The Forever Farmhouse

Welcome to the Takeover + Review Blitz for The Forever Farmhouse by Lee Tobin McClain, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book:

Title: The Forever Farmhouse
Series: Hometown Brothers #1
Author: Lee Tobin McClain
Publisher: HQN Books
Release Date: September 6th, 2022
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance

A Chesapeake island homecoming—and a life-changing discovery

When Ryan Hastings first came to Teaberry Island, he was a troubled teen on his last chance. He’s returning as a renowned scientist, checking in on his widowed foster mother. But one thing hasn’t changed—Ryan’s feelings for the girl next door whom he loved…and left. Mellie Anderson has a son now, and a good life that Ryan believes he’s still too damaged to share. But he knows he can help young Alfie, who’s getting picked on at his new school.

Mellie is grateful her gifted son is getting extra support, and torn about where it’s coming from. Ryan has no idea he’s Alfie’s father. No matter how valid her reasons were, could Ryan ever understand why she didn’t tell him? But in this close-knit community, friendship and forgiveness are always near at hand, and forever love might be waiting just next door.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | BookBub

ALSO AVAILABLE

Christmas at the Coast
Reunion at the Shore
Cottage at the Beach
Forever on the Bay
first kiss at christmas
Home to the Harbor

Book Review:

I’m a huge fan of small town stories. I think they’re adorable, and I love the community aspect of them. And this is a sweet small town second chance story. It was more intense than I was expecting, but it was still really cute!

I loved Ryan! He was such a sweetheart, and I felt so bad for him as you learned more about his past. He was a foster kid who had an abusive stepfather. McClain doesn’t give a lot of details, but he was beaten often and shoved into dark spaces for hours upon end. Even though he has a huge heart, he thinks he’s emotionally damaged. He believes he can’t do relationships, yet Mellie and Alfie make him want to try.

Mellie was struggling, and she didn’t know what to do. She wanted to protect her son, but she also wanted to protect herself. She didn’t want to get hurt again. Mellie was definitely a caretaker and a sweet character. I felt like she was understandable, so I didn’t end up resenting her for not telling Ryan about Alfie.

Alfie was so much fun! I love books with kids in them, but I feel like generally they’re a lot younger. Alfie is ten and incredibly smart, so he added a different flavor to the book. It was sweet to watch him bond with Ryan. He also adored Betty, Ryan’s foster mom. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Betty honestly. I understood her grief, but there were many times when it felt like she was acting like a 20 year old.

I think this is a cute romance about the importance of second chances. It was a bit more drama filled than I was expecting, but it was still really good! There is one moment where Alfie flips off his mom, but otherwise this is a clean read. I would recommend it for fans of romantic dramas 🙂

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, I was not required to write a positive review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lee Tobin McClain

Lee Tobin McClain is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels. A professor-turned-writer, she finds inspiration in her beautiful and brilliant daughter, her goofy goldendoodle, and her aptly named cat, Trouble.

Connect with Lee by visiting leetobinmcclain.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of The Forever Farmhouse, a cute tabletop farmhouse decor piece, and a $25 Amazon gift card!

The Forever Farmhouse JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight September 6, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on September 13, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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Before the Fortress Falls

About the Book:

Before the Fortress Falls by [A. L. Sowards]

Title: Before the Fortress Falls

Author: A. L. Sowards

Release Day: April 1, 2022

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Formats: Print, ebook, audio

Genres: Christian Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, War Fiction

When rumors reach Vienna that an attack by the Ottoman army is imminent, Wilhelm von Schor, one of the emperor’s courtiers, prepares to evacuate his family—including his sister, Katja. But Katja’s reluctance to leave the city and the people she loves so well grows the farther the family carriage gets from her childhood home. When she learns that another brother, Xavier, is returning to Vienna with his musketeers, she decides to remain behind and face the shadow of war.

