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review 2019-02-23 15:00
The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection Review and GIVEAWAY!

 

About the Book

 



Title: The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides
 
Author: Kathy Rouser  

Genre: Christian Historical Romance
 
Release date: November 1, 2018  

Publisher: Barbour  

Lighthouses have long been the symbol of salvation, warning sailors away from dangerous rocks and shallow waters.
 
Along the Great Lakes, America’s inland seas, lighthouses played a vital role in the growth of the nation. They shepherded settlers traveling by water to places that had no roads. These beacons of light required constant tending even in remote and often dangerous places. Brave men and women battled the elements and loneliness to keep the lights shining. Their sacrifice kept goods and immigrants moving. Seven romances set between 1883 and 1911 bring hope to these lonely keepers and love to weary hearts.
 
The Last Memory by Kathleen Rouser 1899—Mackinac Point Lighthouse Natalie Brooks loses her past to amnesia, and Cal Waterson, the lighthouse keeper who rescues her, didn’t bargain on risking his heart—when her past might change everything.

Click here to purchase your copy.
 

About the Author

 


Kathleen Rouser is the multi-published author of the 2017 Bookvana Award winner, Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and its sequel, Secrets and Wishes. She is a longtime member in good standing of American Christian Fiction Writers. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers who realize their need for the touch God’s grace and hope in their everyday lives. A former homeschool instructor, mild-mannered dental assistant, and current Community Bible Study kids’ teacher, she lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of thirty-some years, and the sassy tail-less cat who found a home in their empty nest. Connect with Kathleen on her website at kathleenrouser.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser/, and on Twitter @KathleenRouser.
 

Guest Post from Kathy

 

 
When author Pegg Thomas approached me about writing a novella for The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides book proposal I couldn’t refuse the chance. After all, I am a lifelong resident of Michigan, which is the Great Lakes State! Plus, I had a favorite lighthouse in mind, though I briefly considered others.
 
For over 20 years we have ventured “up north” for a week-long summer vacation on Lake Michigan, most of them spent in the same cottage. Since the cottage is almost 20 miles west of Mackinaw City, I’ve made the annual pilgrimage to the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse since they reopened with exhibits in 2004. Part of the first floor has since been restored to the middle-class furnishings of 1910 when George Marshall and his family resided there. Two generations of Marshalls manned the lighthouse and George Marshall’s brother, Charles, was at one time the assistant lighthouse keeper.
 
There is also an area of the lighthouse where they display maps, photographs and other information, chronicling the history of the lighthouse built on the Straits of Mackinac in 1892. Fresnel lenses, like those used in the tower, and interactive displays are also included. Did you know for several years, the fourth-order Fresnel lens flashed a red light? I’d always pictured a yellow light! A tour guide, dressed in period clothing, such as a U.S. Lighthouse Service uniform, will take you up the tall, winding metal staircase to enjoy the view.
 
My many visits, whether they’ve included the long climb to the tower or not, have intrigued me. I’d often thought that someday I would like to write a fictional story about this lighthouse. Built with Cream City brick, in a Norman architectural style, the building reminds me of a castle. Perhaps that’s why I chose to have the lighthouse keeper hero, Cal Waterson, rescue Natalie Brooks, a lone shipwreck survivor. She is the proverbial damsel in distress. Yet, despite her amnesia she finds a new strength in her faith to face an unknown future and in a sense rescues Cal and his daughter.
 
Returning to the lighthouse last year, I did climb to the tower to examine the view my characters might have had. Of course, I had to imagine what it would have been like without the Mackinac Bridge, which has joined our upper and lower peninsulas since 1957. It’s a spectacular view, where you can also see Mackinac Island, home of the famous Grand Hotel, which was already there in 1899, when my story takes place.
 
Not only do lighthouses spark so many ideas of history and romance, they are so symbolic— as guiding lights—and beacons of hope to lead through treacherous waters, much like our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the true Light who leads us to the Father. Indeed, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse played a strategic part in guiding ships through the dangers of the straits. I look forward to visiting this beautiful historic landmark again and hope my readers will be drawn into an intriguing visit to the lighthouse through my story, The Last Memory.
 
