding the example of his big brother and guardian.

When killers attack at the watering hole, he’s called to step forward and defend. Instead, he freezes.

He’s ashamed. His people need him to fight. Can he do it? Or would a clumsy person like himself make any difference in the battle for existence?


About the Author

Charles was born and raised in Texas. From there, he joined the United States Army and has traveled the world. Along the way, he saw the most beautiful set of eyes he had ever seen. They belonged to a girl ... and he married her right away. Twenty years later, they have three children and are finally headed back home to Texas for good.
Upon retiring from the Army after 23 years, Charles will continue to serve others as a teacher in the town he grew up in. When he's not in the classroom, or spending time with his family, Charles writes stories about faith, love, hope, and adventure. 
His debut novel, Children of the Forgotten: The Anistemi Book I, will release in August and he has already begun work on the second book in the trilogy. Charles is also writing an action thriller, and has begun outlining another series set in the Anistemi world.




Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Favorites Tag

I was unofficially tagged by Natasha @ A Camera and a Dreamer for The Favorites Tag! Thanks, my dear! *winks and grins*


- Rules -

Answer the questions
Tag some people


1) What is your favorite thing to do at home?

Hmm. Read, blog, take a walk, chat with my family ... I don't know a favorite thing really - I like to do lots of things. ^_^

2) Which is your favorite, cats or dogs?

Don't really know. I've never been a huge "animal person", though I do like them. I probably tend to gravitate toward cats, because they're calmer, more snuggly. *winks*

3) If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Haha, I don't know. The ideal is to live by my family, but as long as I'm surrounded by people I love/who love me, I'm good with going wherever God would lead me.

4) Do you love to travel?

Going new places, sure! The actual travel aspect isn't my favorite, though it can be an adventure if I just relax and let go of my anxiety.

5) What is your dream job?

Honestly, being a wife & mom has always been the deep dream of my heart. But also, as you all know, a novelist! *grins*

6) What is your dream vacation?

Maybe somewhere by the sea, beautiful landscape, culturally and historically rich (Ireland, Italy?) ... Somewhere I can delight in God's creation and learn interesting things about the people who lived there long ago and now.

7) Do you have a favorite drink? What is it?

Half lemonade, half unsweetened tea from Chick-fil-A. ^_^

8) What is your favorite home-cooked meal?

Homemade pizza! (If I could have pizza anymore. *winks*)
I honestly can't think of anything else right now, though I always have home-cooked meals! I must be craving pizza. ;P

9) Which would you prefer, pop (aka soda *winks*) or water?

Water, probably. Last time I tried to drink coke (my favorite type of soda), I felt pretty sick. Too much sugar for me, apparently.

10) Who is your favorite singer?

What? How can I chose just one? I've been loving listening to Micah Tyler lately. Also Tenth Avenue North, Lauren Daigle, Jordan Feliz, and Hollyn.
Also really like this song from Francesca Battistelli called Giants Fall.

11) Ice cream or a milkshake?

Milkshake, if I could have milk. Ha! I used to love getting strawberry milkshakes with whipped cream on top. Or coffee-flavored milkshakes ...

I Tag:

Whoever wants to do this tag! *winks*


~ Fashion ~

Here's a quick look at one of the pieces of clothing I got from a modest clothing line called Mikarose! They were having a super good sale, so I decided to try them out.
Let me tell you, friends, the clothes fit perfectly! Like they were made exactly for me. ^_^ And the cuts and styles are so feminine, modest, and pretty.
So ... I bought this pretty skirt and paired it with a simple top, necklace, and heels. I really like the length and the flowy-ness. *smiles*