Free books August 22, 2022

BookBub has a FREE suggestion for us this time. It could be good. I’m not sure, but the price is right to give it a try.

Even Forever: A Clean Western Romance (Boulder Creek Romance Book 1)

The last thing Rosalie Tomkin wants is another man trying to control her life.

Rosalie’s abusive jailbird father and her ne’er-do-well brother have cured her of that. Not even the wealthy visitor staying in her beleaguered mother’s boarding house can tempt her. She plans to leave Boulder Creek as soon as she can scrape together the funds to do so, and when she does, she won’t ever look back.

Michael Randolph is in a high-stakes competition for the family business and intends to beat his half-brother, no matter what. So when an innocent encounter with Rosalie threatens to cost him everything he hopes to achieve, he’s willing to pay the price demanded by her no-good father. Even if it means marrying a damsel in distress.

Strangers placed in an impossible position, Michael and Rosalie can agree on one thing. Neither of them wants to stay together any longer than they must. What they don’t know is that fate might have a better future in store for them than either could imagine.

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LPC Free Books has a FREE suggestion for us (they aren’t always free.) I’ve read other books by this author but I don’t believe I’ve read this one. Unless it was in a collection somewhere. It does sound a little familiar. I’ll give it a shot and see.

Mountain Man (Finding Love in the Blue Ridge Mountains Book 2) 

A “Briskin” had dared to trespass on forbidden Maxwell land—and that spells trouble.

Meera Briskin is determined to find out for herself whether the Maxwells are the unmitigated rogues she has been taught to hate. The long-standing feud between the two families that began three generations ago—the result of a chestnut tree blight brought in from the Far East—is still very much alive.

Posing as a participant at a writers’ conference held at the famous Chestnut Lodge, run by none other than Elliot Maxwell, Meera soon is caught in the web of her own deception. Should she admit to being a Briskin and face immediate expulsion? Or should she linger, knowing that with each passing day that her feelings for her enemy grow stronger?

There’s madness in these mountains—and in the heart of one Briskin daughter.

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I’m moving on to the next read. This is my second try to find something to hold my attention. The first one was WWII era, I have read too many of them and find it’s not easy to engage anymore.

I think I’ll try a mystery instead.

Wow, it’s been on my list since April 2021, how did that happen? I’m guessing there were other Lyn Cote books in the recently read pile and I needed a change

Spring’s Storm: Clean Romance Mystery (Northern Intrigue Book 6) 

Thea’s new next door neighbor turns her small town and her life upside down.

Trace is handsome, successful and committed to helping others. He’s a mover and shaker. She’s a quiet piano teacher. Yet opposites attract, don’t they?

Bad things begin happening on Trace’s property and troublemakers compete with each other to stop him in his mission to provide a new place for kids.

All the while Thea is caught in the middle–between the people she’s known all her life and this new man in town. When and how will the nastiness end? And will it end before someone gets hurt? Badly?

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Supper is sounding really good right about now.

Supper and a good book.

Happy Reading y’all

Free book suggestion August 21, 2022

BookRunes has a FREE suggestion for us by a man I have never read. It seems I downloaded but didn’t read two of his Young Adult stories in 2013. This one is adult fiction although I see by his booklist he has written extensively for children and teens.

The first few pages of today’s book caught my interest so I’m looking forward to this read.

Men writing romance novels seems like an oxymoron to me and curiosity has me wondering what it will be like. I’ve read a few over the years and so far they have been a pleasant surprise. I expect this will be as well.

When I stop and think about it, many of my favorite authors over the decades have had a romantic element in their stories and I didn’t think twice about it. Must be I’ve gradually become jaded by contemplation of life’s experiences. I look forward to it anyway.

The Duet

Four hands. Two hearts. One song.

When widower Gerrit Appeldoorn takes his granddaughter to piano lessons one day, he finds himself drawn to her music teacher, a woman unlike any he has known. It’s an unlikely attraction. He’s a retired dairyman with mud on his boots; Joan Horton is a world traveler and former piano instructor at New York’s prestigious academy of music. Not quite “beauty and the beast,” but close.

Even so, Gerrit slowly begins to open his heart to Joan, to music, and to the possibilities that may be found in both. Yet as their relationship deepens, Gerrit faces crises concerning his family and farm, and Joan confronts a dark secret that threatens her future. While coping with these challenges, neither can predict how their duet will sound as they practice the music of renewed hope and second chances.

