Sunday, April 22, 2018

Living Life One Limb at a Time

 Widow Lady Keturah 'Ket' Banning Thomlinson and her younger sisters unexpectedly find themselves heiresses of Tabletop, their recently deceased father's West Indies sugar plantation. With his loss, the girls soon realize how much debt he's accumulated over his lifetime Their only recourse is to travel to the notorious island of Nevis and salvage what's left of their inheritance. This action flies against all convention of the time, women didn't travel unchaperoned let alone run plantations. 

Childhood friend Gray Covington owns property adjacent to the Banning sisters.  He seeks to make a success of his plantation and has gambled every penny of his inheritance into this task. He's been in love with Keturah since they were young and he's hopeful that by making his fortune he'll be able to ask for her hand.
   Ket's abusive first marriage has made her tenacious and determined to never ever have to rely on a man for anything. This kind of thinking went against the tradition of the period, basically that a women's sole purpose was to find a husband that would provide for her. 

Will Ket be able to make Tabletop profitable and save their legacy? And more importantly, will she be able to change her views on re-marriage and come to  realize Gray's in love with her before it's too late?

Keturah was my first introduction to books penned by Lisa T. Bergren and will not be my last. I"m hopeful that younger sisters Verity and Selah get their own stories in the Sugar Baron series. 


       Reading is an adventure,

~~Keturah was provided to me by Bethany House in return for my honest opinion. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone. ~ 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Loyal Heart is Medieval Romance at it's Finest

Loyalty to family is a concept imbedded into Lady Olivia Norfolk's DNA.
When Ludlow Castle is under siege, she and her younger sister Isabelle are taken captive by their father's enemy Lord Pitt.

Commanding this attack is Sir Aldric Windsor who discovers firsthand how feisty and strong-minded Olivia can be.

He soon finds out just how far her allegiance reaches...doing anything to save her sister's life and obey her father's order to steal a sacred relic from her captor.

Lady Olivia is thrown into the dungeon for "attempted" thievery and sentenced to be executed. To save her life, Aldric considers a mandate that he be betrothed to Olivia. This promise to marry a lowly knight would have been a stark punishment for a noblewoman such as Olivia. It meant she would most likely live out her remaining days in poverty and anonymity.
So while Aldric knows that his plan is the only way to save Lady Olivia's life, he's deeply conflicted about actually going through with the betrothal.

Olivia was a distinctive heroine. She's fiercely devoted to her family and is skilled in combat. Her skills with weapons made me want to know how to fight with a sword! Throughout the story her commitment to those she loves is tested. Her views of loyalty change. As you can see from this passage in the book, "Loyalty wasn't a birthright. It was earned...Instead I had to live in allegiance to God and His ways first." (Hedlund, 245). She was challenged on what loyalty really means to her and not just her father.Through all the challenges Olivia faced I found myself hopeful that she would find the strength to make the right decision, and celebrated with her when she made the tough choices.

Aldric was a honorable and clever hero. He has a very compelling and heartbreaking back story that makes you want to root for him all the more. Because he is a man of integrity, you find yourself secretly longing that he'll outwit the schemes working against them. You champion him in his quest to save Olivia and overcome his fears with love.

I sped through A Loyal Heart within a day and a half. Every spare second I had I was eagerly devouring Ms. Hedlund's tale bursting with adventure, danger, political intrigue, and romance. This is medical romance at it's finest, so I highly recommend running, not walking to your nearest bookstore or library and grabbing this book off the shelf.

Reading is an adventure,


A Chance at Forever is a beautiful story of forgiveness

Get ready to be challenged by A Chance At Forever (Teaville Moral Society Series). While this is the third and what I consider the best book in the series, you will not be confused if you haven't read books 1 & 2.

The heroine, Mercy McClain finds joy and fulfillment in her work at the orphanage and being on the school board. Her past comes back to haunt her in the form of Aaron Firebrook. He was the boy that relentlessly plagued her about her missing hand. She thought she'd forgiven him, but with his appearance in town again all her old emotions bubbled back up.

George "Aaron" Firebrook is all grown up and has applied for a teaching position in his former hometown of Teaville. This decision is two-fold. He hopes to show the townsfolk he’s a changed man and ask forgiveness of those he wronged, especially Mercy.

When her boss, Nicholas Lowe hires Aaron to serve a dual role at the orphanage: gardener and tutor. Mercy is upset by this because dodging him becomes impossible. 

However, Mercy's resolve to avoid her former tormentor crumbles as she soon finds herself seeing Aaron in a different light as a new man that's been changed by God.

The change that Mercy goes through to forgive Aaron is a complete transformation and shows the redeeming love of God. It is a beautiful reminder for why true forgiveness is so essential for everyone, and how the author brings that concept full circle. While she always wanted to be seen as Mercy, she didn't fully live out the meaning of her name, until she offered true forgiveness to someone she absolutely hated.

Aaron's character was complex and compelling. Because he is so earnest in his growth to change as a person and to make amends for past mistakes, you find yourself sympathizing with his character and hoping that others see how he's reformed and to have his past no longer define him. 

I found Mercy's character truly inspiring and convicting in my own life. I wanted to be able to forgive as she had. The powerful motivation this book inspires in your own life should not be missed.

I really liked how the author Ms. Jagears had her characters dealing with their flaws and shortcomings rather that merely acknowledging them and not making an effort to change. This made her characters more authentic and loveable.

While I'm sad to see the Teaville Moral Society end, A Chance at Forever was a beautiful ending to a poignant series. 

Reading is an adventure,


Image result for Melissa Jagears teaville moral society series
Teaville Moral Society Book 1
Image result for Melissa Jagears teaville moral society series
Teaville Moral Society Book 2

~~A Chance at Forever was provided to me by Bethany House in return for my honest opinion. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone. ~~