Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Amish Sweethearts

GIVEAWAY

GOULD, LESLIE
AMISH SWEETHEARTS

For years Zane Beck and his Amish neighbour Lila Lehman were best of friends. But just as Zane gathered the courage to discover if their friendship could develop into something more, her controlling father arranged for her to be courted by their bishop's son. Zane, heartbroken and frustrated, joined the Army, running away from his shattered dreams.

The passing of time and the distance between Zane and Lila haven't been enough to halt their -- now completely hidden -- feelings for each other. Any hope for their love grows even more impossible through as Zane's service takes a dangerous turn when he's deployed to Afghanistan. Being on the frontline, confronted with the hard choices of war, has him questioning everything, including whether he can continue to serve or not. But all choices have consequences, and with Lila preparing to marry another, will these one-time sweethearts ever find the life together that they both still long for?

My Review:

Not your average Amish story. Gould takes her characters on an unexpected (and complicated) journey towards self-discovery and I was right there with them every step of the way. I loved all the little unpredictable things about this story. I mean, it could have gone in so many different directions with varying outcomes and I never knew what was going to happen next. Loved the thrill of the unknown and taking the opportunity to savor a scene while letting my imagination run free to create my own scenarios before pushing on with the story the author had written. Love being that invested in the lives of my character friends!

If you read Amish Promises, the first book in the Neighbors of Lancaster County series, you will already be acquainted with the Becks and the Lehmans. It's not necessary to have read the first book in order to enjoy this one, but you will have more of a sense of history between the two families if you have.

So -- Zane. Stubborn. Proud. Closed-mouthed. Not to mention the impulsive-lets-not-think-this-through mentality that crops up at the most inconvenient places. And Lila. She's the glue that holds her ragtag family together. So determined to do the right thing that she often forgets that she has choices too. There's nothing more awkward than a childhood friendship on the cusp of something so much bigger. Do the risks outweigh the benefits? And then there's the whole Amish/Englisch issue. So many delicious dilemmas for a reader to lose herself in!

I really enjoyed the author's insights into the Afghanistan war. She tackles hard questions with grace and respect and that whole aspect of the novel really got me thinking. It's a conundrum Zane finds himself in the middle of -- and adds a whole new dynamic to his relationship with his Amish neighbours.

A riveting read fueled with love and faith and the unending hope that comes from being part of God's plan.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  Amish Sweethearts please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday May 29 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Flight of Arrows

GIVEAWAY

BENTON, LORI
A FLIGHT OF ARROWS

It is said that what a man sows he will reap--and for such a harvest there is no set season. No one connected to Reginald Aubrey is untouched by the crime he committed twenty years ago.

Not William, the Oneida child Reginald stole and raised as his own. Identity shattered, enlisted in the British army, William trains with Loyalist refugees eager to annihilate the rebels who forced them into exile. Coming to terms with who and what he is proves impossible, but if he breaks his Loyalist oath, he'll be no better than the man who constructed his life of lies.

Not Anna, Reginald's adopted daughter, nor Two Hawks, William's twin, both who long for Reginald to accept their love despite the challenges they will face, building a marriage that bridges two cultures.

Not Good Voice and Stone Thrower, freed of bitterness by a courageous act of forgiveness, but still yearning for their firstborn son and fearful for the future of their Oneida people.

As the British prepare to attack frontier New York and Patriot regiments rally to defend it, two families separated by culture, united by love, will do all in their power to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies.

My Review:

An epic family saga that will sweep you back in time to the Revolutionary War. Benton is dedicated to getting her history right but it goes even deeper than just the facts. Her talent lies in bringing it all to life through the power of her words. I'm still wrangling my emotions under control.

Such complicated characters! Realistically flawed and all the more captivating because of it. I wept. I cheered. I fumed. And spent a good deal of my reading time with my heart in my throat barely daring to breathe. I had to pace myself, taking time to pause and absorb different aspects of the story. Reading is too mundane for A Flight of Arrows. This is the kind of book you live and breathe your way through. 