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Last night I was trying to pick a new read and had three possibles. I settled on the Regency Romantic Suspense and it turned out to be a good choice. It has the perfect blend (in my estimation) with the suspense element being the stronger of the two. Two thirds of the way through and I’m still loving it.

A Perilous Plan: A Regency Romantic Suspense (Imperiled Young Widows Book 1)

Penelope Hammond finds herself a widow at the age of twenty-three, having been married five years to a man she barely knew. Her husband, David Hammond, Lord Hampstead, was a member of the House of Lords who rarely said more than a few words to her in a week’s time–and often did not come home at night.

Henry Gilchrist seems to know more about her husband than she does–that he was unfaithful to her with a young Frenchwoman who Penelope thought was her friend, that his gambling problem had sunk him deeply in debt, and that he had stolen some very important plans that could put the entire country in danger. And now both the French and the English governments think she knows where these plans are.

Penelope had no idea that her husband stole secret plans and intended to sell to the French, but no one seems to believe her, except Henry Gilchrist. When she starts to fall in love with the handsome young Member of the House of Commons, will he be too embittered from a former lost love to accept his own growing feelings? But first they must save themselves from those who would do them harm, or there will be no future for them, either together or apart.

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It has been a good book day. A good reading day too.

Happy Reading y’all

Bargain book August 20, 2022

The way things were going I didn’t expect to find any new books today. This Lisa Phillips mystery is a nice surprise. Here I thought I was going to have to resort to a this and that post and I’ve been wracking my brain for something to say. Saved by the bell, I mean, book.

Hunted 

When zoologist Elise Tanner is brought home to re-open a zoo destroyed by flood, she takes on more than she bargained for. This single mom is determined to set up her son Chase for his future, but the cost might prove too high when she runs into the last man she wants to see again.

US Marshal Jonah Rivers is the head of a Fugitive Apprehension Task Force hunting Elise’s brother. When a threat brings them together, both Elise and Jonah must contend with their shared past. There isn’t a moment of his life she wasn’t a part of…until she married his brother. Connected by grief and the betrayal of his family, the future they want is just out of reach.

Torn apart, life has brought them back together.

Jonah will protect Elise and his nephew while his team works to figure out who is targeting her, as long as his feelings don’t cloud his judgment. Locating her brother is the key piece to this puzzle, the answer to discovering who is behind illegal animal trading. Until an old friend proves more deadly than they ever imagined. But can they protect their hearts?

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That’s all that came up in the search. It’s not like I need more, I just always want more.

I’m investigating the choice for next read after skimming through a dissatisfying romance (all cotton candy, no meat and potatoes) so that didn’t last long. There is no clear winner, so far, on what’s next. So many choices.

Here are three possibles.

Decisions, decisions.

I’ve started the first one A Perilous Plan, let’s see how that turns out. So far so good, there is hope.

I’ll let you know later how it goes.

Happy Reading

Book of the month? August 19, 2022

I think it is. This book stood out for me, way above the rest of this months reads. I love it when that happens.

A well crafted story is what did it for me this time. The relatable characters were fully developed and interesting. From beginning to end the tale was engaging. But the biggest reason, aside from the plot, was the slow reveal of a complex story. The unforeseen twists and turns continued right to the very last page.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

Nothing is ever perfect though and one scene did rankle. There was an altercation with life threatening injuries but the outcome was barely mentioned. The story just stepped over the body and kept moving on. We, the readers, were left stuck at that spot needing resolution of some sort. The incident was briefly mentioned later but it came across as an after-thought.

In a way I can see why it was left hanging like it was. More time given to the who and why of the incident could have taken the story down an unwanted rabbit trail. The event did clear up an aspect of the mystery and was needed for that but . . .

I can see the issue but have no thoughts on how it could have been handled any better.

In spite of that blip, I loved the book. Well done.

A Midnight Dance 

“Politano writes beautifully, evoking the magic of ballet and the theater from the opening turns to the final curtain, leaving readers applauding for an encore.”–Booklist starred review

***

All theater romances are tragedies. Ella Blythe knows this. Still, she cannot help but hope her own story may turn out different than most–and certainly different than the tragic story of the Ghost of Craven Street Theater. Yet as she struggles to maintain her tenuous place in the ever-shrinking ballet company, win the attentions of principal dancer Philippe, and avoid company flirt Jack, Ella cannot deny the uncanny feeling that her life is mirroring that of the dead ballerina.


