Broken Things, Hidden Things

I really liked the Focus on Love box set, it was one of my favorite reads in this batch of books. Another favorite was The Forgotten Life of Evelyn Lewis.

Broken Things  Faded Photograph Series – Broken Things book 1 – Andrea Boeshaar ….. Allie was young and wary of marriage. Jack was devastated when she left him behind to take a job with her father in another city.

They’ve both been through disastrous marriages. They’ve each raised a son they adore.

Allie’s job is taking her back to the place where it all began. Maybe it’s time to reach out and make amends. It won’t be as easy as she hoped. The handsome cop she promised to love forever has become a bitter man and he is not happy to see her.

Hdden Things  Faded Photograph Series – Hidden Things book 2 – Andrea Boeshaar ….. Looking through her mother’s mail, Kylie opens a wedding invitation and out falls an old photo. A group of friends  – three girls and a guy. Her mother is one of the girls and they are part of a political demonstration, by the look of the signs they carry. The date on the picture is April 1969 but that can’t be right. Kylie was born in April and her mother does not look like she’s nine months pregnant. Marching in a protest can’t be right either – her mother was the most private, conservative person she knew. If this picture is real, it would appear her mother has been hiding some things all these years.

It’s too late to question her mother but maybe the others in the picture could shed some light on the truth.

Focus on Love box setFocus on Love Romance Box set – Catch of a Lifetime, Dance Over Me, Focus on Love –   Candee Fick

This is one of my favorite box sets, I loved all three books and they still stand out in my memory as a good read.

Catch of a Lifetime is the blossoming love story between an injured football player turned coach and a injured gymnast turned athletic trainer.

Dance Over Me and Focus on Love are both set in dinner theater. The dancer in the first story discovers her talent is greater than she has been led to believe by others in the cast. In the process of learning the understudy role for the main character, she  falls in love with the trumpet player helping with her rehearsal. The dancer in the second story discovers, in spite of what she thought, her love for photography is greater than her love of dance. She has a handsome new photography friend and mentor to thank for the revelation.

First Crush  First Crush – Ashley Elizabeth Ludwig …… Natalie is shocked to receive a call from a lawyer informing her the grandmother she didn’t know existed is dying and needs her to be there. Newly arrived in town, the pressure is   to sell is already being applied.

With her hotel background she sees potential in the property and begins renovations to bring it back to it’s former glory. Someone else has their own big plans for the property and the  pressure to sell has escalated to harmful threats.

Nick, the contractor helping with her project, has never gotten over the unsolved murder of his sister. He’s beginning to suspect a connection between her murder and the threats Natalie has been receiving. It could be happening all over again?

The forgotten life of Evelyn Lewis   The Forgotten Life of Evelyn Lewis – Jane Rubietta ….. Evelyn’s company is on the brink of bankruptcy and a desperate need for a solution has her deciding to sell her inheritance – a farm she loved as a child. The property is tied up in an unexpected and complicated trust, making a quick sale impossible. The pressure mounts as her office demands her time and presence, and the farm trust demands the same.

The manager responsible for operating the farm is worried she will sell the valuable land right out from under him. A buyer is trying to pressure her to do exactly that. So many things to consider. On top of it all, the lure of the farm is calling her back to a life she can barely remember.

Skirting Tradition   Aspiring Hearts Series – Skirting Tradition book 1 – Kay Moser …..  This is book one in the story about a young woman with aspirations of becoming a teacher, in a time when it was socially unacceptable. The second book Ruffling Society was mentioned in the post before this one. It was actually more about Sarah’s training years. This one is more about the characters she had as mentors at the beginning of her educational journey. They were women who defied tradition and achieved most of their dreams. They paid a dear price for those decisions but if they had it to do over, they wouldn’t change a thing. Well, maybe some things but not the ones that counted.

Wagon Train Baby   Love on the Santa Fe Trail series – Wagon Train Baby book 1 – Linda Ford …..  Donna Grace does not trust men. Unmarried and pregnant, since her husband was already married, she’s trying to return to Santa Fe where she was raised. Her wagoneer father has decided not to go this trip, leaving her without a male  escort. The wagon master will not allow an unattended female to travel with him, ever.