Katja soon reunites with Xavier and also with Toby, a dear friend from childhood. As Katja and Toby renew their friendship, an element of attraction builds on the comradery of their youth, and they quickly realize they have found something worth fighting for: love. But all too soon, the Ottomans encircle the city, blanketing its inhabitants in fear. Katja, Toby, and Xavier must each fulfill their new roles if they are to survive. In the overcrowded hospitals, below ground in the countermines, and on the ramparts defending the city walls, the three must fight for love, family, faith, and the survival of their city and everyone inside.

Book Trailer:

Book Review:

Wow! This was a stunning book. This book started off a bit slower for me but I knew that it could happen. My brain takes a while to process things so it took me a little while to read, but it was a great book! Before the Fortress Falls is by A.L. Sowards. The characters were so engaging and the story was beautiful. It was fun to read from different perspectives and I think it really made the story interesting. 

Katja was a strong character who was trying to do what she thought was best. Although the Ottoman army was coming, she chose to stay in Vienna. I thought that Katja was an interesting character, she felt so real. Life was hard, they were in the midst of a siege and yet she did not give up. However I liked how there were still times when she was afraid or when she felt overwhelmed, but how she still pressed on and looked to God. 

Toby was also a wonderful character, his life had not been easy but he worked hard. I liked his strength and his willingness to help serve his home city. Although he was afraid, he still wanted to protect his home. He was human though and there were times when he got discouraged. However though it all he still worked hard and he even encouraged Katja when she got down. 

Toby and Katja had a sweet romance. They had been old friends, and it was sweet to read about them. I liked how their romance was a slow burn, it was definitely cute to read about them interacting and helping each other. They had their troubles and an invasion to fight off, but they worked together. 

Xavier and Wilhelm were some of the other perspectives that you got to see. I really liked reading from both of their perspectives. They had a few different views on life, but they both wanted to save their home city. Although they fought and disagreed, they were still family. I really liked the family feel of this book. Katja, Wilhelm, and Xavier all had different views on life and ideas, but they still cared for each other even when things got hard. 

The action was very exciting in this book and it was definitely fascinating to read about. I felt as if I learned a lot from the battle scenes and from what the soldiers did to try and prepare for battle. It was really engaging. There are some more gruesome wounds and deaths mentioned but it fits the book and the scene. 

Before the Fortress Falls is a wonderful book and I would definitely recommend it! Before the Fortress Falls is a historical romance book. 

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required. 

About the Author:

A. L. Sowards is the author of multiple historical fiction novels, with settings spanning the globe from the fourteenth to twentieth centuries. Her stories have earned a Whitney Award, several Whitney Finalists positions, and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal. She enjoys hiking and swimming, usually manages to keep up with the laundry, and loves it when someone else cooks dinner. She currently lives in the beautiful state of Alaska with her husband, three children, and an ever-growing library.

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Newsletter | Goodreads 

The Thief and the Noble

About the Book:

The Thief and the Noble by [Dana LeCheminant]

Title: The Thief and the Noble
Author: Dana LeCheminant
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: February 1st, 2022
Genre: Historical Fiction

As the daughter of a marquess, Lady Marian Russell is poised to impress in her first London Season. She is young, beautiful, and wealthy—but catching an eligible husband is the last thing on her mind. Marian is disillusioned with how the upper class lives while the poor of London suffer, and she is determined to right this imbalance. When she comes face-to-face with a mysterious man who steals from arrogant aristocrats and redistributes the spoils to the poor, Marian recognizes a motivation that mirrors her own. She is determined to discover the true identity of the unscrupulous hero and offer her assistance. 

When she unmasks the bandit, however, Marian is stunned: he is none other than the elusive Lord Robin Loxley. In exchange for her silence, Robin begrudgingly agrees to train the lovely Marian in the art of thievery, quickly realizing that his heart may be stolen next. But when Robin and Marian discover a copycat thief operating in London, they are faced with a foe whose purpose is far from noble. Amid distracting suitors, becoming champions of the poor, and a growing attraction they can’t ignore, can they expose the renegade pilferer without risking themselves—and each other?