 

My Review

 

 
Lighthouses have always fascinated me. I love everything about them, from their lifesaving purpose to their solitude, which has a special appeal for an introvert’s heart. Symbolic of the Christian’s duty, they shine through the darkness and guide others toward the light, illuminating the way around obstacles. As such, “The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection” is very apropos in combining seven historical romances spanning the years 1883 to 1911 and set on various lighthouse stations throughout the area. Each features an inspiring missive of hope that speaks to the inner, secret longings of the heart and to the larger message of salvation.

Although some are as seemingly bereft as the islands that they inhabit, the heroines are the mainstay of this anthology. As romantic as the idea of living in a lighthouse sounds, the reality proves it to be a difficult life, especially for women. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, upkeep involved much more than simply lighting the lamp; maintaining the lighthouse and its environs required constant physical labor as well as tending to any shipwrecks that might occur. The women in these tales are duly stalwart in spirit, yet they are all the more endearing for their vulnerabilities. In one way or another, each young lady struggles with her identity. Some want to prove their merit as light keepers, while others seek to find their individual station in life, trials that continue today.

Throughout the seven tales related in this book, the Lord becomes the bastion to which the characters cling, and He is still the One we should seek. Fans of Hazel Gaynor’s “The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter” will cherish this collection, as will any historical romance readers. In the featured story, Kathleen Rouser’s “The Last Memory”, an increasing sense of suspense pervades the tale as Natalie (“Mallory”) experiences amnesia and finds herself at the Mackinac Point Lighthouse with keeper Cal Waterson, trying to discover her past and not realizing how much it will affect them both. Two of my other favorite stories were Candice Sue Patterson’s “Beneath a Michigan Moon” and “The Disappearing Ship” by Lena Nelson Dooley. “Beneath a Michigan Moon” struck a chord with me because of Ava’s illness and her battle with physical limitations and isolation, along with her release of self-sufficiency. “The Disappearing Ship” recalled one of my favorite fictional characters, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, as Norma contended with her gender standing in the way of practicing medicine and also with a missing treasure. Each tale offers an uplifting narrative that speaks to our heart’s desire to love and to be loved, to find our true identity in Christ.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through CelebrateLit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
 

Blog Stops

 

 

Among the Reads, February 21

The Power of Words, February 21

Godly Book ReviewsFebruary 22

Simple Harvest Reads, February 22 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Bibliophile Reviews, February 23

For the Love of Literature, February 23

Just the Write Escape, February 24

Carla Loves To Read, February 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 25

Book by Book, February 25

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, February 26

EmpowerMoms, February 26

Back Porch Reads, February 27

Through the Fire Blogs, February 27

Blossoms and Blessings, February 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 28

Mary Hake, February 28

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, March 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 1

Connie’s History ClassroomMarch 2

Blogging With Carol, March 2

Texas Book-aholic, March 3

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 3

KarenSueHadleyMarch 4

Janices book reviewsMarch 4

Carpe Diem, March 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 5

A Baker’s Perspective, March 6

BigreadersiteMarch 6

 

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection, a sterling silver charm of the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, and a souvenir pictorial book of some of the Great Lakes lighthouse!!
 
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/db9a/the-great-lakes-lighthouse-brides-collection-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

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review 2019-02-20 00:48
Secrets Abound
Ladies of Intrigue - Michelle Griep

As soon as I heard about Michelle Griep’s “Ladies of Intrigue”, I was drawn in, and I jumped at the chance to review it. Three stories from the nineteenth century, tinged with mystery? Sign me up! Despite the brevity of the stories, each one had a twisting denouement and a swift but satisfying conclusion. They could all have easily been novel-length, but as it was, the rapid pace assured that there was no lagging to the plot. “The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady”, set on the Cornish coast in 1815, reminded me of Abigail Wilson’s “In the Shadow of Croft Towers”, so readers of this short story may enjoy that novel and vice versa. From there Griep takes us to 1862 Minnesota in “The Doctor’s Lady”, which was the least mysterious of the three but full of other conflict, including that between the Indians and the United States during the Sioux Uprising and the dangers of being a single woman during that time. My favorite, however, was “A House of Secrets”, which differed from the previous two stories in both title format and writing style. This last tale was written more poetically and featured characters from the upper class in Minnesota in 1890, and it held the most secrets. Each narrative focused on the characters’ need to trust and rely on God and His provision. It was interesting to trace how women’s roles and societal expectations changed over the decades through the timeline arc of this collection. Historical fiction and romance fans will enjoy these stories, which combine love, the conventions of the past, and the necessity of faith—both then and now.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and CelebrateLit and was under no obligation to post a review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-02-19 15:54
ARC REVIEW The Scandalous Diary of Lily Layton by Stacy Reid


