The Librarian’s Journey

About the Book:

The Librarian's Journey: 4 Historical Romances by [Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Marilyn Turk, Kathleen Y'Barbo]

Title: The Librarian’s Journey
Author: Cynthia Hickey, Patty Smith Hall, Marilyn Turk, Kathleen Y’Barbo
Publisher: Barbour Fiction
Release Date: October 1st, 2021
Genre: Historical Romance

A brave fight for literacy during the Great DepressionFour women set out on horseback to bring the library to remote communities

Part of FDR’s New Deal was the Works Progress Administration, which funded the Pack Horse Library Initiative. Ride along with four book-loving women who bravely fight for literacy in remote communities during the Great Depression by carrying library books via horseback. Will their efforts be rewarded by finding love in the process?

Love’s Turning Page by Cynthia Hickey
1935, Ozark Mountains
Grace Billings jumped at the chance to be a traveling librarian, but she didn’t anticipate the long days of work, the intense poverty, or the handsome new schoolteacher whose love for the mountain people surpasses even her own.

For Such a Time by Patty Smith Hall
1936, Pine Mountain, Georgia
Forced out of her nursing job due to budget cuts, Ruth Sims applies for a position with the Pack Horse Library incentive, only to discover she must go to the one place she swore never to return. The children instantly steal her heart with their thirst for books, and she’s happy in her post until she meets their teacher, Will Munroe—the man who broke her heart. 

Book Lady of the Bayou by Marilyn Turk
1936, Mississippi
Forced out of her comfort zone, Lily Bee Davis travels by horse or boat taking books to remote areas. When she meets little Evie and her reclusive father at a dilapidated plantation house, she is drawn by their losses and longs to draw them out into life again. 

Book Review:

A collection of stories about the traveling librarians of the early 1900s, The Librarian’s Journey consists of Love’s Turning Page by Cynthia Hickey, For Such a Time by Patty Smith Hall, Book Lady of the Bayou by Marilyn Turk, and The Librarian and the Lawman by Kathleen Y’Barbo. It is a piece of history that I have never heard of, and I was so excited to read it! I actually saw it through bookstagram which is cool! Each of these stories is about the women’s journey, how they grew and found their place within a difficult and changing world, as well as how they find love. Each story was different, but they were all so enjoyable to read. I mean what bookworm hasn’t thought about being a librarian at one point or another?

Love’s Turning Page by Cynthia Hickey 

Grace and her family live in the Ozark mountains amidst the Great Depression. With a large family, times are tight. When a position as a traveling librarian opens up, Grace jumps at the opportunity. But there are dangers and secrets in the mountains, Grace will need to find help from the local schoolteacher. I really liked Grace and her family. It was fun to see how close they were and how they supported one another. Grace was very relatable, doing her best to work hard and help out her family. I enjoyed reading about all the interesting characters she met along her route too! Anthony was also a sweetheart! He really wanted people to learn and was willing to help. Even though he was also trying to keep his focus on work, he was interested in Grace. They both had to get past what they thought that their futures should look like, especially once their hearts got involved. There were also some suspenseful parts of the story that Grace and Anthony went through, which gave the story a bit more excitement. 

For Such a Time by Patty Smith Hall

Ruth Sims is disappointed to be back in her hometown working as a traveling librarian after losing her nursing position in Atlanta. She feels aimless and adrift. Having to work alongside her one-time fiance doesn’t make it any easier, especially with so much unresolved history. As they seek to aid their community with books and medical care, they also have to re-evaluate their lives and hearts. This one had a little bit of angst. Ruthie and Will were both dealing with past hurts and secrets. Neither was quite where they thought they would be and were adjusting to the changes of their lives. I was a little frustrated with Ruthie because she seemed a bit stuck in what she thought that her life should look like. But it was sweet to watch how her community (and Will!) changed her mind and helped her see that she could have a future there. Will was also very sweet, I loved his family! 