Luke is carrying a heavy load of guilt for his inability to protect the woman he loved and  he’s vowed never to leave another person unprotected. When he hears of Donna Grace’s dilemma he steps up and offers a marriage of convenience. She accepts reluctantly and without grace. The wagon master has to be convinced this alliance is real and  forces them to work together to prove it. Then, the birth of her daughter, while still on the trail, changes everything.

Happy reading!

Don’t forget to check out the book lists on the genre pages. Maybe they will help give you some inspiration.


The Secret of Willow Inn

Here is another installment in the long list of books already read.  As always, there were some I enjoyed more than others but they were all a good read. Lots of variety in the story lines and a number of authors I’d not read before.  Eleven books in all since two were box sets.

The Secret of Willow Inn  Willow Falls Series – The Secret of Willow Inn book 1 – Pat Nichols …. Emily, who has always longed for a sister, is devastated when her parents are killed in a tragic car crash. She’s only just told them she is expecting twin girls.

Her parents dream for this small town is the restoration of Willow Inn and the crumbling hotel next door. They are pursuing an investor but haven’t heard from him in weeks. If he doesn’t come though will it be possible for Emily to carry on with their dream?

Rachel wants to be an actress, that’s been a dream since childhood. Her driven father has other plans. He expects she will take over as head of his highly successful real estate investment business one day. A client, with an interest in establishing a vineyard in Willow Falls, wants to take her for an onsite visit to help close the deal. Will time away help her find the courage to stand up to her father?

Sadie has recently been released, having serving a thirty year prison sentence for shooting her step father. With nowhere else to go, she has  returned to Willow Falls. The Sheriff and his wife believe in her but many of the other residents don’t and feel she needs to leave. Emily sides with the Sheriff and is willing to give Sadie a chance. There is more to the story than anyone has been told.

It seems this small town holds many secrets. And somehow these lives are woven together.


Stories from a Front Porch A Southern Season: Four Stories From a Porch Swing – Lillie Beth in Summer – Eva Mae Everson, Ice Melts in Spring – Linda W Yezak, Through an Autumn Window – Clair Fullerton, A Magnolia Blooms in Winter – Ane Mulligan ….. I found these stories didn’t all appeal equally but were still worth the read. Each romance was unique.

Lord of Her Heart  Lord of Her Heart – Sherrinda Ketchersid ….  Her father sent her to a convent allowing only sporadic visits to the castle she calls home. She’s worried because he’s not answered her letters in more than a year.  She overhears a conversation between two nuns, planning to marry her off soon unless she willingly takes her vows as nun. Disguising herself as a young lad she runs away before this can happen.

Malcolm is in a hurry, he’s travelling with the intention of winning a tournament to secure property for himself. His sense of honor has him taking the time to rescue a scrawny young lad, suffering a beating at the hands of two burly men. He has no idea he’s rescued a girl. Or that they share a destination.

Her secret is out when she suffers a serious knife wound in a skirmish and he has to treat the wound.  Her identity and purpose for travel is still a mystery. She may live to regret not trusting him.

finding love in the low country  Finding Love in the Low Country Series – Somewhere a Rainbow book 1, After the Storm book 2, Southern Gentleman book 3, Catch of a Lifetime book 4 – Yvonne Lehman ….  All four were stories worth reading. Painful pasts, secrets, family responsibilities, learning to trust again.

Ruffling Society  Aspiring Hearts Series – Ruffling Society book 2 – Kay Moser …. Sarah is the daughter of an immigrant farmer and is destined to marry the son of a neighbor so that, jointly, their farms will prosper. Her dream is to become a teacher. Her mother had such a dream, once, and is determined to help Sarah escape.

Lee is drawn to the beautiful new young woman. Sarah is drawn to him too, but she’s afraid. She believes marriage would destroy any hope of achieving her teaching dream.

Mentors with means are opening doors for her, wanting to help her realize her potential, while quietly encouraging love.

Lee doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Her dreams are important to him and he can wait.

More to come.

Happy Reading


Among the Poppies – and six more

Last post I mentioned I was behind (no lie, I am) and that there would be bare bones information given until I could catch up. That was the intent but it was impossible not to say something, so, each book has a small blurb. I hope you feel enticed to read some of them.

Flights of Fancy  American Heiresses Series – Flights of Fancy book 1 – Jen Turano …. this is about an heiress needing to flee an arranged marriage to an elderly, disgusting man. She is desperate to find a way to disappear and not be dragged back.