Book Review:

Happy sigh, this was just as good as I had hoped. I have been in a bit of a reading slump so this book took me longer to read, but it was still super sweet and fun. The Thief and the Noble is Dana LeCheminat’s first historical fiction and it was just a lovely book! The Noble and the Thief is a historical fiction retelling of Robin Hood, I mean how cool is that?

Marian was so fun! I loved her spunk and her kindness, she wanted to help those around her. I loved reading about Marian as she tried to figure out how to help those around her, she was a lady and she knew that she had much. However Marian was struggling to figure out how to help the less fortunate when she bumps into a thief, Robin. It was so cool to read about Marian learning more about herself and learning to stand up for those around her. Marian was an awesome character and I just loved her growth throughout the book. 

Robin was a sweetheart, he was the perfect hero. He was kind, but he was also kind of standoffish. I loved his relationship with his family and with Marian. He put up this facade to those around him but he let Marian inside of his walls. Robin was a thief, and yet there was more to him than met the eye. I loved learning more about Robin and his values, he had to learn to let people into his heart and to not close himself off. 

Marian and Robin were lovely together, I really enjoyed their interactions. It was a lot of fun to read about them together. I also adored Robin’s sister and Marian’s cousin Will. The side characters were lovely additions to the story. The plot was very interesting and I didn’t know what was going to happen. There were a few twists and turns and I couldn’t put the book down. 

The Thief and the Noble is definitely a must read! It was just as good as LeCheminant contemporary books! I would totally recommend The Thief and the Noble! The Thief and the Noble is a clean historical fiction retelling of Robin Hood. 

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required.

Of Daggers and Deception

About the Book:

Of Daggers and Deception by [A. L. Sowards]

Title: Of Daggers of Deception
Series: Duchy of Athens Series #2
Author: A. L. Sowards
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: 
December 6, 2021
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction, Medieval Adventure

After years as a soldier and mercenary, Rasheed has retired from battle to run the bathhouse in Thebes with his friends Gillen and Eudocia. The simple life suits them, so when Venetian strangers come to town looking to hire the renowned crew, their answer is no. But when one of his friends is abducted, Rasheed is left with no choice but to take up his weapon and join forces with the Venetians, including the beautiful and clever Cecilia, whose betrothed has also been seized by the unknown foe. 

As the reluctant allies face ambushes and the looming threat of capture, Rasheed and Cecilia forge a surprising connection. But as the party races to rescue their friends, Rasheed discovers that nothing is as it seems. As his trust in Cecilia begins to waver, he realizes that in the end, they will both be forced to make a choice between love and duty.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Deseret Book | Seagull Book

Book Review:

This was a fascinating book with engaging characters and a thrilling plot! Of Daggers and Deception is the sequel to A.L. Sowards book, Of Swords and Shadows. I have heard so many great things about this book and the first book that I had to try it out. Of Daggers and Deception is set 11 years after Of Swords and Shadows and it follows Rasheed as he takes up his sword to save his friend. 

Rasheed was such a complex character, it was so interesting to read from his perspective. He was such a deep character, he had been through a lot and he was still learning how to create a new life for himself. I loved his loyalty and kindness, he was loyal to his friends and would do anything for them, they had become his family. Although his family had been horrible to him, he was still kind and he still tried to be considerate of others. Rasheed was learning how to see past his mistakes and how to care for himself. He had been looking out for others so much that sometimes he got lost in the crossfire. 

Cecilia was also interesting, she was smart and she wasn’t afraid to speak up for herself. However her uncle had trained her that she must be loyal to her family and that a woman’s place was to be quiet and assist her husband. But Cecilia still tried to be herself. It was sweet to read about her connection with Rasheed. But there were times I was frustrated with her because she seemed to be resigning herself to whatever fate her uncle chose for her. Cecilia will have to make a choice, will she allow her uncle to control her life or will she stand up for what is right?