Powerful inspirational threads of grace and redemption transform an already incredible read into a truly profound one. It inspires me to renew my trust in a faithful God -- even in the most difficult times. I love when a novel reaches out and touches my life in a personal way like that. Alleluia! This is why I read Christian fiction!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  A Flight of Arrows please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday May 29 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May Giveaway - Week Four









As always, I will contact the winners by email however thanks to the nefarious ways of the Internet my email might land in your spam folder so keep your eyes peeled! :-) If you haven't heard from me by Monday evening please email me your snail mail address at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca From time to time winners and I don't seem to connect, so I have a month time frame. If I can't reach you within four weeks your win will be forfeited.

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK'S GIVEAWAYS:


Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Beautiful Pretender

GIVEAWAY

DICKERSON, MELANIE
THE BEAUTIFUL PRETENDER

After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king's approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn't select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina's best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can't deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse -- far deadlier -- consequences.

My Review:

Beauty and the Beast meets The Bachelor -- let the games begin!

Melanie Dickerson has such a talent for tweaking well-loved fairy tales into something fresh and new. I was thrilled to return to Thornbeck and become reacquainted with some favourite characters -- people I met in The Huntress of Thornbeck. If you've read that book you'll be happy to know that Odette and Jorgen play a significant role in this story. Don't worry if you haven't read the first book in The Medieval Fairy Tale Novels series though, The Beautiful Pretender reads wonderfully as a standalone as well.

There something so captivating about a 'beastly' hero. Reinhart may be a bit of a grumpy recluse but you can be sure there's a tender heart beating within that manly chest. It just takes a certain heroine to bring his softer side out into the open.

Avelina is boldly outspoken, endearingly kind and a little too attracted to the margrave for her own good. It seems the harder she tries to divert his attention, the more captivated Reinhart becomes. Oh what a tangled web we weave...

There's tension and drama and sweet romance. Diabolical villains to subdue and a forest of bloodthirsty wolves to best. Not to mention a treacherous plot to thwart before these two have a hope of a happily ever after. A delectable read from beginning to end.

My thanks to Thomas Nelson and Litfuse Publicity Group for providing me with a copy of this book.


GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  The Beautiful Pretender please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday May 22 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

The author and publisher are holding their own giveaway -- check out the link below to enter.

beautiful pretender - prize collage


Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 7th. The winner will be announced June 8th on Melanie's blog.
beautiful pretender - enter banner

Friday, May 20, 2016

Plain Protector

GIVEAWAY

STONE, ALISON
PLAIN PROTECTOR

Amish Country Refuge

When an unknown assailant attacks Sarah Gardner shortly after she moves to Apple Creek, she doesn't know which of her fears has come true. Is someone trying to tell her that meddling strangers aren't welcome in this tight-knit Amish community, or has her abusive ex-boyfriend found her? The social worker doesn't want to run again, not when she's finally putting down roots. But she may not have a choice, unless deputy sheriff Nick Jennings can protect her. The former army ranger knows that Sarah has secrets...and women with secrets only bring heartache. But serving the community is Nick's job, and he can't turn away a woman in peril -- especially when he can't imagine a future without her.

My Review:

Cultures clash with sinister undertones in this intriguing romantic suspense. Love the pacing -- there's plenty of creepy stalkerish stuff going on, but Stone has created enough breathing space in between so that the relationship can develop. Sarah is a plucky heroine who knows when to seek help. Love that about her. She doesn't always agree with Nick but she trusts him.  Sweet romance, captivating secondary characters and ever present danger make this a very satisfying page-turner of a read.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  Plain Protector please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday May 22 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Close To You

GIVEAWAY

ISAAC, KARA
CLOSE TO YOU

A disgraced scholar running from her past and an entrepreneur chasing his future find themselves thrown together -- and failing in love -- on a Tolkien tour of New Zealand.

