logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: love-story
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-16 09:36
Love Held Captive (Lone Star #3) by Shelley Shepard Gray
Love Held Captive (A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story) - Shelley Shepard Gray

Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget. Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war. When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

POTENTIAL TRIGGER WARNING: This novel addresses the topic of rape. 

 

 

During the Civil War, Major Ethan Kelly and his men were pushed to do many things they weren't proud of, but did it they did in the name of survival. One regular unsavory task was raiding the homes of innocent people for supplies to help keep the troops alive. Lizbeth Barclay's home was one of the properties raided by Kelly and his men. Unbeknownst to him, prior to his arrival she had not only suffered the deaths of her family members but also a sexual attack and mutilation by another soldier. 

 

Years later, Kelly and Barclay cross paths once again --- he as a hotel guest, she one of the hotel housekeepers. Though they don't immediately remember their past interaction, Major Kelly's memory is jarred when he sees the long scar running down the side of Lizbeth's face, a scar he never forgot even if he and Lizbeth never got on a first name basis the first time around. 

 

Kelly's friend and military comrade, Captain Devin Monroe develops an acquaintance with Julianne Van Fleet that, on his end, quickly grows into an honest love for her. But when she reveals her own story of some of the unpopular methods she resorted to to survive the war and care for her ailing grandmother, Devin struggles to make peace with it all. He questions whether he can make a life with someone with such a past. Though he's tempted to walk away at first, with some time to consider he realizes Julianne's actions were no worse than any men he served with who were similarly driven to survive. Devin once again comes to Julianne wanting to offer her a chance at a life rich in love, respect, and fidelity. But before the couple's dreams can take flight, their plans are stalled with the threat of former Army acquaintance Colonel Adam Bushnell.

 

When Devin and Ethan and their ladies all come together to share their stories of struggle, they find one common denominator among all of them: Bushnell. At different times, Bushnell terrorized both Lizbeth and Julianne. Devin and Ethan further reveal that these ladies weren't his only victims, not by a longshot. His face scarred by smallpox and hard living, Bushnell likely got in the habit of assaulting women rather than wooing them because his low self-esteem convinced him women would never give him the time of day otherwise. Determined to put a stop to Bushnell's assaults, the men rally the troops (as in, calling in even more Army buddies) to hunt the man down.

 

In addition to the duel romance stories going on here, as well as the manhunt scenes, this novel, like its two predecessors within this series, includes chapters detailing the mens' experiences in a Civil War POW camp, giving the reader an idea of how those months & years of imprisonment reshaped their spirits, inevitably changing them forever. 

 

I'm just going to say it: This book had the worst title of the series. Get beyond the title though, and Love Held Captive (man, that title gives me hard cringe though -- just screams bodice-ripper) is actually the BEST story in the trilogy IMO.  While the previous two books were enjoyable but, if I'm being honest, a little on the forgettable side, this one came alive with much more real characters full of humor, honesty and depth. Julianne's story really inspires empathy in a reader, making one think on maybe not be so quick to judge someone living life in a way that doesn't line up with how we would do things. Take time to consider the limited options they might be forced to choose from.

 

Bushnell is just the right amount of despicable without becoming cartoonish and Major Kelly and Capt. Monroe are just good solid dudes. Especially Devin. Major Kelly, coming from a privileged background and well-to-do family, can come of as slightly snobbish from time to time, but Devin is quick to set him straight and Kelly is open to learn when he oversteps. Lizbeth was a bit overdramatic for me at times, and though she never became one of my favorite characters (I'm too busy shipping Devin & Julianne!), she did grow on me a little by story's end.

 

So there you go! If you, like me, found the first couple books in this series fun enough but maybe a litle flat, don't duck out just yet! Definitely get into this one because the Lone Star series, at least as I see it, is one where author Shelley Shepard Gray left the best for last! 

 

FTC DISCLAIMER:  TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-05-14 16:44
Book #874 - 351,319 Pages Read
What Stands in a Storm: A True Story of Love and Resilience in the Worst Superstorm in History - Gillian Cross,Rick Bragg

I heard about this book from a podcast I listened to recently, entitled 'Tornado Talk'. I thought it sounded interesting and decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised by one of the best books I've ever had the privilege of reading.