The plot was so interesting, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I enjoyed this book, however I did have to get myself to read it. Every time that I started Of Daggers and Deception, I loved it and didn’t want to put it down. However once I put it down, it was harder to pick it back up again. But it definitely was a great book! The characters felt real and I loved reading about them connecting and interacting. The side characters were a great addition to the book

Of Daggers and Deception is a great book if you love historical fiction, action, and lovable characters. It is a bit more violent because they are in 14th Century Greece, but nothing felt too gory or like it was written in too much detail. I did enjoy Of Daggers and Deception and I would recommend it to at least 13 and up. 

Content Warning: fighting, blood, wounds, mentions of slavery, mentions of whipping, etc.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required. 

Giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0ae98b8a293/

About the Author

A. L. Sowards is the author of multiple historical fiction novels, with settings spanning the globe from the fourteenth to twentieth centuries. Her stories have earned a Whitney Award, several Whitney Finalists positions, and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal. She enjoys hiking and swimming, usually manages to keep up with the laundry, and loves it when someone else cooks dinner. She currently lives in the beautiful state of Alaska with her husband, three children, and an ever-growing library.

Website | Instagram| Facebook | Newsletter | Goodreads

A Companion for the Count

About the Book:

A Companion for the Count: A Regency Romance (Clairvoir Castle Romances Book 2) by [Sally Britton]

Title: A Companion for the Count
Series: Clairvoir Castle Romances #2
Author: Sally Britton
Release Date: May 2, 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction

Miss Emma Arlen’s position as a companion never included distracting her mistress’s suitors, but when a handsome Italian ambassador arrives determined to find an English bride, Emma happily takes up the cause.

Emma Arlen has spent a decade as a member of the duke’s family, in the position of companion to his daughter and ward to the duke himself. She would do anything to show her support to the ducal family for their love and kindness. When Lady Josephine begs Emma to distract a most determined Sicilian suitor, she agrees at once. How hard can it be to keep one man entertained for a few weeks?

Luca, the Conte di Atella, left his home in the newly formed Kingdom of the Two Sicilies under the direct orders of King Ferdinand I. Luca’s duty as ambassador to England includes everything from negotiating better trade agreements to strengthening the bonds between the two nations. If possible, by marrying a lady of high birth. When he optimistically sets his sights on Lady Josephine, Miss Arlen consistently disrupts his plans. The more time that passes, the more he realizes he does not mind at all.

Continually in the conte’s company, Emma recognizes in him a spirit of adventure and nobility like she has never witnessed before. When the time comes for him to go, will she be able to part with him and keep her heart intact?

As the second stand-alone novel in a new series by author Sally Britton, this story continues the Clairvoir Castle romances. This is a light-hearted, romantic series set in the Regency period.

Book Review:

The 2nd book in the Castle Clairvoir romances, A Companion for the Count is a sweet regency romance perfect for spring! Emma has grown up alongside the Duke of Montfort’s family as his ward and companion to Lady Josephine, his daughter. She is loyal to the family and loves being with them, yet feels slightly apart from them. The arrival of an Italian ambassador who she and Lady Josephine are to help welcome, brings new uncertainties to her life. 

This was so cute! J had the opportunity to read the 1st book, Mr. Gardiner and the Governess, so I was so excited for this story! Emma seemed so kind and intelligent. I was just waiting for her book! It was just as good as I hoped!  Emma is intelligent, thoughtful, and observant. I really liked her and think that I would love to have her as a friend. Her natural observant nature and enjoyment of learning and exploring was so interesting. She definitely knew how to read a room and make people feel comfortable.

Luca was also very sweet. He was so serious and intentional. I thought that it  was very admirable how he understood his purpose and his role. I loved seeing both of their perspectives, especially of each other! They both found the other so compelling. It was lovely to see them grow comfortable with one another. I thought that it was also lovely to see how they complemented each other. They were both very intelligent and educated, aware of politics. Emma was really able to help Luca with her knowledge and lightheartedness. He brought her companionship, with care and intelligent conversation. They could talk to each other and truly understand each other. Both of them had insecurities that they had to overcome in their love story. 

I also loved seeing characters from the last book and some set up for the next book! It was so cool to see life at Clairvoir from a different perspective. I thought that it was also cool to see into another country through Luca. I would definitely recommend this book to those looking for a sweet clean regency romance. It was super cute and you should definitely also read Mr. Gardiner and the Governess, the first book.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, I was not required to write a positive review.

