Friday, June 24, 2016

Delilah : Treacherous Beauty

GIVEAWAY

HUNT, ANGELA
DELILAH : TREACHEROUS BEAUTY

A complex and compelling glimpse at one of the bible's most notorious women.

Life is not easy in Philestine, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.

When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can beat her in a war of wits.

My Review:

I have become a fan of this author's ability to transform simple bible stories into something of substance. Hunt's exquisite writing brings this time period to life and, yes, that involves her very vivid imagination, but it's easy to see where fact ends and fiction begins.

Now Samson and Delilah is probably my least favourite account in the whole bible so I hesitated before picking this title to review. But seriously, that hauntingly beautiful cover proved irresistible. And I'm so glad I read out of my comfort zone! Do I like Samson and Delilah any better after reading Delilah : Treacherous Beauty? Not really, but I've been convicted of two really powerful truths. First, God can use the most flawed person to achieve His ends and second, instead of making snap judgments about people we'll likely be surprised...and moved...if we look deeper into the reasoning behind questionable actions. Both are great takeaways to apply in everyday life.

Through the author's creative embellishments I was able to see beyond the rote bible story and into the complexities of living, breathing people struggling to find their way. Something I can totally relate to. Definitely a thought provoking read.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. in exchange for my honest review.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  Delilah : Treacherous Beauty 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 June 26 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Match Made in Alaska

GIVEAWAY

CALHOUNE, BELLE
A MATCH MADE IN ALASKA

A small-town rescue

Librarian Annie Murray hoped participating in Love, Alaska's "Operation Love" would lead to finding a rugged bachelor to call her own. But as her flight crash-lands before reaching her destination, she finds herself alone with her pilot, Declan O'Rourke. Annie's met charmers like Declan before -- now she wants a man of substance. Forced to survive with him in the snowy wilderness, Annie discovers Declan's depth -- and he begins to see the shy librarian's heart of gold. But once back in town, outside forces threaten their bond. It'll take all the bravery they had in the wild for Annie and Declan to find love in small-town Alaska.

Alaskan Grooms: Meeting their matches in Love, Alaska

My Review:

Love a good family series and this one certainly fits the bill. And the whole modern-day mail-order bride twist is so much fun. Annie is on the adventure of her life -- a librarian with spunk. Sqqueealll...yes, I said librarian. Does anyone else swoon when library personnel take front and centre in a story? No? It's just me? Must be an occupation hazard. Well, anyway, I adore the librarian angle. And the fact that Annie's self-sufficiency comes from the pages of books. That girl knows how to do her research and it comes in handy a time or two.

Declan is definitely an opposites attract kind of hero. He loves women and he loves to flirt and sass them but he's not too keen on settling down...ever. But Annie was raised by her grandmother and longs to for the security of a warm and loving two parent family. She's looking for adventure and romance and Declan's just the man to give her both...maybe.

Love, laughter and faith combine to make this a heartwarming read.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  A Match Made in Alaska 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 June 26 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Reluctant Duchess

GIVEAWAY

WHITE, ROSEANNA M.
THE RELUCTANT DUCHESS

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she's never felt good enough -- not for her father, not for the man she though she'd marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she's willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping those threatening for her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, yet the last thing he needs is the distraction of the newly introduced Lady Rowena. He has enough on his plate having recently come into possession of a rare treasure for which many would kill, yet those around him seem intent on pairing him with this desperate but beguiling girl.

Rowena is reluctant to marry this notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she'll end up in more danger than she fled.

My Review:

It is really hard to read a book when you have melted into a puddle of goo over the hero. Seriously, there's no where for your glasses to rest for one thing. And you have to keep taking breaks to try to solidify yourself. And reading The Reluctant Duchess in a heat wave? Not advisable. Because Brice is undoubtedly one of the most delectable heroes I have met in a long time. He'd give Prince Charming a run for his money in charmingness. Flirtatious -- oh my -- start fanning yourself now. He's clever and witty and perhaps a little too sure of himself where women are concerned. No worries of an inflated ego though. Rowena takes care of that. :-) And the thing I love most about him? He is unapologetically faith-filled. A man who follows the promptings of the Spirit even when they don't make sense.

Rowena has been brutalized by the men in her life so she doesn't quite recognize what a gem Brice is. She's always looking for his angle. Fueling her anger over past injustices and taking them out on him. So reluctant to trust. Unwilling to believe that God could ever notice her so she is utterly confused by Brice's faith. Another barrier to keep them apart. And she's an expert at putting up barriers. One after the other until Brice gently tells her that he expects nothing but that she be the woman God made her to be. And then he gives her the freedom to do just that.

Honestly, the way faith is woven into the foundation of this story is astounding. And just because Brice allows himself to be led by the Spirit doesn't mean he always gets it right. Especially where Rowena is concerned. But what a sweet, joyous experience it was to watch her take those first tentative steps toward a relationship with God. Not only did my romance loving heart sing over this book but my inspiration seeking soul was nurtured as well.

And then there's the Highland location, the rich Gaelic folklore, a full cast of intriguing characters, some of whom we met in The Lost Heiress! Serious intrigue, sinister enemies, a priceless treasure that may or may not be cursed. What more could you ask for in a book? Except maybe exquisite historical details, witty banter, toe-curling romance....well, you get the idea. The Reluctant Duchess is pretty much this bibliophile's idea of sweet perfection.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  The Reluctant Duchess 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 June 26 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Honor and Defend

GIVEAWAY
EASON, LYNETTE
HONOR AND DEFEND

A perilous reunion

Framed for a crime he didn't commit. Lee Earnshaw is two weeks out of prison when an ex-con tries to kill him and his former love, K-9 rookie cop Ellen Foxcroft. Recognizing their attacker as a man he met in prison, Lee knows he must be the intended target. But is the shooter settling a score, or does Lee have something he wants? Determined to start over, training puppies and maybe getting a second chance with Ellen, Lee vows to keep both of them safe. But as they investigate together, Ellen's golden retriever partner at their side, they find themselves dead center in a killer's crosshairs.