Book Lady of the Bayou by Marilyn Turk

In the bayou of Mississippi, Lily Bee Davis travels to the remote areas by horse and boat to bring books as a traveling librarian. Coming upon a little girl named Evie and her reclusive father in a run-down plantation pulls at her heart, she hopes to help them find life and light again. This one was cute too! I love children and families in stories, so this appealed to me right off the bat. Evie was really cute and she took to Lily so fast. It was really sweet the way that the whole community took to Lily. That was an element that I enjoyed in all of the stories actually, the connections each woman made along her trail. Lily’s grandpa was also such a lovely character, I loved his faith. I also enjoyed how they all grew and went outside of their comfort zones, and found blessings through it.

The Librarian and the Lawman by Kathleen Y’Barbo

Lottie Trent finds more excitement than she expects when she connects with the wife of a backwoods bully and starts carrying messages for her in exchange for the books she carries. But FBI agent Clayton, who is on the trail of a criminal gang is also looking for answers and Lottie might be one of them. I enjoyed the second chance romance in this one, it was really sweet. It is always nice for the couple to have some prior history, it feels like the romance has more to help it move along. This one had more of a suspense element with Clay being an FBI agent and the investigation. It was fun to read about! The characters were really fun to read about, I enjoyed their dynamic. It was cool to read about the FBI back then because it is not something I usually see in historical fiction.

Overall, this was a fun collection! I generally enjoy anthologies and this theme was especially fun! Like I said, I have always had a dream of being a librarian and I liked the community aspect of these stories with the librarian’s trails. I would recommend this to those who enjoy historical fiction with romance and some had a bit of suspense too! This is clean with faith elements.

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.

The Librarian and the Lawman by Kathleen Y’Barbo
1936, Kentucky
Lottie Trent connects with a backwoods bully’s wife by secretly carrying messages for her in exchange for books. FBI agent Clayton Turnbow is on the trail of a criminal gang and discovers the packhorse librarian maybe a key member. 


Daughter of Thieves

About the Book:

Daughter of Thieves (Sands of Wonder Book 1) by [Lichelle Slater]

Title: Daughter of Thieves
Series: Sands of Wonder #1
Author: Lichelle Slater
Release Date: November 13th, 2021
Genre: Fantasy

A street rat. A magic lamp. An obnoxiously handsome prince.

What should have been an easy-in, easy-out job with my father became a nightmare when he was arrested by the soldiers of Zunbar. As if things couldn’t get any more complicated, my estranged mother has demanded I enter the Desert Trials and find the magic lamp hidden inside the Dragon’s Lair cave.

The Desert Trails: a series of ten tasks to prove a sorceress’s proficiency in the art of magic.

How hard could it be?

Only, I wasn’t blessed with the gift of magic.

Surviving the trials is only part of the problem. I’ve inadvertently partnered with Prince “Abu” and he’s bent on taking the magic lamp from me. I’m not about to let some dashing prince steal my father’s freedom.

But the Dragon’s Lair is more like the Cave of Nightmares, and I can’t escape without Prince Abudar’s help. If we don’t work together, we might not make it out alive, and I am not wasting my only wish in order to escape.

Book Review:

I loved The Sultan and the Storyteller, so I was so excited to read Daughter of Thieves! Though I did not realize that The Sultan and the Storyteller was a prologue for this series ;D I was so confused when I first read it, and I was incredibly excited when I realized who all these characters were. I loved that we got so many cameos, but it still focused on an entirely new cast of characters.

Caspara was such an interesting character! Her whole world had fallen apart, and she was trying to pick up the pieces. I loved watching her as she started to grow and learn to trust people. While she wasn’t my favorite character, I felt like I was able to understand her. Also, there are 2 other books, so she has a lot of character growth to  go 🙂

Abu was adorable! I honestly thought he was a jerk when he was first introduced, but he definitely grew on me. While Mithra was really annoying to me at first, I felt like I grew to understand her as I continued to read the book. One thing that I was kinda upset about though is how unaware Mithra and Abu were about the real world. They did not seem to even realize poverty existed in their kingdom. I feel like Sharira and Zayne would have wanted their children to know about the good and the bad going on in their kingdom. While I didn’t love these characters as much as Sharira and Zayne, I’m still interested to see how they’ll grow!

