Sunday, November 29, 2020

To Steal a Heart ( The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency Book 1) by Jen Turano Reviewed


About the book:

Title: To Steal a Heart

Author: Jen Turano

Series: The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency BK 1)

After a childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she'd put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. In the middle of breaking into a safe that holds the proof to prove her friend's innocence, Gabriella is interrupted by Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend—until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agreed to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he'd be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.

Goodreads || Amazon 

About Jen Turano

About Jen Turano

A USA Today Best-Selling Author, Jen Turano has written the critically acclaimed Ladies of Distinction series, and A Class of Their Own series, published through Bethany House Publishers. Her novel, After a Fashion, was chosen as a top pick from Romantic Times, as JenTuranowell as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist.  It is also a nominee for Romantic Times 2015 Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013. Her seventh book, Playing the Part, released in the spring of 2016, and will be followed by a new four-book series, Apart from the Crowd. When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver with her husband and neurotic Cattle Dog, enjoying herself as an empty-nester since her son recently abandoned her for the college life. 

My Thoughts

Another fun historical novel that will have you laughing from the beginning. In Ms. Turano's signature style she pens a story set in the Gilded Age filled with wonderful characters who continually get themselves into difficult situations. 

All I kept seeing when Gabriella was dressed as a man sneaking into a high-society costume ball in hopes of proving who the thief was, was Barbara Streisand in Yentl. 

This book was a hoot! Filled with hilarity on every page that had me laughing. I can already suspect that the following books in The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency are going to be just as fun!

Fans of Jen Turano will want to add this book to their TBR. I highly recommend this book!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via the publisher. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Take a Right at the Mistletoe by Barbara Brutt Reviewed With Giveaway


Take a Right at the Mistletoe Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Take a Right at the Mistletoe by Barbara Brutt, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Take a Right at the Mistletoe
Title: Take a Right at the Mistletoe 
Author: Barbara Brutt 
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing 
Release Date: November 9, 2020 
Genre: Contemporary Romance (Clean) 

Each and every holiday season at Vienna's Christmas market, Matilda bakes confections for holiday tourists and quirky locals alike. Looking to escape the market drama, she sets her heart on culinary school. 

Dylan has come to Vienna and the market to recover from a career-upending mistake and to unearth new inspiration. But when he nitpicks Matilda's marzipan, she hears fighting words and perhaps the key to her culinary school application. They strike a deal: he'll taste test and she'll show him around Vienna. With each new pastry experiment and Viennese adventure, their relationship sweetens. 

But their relationship doesn't seem written into life's cookbook. Dylan can't stay in Vienna, and Matilda has to follow her dreams, so it seems some ingredients just don't belong together. And yet, their hearts have already committed. Will a Christmas filled with marzipan and mistletoe give them both what they want the most? 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon  



Barbara Brutt 

Barbara Brutt, a born and raised Pittsburgher, spent her growing-up years with her nose in a book. After claiming her bachelor's degree in English, she plunked down hard into a smattering of jobs from shop girl to communications director with a healthy dose of nanny and house-cleaner. Flying to new adventures is her favorite, especially on an airplane or aerial silk. Barbara adores ice cream and only buys purses that provide room for a book or two. 

Barbara talks books, aerial silks, faith, and travel on her website and blog at

CONNECT WITH BARBARA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram  


My Thoughts -

Sadly, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. While I was grateful for the word list at the beginning of the book I became frustrated having to turn to it over and over again. 

The setting of Vienna, Austria sounded amazing at Christmas time adding in a few quirky characters for fun. 

This was a Hallmark-ish story centered around the Christmas markets of Vienna. 

When I was approached about reviewing this book I was told that the main character's parents were in a same sex relationship but weren't really apart of the story. I found that her moms' were mentioned more than I thought they would be so be aware if that is a problem for you. 

The story of Matilda's desire to go to culinary school and the romance with Dylan kept my attention. This is a sweet Christmas novella.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



(1) winner will receive a pair of socks "So many books, so little time," a Vienna Skyline Votive Cutout, a $25 Etsy Giftcard, and a signed copy of Teal Paisley Tights!

Take a Right at the Mistletoe JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 16, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 23, 2020. 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.



Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano Reviewed


 About the book:                                                     

Title: The Love Note

Author: Joanna Davidson Politano

Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings--mostly negative ones--about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa's search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its        words. 

Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.

Goodreads || Amazon 

About Joanna Davidson Politano

Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan.

You can connect with Joanna on Facebook || Twitter || Instagram and her Website.

My Thoughts

A discovered letter in the crease of a desk begins a captivating tale. Each chapter begins with a quote from a scientist's observation on love, which added to the story.

As the note made its way around Crestwicke Manor I was intrigued by how the note touched each member of the household. 

The gothic mystery that Ms. Politano wrapped around this love note was intriguing and kept me glued to the pages.

This isn't a novel you will read quickly, even though you want to. This book is one that needs to be enjoyed slowly as not to miss anything.

I highly recommend this book!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Promise of Hope: An O'Connor Christmas Novella by Julie Lessman Reviewed


About the book:

Title: The Promise of Hope

Author: Julie Lessman

Series: O'Connor Daughters of Boston and Winds of


She’s a woman of deep faith,
Till one careless comment steals it away.
He’s a man of deep joy,
Till his wife’s pain takes it away.
Fortunately they serve a God of deep love,
Whose promise of hope brings blessings to stay.

Emma O’Connor’s gratitude knows no bounds. God has healed her painful past with a wonderful marriage, three beautiful adopted children, and a close-knit extended family to call her own. But when one careless comment sows the seeds of discontent over her infertility, both her joy—and her faith—begin to unravel.

Sean O’Connor has never met a woman of deeper faith honed by pain than his precious wife, Emma, which is why he vowed to give her a life of love and joy no matter the cost. But when her spirits dive along with her faith, he’s at a loss how to heal the woman he loves. Until the God of Hope intervenes with the promise of hope.

Goodreads || Amazon

About Julie Lessman

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.
Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, Heart of San Francisco, Isle of Hope, and Silver Lining Ranch series, Julie was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered over 18 Romance Writers of America and other awards.
Voted #1 Romance Author in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie’s novels also made Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, Best of 2014, and “Essential Christian Romance Authors” 2017, as well as Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction. Her independent novel A Light in the Windowwas an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.
Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. Contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at

You can connect with Julie Lessman on the following social media platforms. Facebook || Pinterest || Twitter and her website.

My Thoughts

Twelve years later and the O'Connor family is still my favorite bookish family. I love that Ms. Lessman keeps adding to the story through Christmas novellas. 

This novella is focused around Emma and Sean O'Connor. While they are the focus you get the entire Boston clan; It's bustling, loud, encouraging, and loving. Everything that I've come to love about the O'Connor's.

Julie Lessman pours her heart, literally and figuratively on the pages of this novella tackling the issue of infertility. My mom struggled with infertility and I remember her telling me how she hated going to church on Mother's Day with mother's being honored when she wasn't one; and going to the base hospital was worse seeing all the pregnant mom's. Like Sean and Emma, my parents adopted my brother and me.

I was crying as I finished it. Ms. Lessman has a way to evoke emotion in her readers which keeps us coming back for more. 

My heart is full and is ready for Christmas! This book will not only put you in the mood for Christmas it will give you that little bit of encouragement we are all needing.

I highly recommend this book!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Song Titles From Book Titles

 Happy Tuesday! Today's topic will be a lot easier than last week's. I can come up with song titles from book titles easier than non-bookish hobbies. At least I think I can. We'll see.

I'll give the title and link it to a review or the author's website.

One - The Key to Love  a sweet 70's romance ballad.

Two - The Kissing Tree a 60's romance ballad.

Three - Everywhere to Hide Something along the lines of a detective show theme song.

Four - In Too Deep A Country music love song.

Five - Back Lash An 80's rocker song.

Six - A Wing and a Prayer A 50's crooner song.

Seven - Stay With Me 70's romance ballad.

Eight - A Promise to Keep Contemporary Christian worship song.

Nine - If For Any Reason Contemporary Christian worship song.

Ten - An Uncommon Woman Country music love song.

This was fun to put together. 

Now, it's your turn. What book titles do you think would make good song titles? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, November 9, 2020

The Compass (The Adventures of Niko Monroe Book 2) by Tyler Scott Hess - Reviewed


About the book:

Title: The Compass

Author: Tyler Scott Hess

Series: The Adventures of Niko Monroe BK 2

Safety is an Illusion. The Path to Freedom is Hidden. Will They Find The Way?