The plan she comes up with is to answer an ad for help in a small rural community, using an assumed name. The position she finds is for housekeeper, something she knows nothing about. She hopes she can fake it enough to be believed.

The man hiring her is desperate, for several reasons. He can see she is lying but his family has taken to her and convinces him to give her a chance.

Will Not See   Sight Unseen Series – Will Not See book 2 – Chautona Havig …..  Housekeeping awakens her when they enter a hotel room they think is empty. They begin to back out of the room when they see her but stop at her cry for help. She’s distraught because it’s a strange world. She doesn’t know who she is, where she is, or why she’s here.

Not knowing what else to do, they take her to a hospital for help. This is not a first time situation for hospital staff. They still don’t know how to deal with it so they call in the first victim, hoping her experience will offer the help they don’t have.

The contents of her hotel room suggest she has powerful connections somewhere, but where?  What possible dangers could her past hold?


True to You  A Bradford Sisters Romance – True to You book 1 – Becky Wade ….  She is a librarian, genealogist, and business owner – with a painful romantic past. She’s decided marriage is not for her. She’ll immerse herself in her career and business ventures. That will be enough.

He has had a successful military career. Now he’s faced with medical issues which means he needs insight into his genetic makeup. Finding anything about his birth family has proved to be a challenge and he needs help. That’s why he’s here… he’s been told she maybe be able to uncover the information he’s after.

Among the Poppies  Among the Poppies – J’nell Ciesielski …. She has no interest in becoming a lady of privilege. She’s been allowed to learn much as chauffer’s daughter and now…. All she wants is a chance to put her knowledge of engines to work  and do her part in helping to win this war.

Gender and social status work against her in normal channels but an alliance with a powerful benefactress gives her the opportunity she needs. She’s determined to become an ambulance driver on the battlefield.

Love for a handsome captain isn’t enough to keep her from volunteering for dangerous missions.

For Love of Liberty  Silver Lining Ranch Series  – For Love of Liberty book 1 – Julie Lessman ……  They were arch enemies in school years, always battling for first place honors.

She’s completed her university training and taken a job in journalism. One of her first tasks is to interview the director of a major railway company. Her nerves are on edge, she has to do well at this if she wants a chance to be taken seriously.

Waiting is torture. With her attention on the view outside the window the approach of someone from behind catches her unaware. It’s a shock to turn around and find the person she is here to interview is…….. her arch enemy.

A Perilous Proposal  Carolina Cousins Series – A Perilous Proposal book 1 – Michael Phillips …. This is a story of life for blacks after the abolition of slavery. The life of slavery was hard but life after slavery has it’s challenges too. Just in different ways.

Michael Phillips has a heart for hearing stories that need to be told and he tells them well.

the Second Noel  The Second Noel – Chautona Havig …..  She learns that a family has been scammed. The Diabetic Alert Dog worth thousands is a fake, he has not been properly trained. The community feels ripped off because they contributed for this one and now many think they shouldn’t be asked to give a second time. She feels bad for the dilemma of this family and is determined to find a way to help them. Their son nearly died because the dog missed the signs.

For some reason, he feels compelled to try and help her with this cause. He is unaware of her animosity toward him for not calling again after their first and only date five years ago.

The mention of these books has been in limbo for a number of months, that why one from Christmas made the list.

Happy reading everyone.

Don’t forget to check out the Romance and Mystery pages for a complete list of books mentioned on this blog. You may find them to be a helpful resource.

Thriller and Historical Mystery

Two books that I enjoyed enough to read all the way through, a number of weeks ago.

Enjoyed is probably not the right word for a thriller dealing with destructive behavior but I think you know what I mean.

I managed to write a synopsis of the first one but not the second, in spite of time spent planning it out. It was planned enough that I feel like I did write it. It was a big surprise (and disappointment) to find I hadn’t. Oh well.

I want to add these books, and others, to my lists of books read but I am seriously so far behind that I have to find a simpler way to move on. The other choice is to stop keeping track altogether and I don’t want to do that.

I am already culling the list I keep, by raising the bar on what will be included. This means leaving off some of the books I’ve read and are worthwhile.

Maybe I will add some straight to the list without adding them to a post first. There is some merit in that thought. Sometimes I need a way to remember what I’ve read, even if it was less than 4 star. Straight to the list would be good.

So there you have it, I’ll add books to the posts with less fanfare for a while, at least until I can get caught up.