Allison Shire is a former academic who is done with love. Her belief in 'happily ever after' ended the day she discovered her husband was still married to a wife she knew nothing about. She finally finds a use for her English degree by guiding tours through the famous sites featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. By living life on the road and traveling New Zealand as a luxury tour guide. Allison manages to outrun the pain of her past.

Jackson Gregory was on the cusp of making it big. Then his girlfriend suddenly left him -- for his biggest business competitor -- and took his more guarded commercial secrets with her. To make matters worse, the Iowa farm that has been in his family for generations is facing forclosure. Determined to save his parents from financial ruin, he'll do whatever it takes in convince his wealthy great-uncle to invest in his next scheme, which means accompanying him to the bottom of the world to spend three weeks pretending to be a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan. The one thing that stands between him and his goal is a know-it-all tour guide who pegged him as a fake the moment he walked off the plane.

When Allison leads the group through the famous sites of the Tolkien movies, she and Jackson start to see each other differently. Neither expected to fall in love again, but can they find a way beyond their regrets to take a chance on the one thing they're not looking for?

My Review:

Seriously, how can anyone resist a heroine with hobbit feet? I certainly can't! A delightful mix of comedy and drama in the exotic (to me) locale of New Zealand.

I'm not a huge Tolkien fan -- don't speak Elvish and wouldn't know how to outsmart a troll under the direst of circumstances. I read The Hobbit in my teens but never could get into the Lord of the Rings and...gasp...I haven't seen the movies! BUT I still loved this book. I think the media has played a huge role in keeping Tolkien's imaginative realm in our minds and hearts all these years. So I was never floundering during this read. Even if I didn't get the reference, I understood it in context. All that to say no worries if your aren't familiar with Tolkien's works or the movies. You'll still love this story.

Because of my lack of true Tolkien fervor I completely related to poor Jackson. His circumstances are already dire and then to be thrust into the midst of true Tolkien fan-atics...well, it's no wonder he's out of his element. Delightfully grumpy and disgruntled as a matter of fact. :-)

And then there's Allison -- a wee bit jaded, running from her own unhappy problems while dealing with the eccentricities of an eclectic tour group. She might just be a tad short on patience and quick to judge when Jackson steps off the plane. Jackson and Allison settle into a "mutually disdainful relationship" that works well for them until some tour hijinks begin to change their point of view. Sparks vie with pure hard-headedness and culminate in an incredibly funny and poignant (and at times infuriating) rollercoaster of a read. This is one book that I would really love to see made into a movie!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  Close To You please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday May 22 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Emergency Response

GIVEAWAY

SLEEMAN, SUSAN
EMERGENCY RESPONSE

Designated Target...

On her way to visit a little girl she recently helped save, paramedic Darcie Stephens is attacked by a stranger dead-set on killing her. She escapes unscathed when detective Noah Lockhart comes to her resuce, but an officer finds a hit list dropped by the assailant -- and Darcie's name is next. Now with an assassin constantly on their heels, Darcie and Noah must uncover why somebody wants her dead. Noah fights hard to protect Darcie, but she's determined to keep the cop at arm's length. After all she's lost, she's afraid to love again, especially a handsome lawman with a guarded heart. And a murderer doesn't plan to let Darcie live long enough for any second chances.

First Responders: Brave men and women alert and ready for danger and love

My Review:

This is such a great series. Each book reads well as a standalone but there are continuous characters that I have become quite attached to. Love the commraderie of the team -- the way they've become a family as they live and work together. Great dialogue, teasing, lots of give and take. It gets better with every book.

The intense action-packed opening scene sets the tone for this compelling romantic suspense. Darcie's in danger but no one knows why. Her pursuers are relentless and Noah's determination to protect her is more than purely professional. They've  known each other for a couple of years yet both have reasons to keep each other at arm's length. But God has other plans. A dynamic love story, intriguing mystery and solid inspirational thread all combine to make this a read to remember.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  Emergency Response please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday May 22 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!