The plot was fascinating to me too! There were times when it felt slow maybe because I was used to reading novellas from Ms. Slater, but it was interesting. I was not expecting a lot of the twists and turns, and I’m excited to see where this series goes next. I have a lot of questions that need answers! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves clean romantic, fantasy books!

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 Book:

Friendshipped: A small town friends-to-lovers sweet romcom (Getting Shipped! Book 1) by [Savannah Scott]

Title: Friend (Shipped)
Series: Getting Shipped #1
Author: Savannah Scott
Release Date: December 1st, 2021
Genre: Rom-Com

Can you keep a secret? … I’m in love with my best friend.

There are three things you should know about me.

  • I hate running. No, really. I only run when someone’s chasing me, and thankfully that’s never happened.
  • My ideal Friday night includes pizza, The Princess Bride, and dancing with abandon.
  • And, I’m madly in love with my best friend.

That right there, that’s my secret.

Trevor, and I grew up next door to one another. Yes. He’s the boy next door. Even now, we rent opposite sides of a duplex, and we work across the aisle from one another at the Corn Corners Tribune. Basically, there isn’t a part of my life Trevor hasn’t touched. I take that back. Me. He hasn’t touched me.

He’s made it clear we’re in the friend zone and whatever feelings he had for me were a passing thing for him, while mine keep growing like a Chia pet on a humid summer day in the midwest. Unruly, and apparently pointless.

So, now I’m resigned to get Trevor out of my system once and for all.

If only Trevor would see me as more than a friend … But, unless he shows me otherwise, I’m going to have to do what it takes to move on.

Book Review:

This was such an adorable rom com! This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Scott, and it did not disappoint. I loved the small town feel, the fun side characters, and the sweet romance. The humor was hilarious too!

Lexi was such a relatable main character! She was quite awkward at times, but I can definitely relate to that ;D I loved how fun she was. All of her commentary in her head was hilarious. The banter she and Trevor shared really showed how perfect they were for each other. I love friends to lovers because all the history is there! They just needed a little push 🙂

Trevor was such a cute character! He simply adored Lexi, and I loved how supportive he was about her dating. He was understandably jealous, but he wasn’t acting like a two year old trying to sabotage her dates like some other guy characters. He was almost too nice, especially with Meg, his ex-girlfriend. I would have loved to see her character fleshed out a bit more because she really became the cliche ex girlfriend. But who knows she may get her own book! 

Although I didn’t connect Trevor and Lexi as much as some other books I’ve read, they were still fun to read about. The plot to this book was super fun too! It was not super stressful and full of laughs. Lexi’s mishaps are hilarious, and her dates are so, so bad ;D There were times when the story dragged a little for me, but it was still fun. This is a clean romance that I would recommend to anyone who loves a best friend to lovers rom coms!

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.

The Dressmaker

About the Book:

The Dressmaker (The Ladies of Roderick Glen Book 2) by [Kristie Self]

Title: The Dressmaker
Series: The Ladies of Roderick Glen Book #2
Author: Kristie Self
Release Date: 
November 2, 2021
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

She wants to forget the tragic memories that tie them together.
He wants to tear down the walls that keep them apart.

Marigold Pendleton has always prided herself on her independence. Possessing neither wealth nor great beauty, she has resigned herself to life as a spinster and is determined to look after her own needs. As dressmaker for the village of Roderick Glen, she is known for her loyalty and compassionate nature. Few of the residents would ever guess the truth—that beneath her sweet spirit, Marigold carries the weight of a dreadful secret and a guilty conscience.