Redemption

About the Book:

Redemption by [Traci Hunter Abramson]

Title: Redemption
Series: Saint Squad #11
Author: Traci Hunter Abramson
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: September 20, 2021
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Gage Stewart has spent five years trying to overcome his past. Once an abused and troubled teenager, he has worked tirelessly to move beyond the fateful day he was manipulated into holding a group of teenagers hostage. Now, with a new identity and a college degree in criminal psychology, he accepts an unlikely job teaching others what to do during mass shootings.

At the hotel where his class is held, Gage is immediately drawn to Skyler Prescott, the daughter of the wealthy hotel owner. Gage and Skyler quickly discover a shared desire for normalcy, and their easy friendship soon develops into something more. But after a night out ends in horror when a gunman opens fire in the crowded venue, they make an alarming discovery that threatens more than their relationship. The attack was little more than a publicity stunt to draw out the real target: presidential candidate Senator James Whitmore. Unwilling to become someone’s scapegoat, Gage must now work in tandem with the very men who ended his own life of crime before it began—the Saint Squad.

Book Review:

I haven’t read any of the other Saint Squad books but Redemption was still amazing and thrilling! Redemption is the 11th book in Traci Hunter Abramson’s Saint Squad series and it was truly a wonderful suspenseful book! Redemption had so many wonderful characters and a story that I couldn’t put down. I know I need to read the rest of the books. I now have so many books to add to my TBR!

Skylar was so fun to read about, she was learning how to be herself and not let her family define her. She just wanted to live a quiet life, but being related to a man who owned hotels had their perks. It was sweet to read about her falling in love with Gage, she allowed him to see parts of herself that she kept hidden from the rest of the world. However,  will she stand with Gage when she learns about his past? Will Skylar be able to see the changed man that Gage had become?

I felt for Gage from the beginning. He had gone through so much at a young age and I wanted him to find peace. I enjoyed reading about him as he learned to forgive himself and  move on from the past. It was cute to read about him falling in love with Skylar and wanting to make her feel special. However, teaching others what to do during mass shootings brings back memories of his past. Gage had to figure out how to help others and see the good in himself. 

Gage and Skylar were definitely a lot of fun to read about, but it was also so interesting to read from some of the other Saint Squad members’ perspective. It was cool to read about the Saint Squad and it made me want to read the other books. I love characters who find their “family” and stick with them. The characters were lovely, and their relationships were so relatable. The action and suspense were perfect. I didn’t feel scared but I also couldn’t put the book down. I needed to know what would happen and how it would end. 

Redemption is the first suspense book that I have read written by Traci Hunter Abrmason, but it will definitely not be the last. I would totally recommend this book, even if you haven’t read the rest of the series it is still great. I also love how the title fits the story, it was such an awesome redemption story. 

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required. 

Giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0ae98b8a282/

To Marry an Earl

About the Book:

To Marry an Earl by [Karen Thornell]

Title: To Marry an Earl
Author: Karen Thornell
Publisher:  Covenant Communications
Release Date: September 1, 2021
Genre: Historical Romance

Katherine Cartwright knows through bitter experience that true love is fiction and trust should not be bestowed easily. Now, after two unsuccessful London Seasons, her atrocious father has decided to marry her off to the highest bidder to pay for his gambling debts, ridding himself of the daughter he never wanted. A profitable deal is struck, and Kate is packed off to the home of her betrothed, an earl she has never met. Or so she believes.

When James Fenwick, the new Earl of Bowcott, learns that the girl he’s loved since childhood is being sold off like chattel, he’s determined to step in and save her. He makes an offer her father cannot refuse and insists on a proper engagement. But when Kate meets James again, her old friend cannot bring himself to admit it is him whom she is to marry. Soon, an intricate charade and a past that cannot be escaped jeopardize James’s chance at rekindling their friendship, to say nothing of winning Kate’s heart. Can love truly conquer all, or was this a match doomed from the start?