Or, like a book so well that I just have to talk about it. There have been some of those alright.

Whatever happens will be a surprise, by the looks of it.

Blow out the Candles   Blow Out the Candles and Say Goodbye – Linda S Glaz ..

A thriller….   little girls, kidnapped and sold into overseas slavery, or given new identities and adopted out to the highest bidder.

A couple, posing as upstanding citizens move into an unsuspecting community. They gain everyone’s trust and then hold an amazing birthday party ending in a sleepover.   Arriving the next morning to retrieve their five year old daughters, the parents meet with shock and horror.  Everyone in the house has vanished, including all evidence anyone has ever lived there.

Brandy’s little sister, Tory, vanished after just such a party and life has been forever changed for their family. Brandy and her father Joe both suffer the anguish of misplaced guilt, believing they are responsible somehow. Brandy’s mother suffered two years of unbearable pain over the loss of her baby and ended it by taking her own life.

Crooked cops, unscrupulous lawyers, blackmailed judges, and award winning actors posing as upstanding citizens, have all worked together to make this lucrative enterprise a success.

Until now.

Things are beginning to slowly unravel.

a dangerous road   A Smokey Dalton Novel – A Dangerous Road – Kris Nelscott (pen name of Kristine Kathryn Rusch)  ….

A Dangerous Road happens in Memphis near the end of Martin Luther King Jr’s life

I enjoyed this book.

The mystery is figuring out who responsible for a large donation to his checking account. The next thing to find out is why. A decade later and another infusion of cash ramps up the concern and the need to know where and why.

A beautiful rich woman, looking for a particular detective, seems to be connected to his mystery. Could their mysteries be related?

I hope you are finding as many books as I seem to be finding these days.

Be sure to check out my Romance and Mystery Pages if you could use some reading suggestions.

Happy reading!



Rhapsody in Red

Discovering a new source of reading material has been exciting. The rut I was in has been abandoned with the infusion of new material and authors. Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas is responsible for this. I’d come across some of their books at some point in time and enjoyed  what I’d read so it was an easy decision to sign up for their weekly  free books email. I’ve been downloading five or six a week, gobbling them up, then  watching for a new email with more.

So far I’ve loved most of them with just a few I had trouble relating to. That’s pretty normal wit any list of books.

There are seven here today, many of them are books read and loved in the last week.

LPC Free Books is actively recruiting new readers with an offer of free downloads so check them out. Each book has a link for their emails so they are very easy to find.


Rhapsody in Red  A Preston Barclay Mystery – Rhapsody in Red book 1 – Donn Taylor …..  Preston Barclay has returned to half days as Professor of History, just to have a little contact with others.  A solitary existence as a sheep farmer since the death of his beloved wife has been his choice and while he needs to get out more he’s not prepared to give it up entirely.

He is attracted to Mara Thorn, the new headstrong instructor, but resists and limits his interaction with her. The feelings are mutual. Attraction and resistance.

Wrong place at the wrong time has them as prime suspects in the murder of a colleague. It appears they were the only ones in the building when she was murdered. And, the discovery of the body when they went to her office looking for her has only served to compound the case against them.

Administrations inept attitude toward discovering the real murderer is not helping.  Preston and Mara need to lay aside their prickly attitudes and find a way to work together to clear their names and keep their jobs.


at first glance  At First Glance – Susan L. Tuttle …..  Penny Thornton is a popular, successful, and insecure, estate planner. Her insecurity is tied to her controlling, dysfunctional family.  She’s beautiful but feels she can never measure up to her sister Belle, especially when it comes to attracting men.

Jonah is related to Belle’s fiancé and is interested in Penny but she rebuffs his advances, thinking her family is matching making, again.  Easton, handsome and flirty personal trainer, makes Penny feel special when she enlists his help. She has agreed to lose enough weight to suit her sister’s demands.

Her insecurities blind her to the truth about motives. Things are not always what she thinks they are, Making choices to prove something to her family, hoping for their approval and acceptance, is leading her to more heartache.

She’s the only one who can’t see the truth of this.

Jonah decides to fight to have her in his life, hoping she will discover the truth about motives before it’s too late.


the Children of Main Street  The Children of Main Street – Merilyn Howton Marriot … Katie Collier didn’t expect things to go this way when she opened her mental health clinic. She was prepared for adults – not the overwhelming number of broken children seeking her out.