Jack Monroe wants nothing more than to have a normal Christmas vacation filled with sledding, hot chocolate, and snowball fights. Instead, he’s been given a major social studies project, and worse yet - he and his best friends, the Santos brothers, have been put in a group with Susie Jefferson!

But something’s been nagging at him for the past year - the memory of a time when he was carried away into an ominous future where he saw a troublesome future through the eyes of a young man named Niko.

After nearly a year of wondering if he would ever know the next step in the journey, Jack notices a strange new marking on the treasure map that had taken him to the future State of Ariel, and is quickly rushed away to the beginning of a new era, where Julius Arrigo is set to give Niko and the Faithful their freedom.

Just when Niko thought he and his companions had gained their freedom, he and the group known as the Faithful Six are taken to secret locations, held hostage while the nation riots, and a threat from the north looms over Ariel.

Niko and the Faithful Six must make it through the northwestern corridor to find the Maiden, a mysterious ally to the Faithful, who has a plan to expose Arrigo’s malicious plans and tell the world the truth about the Faithful.

Goodreads || Amazon

About Tyler Scott Hess

Tyler Scott Hess is a believer, writer, and author of the new novel, The Compass, out November 9, 2020.

Trained in the business world, uplifted in the church, and dedicated to the craft of writing, Tyler has spent years sharing his thoughts on the world through an ever-increasing collection of novels, including the holiday classic, Christmas in Pineville.

Tyler grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where he graduated from Oregon State University, before moving down to southern California, where he also graduated from Calvary Chapel Bible College. After working, marrying, and beginning to raise three children, he moved back to Oregon with his family.

He is a lifelong disciple of Jesus Christ and seeks to emulate his favorite storytellers, such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

You can connect with Tyler on his website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

My Thoughts

I didn't read book one so I had to catch up a bit with the story. Once I did I was completely engrossed in this engaging story of Jack and the hidden treasure map under his bed.

Middle School readers who enjoy adventure and characters they can identify with will find themselves glued to the page in this nail-biting adventure.

Jack and his friends were fun and a true depiction of real friendship.

Adults and kids alike will enjoy this story. 

I received a copy from the author with no expectation of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan Reviewed


About the book:

Title: The London Restoration

Author: Rachel McMillan

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

In post-World War II London, determined to save their marriage and the city they love, two people divided by World War II's secrets rebuild their lives, their love, and their world.

London, Fall 1945. Architectural historian Diana Somerville's experience as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park and her knowledge of London's churches intersect in MI6's pursuit of a Russian agent named Eternity. Diana wants nothing more than to begin again with her husband Brent after their separation during the war, but her signing of the Official Secrets Act keeps him at a distance.

Brent Somerville, professor of theology at King's College, hopes aiding his wife with her church consultations will help him better understand why she disappeared when he needed her most. But he must find a way to reconcile his traumatic experiences as a stretcher bearer on the European front with her obvious lies about her wartime activities and whereabouts.

Goodreads || Amazon

About Rachel McMillan

Rachel McMillan is the author of The Herringford and Watts mysteries, The Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries and The Three Quarter Time series of contemporary Viennese romances. Her next work of historical fiction, The London Restoration, releases in Summer 2020 and takes readers deep into the heart of London's most beautiful churches. Dream, Plan, Go (May, 2020) is her first work of non-fiction. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada and is always planning her next adventure.

You can connect with Rachel on these platforms. Website || Facebook || Instagram || Twitter

My Thoughts

Restoring churches in war-torn London following WWII drew me into the story right away. The book is all about restoration; in marriage, lives and churches. 

Ms. McMillan's description of London and the churches before the war was rich and very detailed. You could tell that Ms. McMillan had done her research.

Diana and Brent were multi-dimensional characters with flaws just like the rest of us. I really enjoyed them and wanted the best for them.

In a brief conversation with Rachel McMillan she told me that this book was her love letter to London and I have to say that it reads like a love letter. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

To Steal a Heart ( The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency Book 1) by Jen Turano Reviewed

  About the book: Title: To Steal a Heart Author: Jen Turano Series: The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency BK 1) After a childhood as a street t...