Is she dancing ever closer to the edge of her own tragic end? Or will the secrets that are about to come to light offer release from the past?

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Usually I open a new book the minute a last page is read.

Out of respect, this beloved book needed to be savored for a while.

Morning might be soon enough to move on.

Or not.

I doubt I can wait that long.

I’ll check out today’s book suggestions while I’m waiting and reassess later.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Not much to be had today. August 17, 2022

I did browse Amazon today looking for books but still have nothing new. Tomorrow is another day and there is every chance it could be better.

Today was a good day for one thing though and that was mosquito bites. Something we all could do without. It’s tough working outside while being eaten alive.

That’s my big complaint for the day.

Other than that things went well and we got lots done.

Photo by Mau00ebl BALLAND on Pexels.com

I can hear a book calling my name too. I had best answer.

Happy reading y’all.

Bargain books August 16, 2022

Two books, but two is better than none.

Christy Barritt is one of my favorite authors and boy is she prolific. It looks like she has written over two hundred books and she’s sold over three million. Impressive.

I’m not sure how I didn’t know about this new book but I do now. It’s the beginning of another new series.

Bound by Murder (Beach Bound Books and Beans Mysteries Book 1) 

When widow Talitha Robinson buys an old store on the boardwalk in Lantern Beach, North Carolina, she’s in for a surprise . . . or several. She plans to renovate the space and open Beach Bound Books and Beans, but never expects to find a decades-old skeleton hidden inside one of the walls.

As word of the discovery spreads across the island, strange occurrences begin to occur around her. It soon becomes clear someone still knows something about the dead person—something they don’t want discovered.

Thankfully, former police chief and current mayor Mac MacArthur seems just as eager to unravel the mystery behind the skeletal remains as Tali. But as the two bind together to solve the case, a devastating secret is revealed.

Will their newfound friendship come unglued before they find the answers to the past? Or will their blooming relationship die like the man hidden in the wall?

Bound by Murder is book 1 in a four book series of novellas. Though the main mystery is resolved, there are threads that will continue throughout the entire series.

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I have read and enjoyed this next author too, just not as many times.

Strike Force (Courage Under Fire Book 1)

Out of the ashes of defeat comes a brand new mission.

Who will survive?

Forced to change their names just to survive, Former CIA Agents Piper Morgan and Reed Decklin fled the frozen tundra of Alaska to take refuge in the mountains of Wyoming.

With their new identities in place, Sidney Morgan and Kaiden Bennett join the recently-formed Strike Force in order to bring down the deadly terrorist team known only as Legion. But how can you win against an enemy that will stop at nothing to fulfill its deadly plot?

The one good thing to come out of the attack in Alaska was Sidney and Kaiden found each other again. As their love grows stronger, nothing prepares them or the team for the magnitude of Legion’s plan, or how far up the command chain Legion’s reach truly goes. Even to some of the highest offices of government.

In this sequel to the USA Today Bestselling story, Storm Warnings, the Strike Force team is determined to finish the mission that started two years earlier in the deserts of Afghanistan with the deaths of Sidney’s entire CIA unit.

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This was fun tonight. A no-pressure relaxed time to browse was very nice. It makes me want to do it again soon. Hopefully.

In the meantime . . .

Happy Reading

This and that part two. August 15, 2022

It would be helpful if I put the coffee cup under the spout before I press the start button. It did prove, though, that I can move pretty fast first thing in the morning. The unusual sound of water meeting plastic alerted me to my mistake early in the process or I could have had a mess to clean up, although the counter could probably use a wiping anyway.

I’m grateful, more often than I’d like, that the Kuerig designers thought to create a platform to hold unexpected liquid. Especially for those times when distracted me forgets I did push start and though the dark colored cup looks empty it’s not. I hate it when that happens. I’m usually not there and there is a mess to clean up. The overflow reservoir is not built to hold 12 ounces.

The added blessing . . . usually it was only hot water. Coffee comes later, and the good smell reminds me I did push start. Probably awhile ago.

Sometimes I get to drink a cup of very hot coffee.

In last post I mentioned I was almost finished book 5 in the current collection and the ending would still be a surprise. The surprise was, it was anticlimactic. Sadly.