The inability to have children of their own has broken her heart. She feels compelled to take on an unhealthy workload trying to make a difference and dull the pain – to the detriment of her marriage.

She is unable to say no to one special little girl and, without consulting her husband, has agreed to take her home for a time.

Her husband has been loving and supportive in so many ways but…. this is too much.

She’s caught, faced with a choice between two loves. Either way her heart will break, again.


Summer of Deception  Summer of Deception – Elva Cobb Martin ….  Rachel York is wanting to get away from difficult circumstances at home and can’t rest not knowing what happened to her Drug Enforcement brother. They’ve been told he went down in a plane crash near Charleston but details are sketchy.

Her university advisor, and friend, has introduced her to an elderly gentleman looking for a summer nanny for a small girl. She agrees to the position because the plantation is also near Charleston. It will give her a chance to learn more about her brother before she starts her new teaching position in the fall.

Luke Barrett is a wounded and retired special forces marine. He’s also recently widowed, with a small daughter and a plantation to run. When an unexpected young lady arrives at the door, he is full of distrust and is unwilling to believe her story. It seems his uncle has engaged a nanny for the summer but died of a stroke before letting the rest of the family know about his arrangements.

Luke is trying to find out why she is really here, he suspects there is more to the story than she’s letting on. Rachel can’t be honest about why she’s taken this job. She’s promised her brother she wouldn’t compromise his DEA contacts by sharing what she knows. Luke can tell she is hiding something but then so is he. DEA suspects a major drug ring is operating somewhere near his plantation and they have identified him as a trusted source of information.

Rachel hears small planes in the night and wonders. A face reflected in the store window is unsettling, it looks like her brother but when she turns he’s gone. She’s determined to figure out what’s going on.

Stumbling across a packet of drugs in an old trunk in the attic is devastating. Could Luke be involved too? Who can she trust in all of this?


A Season to Dance  A Season to Dance – Patricia Beal …..  This is a book of second chances.  Ana Brassfield has a passion for dance but it seems she can never achieve the high level of her dreams. Relationships go wrong for reasons she doesn’t understand. Amazing opportunities present themselves and yet there are setbacks and betrayal.

She needs to hold on long enough, to see bad experiences turn into something good.


Sing a new song  The Wardrobe Series – Sing a New Song  book 2 – Candee Fick ….  Pampered Diva Gloria Houghton has her successful dinner theater career  cut short with a knee injury. She can still sing but dancing is out of the question.

Heading to Branson Missouri for a summer singing gig; she intends to make a good first impression and secure her place as star of the show. A bucket filled with dirty water and a wet floor soon brings an end to that plan. Her bad first impression is compounded when her bedraggled reaction to the janitor exposes her as a snob.

Over the next few days she realizes she has competition in the diva department. It’s a wake up call. She’s getting a taste of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of bad behavior and doesn’t like it very much. She’s seeing her own actions in a new light and is ashamed when she realises what she’s done to make cast mates dislike her so much.

Life has taken a downturn in her personal life as well. With the new experience of a money shortage she finds herself working for the lowly janitor just to put a roof over her head and pay the bills.

She’s discovering that things, and people, are not always what they seem and what looks like bad can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.


A Perfect Weakness  A Perfect Weakness – Jenifer A Davids … Dr. John Turner is leaving medicine. The experience of civil war in America plus the loss of a patient close to him has left him with a huge burden of guilt. He thinks the world will be a better place if he finds another occupation.

Penelope Howard has her own heartache. The responsibility of seeing to the needs of the villagers belonging to the Hall helps her to get through the days and weeks. Now her uncle has died and her  future is uncertain. His will names John Turner as heir in place of the son he never had. If Dr. Turner arrives from America with a wife, the responsibility for the villagers would pass to her and Penelope will have to find another way to survive.

Everyone is excited about the new doctor coming to help carry the load. It’s a shock to meet him and find he refuses to take on that role.

Penelope is relieved to find he doesn’t have a wife. She will be needed to continue on with her visits and nursing duties. This means regular contact with the Lord of the Manor and it leaves her  hoping there will be a chance of convincing him to change his mind. Hopefully it will be soon. They need him.

Instead of getting better, the situation is getting worse. Not everyone has taken his refusal gracefully and he thinks that his leaving will make things better for everyone.

It takes an epidemic rushing through the village to wake him up and change everything.

Happy searching… and happy reading!