Search

Kayem Reads

Let It Be Me

I received a free electronic copy of this book to review.

GoodReads Summary

Having graduated college at 18, Sebastian Grant has continued to leverage his intelligence and determination to become a paediatric heart surgeon. The more accolades he receives, the more he’s driven to pursue. Then he meets high school math teacher Leah Montgomery, and his fast-spinning world comes to a sudden stop. Solving advanced math equations by the age of five, Leah has always wanted to pursue a PhD in mathematics. She willingly put that dream on hold to raise her brother. Now that he is of age, she’s set on avoiding any obstacles to her goal–including romance. When Leah receives surprising news in the process of taking a test for tracking her ancestry, she asks Sebastian to help her comb through aged hospital records to learn more. Soon his presence isn’t so easily ignored. But when Sebastian learns his best friend also has feelings for Leah, he begins to question his resolve to win her. Attaining their deepest desires may require more sacrifices than they ever imagined.

I am a huge Becky Wade fan and when I found out she had a new book coming out I was so excited. I knew that I wanted to be involved in the launch team as soon as I heard about it.

I loved the glimpses of Sebastian that we got in Stay With Me and I was so happy to hear that he was getting his own book. Both Sebastian and Leah are great characters. I love how Becky is able to create interesting and relatable characters that are still unique from other characters.

One of the things I love most about Becky Wade’s writing is how she talks about serious and sometime heavy topics but not in a way that brings you down. There were so many cute, fun moments in this book and they were the perfect balance to the serious moments.

I loved this book and can’t wait for the final book in the series. I’m excited that the others in the Miracle Five will get their stories shared.

Author Q&A

What inspired the plot line of Let It Be Me?

A few years ago, I had my DNA tested at Ancestry.com.  At one point in the process, they gave me a warning along the lines of, “DNA test results can be confusing or upsetting.”  Basically, they made me aware that I might learn something shocking and they wanted to make sure I was ready for that possibility.  In my case, my results turned out exactly as I expected.  However, my imagination started percolating.  The two words that begin every story idea entered my head.  “What if?”  What if a woman sent in her DNA and learned that the parents who raised her were not her biological parents, as she’d always believed?

The hero, Sebastian, is a pediatric heart surgeon.  How did you prepare to write a character with that profession?

For research, I read a non-fiction book that detailed many months in the lives and careers of the people (doctors, nurses, patients, families) who populated The Cleveland Clinic — one of the foremost pediatric heart centers in the USA. I became so involved in these real-life people and the harrowing situations they faced, that I couldn’t put the book down.  I spent a weekend reading and highlighting passage after passage.  I referred back to that book dozens of times while rewriting.  It was a fantastic resource!

Your recent books weave together romance, faith, and mystery.  How did you come to that recipe?

Trial and error!  I’ve always considered myself to be a romance novelist because I delight in the emotional journey the two characters take as they fall in love.  After I had children, I felt led to write Christian romances that honored God.  The scenes when God displays His love are the scenes that make me cry!  Several books back, I began adding mysteries because concrete story goals (for example, What happened to the missing woman?) gave me a clearer path to follow when writing and also, hopefully, keep readers turning pages in order to uncover the secrets embedded in each book. 

What challenges did you face during the writing of this novel?

The pandemic!  I wrote most of Let It Be Me during the height of Covid.  For six weeks of my deadline, my husband and three kids were all home with me.  Many times, I tried to escape to the backyard with my laptop to find spaces of quiet in which to concentrate.  It never worked.  They always found me! 

What blessings did you discover during the writing process?

I think God knew that a difficult and headstrong novel paired with a pandemic was more than I could have managed.  Let It Be Me required a great deal of work, just like all my novels do.  But it was also a delight.  I had so much fun pairing a determined hero with a math genius heroine uninterested in romance.  Given that this novel came out of 2020, it will always remind me of God’s faithfulness and provision.  This book is a testament to the fact that God equips those He calls and provides joy in the work… regardless of the challenges. 

What’s also exciting is all the fun stuff planned to celebrate the launch of Let It Be Me.

Giveaway

Firstly there is a giveaway. Sadly I can’t enter because it is for US residents only, but all of you from the US have the chance to win some awesome prizes. Up for grabs is a $50 cash card, a paperback copy of Let It Be Me, a sterling silver star necklace, an “all you need is love” math tumbler, a book heartbeat women’s t-shirt, and oatmeal choc chip cookie mix. These are some fun prizes that all relate to the book. The giveaway is open until May 25th and just head to the following link to enter.

Author Chat Party

The second awesome event coming up is an Author Chat party with Becky Wade. Join everyone on Facebook, Tuesday 11th May at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific (That will be Wednesday 10am for me here in Australia). You can join us on Becky’s Facebook page. www.facebook.com/AuthorBeckyWade

Blog Tour

The final fun you can join in with is checking out all the other blogs on the tour who are sharing their own thoughts on the book.