Hadley Stevenson is proud of his position as steward of Cheswick Park, though it often means dealing with the constant drama that haunts the Earl of Rockingham and his family wherever they go. He longs for a wife and family of his own, but his childhood friend, Marigold, has no idea he has been in love with her for years. Despite his best efforts, he is unable to break through the barriers that surround her heart.

When a crisis forces Marigold to rely on Hadley more than she ever has before, she struggles to reconcile her growing feelings for him with the knowledge that he is the only one who knows the truth about the tragic event that has defined her life. As the walls between them finally begin to crumble, can she release the pain of the past to embrace the joy of the future that awaits her?

The second book in the Ladies of Roderick Glen series, The Dressmaker brings to life the continuing stories of the citizens of Roderick Glen as they traverse the rocky pathways that lead to faith, family, forgiveness, and love.

Book Review:

The second book in the Ladies of  Roderick Glen, The Dressmaker dives into the life of Marigold, the town dressmaker. She is cheerful and thoughtful,yet burdened with guilt and loss. As secrets are revealed, Marigold’s life is further upturned.  But when tragedy strikes and she is left uncertain of her future, will she be able to find happiness and love?

I was excited to read Marigold’s story. I knew that there was something in her past, but had no idea what it could be. She was a really interesting character, so strong yet so burdened. I enjoyed reading her growth in facing her past and her feelings. It took quite a while for her to truly come to grips with everything and to accept the people who were trying to help her, especially Hadley! He was so sweet! It was cool to get to see some more of his perspective in this book. He had to work through some things himself. It was sweet to see how much he cared for Marigold. 

Though theirs was the main story, you also got to see further into Fanny, Merry, Victoria, and Fiona’s lives and journeys. I enjoy how bits of all of the characters are shown in the book. It builds up the character development, which is always one of my favorite parts of any story. All of the characters are so intriguing, so I can’t wait to read the upcoming stories! While this is definitely a great story, it wasn’t as engaging to me. Some parts were a little slower for me, but enjoyable overall. 

This is a clean historical fiction novel, with mentions of depression, trauma, and. I would recommend it to those who enjoy women’s fiction/historical fiction, with romance elements. I would definitely suggest reading the first book before this though!

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.

The Proposal

About the Book:

The Proposal: A Sweet, Small Town, Military Romance (Brides of Beaufort Book 1) by [Jess Mastorakos]

Title: The Proposal
Series: Brides of Beaufort #1
Author: Jess Mastorakos
Release Date: 
December 23, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

My best friend is basically my dream girl. Too bad I can’t have her.

As a Marine who jumps out of perfectly good airplanes for fun, you could say I’m fine with taking risks. But not when it comes to Shelby.

For years, I’ve been firmly in the friend zone, right where she wants me. And since I won’t risk our friendship, that’s where I’ll stay. But I can’t pine over her forever.

When I propose to my girlfriend and get rejected in front of the whole town, the joke’s on me. Turns out proposing to the wrong woman because you can’t have the right one is a bad idea.

Shelby’s always had my heart. Can I convince her to trust me with hers?

Book Review:

Um yes, this book was amazing! I have been in such a bad reading slump that even the books I love take a couple of days to finish, but I finished this book in one day! The Proposal is the first book in Jess Mastroakos new series, Brides of Beaufort. It was such a sweet and fun read!

Paul was ready to take the next step in his relationship with his girlfriend and propose, but when she rejected him, his plans went down the drain. Thankfully he has a best friend who will stand by him, Shelby. Shelby has been in love with Paul since high school but because of her heart condition, she has kept him at arm’s length. But when they are drawn back together, they throw caution to the wind and decide to try and make a relationship work. Will their relationship survive or are they destined to just be best friends? 

Shelby was so cool! She was strong and she cared about others deeply. She was kind but she was also more closed off, she let few people really into her life. However Paul was one of those people who would stand by her against anything. She had some health issues so she was worried about life. It was interesting to read about Shelby as she was navigating life with her health condition, it did not define her but it was still a part of her. I loved reading about Shelby as she learned to let Paul into her heart and how to learn life to the fullest. She was just a wonderful character.