The Scandalous Diary of Lily LaytonThe Sweetest Taboo, all stand alone books only connected by the taboo trope. So it's been a while since I've read erotica like this. I enjoyed it, the story was nice the characters were pleasant and it was really hot. Now I know if I need good erotica I can count on Stacy Reid. My only issue is I didn't like the ending, it was way to easy, I personally would have been happier without the epilogue. Third person POV that switches focus between Oliver and Lily. I loved the voyeurism and meeting in complete anonymity and being oblivious to that fact that they already know each other.     

Oliver Carlyle, Marquess of Ambrose, is ready to find himself a wife but he has certain requirements that aren't usual things to look for in a wife. For one he has no plans ever to take a mistress so his wife must be able to handle the dark erotic things he likes. He knows it's going to difficult but not impossible. During a house party, thrown by his mother in hopes he finds his future wife there, he finds a diary, in this diary are the most scandalous and erotic thoughts of a young widow. Determined to find out the owner of the diary and hopefully make her his wife especially since in the diary she mentions her attraction to him.

Lily Layton is a widow twice over and just at the age of 25, she went to work as a companion to the Marquess Ambrose's mother. She never expected to be noticed never expected her sexual fantasies to come true she only wished that one day her dreams of designing dresses would come true. But her life took a different turn when her diary went missing. Dealing with social standings and expectations and blowing those out of the water by following your heart. This book is emotional at times when it comes to a secret Lily is hiding from Oliver that just may end the romance.

Overall, it was an enjoyable erotic romance. I almost wish it was a tad bit more lighthearted, the beginning and the middle were really erotic; nice and hot really good but toward the end it got serious and just kind of killed the mood. The whole epilogue it was so typical with as serious as the topic of infertility got I wish she stayed true to that path. 
   

 

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review 2019-02-06 04:28
The Duke I Once Knew (Unlikely Duchesses #1) by Olivia Drake
The Duke I Once Knew - Olivia Drake

The Duke I Once Knew - Olivia Drake 

 

Lovely second chance story. Abigail and Maxwell were such a joy to read as a couple and as independent characters. They were sweethearts when young but circumstances beyond their control made them part ways. Years later, Abigail is what could be considered long in the tooth. She didn’t even get to enjoy a season because of her love for her aging parents and now that they are dead she’s forced to face her reality of being a spinster with no life of her own. With that in mind, she concocts a plan that would allow her to take the reins of her life and live life on her own terms. Unfortunately for her, Max shows up and ruins all of her plans. I loved that they didn’t act as if the years hadn’t changed them or made them perfect strangers (that’s actually one of my pet peeves when it comes to this trope) but instead, their relationships builds over time. I mean, it was still kind of fast because it all happened in the span of a week, but I still found it feasible.


The story includes a pugilistic match and I always find that kind of scenes fascinating. I think it keeps the story interesting. I also loved the fact that even though there were more than just a few characters, the story didn’t feel convoluted, on the contrary, each one of them helped the story move forward and feel more real. There might have been a few clichés and the story might not be the most refreshing take on the trope but it was still enjoyable and entertaining.


*I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**

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review 2019-02-06 04:12
The Devilish Lord Will (Mackenzies & McBrides #10) by Jennifer Ashley
The Devilish Lord Will - Jennifer Ashley

The Devilish Lord Will - Jennifer Ashley 

 

Last book in this trilogy but book 10 in The Mackenzies & McBrides series, it tells the story of how Lord William Mackenzie helped his family return to their homeland after the Jacobite risings.


This is one of my favorite series ever and so is the author but I’m afraid this book was only ok and not as exciting nor romantic as the rest of the series. I was several chapters in and still didn’t know where the story was going and I felt lost somehow. It took me a long while to really get into it and although it did get better, I still didn’t feel any sparks between Josette and Will, not even with their shared past. I don’t know, perhaps because of everything that was going around them, what with the treasure hunting, Josette’s blackmailer, and Will on the run, it felt as if the story didn’t leave much room for romance.

 

*I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher*

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