4th May – Becky’s Bookshelves
5th May – Kayem Reads
6th May – Inkwell Inspirations
7th May – Books and Everyday Life
8th May – Melmo 2610
9th May – Inside the Wong Mind
10th May – Debb Hackett
11th May – Kristi Woods
12th May – All The Bookish Adventures
13th May – Fueled By Faith And Caffeine
14th May – Batya’s Bits
15th May – Radiant Light
17th May – Mrs Deaton Reads
18th May – Blessed & Bookish
20th May – Remembrancy
22nd May – Britt Reads Fiction
23rd May – Books, Life, And Christ
24th May – Woven By Words

The Stolen Princess

I received a free electronic copy of this book to review.

GoodReads Summary

Princess Mykaleen Adler would do anything to save her dying father. But, when she’s kidnapped by a rival kingdom’s commander, her devotion wavers. Developing feelings for her enemy could destroy her future and her kingdom. Unless her charming captor is the one person telling her the truth.  Drake Vestry’s focus is on finding King Adler’s deadly weapons. Unfortunately, the only way to the weapons is through the king’s daughter, who happens to be the most distracting and entertaining assignment he’s ever had. Gaining the princess’s trust might mean losing his heart forever. She’s fighting for her kingdom. He’s committed to his mission. Can they find their way together, or will broken trust be the most destructive weapon of all?

At the time of writing this post I only finished reading this book mere minutes ago. I had to stop everything and come and write this post immediately before I came down from the high of reading this book.

I absolutely loved this book. And I am complete mind-blown. I really don’t have the words to describe how good this book was. I love the first two books in the series and wasn’t sure how The Stolen Princess could be as good as the first two. I was right. It’s even better than The Rejected King and The Promised Prince.

Before reading this book I was a bit cautious because, as many of you know, I’m not a huge fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope. But Kortney Keisel has done an amazing job of using this trope. It wasn’t negative. It wasn’t unnecessary hate. To me is the perfect way to have the enemies-to-lovers trope.

Honestly there really isn’t anything else I could say without giving away spoilers.

So go and read this book and once you have, come talk to me about it.

Releases 26th April 2021.

That Fine Line

I received a free copy of this book, from the author, to review.

Summary

All I wanted was a quiet summer on my family’s ranch in Idaho… I didn’t think that was too much to ask. With my fiancé in California, I was back home for three months to plan my wedding. I had colors to pick, cows to milk, and a wedding dress to squeeze into. Which was why I didn’t need anybody messing with me. Especially not the guy who had dedicated his whole life to making mine a joke. The guy who filled my high school locker with frogs and my hot car with cans of tuna. I mean…I always got him back. But not this summer. Things were different now. I was engaged. I had grown up. I would NOT fall victim to Cade’s pranks, teasing, or his manly charms. If only my dad hadn’t hired the moron to cowboy for him this summer. Now my childhood enemy is living on our ranch and seems to think we have a score to settle. And all bets are off.

So when this book came up on my Instagram feed recently I was intrigued. Firstly by the cover, then by the blurb and then I noticed the series – A Pride and Pranks romantic comedy. My first thought was that sounds like Pride and Prejudice and we all know that I’m a sucker for anything Pride and Prejudice. So of course I applied to be part of the ARC team for this book.

At first I wasn’t sure what I thought of the book. I’m definitely not a person who enjoys conflict so the enemies to lovers trope is not usually one I enjoy. Mainly because most of the time there isn’t really a good reason for the characters to hate each other and usually the “hate” goes too far in my opinion. So at the beginning of this book, I was concerned that would be the case, so it took me a little bit to get into the story.

But then everything changed. As the story progressed the “hate” didn’t go too far, in fact, it became almost enjoyable. I started to feel for the characters. Kelsey, the main female character, overwent some major character development, which is something I always enjoy.

By about half-way through the book I did not want to put it down. I needed to see what happened with Kelsey and Parker and Kelsey and Cade. I knew who I was hoping would end up together, but would they? And when our couple started sorting everything out at the end I was cheering. I loved the couples interactions and *whew* those kisses.

This book was an enjoyable enemies to lovers story, even for someone who doesn’t normally like that trope. I ended up hooked and needed to just keep reading. I loved that the story was clean but you still felt the passion and love between the characters.

Cindy Steel is definitely an author to look out for if you love clean, funny, romance. In fact, I hope there are more in this series. Honestly, Cindy, I have ideas if you need them (Tessa and Logan, anyone else???)

This book releases April 21. Don’t miss out on reading it.

Love on the Border

I received a free electronic copy of this book to review.