Paul was a sweetheart. I adored his relationship with Shelby and how he cared for her, he was so sweet. I also liked reading about his interactions with his family and friends. Paul just wanted the best for Shelby and he was trying so hard to be a good friend. It was differently cute to read about him caring for her and just being a great friend. I loved reading about them falling in love. Paul had to figure out what it meant to be in a relationship with Shelby and how to make her feel loved. 

Shelby and Paul were such a sweet couple together and I loved that they were friends first. They had a comradery and it was just so cute to read about them interacting. I also adored the side characters. Paul’s sister was so much fun and the other friends were also great! I think I have an inkling of who the next book is going to be about, I don’t know how I am going to wait to read it. 🙂

The Proposal was everything that I had hoped for and more! I adored the characters and the storyline. Shelby and Paul tugged at my heartstrings and I would totally recommend it! The Proposal was just an amazing 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.

A Love Uncontainable

About the Book:

A Love Uncontainable : A Sweet Single dad, Medical Romance (Under Kansas Skies Book 2) by [Leah Brunner]

Title: A Love Uncontainable
Series: Under Kansas Skies #2
Author: Leah Brunner
Release Date: 
November 20, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Seven years ago I made a decision that would change my life forever… I’ve never told a soul.

Now I’m worried my past could ruin my future.

As a surgeon and single father, my life is chaotic. I barely have time to find a new babysitter or a new tenant for my income property, let alone think about dating.

Sophie Windell seems like the answer to all of my problems—renting out my income property and babysitting my daughter.

But now Sophie brings a whole new set of complications.

I can’t stop thinking about how gorgeous she is, and how her laughter fills the house with joy. Not to mention our daughters adore each other.

So, what’s the complicated part? Well, she’s still grieving the loss of her husband, and I work with her dad.

And then there’s the secret I’ve held for seven years. If I tell her, will I lose everything she’s brought into my life?

Or worse, will I hurt the woman I’m coming to love?

Trigger warning… this work of fiction contains vague descriptions of sexual assault and has themes such as, grieving the loss of a spouse. It also contains mild language and references to alcohol.

Book Review:

Oh my gosh! This was so cute! I was so excited to read Drew and Sophie’s story after the first book. They really seemed so nice and my heart hurt so much for Sophie. Also the addition of kids for me is always amazing! They make a story so much more touching and this story was no exception! Sophie is ready to move on. After her husband’s death three years ago, she has found a job and is going to move out of her parent’s home. For Drew, Sophie is the answer to his problems, he needs a tenant and a babysitter. As a surgeon and single father, he can barely keep up. But Sophie brings new problems to his life, with how gorgeous she is and her laughter. Their daughters adore each other too, but he works with her father and is holding a secret. One that he has carried for seven years. Will they save their newfound life or just end up hurt?

I really enjoyed reading this! Like A Love Unexpected, it is a sweet romance that will make you smile! I thought that Drew was so sweet! He was a great dad and brother. I loved his relationship with them! He was doing his best to take care of them, and do right by Sophie. He was falling for her so fast though! I also really enjoyed his interactions with Sophie’s brothers and his friends. Honestly, the side characters were some of the best! The Wonderful Widows were amazing and hilarious! They were so fun to read about and so great for Sophie! She did a lot of growing. Sophie had to continue to work through her grief. I thought that it was so lovely to watch her grow through it, and it wasn’t a linear process. I also really appreciated how she sought support. They were so cute together, from the mutual pining with the complete adorableness of their daughters!. Samantha and Penny were so fun as well. Kids are so fun to read about! 

Overall, the story is light-hearted. However,  Sophie is still working through her grief. It is not extremely suspenseful or stressful, which was exactly what I needed! It was great to see Madden and Odette again, as well as their family. It also makes me excited, because I have a theory about the next book! I love interconnected series, so fingers crossed! There is a also a vague mention of sexual assault, mild language and alcohol references. I would suggest this to olders teens and up, because of these and the slight innuendos. 

