Review: Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden

Oh, my sweets, this book was so lovely!! Positively lovely.

Evangeline lived a life of luxury, but after the death of her parents and brothers, her younger sister and her are at the mercy of relatives. They make all the decisions for them and they must adhere to it. Women don’t have a lot of choices. If she wants to have access to her small inheritance she must do everything she is ordered to do, and do it perfectly. So she is separated from her sister and forced to be a teacher, even though she has zero experience. She is alone and sad but is determined to do a good job, to get in the good graces of her grandfather, so she can be reunited with her sister. I can’t even imagine how strong she must’ve been.

The part I love most about this was Dermot and Ronan. Dermot was this outsider, trying to make a living so he can care for his boy. Ronan was special. Autistic really. And I loved him. I loved the way he changed little by little under the care and love from Evangeline. She was learning right along with her students and she learned what he needed and how he needed it. I got chocked up at how those changes manifested themselves. Back in those days they didn’t know what autism was and I can only imagine what those poor children went through.

While she still struggled daily, her relationship with Dermot helped ease the loneliness. What started out as neighborly, turned into friendship, which then turned into more. And I loved it!! They had their moments of distress but that’s nothing compared to the love that shown through. He helped her grow and was with her as she got stronger and more independent, took control of her life, and that of her sister’s. They were so sweet to watch. We get both of their points of view, so it was lovely to see his thoughts about her. He wasn’t looking for a woman, but life likes to throw us curve balls every now and then.

As I’ve said before, I love these Proper Romance books. I love the sweetness and romance of it all. They tend to stay with me long after I’m done reading them. And Ashes on the Moor is no exception.


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Review: In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira

Within the first few pages of this book, I knew it was going to be a keeper. And then a bit deeper in, I knew that it was going to break my heart.

The story opens with Angie at age 17. She’s thinking of her dad. All she has to hold on to are a few old pictures. No memories because he died before she was born. Or at least that’s what she’s been told by her mom, Marilyn. So Angie is off to find out the truth, whatever that may be.

Marilyn, 18 years earlier…also age 17. She and HER mom are at a crossroads of sorts. Marilyn’s going to be the next big thing in Hollywood, according to her mom. So what if they have to struggle for a bit? And at the moment, that struggle includes moving in with not-so-dear Uncle Woody. The only thing that saves Marilyn is their new neighbor, James. Neither of them is looking for a serious relationship, but what they want doesn’t really matter.

These two perspectives are fleshed out over the remainder of the story until they finally converge at the very end in a dramatic conclusion that you maybe saw coming but not exactly. Both are lost souls searching for something. Both find what they’re looking for in very different yet similar ways.

Ava Dellaira writes one heck of a story. She makes you care about the characters, and her words stay in your soul long after you turn the last pages of the book. Another outstanding tale!


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Review: Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I’m not usually a historical fiction fan, but this book was terrific, with its focus on Nantucket and the Quaker religious sect. I grew up in Massachusetts, so reading this book put me back in grade school, on fun-filled field trips to Plymouth Rock, the whaling museum in New Bedford, and Sturbridge Village.

Phoebe isn’t your average young lady. She has a plan. The plan involves not hanging out with her poverty stricken dad who can’t finish a plan or a project. The plan involves not playing games with her childhood crush. The plan involves marrying a handsome, rich, prestigious Captain of a whaling boat.

Phoebe makes some headway on her plan, but the childhood crush crashes her party a couple times, and the Captain is much more (or way less) than he appears to be. Lucky for Phoebe, she has her great grandmother’s journal as her personal treasure map, leading Phoebe toward the light, the righteous, and the Divine. Phoebe takes her successes and multiplies them, much to the blessing of the rest of Nantucket.



Quick Review: City Under Siege by R.J. Prescott

I’ve read R.J.Prescott’s Hurricane series so I figured I’d read this one as well. Even though I have a hard time reading suspense books, I knew it was going to be good, so I would just have to hold on. And I was right. City under Siege had my heart racing and swooning. Perfect balance of suspense and romance.

Sarah has been put in charge of her family’s company, due to the unexpected loss of her father and brother. But as she’s learning the ropes, some secrets come forward that put her in a very dangerous position. She seeks the help of the SAS to get them straightened out and discovers that help comes in the form of a super hot Tom Harper. And as he’s helping protect her, they both realize that love can creep up in the most unexpected moments.

I think the reason I enjoyed this book so much was the romance aspect. Even in the midst of a very dangerous situation, and all the military actions, a slow burn relationship happens. Those are so fun to read honestly. It’s the last thing that Sarah and Tom want or need, but sometimes you can’t help who you fall for.