Slowly laying out a story that the author claimed "needed to be told", Ms. Cross has put together a book unlike any other I have read among similar genres. This book focuses on what has been called the worst tornado outbreak this country has ever experienced (4/27/11), surpassing even the infamous "Super Outbreak" (4/3/74). I was very, very impressed with the amount of research done, making the science understandable and basic, yet not oversimplified for laymen purposes as is found in so many other similar publications.

It is here that Ms. Cross begins to bring the human stories into the developing dangerous situation: a woman and her budding meteorologist-to-be son in Smithville, Mississippi; an experienced meteorologist in Birmingham who would spend literally all day in front of the cameras saving countless lives with his repeated warnings; college students in Tuscaloosa preparing in various ways for the worsening weather; a family in Cordova, Alabama frantically trying to survive. I bring these examples up because this may be the most ingenious way I've ever seen an author combine these stories with the scientific explanation of how that fateful day unfolded. The tension is palpable; the dread is real, and when the worst finally happens, the stories are really only beginning.

The second part of the book deals with the aftermath of the devastation. It is no less tense than the first part, but along with that it becomes literally, emotionally gut wrenching in parts. No spoilers, but I must mention the part of a particular search and rescue worker who volunteers her services along with her search dogs that literally had me bawling.

Whew.....Ms. Cross then does an outstanding job of slowly bringing hope back into the situation: descriptions of emergency rescue personnel along with other heroes, hundreds if not thousands of volunteers descending on Tuscaloosa to help any way they could, emotional reunions of victims with their rescuers, and people slowly getting on with their lives with hope for the future while dealing with the constant but receding pain.

Highly recommended....well done, Kim Cross, a truly magnificent effort.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-05-09 08:10
Blog Tour w/Review - Spies, Lies, And Allies

 

 

 

About Spies, Lies, and Allies:


Summers are supposed to be fun, right? Not mine. I've got a job at my dad's company, which is sponsoring a college scholarship competition. I just found out that, in addition to my job assisting the competing interns, I'm supposed to vote for the winner. Totally not what I signed up for. 

 

There's a crazy guy running the competition like it's an episode of Survivor. Then there’s Carlos, who is, well, very distracting –– in a good way. But I can't even think about him that way because Crazy Guy says any fraternizing on the job means instant disqualification for the intern involved.

 

As if that's not enough, an anonymous weirdo with insider intel is trying to sabotage my dad's company on social media...and I'm afraid it's working.

 

Much as I'd love to quit, I can't. Kristoffs Never Quit is our family motto. I just hope there's more than one survivor by the end of this summer. 

 

Buylinks: https://entangledpublishing.com/spies-lies-and-allies-a-love-story.html

 

 

 

Excerpt from Spies, Lies, and Allies:

 

“Let’s see where helping me on my project falls on this list.” Carlos picks up a pen and clicks it, eyeing me from underneath ridiculously long lashes.

 

Cautiously, I take a tiny step toward his desk so I can read the list.

 

“Number three.” I point to the napkin. “Teamwork.”

 

He nods and underlines the word. I notice he’s added numbers six through ten. Nothing is written next to those numbers, except for ten, next to which he’s drawn a smiley face.
“What’s that for?” I point to the smiley face. He leans back in his desk chair and grins up at me.

 

“Not sure yet.”

 

My heart throbs in my chest and my imagination is off and running, fantasizing about

number ten.

 

Carlos points to number five: nicknames. “I think this is where we left off at lunch.” He clicks his pen repeatedly and I resist the urge to snatch it out of his hand. “I’d prefer not to be nicknamed for a pasta, but I gave you a cereal nickname, so…” He shrugs but keeps his eyes on mine.

 

“I…pasta…what?” He’s not making sense.

 

He bites his bottom lip, and I have no trouble picturing what will make me “smiley face” if we ever make it to number ten. Also, I’m pretty sure he’s a mind reader because his gaze drifts down to my lips, then back up to my eyes.

 

“The Manicotti. Who is it?” He glances across the room. “Elijah? He can be sort of cheesy.”

 

My mind analyzes his words, sliding them around like one of those puzzles where you have to move a string through twisted metal. And then it clicks.

 

“You read my notebook! You’re the one who—” Panic zings through me as I remember what I wrote about him, Carlos is trouble, and his editorial comment, True. Is Carlos adorable?

 

Apparently I’m not the only spy around here.