You can read the first chapter here:

Book Review:

I have been eagerly waiting to read Karen Thornell’s newest book! I found her through the bookstagram community and I was so excited to read To Marry an Earl! It took me a little while to get into the book, but once I started truly reading I was hooked. The storyline was really engaging and the characters were lovely.

I felt bad for Kate, Katherine Cartwright, her father seemed like an impossible man who made life horrible for her. She was desperate to find a life that she could call her own, however her plans were once again disregarded when her father married her off to the highest bidder, an earl. Things start to look up when she is reunited with her old friend James Fenwick. But as she spends time with him, she finds herself falling for this man. However when the truth around her engagement comes to light will their relationship last? Will Kate be able to trust James after all he had put her through? 

Kate was an interesting character, she was trying to protect herself from more hurt. However, she also found herself falling for James and that made her conflicted because she wasn’t sure how she felt about him. He had hurt her before, so she was wary. I liked reading about her growth as she learned to trust herself and gain confidence. I learned to like her more and more as I read more about her. I also liked how she was a strong character, as she learned to overcome the obstacles that were thrown into her life. 

I liked James from the beginning but I also wanted to bash him over the head. He made so many silly mistakes with Kate, but he was trying his best. I liked how James tried his best to care for Kate and put her first. He truly did love her in his own way, but he was struggling to figure out how to show her because of how tentative she was. He was trying to learn how to love Kate and figure out what it meant to be an earl. He was kind and willing to help those around him. 

The side characters were also fun, I really liked James’s friends Lucas and Henry. I hope that they get their own books! Julia was also sweet. These characters really helped make the book. I loved reading about their interactions. The servants were sweet, especially James’ cook. James and Kate had to learn how to make a relationship work with each other. They also had to learn to work through the truth. 

To Marry an Earl was a lovely book! I would definitely recommend it, especially to those who like regency romances! I can’t wait to see what else Thornell writes. To Marry an Earl is a clean Regency romance. 

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required. 

About the Author:

www.karenthornell.com

Karen Thornell grew up reading when she should have been sleeping, but it wasn’t until 2019 that she started writing. Tired of ending books and saying ‘goodbye’ to beloved characters, she wondered what it would be like to have her own characters that lived in her head always. It was probably a mark of sleep deprivation that she wanted people living in her head, but the idea was planted regardless. 

Karen lives in Utah with her husband and kids. When not writing contemporary or regency romance, she spends her free time doing endless loads of laundry, playing board games, and, yes, talking to those characters in her head.

Giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0ae98b8a281/

Song of Salzburg

About the Book:

Title: Song of Salzburg
Series: Romance on the Orient Express
Author: Jen Geigle Johnson
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: August 2, 2021
Genre: Historical Romance

When talented violinist Freya Winter is chosen to take part in a musical celebration alongside some of the best instrumentalists in the world, she is thrilled. Performing in front of royalty is a breathtaking opportunity, but her true motivation for traveling to Salzburg is to fulfill an unlikely dream: to meet and train under the renowned Salzburg Maestro, a master musician shrouded in mystery. 
Freya travels aboard the Orient Express to practice with the newly formed orchestra in Salzburg, and nothing can distract her–not her mother’s illness, nor her father’s domineering ways; however, when a handsome passenger becomes a regular fixture on her journeys, Freya feels her focus blurring. Conversation with Erich is easy, and their shared love of music draws them undeniably closer. But even as they open their hearts to each other, the harsh realities of her family life intrude on the future she’s envisioned, and Freya feels her dreams slipping through her fingers, threatening to rob her of everything she cherishes most.

Book Review:

This series has been so good and I was incredibly excited to read Song of Salzburg. Song of Salzburg is the fourth and final book in the Romance on the Orient Express series. I adored the music and romance in this book. The characters were also a lot of fun,  and I loved the relationships Freya made as she studied music.