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 Magical Victorian Christmas

About the Book:

Title: A Magical Victorian Christmas
Author: Michele Ashman Bell
Release Date: 
November 13, 2021
Genre: Historical Romance

A new tradition. A season of miracles. And a decision that will change everything.

In 1866, Clara Rose lives a quiet life in her hometown of York, until one day a mysterious Christmas tree appears in the town square. Clara is sure something wonderful is about to happen. The town blacksmith’s nephew, Erik Bauer, is new to town, and his ready smile, love of laughter, and handsome face charms her. Just when things couldn’t be more perfect, the most important man in town, Lord-Lieutenant Bradford, takes an interest in Clara and states his intentions of marrying her. Clara’s once simple life becomes very complicated. As Christmas approaches, a decision must be made. Does she marry Bradford to secure her future, or go against her father’s wishes and marry the man who speaks to her heart?

Book Review:

This book was adorable! This is my first Michele Ashman Bell book, and it was so cute. I love how it was interesting without being super stressful. It was one of those books that made you smile at the end!

Clara Rose’s life is fairly quiet. But when a mysterious Christmas tree appears in her town square, her quiet life starts to change. The town’s blacksmith’s nephew comes to town, Erik Bauer, and his smile and enthusiasm for life charms her. While things seem to look up, a new change comes into her life. The most important man in town, Lord-Lieutenant Bradford starts paying attention to her, and a marriage to him will secure her future forever. Will she marry Bradford and follow her father’s wishes or go to the man she’s actually in love with?

I loved Clara so much! Her father was angry and bitter, and she was trying her hardest to love and support him. She was really so kind. I did feel like her character was a little bit too perfect at times though. I would have loved to see a bit more depth in her. However, I thought it was sweet how she managed to win so many people with kindness, but she also had to learn how to stand up for what she believed in. She had to decide whether or not she was going to follow traditions or make her own path.

Erik was a total sweetheart! He was so nice, and I loved how much joy he brought into Clara’s life. He totally fit her because he helped give her the strength to fight for what was important, bringing some light to others. However, he also felt a bit unrealistic for me at least. Obviously, I don’t want the love interest to be a jerk, but I would have loved to see a more full version of him, strengths and flaws.

The story was a lot of fun! It went to a couple of places that I was not expecting. But like I said before, I loved how it wasn’t super stressful. I would totally recommend this book to anyone who loves historical romances and Christmas!

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

Her Unsuitable Match

About the Book:

Her Unsuitable Match (Supposed Scandal) by [Sally Britton]

Title: Her Unsuitable Match
Series: Supposed Scandal #3
Author: Sally Britton
Release Date: 
October 25th, 2021
Genre: Historical Romance

Lady Philippa must wed to gain her fortune and freedom. A former soldier wants only peace and seclusion. Marriage to each other is their best solution.

Lady Philippa Gillensford is three and twenty, an heiress, and sister to a penny-pinching earl. After rejecting every bachelor her mother approves of, Philippa is ready to take her future into her own hands. Though she doubts she’ll marry for love, she is more than willing to marry for freedom from her family’s influence.

Myles Cobbett has withdrawn from Society, content to remain alone after surviving the horrors of the Napoleonic wars. When a friend convinces Myles to attend a ball benefiting wounded veterans like himself, Myles meets the lively Lady Philippa. Shortly thereafter, to help Philippa avoid scandal, Myles rescues her from a complete cad.

Sensing a chance to escape her family’s control, Philippa convinces Myles he must marry her to save her reputation. In exchange for this favor, Philippa promises him the very thing he thought he always wanted: a quiet life, alone in the country.

While the two put on a show of marital happiness for their neighbors, both realize they want much more from this arrangement. Can they take a marriage of convenience and turn it into a love match?