Rookie K-9 Unit: These lawmen solve the toughest cases with the help of their brave canine partners

My Review:

Another installment of the Rookie K-9 Unit continuity series and I'm chomping at the bit to see if my suspicions are valid in the over-arcing suspense thread. You don't need to have read the first three to enjoy this one, but it sure is fun to speculate!

Is there anything cuter than Golden Retriever puppies? I think not! And there are three in this story! And a hunky hero who just also happens to be a dog trainer. Serious heart palpitations! Lee's determined to take his life back...and that includes resuming his ill-fated romance with Ellen. She's intent on crime solving so she can finally escape her home town for good. There's no room in her life for opening her heart to anyone, let alone ex-boyfriend, Lee. Besides, she feels way too guilty over the way she treated him. Life gets even more complicated when they become targets of illusive predators.

Lots of action and intrigue balanced by sweet romance made me a very happy romantic suspense reader.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  Honor and Defend 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 June 26 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Ringmaster's Wife

GIVEAWAY

CAMBRON, KRISTY
THE RINGMASTER'S WIFE

An ounce of courage. A leap of faith. Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life -- one that's reimagined from what they might have become.

In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confines of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World's Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny -- a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.

A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling boards a ship to American as a last adventure before her arranged marriage. There, the twenties are roaring and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.

When Rosamund's path crosses with Mable's and the Ringling's glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, choosing instead the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brother's circus.

A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster's Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the Greatest Show on Earth!

My Review:

A unique blend of biography and fiction makes this a truly captivating read. Cambron's talent for bringing history to life really enhances the story. I was as enamoured with the real life hero and heroine as I was with the fictional ones. And the circus setting makes a magnificent and unusual backdrop for both romance and mystery.

The Ringmaster's Wife is divided into time periods -- not really a dual timeline kind of book though -- more like flashbacks that bring Mable and John's story up to the 1920's where they mesh with Rosamund's. I was a bit confused at the beginning so just make sure to read the chapter headings which distinguish time and location and that will keep things clear.

This is a book with two distinct heroines who require equal billing. And interesting to note that their stories are exact opposites in some respects. Mable goes from rags to riches -- a poor farm girl with nothing but dreams who sets out to make something of her life and ends up romanced by a wealthy showman. Through her marriage to John, she becomes one of America's 'royalty'. Meanwhile, Rosamund comes from British titled wealth but shrugs off her perfect pedigree in order to chase her own dreams. I love the fact that both women set out to live the life of their choosing --- not the one society tries to foist upon them. And, of course, the exceptional men who encourage them.

Though this novel lacks an inspirational thread, there is a wonderful motivational message about finding the courage to follow your dreams. Both Mable and Rosamund overcome incredible odds to achieve their goals. I adored the wisdom that comes from Mable's life experience. She never takes on airs but is always open to providing opportunities to assist people to rise above their circumstances. She plays such a pivotal role in the lives of both Colin and Rosamund. I love the way her generous spirit brought out the best in both of them. Everyone needs someone to believe in them the way Mable does.

A fascinating glimpse into the drama, tragedy and triumphs of life under the big top.

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


GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  The Ringmaster's Wife 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 June 26 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

June Giveaway - Week Three









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, June 18, 2016

Butterfly Palace

GIVEAWAY

COBLE, COLLEEN
BUTTERFLY PALACE

Elegance and wealth. Privilege and politics. The extravagance of Butterfly Palace overwhelmed Lily's senses and nearly smothered her painful memories. She pushed away her misgivings...she was perfectly safe in this huge house.

Austin, Texas 1904. Abandoned by the love of her life and still mourning the loss of her mother, Lily Donaldson has turned her back on the pain and come to Austin for a fresh start, working for the Marshall family as a kitchen maid in their luxurious mansion. The tasks before her are legion, and her mistress less than pleasant, but at least Lily's new life will be, if nothing else, distracting.

Then one night, while serving at a dinner party, Lily recognizes the man who abandoned her -- Andy, her liaison from the livery stable, the blacksmith's son -- sitting among the distinguished guests. Though he recognizes her, Andy does not acknowledge her aloud, and Lily is left reeling, flabbergasted, and irate.

But before she can get an explanation, the path of the Servant Girl Killer swerves very close to Butterfly Palalce, sowing terror among the maids. Having come to Austin to start anew, Lily suddenly feels trapped in a spider web. How can she know who to trust in a house where lies come dressed in fine suits and deceit in silk gowns the colors of butterfly wings?

My Review:

Colleen Coble is a master story weaver and she does it again with this intriguing upstairs/downstairs romantic suspense. An intricate plot features a bevy of sinister activities including a serial killer and political intrigue! And poor Lily finds herself enmeshed in it all. This small town girl gets way more than she bargained for when she moves to the city -- including laying eyes on the fiancĂ© who deserted her. And she can't understand why he has changed his name and is moving in social circles far above his lowly station. Suspense is even intertwined in the romance!

Told from multiple points of view, I was especially intrigued by Belle's story. Pampered and spoiled and coldly conniving, she clashes with Lily at every turn. But circumstances work to soften Belle's hard edges during the course of the novel and I am hoping she will get her own story in the near future.

A lighter faith thread about being refined by struggles weaves some seemingly diverse threads together beautifully. It's amazing how Coble was able to tie up so many loose ends in such a complex plot. I had some things figured out and was feeling quite smug until she surprised me!

Murder, mayhem and romance at the turn of the century makes for an engrossing read.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  Butterfly Palace 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 June 19 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!