Freya was a lovely character. I really enjoyed reading from her perspective. She loved music and you could tell as you read about her. I loved her growth as a character, as her music playing improved and as she learned more about herself. She had to learn how much music meant to her and what she was willing to give up in order to do what she loved. It was also sweet to read about her falling in love with someone who loves music just as much as she does. However, will the secrets he hides keep them apart?

Erich was the perfect match for Freya. I loved their relationship. They really bonded over music. He was a complex character, so it was always fun to read more about him. He really cared for Freya and he helped her stay calm as she tried to find her place. I really liked him. 

Freya made so many friends, and I loved seeing the other characters. Friendships are always so awesome to read about, and I adored the people Freya hung out with. The side characters and side stories were awesome. 

Song of Salzburg was an amazing book! Freya was trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. She just never expected to find love on her journey. The plot was interesting and I couldn’t put this book down. I would definitely recommend it. I am just sad that the series has to end. 

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, I was not required to write a positive review.

A Dark Beauty

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: A Dark Beauty
Series: Victorian Retellings #1
Author: Clarissa Kae
Publisher: Carpe Vitam Press
Release Date: 
March 7, 2021
Genre: Fairytale

A Victorian Twist on Beauty And The Beast

Bold and brilliant, Georgiana has a gift for fixing machines—from clocks to carriages—while her father has a penchant for finding trouble. In an accidental fire, Georgiana and her father scar the once handsome face of Lord Pichon, cousin to the queen.
Rumors of Georgiana’s gift raise her family’s status. Her incomparable beauty captures the eye of many gentlemen and the wrath of Lord Pichon. Abandoned by his peers and alone in his cold castle, Lord Pichon is determined to enact revenge.
When Georgiana’s father makes a terrible mistake, she sacrifices herself to pay his debt—as a lowly maid in Lord Pichon’s castle.
Her wit and warmth begin to thaw Lord Pichon’s estate, making him question his version of the past. Will her kindness break the beastly lord or will he hold her family hostage forever?

Click here to get your copy!

Book Review:

Ahh! This was such a good book! I knew that I would like it but it was even better than I expected. A Dark Beauty is the first book that I have read written by Clarissa Kae and I am now hooked. It’s the first book in Clarissa Kae’s new series, Victorian Retellings. It was a wonderful twist on Beauty and the Beast.

Georgiana was a strong woman but she was also hurting. She grew on me as I read more about her. Although life had not been kind to her, she was still loving and cared for those around her. Dom confused her but it was sweet to read about her falling in love with him. 

Okay, so I think I liked Georgiana from the beginning, however, Lord Pichon had me from the beginning. I really liked Dom. He had gone through some hard times, and he was really scared. But he was a really nice guy underneath it all. It was so fun to read about Dom coming out of his shell. I loved how he respected his staff, and they cared for him. 

I really liked the characters from this book, and I enjoyed the story line. It was such a unique twist on Beauty and the Beast! Oh my goodness, this book had my attention and I couldn’t put it down.The suspense and action grew as Dom and Georgiana tried to figure out what was true. The storyline was amazing. I had no idea what was going to happen. It was so cool to see the parallels to Beauty and the Beast, and yet still be its own book. Georgiana and Dom were forced to confront the secrets of their past that haunted them both. They were on a race to figure out the secrets of Georgiana’s father that could very well be to their detriment. 

A Dark Beauty was such a thrilling book and I would definitely recommend it! I can’t wait for the next book in the series, it is a great start! 

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author

Clarissa Kae is a preeminent voice whose professional career began as a freelance editor in 2007. She’s the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director.Since her first novel, she’s explored different writing genres and created a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her upcoming release. With numerous awards to her name, Clarissa continues to honor the role of storyteller.Aside from the writing community, she and her daughters founded Kind Girls Make Strong Women to help undervalued nonprofit organizations—from reuniting children with families to giving Junior Olympic athletes their shot at success.She lives in the agricultural belly of California with her family and farm of horses, chickens, dogs and kittens aplenty.