I’ll admit I got tripped up a bit with all the military lingo, but I learned quickly and was able to move on and enjoy this book. With all those hot military guys running around, how could I not? I’m holding out hope that they get a story also. The whole dynamic was fun to read.


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Review: A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt

Oh Esther and Will… hard workers, loyal to a fault, family-oriented… and then one trauma busts it all up and unearths some unexpressed feelings. Thankfully, their little town — including Esther’s family — provides the guardrails to help Esther and Will find their way.

Their struggle was real. I’ve felt it and I’m sure all married couples have felt it at some time in their marriage. Things are going fine until they aren’t. And sometimes the solution isn’t exactly staring anyone in the face. That’s why I am grateful for all the family and friends who witness wedding ceremonies – they’re there to help support the marriage when it’s foundering.

Kate Hewitt wrote more than just Esther and Will’s relationship though. There were family dinners, lonesome walks, friends meeting at the pub, sibling love, the wisdom of a mother, the comfort of a father, and so much forgiveness … all in a little village around an old vicarage in a wonderful, delightful series.



Review: Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk

They were shadow and light. Death in two forms. Together, they killed ten, twenty, forty men before the sun rose.

This is a debut novel?! No freaking way. That blows my mind. For those who like the kick a$$ heroines, this is a book for you. The epicness of Rome and all it’s death and beauty will keep you turning those pages. I couldn’t put it down.

Attia’s entire world was detroyed and was taken into slavery and given to the Champion of Rome, a gladiator named Xanthus. Now that sounds brutal, and it is, but there is way more to their stories, that you’ll have to read yourself. These two slaves want more than the life they have now, but they need to be patient and find the right moment to take control of their destinies.

“Rome has taken everything from me-my family, my home, my freedom. I won’t let it have Xanthus.”

Of course, in the midst of battles that surround them, they realize that they can be of use to each other. They learn each other’s secrets, which then makes them form a bond that will help forge a rebellion right under the Roman’s noses, all the while bringing the legend of Spartacus to life. I was cheering in my seat, when that was brought to light.

Xanthus was the kind of man who asked rather than took, who begged the gods to forgive his sins with whispered breath. He was the man who’d fallen to his knees before her, who had help her close until the night was over, who would give anything to keep her whole.

Of course there’s romance, but that is so secondary. It fits the story perfectly without being forced. Slow burn, in fact. I wasn’t expecting it, if I’m being honest, so it was a pleasant surprise. These two just want to get by to they get their revenge on those who’ve taken their world away. But they realize they’re better together and start to plan.

But then the world turns upside down. And I’m not even exaggerating. Hence the reason I need book two immediately. But I gotta wait til next year!! AHH!!!

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Review: The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon

“Sometimes it’s the smallest part that steals the show.”

Emotional, devastating, healing, and magical. This book will bring all the feels. So go find a quiet place to read and react.

From the prologue, I knew this was going to put my heart through the ringer. I was right. Good grief, did it hurt. So bad. But it was a healing hurt. I was sucked in a felt everything. I won’t tell you too much, you must just go into this blind.

We met Dr. Noah Andelin in The Law of Moses. To be honest, it’s been so long since I read that, that I forgot who he was. But then it clicked and I was super happy to get his story.

This book is about family. Family isn’t always blood. In fact the best type of family is the one you choose. Blood doesn’t matter. Only the heart does. Cora, Noah and Mercedes were the three Musketeers. No matter what happens in life, they will always be there for each other.

Mercedes was the glue to her family. She would do everything and anything for them. Even stepping away from her true love, so her best friend could find happiness. She isn’t a martyr though. She genuinely wants everyone to be happy and is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that. I loved her. She was so real to me, that as I’m typing this out, I have tears in my eyes. The sacrifices she made for her family will shock you. But her heart is so big, she can’t help but to help.

I love Noah. He could do anything as long as he knew his best friend was there for him. And let me tell you, life sure tested this. Him and Mercedes were always close, and this book shows that. From a young age, through life’s ups and downs, they were always there. And when life decided to toss them a few curveballs, they stood strong and held on tight. To have a friend like that is inspiring.

“You may not be where you want to be in your life, Mer. But I’m so glad you’re in my life. Your birthday is one of my favorite days, because it means you exist, and I’m so grateful for that.”

I will say no more, except that you just need to read this. I don’t wanna say anything spoilerish, so I’ll leave you with this. The Smallest Part is a story that will break your heart and mend it at the same time.

Love can be found in the craziest of places if you only open your eyes, and heart, to it.


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