GoodReads Summary

Eli Hayes knows what it takes to survive. A lesson he learned at a young age when he witnessed the death of his mother along with hundreds of others during the Mountain Meadow Massacre. Living in a Mexican border town where resources are scarce and safety is a myth, he’s organized a way to stay alive by robbing rich stagecoaches and giving the bounty to his poor townspeople. Hannah McKinnie has maintained her moral compass while faced with the devastation to her family and lands during the civil war. When seeking a new life and refuge in the arms of her betrothed, her optimism is sorely tested by robbers who steal her few remaining possessions, including her wedding dress. When Hannah meets the man she’s to marry, a scar on his hand gives him away as the despicable bandit who broke her resolve, and she is faced with the decision to marry a handsome stranger with a corrupt soul or face the realization that Eli Hayes might be right. Is hope really only a lie?

This year has been the year of discovering new authors and Ciara Knight is one author I’ve discovered this year that I have enjoyed.

I really enjoyed Love on the Border. One of the main reasons was the development that both Hannah and Eli went through in regards to their faith. Hannah, her faith already pretty strong, discovers whether or not things are truly black and white; Eli discovers whether or not God is real and if He cares for people.

I’ve always been a fan of the mail-order bride trope and this story used that trope well. I didn’t realise until towards the end of the book that Love on the Border is actually part of a series. I will definitely be checking out the rest of the series now.

Blackberry Beach

I received a free electronic copy of this book to review.

GoodReads

Katherine Parker is on the cusp of having everything she ever wanted–fame, money, and acclaim. So why isn’t she happy? In search of answers, she comes incognito to Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast for some R&R. Maybe in her secluded rental house overlooking the serene Pacific she’ll be able to calm the storm inside. Coffee shop owner Zach Garrett has found his niche after a traumatic loss–and he has no plans to change the life he’s created. Nor does he want to get involved with his reticent new neighbor, whose past is shrouded in mystery. He’s had enough drama to last a lifetime. But when Katherine and Zach are recruited to help rehab a home for foster children, sparks fly. And as their lives begin to intersect, might they find more common ground than they expected . . . and discover that, with love, all things are possible? Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon invites you to come home to Hope Harbor–where hearts heal . . . and love blooms. 

First thing I want to say is that although this book is the 7th in the Hope Harbor series, you do not need to read all of the others first. All of the other books are on my TBR list but I hadn’t read them yet when I read Blackberry Beach. I don’t think I missed anything in the story because I haven’t read the others. I’m sure reading the other books will give a greater understanding of Hope Harbor and some of the peripheral characters, but I still understood and really enjoyed Blackberry Beach.

I have been a fan of Irene Hannon’s books ever since I read her first one almost 10 years ago. Although I do enjoy her romantic suspense series more, this contemporary romance is still high on my recommendations list.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was how you aren’t given the whole story all at once. Each time the characters interact, a little more of the story is revealed. I feel that this is a realistic representation of a relationship. You don’t just sit down with someone and hear all the details about their life in one sitting. People aren’t always comfortable sharing everything at once and it does take time to trust someone with your story.

A fun little Easter egg I noticed in this book was that at one point, Aunt Stephanie was reading the latest Irene Hannon suspense. I thought that it was fun that Irene Hannon decided to put herself and her books into the Hope Harbor world. (On a side note, Irene Hannon also hinted at Hope Harbor being in the world of Point of Danger when I read that recently).

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to going back to read the other stories in this series.

Check out Blackberry Beach today on it’s release day, April 6th.

Present Danger

I received a free electronic copy of this book to review.

GoodReads Summary

Former FBI Special Agent Jack Tanner is working as a detective in Montana when he comes across a body in the national forest during a search and rescue mission. He’s committed to finding the killer, even if it means working alongside his old flame, US Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors. When Terra discovers that the murder victim had ties to a powerful and dangerous trafficker of archaeological artifacts, the investigation takes a deadly turn–one that hits too close to home. As Terra fears she lacks the courage to face what comes next, Jack is more determined than ever to protect her. But he’s failed her before. And if he fails this time, it will cost them far more than just their hearts. Join bestselling and award-winning author Elizabeth Goddard as she plunges you into a web of deceit made of hidden crimes, open threats, and long-buried family secrets in this gripping first book of an explosive new series.

Elizabeth Goddard is a new-to-me author and she has quickly become a must read author for me. THis is the second of her books that I have read and I can’t wait to read more.

This book has the perfect mix of romance and suspense. I really enjoyed the development of the relationship between Jack and Terra. Especially, with the way their past was still impacting their present relationship. Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the way the entire story and mystery circled around Terra, her past and her family. There were a few expected twists and turns but there were also unexpected ones. This led to an engaging story. I am looking forward to the rest of the series and seeing what happens next. Especially after reading the preview chapter for Deadly Target (book 2) at the end of this book.

This book releases 6th April.

Hope Between The Pages

I received a free electronic copy of this book to review.