More from Clarissa

As a young girl most of the fairy tales talked about beauty as the only attribute but when Disney came out with Beauty and the Beast, my world was rocked. For the first time the heroine was a woman with a brain and a plan. I began researching the fairy tale and read every version. When my youngest daughter was born (with dark hair and big beautiful brown eyes) I named her Isla Belle. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of writing a Beauty and the Beast retelling. And finally, that dream as come true.

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, March 25

Labor Not in Vain, March 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 26

The Write Escape, March 26

Books and Everyday Life, March 26

Texas Book-aholic, March 27

Breny and Books, March 27

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 28

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, March 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 29

Through the Fire Blog, March 30

Inklings and notions, March 30

deb’s Book Review, March 31

Connect in Fiction, March 31

Inside the Wong Mind, March 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 1

Inspiration Clothesline, April 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 3

To Everything There Is A Season, April 3

Beauty in the Binding, April 3

Connie’s History Classroom, April 4

Blogging With Carol, April 4

A Baker’s Perspective, April 5

Genesis 5020, April 5

Pause for Tales, April 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 6

Godly Book Reviews, April 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 7

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, April 7

Mary Hake, April 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Clarissa is giving away to two winners one $25 Amazon gift card each!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/109d3/a-dark-beauty-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Zodiac Trails

About the Book:

Title: The Zodiac Trails
Author: Michele Khalil
Publisher: Indy Pub
Release Date:
July 24, 2020
Genre: YA

For as long as anyone could remember, there have only been twelve Zodiac Signs. Gifted by the stars with two abilities each, the twelve signs had maintained balance in their world for centuries. Now, a thirteenth sign threatens to upend the balance…

Talah grew up hearing about her ancestral homeland called the Galaxy. Hidden away on Earth from the world her parents had escaped from, she dreamed of becoming a true Zodiac. When her chance finally arrives to compete in the Trials and join her people for good, she is all too eager to prove her place. But beneath the lavish parties and power lies a dark secret their history had forgotten. And with it, a boy she thought she’d never see again.

Firas had spent his whole life training for the Trials to take his true place as the Soulinus heir. But when he is hunted down for the extra abilities he was born with, he has to learn to survive. Now the leader of a people facing genocide, he has to outwit a centuries-old society with powers that rival his own.

Thrust into a forgotten civil war neither truly understand, Talah and Firas must find the balance between tradition and freedom.

Book Review:

Oh my gosh! This was so intense! I loved the world, the unique fantasy, the interesting characters, it was all great. I was immediately interested from the description. I am always intrigued by mythology and fantasy, but I have not had the chance to read many inspired from zodiac. From the start, I entered another world. The world of the Zodiacs is full of elemental abilities and ancient Middle Eastern and Asian influences. It was so cool to see a world pulling from there and to learn a little bit about the ancient culture. Some of the descriptions of architecture and clothing were so pretty! The concept was also really cool, I love the idea of having special abilities based on zodiac sign. 

The story was so interesting! Throughout the whole book, there were new revelations in every chapter! Up to the very last chapter, there were new twists. Disclaimer, this is not a stand-alone. This is not even a mostly conclusive, but with a few strings pulling towards the next book kind of story. This is a full-on cliff-hanger ending, I need the next book immediately kind of story. I think I might have screamed a little when the book ended. The action in the story was exciting, the intrigue was surprising, and I loved the character’s connections. 

Characters are always my favorite part of a book. Firas was so passionate and committed. He felt such a connection to those like him, those different from the molds Zodiacs had, the traditional abilities each sign possessed. He has had to survive and lead a people who have faced and continue to face genocide. It was sad to see how he had to face such cruel stoicism from those who he formerly knew and trusted. It was sweet that he had found new connections with his people. I liked Talah’s strength. She wanted to help people, but she felt the pull of fitting into her new world and pleasing her family. She really cared about the people in her life. Talah was very loyal, which made some of the surprises in the book all the more shocking and impactful. 

I really enjoyed this book and would totally recommend it! It is fantasy, a bit on the older teen spectrum with some violence. It also has a dystopian vibe, which can endear or turn off some. Again, beware that this is the first book in a trilogy and does not have a neat ending. However, it is interesting, compelling, and really cool!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.