The good news is there are still four more chances to be delighted.

OK, I’m off to drink my cup of hot water. It’s still mostly hot. I think I need that cup of coffee, and my stomach reminds me it needs breakfast.

Photo by lilartsy on Pexels.com

There could be book suggestions today. I will be back if they look good.

Here’s to a hot cup of coffee.

This and that August 14, 2022

I have nothing so I’ll have to wing it. Because I feel like posting.

I’ve been distracted today, listening to the latest news, over and over again. It’s not easy, leaning toward hope for the world. We don’t know the future, things can turn around on a dime in the most unexpected of ways, every now and then.

Hopefully the voice of reason will break through somewhere and save us from crazy decisions that leave us shaking our heads in despair.

With hindsight, we have seen times that didn’t turn out to be the done deals we thought they were. That means there is always hope no matter how bleak life looks in the moment.

I managed to tear myself away from the news long enough to get some grocery shopping done today. The cupboards were seriously empty and my son and family will be dropping in for the night in a couple of days. Now we are ready to be fed.

I’ve been reading another book in the current collection. It has soldiers, spies, assassins, and allies that are suspect for trustworthiness. There are robotic eyes, hands, dogs, even drones that can band together to kidnap people. It has been a good story but somewhat challenging to follow at times. It definitely has unexpected twists and turns. I’m close but not quite at the end yet so it will still be a surprise.

ZERO TRUST by Jan Thompson is the one I’m about to finish

When Mira hires a former soldier to help her assassinate her mother’s killer, she doesn’t expect to target her own father.

◆◆◆

TRIGGERS by Terry Toler is up next.

Will Trigger, the loveable German Shepherd with military skills, be able to save a woman running from an abusive husband and a war hero with PTSD? . . . good question.

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We must always have hope,

and a good book to read when we need a distraction.

Happy Reading y’all

Bargain books August 13, 2022

BookBub has two suggestions for us this time. One is an author new to me and reading the first few pages has me wanting to read more, much more.

A Midnight Dance

Politano writes beautifully, evoking the magic of ballet and the theater from the opening turns to the final curtain, leaving readers applauding for an encore.”–Booklist starred review

All theater romances are tragedies. Ella Blythe knows this. Still, she cannot help but hope her own story may turn out different than most–and certainly different than the tragic story of the Ghost of Craven Street Theater. Yet as she struggles to maintain her tenuous place in the ever-shrinking ballet company, win the attentions of principal dancer Philippe, and avoid company flirt Jack, Ella cannot deny the uncanny feeling that her life is mirroring that of the dead ballerina.

Is she dancing ever closer to the edge of her own tragic end? Or will the secrets that are about to come to light offer release from the past?

Mystery and romance make the perfect dance partners in this evocative story from fan-favorite Joanna Davidson Politano.

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This second one, a collection, is something we have seen before. I can remember the read three years ago.

Dangerous Love (Secrets of Rios Azules Sets Book 1) 

Color of Danger
Life as the sister of a serial killer is never easy, especially when a former runaway Mari Del Lobo becomes a target herself. A recent crime has her late brother’s signature and MO, what Mari finds highly unusual, as she still blames herself for her only sibling’s death. Soon Mari encounters an unexpected – and a very attractive – ally in Dr. Luke Goodman.
Luke couldn’t save his fiancée from the Smiling Killer, but he’ll do anything to prevent more murders, even ask help from the serial killer’s sister. Finding a kindred tortured soul in Mari, Luke is determined to keep her alive, but it’s not easy to protect the stubborn ex-rebel. Can Mari survive to solve the mystery, renew her faith, and find love and redemption
?
Taste of Danger
Small-town librarian Soledad Sokolova has three days to find a hidden Russian treasure – or she and her father will die. Out of options, she turns for help to a hunky stranger, private investigator James O’Hara. But she knows better than to let a ladies’ man break her heart for the second time.
Bound by his word to Soledad’s father, James is ready to protect her at all costs. However, once betrayed, he’s reluctant to fall in love again. Will James and Soledad escape danger and find treasures of faith, love, and hope?