GoodReads Summary

Clara Blackwell helps her mother manage a struggling one-hundred-year old family bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, but the discovery of a forgotten letter opens a mystery of a long-lost romance and undiscovered inheritance which could save its future. Forced to step outside of her predictable world, Clara embarks on an adventure with only the name Oliver as a hint of the man’s identity in her great-great-grandmother’s letter. From the nearby grand estate of the Vanderbilts, to a hamlet in Derbyshire, England, Clara seeks to uncover truth about family and love that may lead to her own unexpected romance.

Straight-up I’m going to let you know that this was a split time book (apparently that is actually called a timeslip book. If anyone knows why, please let me know.) I normally do not like split time books at all. I find it frustrating because you can usually guess what is going to happen in the earlier time period because of the hints in the more recent time period (e.g. you know the couple ends up together because the grandchild with the same last name is the main character of the second time period). This was not the case in this book. I hoped certain events would take place but there was no hint or proof of those events happening when reading the modern time period. You didn’t know what was going to happen until it was revealed in the earlier time period and I really enjoyed that.

I also enjoyed the parallels between the two love stories both with the travel and with the love of books. I really enjoyed the relationship between Sadie and Oliver and their love of books. This was a fantastic book with some great truths and some great romantic scenes.

This book releases today. So hurry and grab it now. You will not be disappointed.

Girls of Summer

I received a free electronic copy of this book to review.

GoodReads Summary

Charlotte Dixon loves her life in Manhattan, but her world is decimated, and she finds herself severely in debt when she discovers her mother skimming money from her gallery. When Charlotte receives the news that her estranged father has passed away, she finds herself in small-town South Carolina, forced to partner with her half-sister in running the baseball team and family business. If she can make it through 365 long days of running her daddy’s business, she’ll inherit half his multi-million dollar fortune—money she desperately needs to rectify the sins of her mother. But can a big city girl overcome small-town sass and the unwelcome guidance of too-handsome-for-his-own-good general counsel Mac Taylor, or will this uptown girl discover she is truly a southern girl of summer at heart?

Girls of Summer is a brand new book by C.E Hilbert. In fact, it only came out last week (19th March). I hadn’t read anything by C.E. Hilbert before but when I read the summary for Girls of Summer I was intrigued.

I enjoyed this story for the most part. The storyline was engaging, the characters were interesting and the way they developed was realistic. My main problem with this book was that it all seemed a little too much. There was problem after problem after problem. At one point it seemed as if the book was about to end, but I realised I was only at about 60% of the way through the book, so something more had to happen.

Another part I struggled with was that the book just dived straight into it all. It almost seemed as if it were part of a series and the reader was expected to know a lot of background information. Actually, the blurb given above is really where the story starts. I didn’t expect an action-packed suspense novel from that description but that is actually what the book is.

So if you are expecting a sweet, character development driven romantic book, this isn’t that book. Girls of Summer is an action-packed story with threads of romance.

If You Kiss Me

I received a free electronic copy of this book to review.

GoodReads Summary

Rugged and selfless firefighter, Blaze Warren, works hard to keep the people of Sugar Maple safe, especially his two daughters that recently came to live with him. Unfortunately, when it comes to parenting girls he’s out of his element. His eldest even nicknamed him NeoRent (Neanderthal Parent). In an attempt to win her over, he promises to find the perfect dress for her winter formal even if it means taking her shopping. New York fashion designer, Jacqueline Raynor, longs to return to the fame she’d left behind in the big city after her ex-husband stole her designs, her heart, and her trust. Shamed and ridiculed by the press and friends, she sought temporary refuge in her home town with a vow she’d return to win back her life again someday. Blaze is all wrong for Jacqueline. He’s unkempt, disorganized, frumpy, and hot. But for some reason, when he accuses her of being selfish like his ex-wife, it bothers her. Despite her loathing of parental responsibilities, she decides to prove him wrong by rescuing his daughter from a fashion disaster, a job that brings them all closer together. But when a challenge interrupts her newfound happiness by a proposal from her ex-husband to restore her to former fashion designer glory, she must choose between family or fashion success.

Only a couple of weeks ago did I read another book from the Sugar Maple series. If You Choose Me was published in February 2021, but hasn’t been give a number in the series. If you’ve read my review of If You Choose Me, you know I didn’t overly enjoy it, but If You Kiss Me exceeded my expectations.

This book was a sweet, clean romance that I did not want to put down. I enjoyed the characters and the way that they worked through their problems. I also appreciated how the big problems between them that tried to keep them apart did not take up a huge chunk of the story. They were sorted out quickly with honest conversations.

I am now more interested in reading the rest of the series and look forward to seeing what else Ciara Knight comes up with.

This book release TODAY, 9th March 2021. Check out now at your local bookstore or ask your library to order it in.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