 

“Why’d you pick this desk?” I’m desperate to change the subject.

 

“I like the view.”

 

“But it’s better by the windows.”

 

“Depends on which view we’re talking about.” He gives me a cryptic smile, one that makes my stomach dip. “Anyway, I saved your notebook. You’re lucky no one else read your notes.”

 

Mortified and defiant, I cross my arms over my chest. “You didn’t have to read it. You could’ve just returned it.”

 

“I was just checking to make sure you’d listed all of Mr. Mantoni’s rules.”

 

“Uh huh.”

 

Across the room, Elijah stands up and stretches. He glances at us, an amused smirk twisting his lips like he knows something I don’t.

 

Carlos writes on the napkin again. Number six: healthy disagreement.

 

“You’re kidding, right?”

 

His responding grin packs more heat than it should.


“I think we’ve gone off track.” I’m proud of how calm I sound, even though my nerve endings are exploding like firecrackers.

 

 

 

Spies, Lies, and AlliesSpies, Lies, and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Laurel wants a summer job, but she wants to spend time with her incredibly busy workaholic dad also. Offering her services as an assistant, she ends up meeting with all the company's interns who are fighting for a scholarship. When she finds out who she is actually working with she freaks.

Carlos is just one of the hotties she is to help over the summer. He is a busy family man, who also hopes to get to college. The sparks between them are lit almost immediately. Only problem with this is the timing. He is disqualified for the scholarship if he is seen dating or fraternizing with Laurel.

This book just shot out the gate. The release timing was excellent, with all of the great Star Wars and pop culture references. Laughing my way through, I had a hard time putting the book down just to eat! This author has quickly become a must for me.


***This early copy was given in exchange for an hones review, by Netgalley and its publisher.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

About Lisa Brown Roberts:


Award-winning romance author Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage catastrophes of tweezing off both eyebrows, or that time she crashed her car into a tree while trying to impress a guy. It’s no wonder she loves to write romantic comedies.  


Lisa’s books have earned praise from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and the School Library Journal. She lives in Colorado with her family, in which pets outnumber people. Connect with Lisa at www.lisabrownroberts.com.

 

Author Links:


Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~  Instagram ~ Goodreads ~ Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway:
Signed copy of Spies, Lies, and Allies + some spy-related swag
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

OR if you prefer, you can click direct to the giveaway:

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1cb554951254/

 

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
text 2018-04-29 14:43
My Latest Release: SUMMER GIRL, A NOVEL

 

“Does first love, true love, ever really die?”

 

Andi Martin asks herself that question as she sits on the porch of the Sloane Cottage, her mind flooded with memories of the summer of ‘65 and a boy, once loved, but never forgotten.

Jake Chambers is also on a collision course with the past as he returns to Cutter Island for the first time in more than a decade. And, as the ferry approaches the wharf, he finds his mind filled with thoughts of a summer long forgotten and a girl destined to haunt him forever.

From award-winning author, Linda Watkins, comes a story of love, loss, survival, and, most of all, hope…SUMMER GIRL, A Novel.

“…take a deep breath; because Summer Girl isn't formula writing about a summer fling, but a deeper story of coming of age, sexual abuse in families, and methods of survival that enter the picture of a blossoming interpersonal relationship, making Summer Girl an unexpectedly complex read.” ~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

“A heartfelt story of a boy and a girl….it captivated my heart from beginning to end.” ~Patricia Bell for READERS FAVORITE

 

SUMMER GIRL, which has a 4.9 rating on Amazon, is available for purchase or to read for **FREE** on #KindleUnlimited. For more information, click below...

 

BUY NOW: Summer Girl

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-04-28 01:16
Fantastic
Unloved, a love story - Katy Regnery

Unloved by Katy Regnery is a fantastic read.  Ms. Regnery has given us a book that is well-written and loaded with amazing characters.  Cassidy's father was a serial killer.  He and his mother moved in with his grandfather.  Brynn's fiance was killed in a mass shooting and has been struggling with it for two years.  Brynn and Cassidy's story is full of drama, sizzle, action and suspense.  This book snagged me at page one and held me captive until the end.  Unloved is an awesome book that will pull on your heartstrings, over and over.  I look forward to reading more from Katy Regnery soon.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

I voluntarily read a complimentary copy of this book that I received from Bookfunnel.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?