Book Review:

Once again, Sally has written an amazing and sweet story! She is one of my favorite authors and this book was so good! Her Unsuitable Match is a clean historical fiction romance with a marriage of convenience story. Philippa’s London Season is becoming a disaster. With her mother and brother determined to marry her off, she finds her reputation in danger and her future uncertain. Her best option is to marry, but who can she trust? Myles’s life was upturned after he returned from the war. With scars on the inside and out, as well as limited means, he is hesitant that he will ever find his place. Can Myles and Philippa find their solution in each other?

This was adorable! Philippa or Pippa was very relatable and easy to understand. Her perspective felt very genuine and  endearing. She definitely had growing to do, but she was doing her best. It was sweet to watch her grow and interact with Myles’s family. They were so warm and loving. It was sweet to watch her try to be kind and loving to Myles and to grow as his wife. Myles was so swoony! I don’t usually use that term, but he was so sweet! I loved how protective he was and how much we did for Pippa. He had a lot of trauma from the war and he wanted to help others like him. He had to work through his own scars as well. His family was amazing though! I love family relationships in books and this one was so sweet. It was great to see the siblings’ loving teasing relationships and the parents’ wisdom and support. 

I think that it was also very cool how Sally showed the struggles that soldiers had returning from war and the ways that the characters sought to support them. It is not just a modern issue, so it was cool to read about it in a historical context. I also loved the cameo in this book! I am not going to spoil it, but there are cameos from characters in one of Sally’s other series, so be on the lookout if you have read her other series! Overall, this was a sweet clean historical fiction book, with mentions of PTSD. I highly recommend it and all of Sally’s books!

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.

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. 


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.

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The Neighbor War

About the Book:

The Neighbor War: A Romantic Comedy (Only in Atlanta Book 2) by [Katie Bailey]

Title: The Neighbor War
Series: Only in Atlanta
Author: Katie Bailey
Release Date: 
October 29, 2021
Genre: Rom-com

Aiden Shaw is the smuggest, most infuriating man I’ve ever met. Ever. He’s also my next door neighbor. 

We’ve been at war for four bitter years. But last night, Aiden crossed a line.

The worst part? My public humiliation was caught on camera, and the video’s a viral sensation. 

Now, the entire internet is raving about our “off the charts chemistry” and “crackling sexual tension.” 

Apparently, everyone is delusional. And blind. 

Yet when Aiden turns up on my doorstep, asking me to pose as his girlfriend, I find myself saying yes. Even if that means taking a couples vacation with him. Yup, couples vacation. With my mortal enemy. Who I have to pretend to be madly in love with. 


I can put our war on ice for a little while, Aiden Shaw. 

But in the end, someone’s gotta lose. 

And it’s not going to be me.

Book Review:

The second book in the Only in Atlanta series, The Neighbor War is an enemies-to-lovers fake relationship rom-com! I was so excited to read this after having the chance to read the first book in this series. Courtney and Aiden made such an impression as side characters and I was excited to see their stories. Unpopular opinion, I do not love enemies-to-lovers, I just get second-hand embarrassment soooo bad! Courtney and Aiden have been at war for four years, but it went a little too far resulting in a viral video with the whole world raving about their sizzling chemistry. When Aiden needs a fake girlfriend, Courtney finds her self on a couples vacation with him. They have to pretend to be madly in love, but who will truly lose this war?

I enjoyed reading Courtney and Aiden’s perspectives. Neither was quite as strong as they wanted the world to think, but it was great to watch them grow and learn about themselves. Courtney saw Aiden as her enemy, but Aiden wasn’t quite there. It was sweet to read about how they were almost forced to connect and learn about each other throughout their fake relationship. There were definitely some funny parts too, even for someone who gets second-hand embarrassment. There were times where I was a little frustrated with both of them, because they were so caught up in their doubts and fears. I also enjoyed seeing Conner and Jess again! 

This was an overall lighthearted book, with definite growth in the main characters. They had to overcome their personal struggles and learn to trust the other. It is a closed-door rom com that is a lot of fun! It wasn’t my favorite book, but I would recommend it to those who enjoy any of the categories or tropes I mentioned!

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.