Touch of Danger
Rookie cop Ivan Vargas blames small-town accountant Julia Morrison for his brother’s suicide, as claimed in the note. When Julia is attacked, Ivan wonders if she’s right about the suicide being staged. He’s determined to find his brother’s killer and keep Julia safe but reluctant to lose his heart to the stubborn beauty who’s known to break them…
Hurt in the past, Julia has avoided letting men too close. But she needs Ivan’s help to uncover traumatic secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. Can she stay alive long enough to learn to love and trust again?


Three full-length novels in the Secrets of Rios Azules series. Each book is a complete romance featuring one of a group of childhood friends.

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My current read is still a collection. I’m on book 3

Winter Deceptions: A Collection of Christian Suspense Novellas 

ONE WONDERS by Luana Ehrlich

Silas McKay’s worst fears are realized when his investigation takes an unexpected turn.

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They sure don’t give us much of an idea about the story lines in this collection.

I can say, so far I enjoyed book 1 the most, book two not as much. It was an ok story but not much suspense. Book three is living up to the suspense theme quite nicely at the moment and I hope it continues.

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Another good book day. I’m looking forward to the first read A Midnight Dance

Happy Reading y’all

I’d add categories but they don’t seem to be working for me these days. Haven’t figured out how to fix them.

A rewired brain – abuse, pornography

Abuse and pornography = a rewired brain. Mine has been rewired by abuse starting at a very early age and I’m just now figuring it out.

Probably because I didn’t want to figure it out sooner.

Two things set this event in motion.

One of the comments appearing often over the last several years is that “the body remembers.” I have to say that’s true. One of the fleeting memories I had as a young kid and remember vividly to this day was straddling a metal barrel warmed by the sun, struck by the thought “I’ve had this experience of warmth before somewhere.” There are many other similar memories and thought patterns that added all together lead to a dark place.

Another happening adding to the discussion in my head was a recent podcast where the interviewee talked about his early introduction to pornography and how the practice rewired his brain and made relationships difficult. One of the biggest reasons, aside from guilt, for this difficulty in relationships is connection, or more precisely, a lack of it, and pornography contributes to it. But that’s a subject for another day.

For years I have wrestled with many things about my thought processes regarding men, especially compared to thought patterns of other women. I have an inexplicable love/hate relationship with them. I love having long conversations with my sons and brothers so there’s that. Then, I don’t exactly hate other men, I just run away from any who show interest.

This rewiring is apparent when I can’t understand the fascination young girls, or women for that matter, have with boys/men. The only experience I have with normal teenage thoughts is reading about them in books. I can’t relate to the giggling fascination. Swooning over cute boys, falling in and out of love regularly and sharing all the details of these interactions daily with their friends.

The reason I am happy about this recent new level of understanding about my mixed up feelings is my incessant need to know why. Why am I this way?

I’ve heard other abuse victims say this: there are two sides to the coin. On the one hand you hate the abusive experience forced on you while at the same time, the physical experience has a level of enjoyment to it. Our bodies betray us by liking what is happening.

I guess all of this explains why I have a good attitude toward the physical experience but a negative reaction to the thought of having a man in my life. The unwelcome hazy face rising up at the thought of sharing my life inevitably looks like one I wouldn’t want to be with. A thought killer right there.

I don’t really know how to end this. This whole conversation has been working in my mind for a while and today it seemed like this was the day I finally needed to talk it out.

My journey from abuse to wellness has been decades long and I have to say I am now the healthiest I’ve ever been. I’m grateful. The truth has indeed set me free.

I’m understanding, on a minor level, the kind of abuse inflicted on me, I’ve made peace with the people involved even though they are no longer with us, and I’ve allowed enough difficult memories to surface to make understanding and healing possible.

I can also see the truth in the idea that rewiring by repetition of positive healthy experiences will change neural pathways. We can learn healthy new ways of being. That has been my prayer, that my thought patterns and reactions would be changed to a healthier version.

While I’m still baffled by my complicated thoughts and attitudes toward men, it’s something to realize that over the years (especially the teen years) many of my best friends were guys. It’s with thankfulness that I can agree that the abusive first decade of my life has been somewhat influenced and overwritten by the positive relationships of my free and healthy second decade, the teen years.

I guess I am a product of the good and the bad.

I’m grateful. Grateful for the good parts of life, grateful for the healing and understanding I have today.

I won’t lie though. The healing is not complete, it’s just markedly better. I’m still hiding away from men.

Somethings may never change lol

Enough of this, I’m off to rescue the dryer.