My Rapid Review – Flights of Fancy

My RAPID Review - Flights of Fancy

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Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

My Thoughts

Flights of Fancy was my first book by Jen Turano and I am quite happy to say that her story more than lived up to its beautiful cover. I think I let this one sit on my TBR a bit longer because the sample I listened to on audible didn’t strongly intrigue me. What a mistake. If the sample had contained just a bit more of that scene, I’d have better understood just how compelling this story truly was. Before the very first scene was even finished, I was hooked. Despite numerous responsibilities demanding my time and attention, I contrived ways to squeeze this book in so that I finished in under three days. I just could not wait to discover what would happen next. If you have not already read this book, I highly recommend doing so!

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First Line Friday – 09.13.19

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Welcome to First Line Fridays! The day we grab the book closest to us and share the first line. Join the fun and discover your next read!

This week I am sharing the first line from Kimberly Rose Johnson’s prequel novella, Until I Met You. I’ve just finished reading it and I absolutely loved it. There is something about Kimberly’s writing voice that is completely my cup of tea. Her characters feel real to me in a way that is different from other writers and difficult to describe. Also, the situations her characters experience seem like things I or my friends would actually go through. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. Better yet, it is currently FREE on Amazon! What are you waiting for?

Until I Met You

Here are the first lines:

Early Saturday morning, Brandi Prescott held her latte in one hand and opened the door to leave her favorite coffee shop in the Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle. She raised her hood and tightened the belt of her trench coat as rain pounded the ground.

“Bring it on.”

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Graphic designer, Brandi Prescott hopes to work her way to the top at the Seattle ad agency where she’s employed. She’s dedicated and distraction-free since she’s taking a hiatus from men to focus on her relationship with the Lord and get to know herself without the influence of another person.

Software engineer Ian Parker is in a good place. He loves his job, his social life and the direction his life is going. At least that is the case until one fateful rainy morning when he meets a woman who changes everything. The only problem is, she won’t go out with him because she made a pledge to not date for six months.

Brandi’s six-month pledge ends on Christmas. Will Ian wait or will his scheming to get to know her destroy what might have been?

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First Line Friday – 09.06.19

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Welcome to First Line Fridays! The day we grab the book closest to us and share the first line. Join the fun and discover your next read!

This week I am sharing the first line from the first novella in The Cowboys novella collection: Healing Hearts by Cindy Ervin Huff. I’m in the middle of reading the third book in this collection and so far I’m loving it!

The Cowboys

Here’s the first line:

Kansas 1866

If I only do one good thing in my life, I’m getting my brother home.

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Taming the west—one heart at a time.

 

Healing Heart

Lonnie Holt’s external scars remind him of his failures, his internal scars torment him. Genny Collins seeks safety at the ranch once owned by Lonnie’s uncle. When Lonnie and his brother arrive, sparks fly and distrust abounds. While Lonnie and Genny fight the love growing between them, his past haunts him, and her past pays them a visit.

Becoming Brave

When Coy Whittaker stumbles upon a grisly scene littered with bodies, he wants nothing more than to get his boss’s cattle out of Indian Territory. But when a bloodstained Aimee Kaplan draws down on him, his plans—and his heart—screech to a halt.

Trail’s End

Wade Chadwick has no money until his boss’s cattle sell, so he takes a kitchen job at Abby’s Home Cooking. The beautiful and prickly owner adds spice to his workday. Abby Cox hires the down-and-out cowboy even though the word cowboy leaves a bad taste in her mouth. Just as she’s ready to trust Wade with her heart, money starts to disappear … and so does her brother.

Loving a Harvey Girl

Eva Knowles can’t imagine why the local preacher doesn’t like Harvey Girls—women who work serving tables instead of finding a husband and falling in love. But if Eva can get the handsome and wayward cowboy Cal Stephens to join her in church, maybe the reverend will accept the girls. Or maybe she’ll forfeit her job for a husband, hearth, and home!

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First Line Friday – 08.30.19

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Welcome to First Line Fridays! The day we grab the book closest to us and share the first line. Join the fun and discover your next read!

This week I am sharing the first line from a book on my TBR: Teach Me to Love by Kari Trumbo.

Teach Me to Love

Here’s the first line:

Tinton, South Dakota
May 1899

It wasn’t right to pray he would just die.

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Izzy Lawson has taken her last abuse.
When her husband dies, she has a choice to make: go home and face the family who made her stay with the beast, or head to Belle Fourche to the only friend she has left. The reserve she’s worked so hard to build crumbles in the verdant rolling hills, can she find a second chance at love in the arms of a man so different from her husband?

Conrad Oleson can’t read, and it’s shamed him for longer than he can remember.
When another teacher shows up on his front step, he’s sure his brother is meddling again. But when Izzy reveals her painful past, he can’t stay away. It’s as if fate has stepped in and created a soulmate just for him. If learning to read brings him closer to her, he’ll do about anything to make that happen. Including, teaching her how to love.

Don’t miss this sweet, western, cowboy romance. This book was originally published in the Timeless Love: Romantic Stories That Span the Ages collection.

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My Review – Four Dreams of You

My Review - Four Dreams of You

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Unfulfilled dreams have left Grace Thomas vowing not to let her imagination roam wild again. Resigning herself to the goal of owning a dress shop, she accepts a position as a housekeeper at Monaghan Lumber Camp in order to earn funds. The plan is simple, easy, and safe. But Torin Monaghan is not. The reclusive brother who seems indifferent to her presence is ironically the one stirring up her imagination.

Torin Monaghan will not be deterred from his passion to preserve the beauty of nature. Even if it appears as if he’s going against his family. Even if the quirky and wistful seamstress invading his space is proving a distraction. To his frustration, Grace Thomas is not easily dismissed, and neither are the ways she’s opening his eyes to a different sort of beauty.

When past threats bring new trouble to Pine Creek, Torin and Grace must become vulnerable—to each other and their community—and through risk, discover that reality is more fulfilling than their dreams.

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Why This Book:

I have been a fan of Sondra Kraak’s writing since I first read One Plus One Equals Trouble, the first book in this series. (If you haven’t read it, it is now available for FREE to anyone who joins Sondra’s newsletter list.)

Opening Lines:

Prologue:

Connecticut, April 1893

Failure meant death. Death meant judgment. And judgment meant facing his broken promises.

Chapter One:

Washington State, two weeks later

Yesterday, Grace Thomas had made the worst mistake of her life. This morning, she had one hour to reverse it.

First Impressions:

As you can tell from those first lines, the prologue is full of suspense that keeps the pages turning and the first scene of Chapter One is no slow read either. From the first introduction, I cared about these characters and wanted to see them succeed.

Book Quote - Four Dreams of You - Romance isn't

Main Characters:

Grace Thomas–  If you’ve read the previous books in this series, you’ll remember Grace and be happy to see her finally take center stage. She is beautiful, kind, intelligent, and incredibly gifted as a fabric artist–but she doesn’t see any of that. For many reasons, Grace’s self-image has been twisted to the point it doesn’t resemble her true self and this affects every decision she makes.

Torin Monaghan – A character new to the series, Torin is physically fit, highly intelligent, ambitious, determined (to a fault?), and noble. He’s a bit rough around the edges, though, when it comes to face-to-face human interaction. So, while he has generally good intentions, his choices often lead him in the opposite direction of his desired destination. Haunted by his past, he struggles with the idea of which path is right for him: leading his family or leading the nation.

Secondary Characters: There are a host of other interesting characters who add layers and depth to the story. Among these are: Torin’s three younger brothers, his sister-in law, his younger sister, and Grace’s family and friends. All are well-developed characters fully worthy of their places in the story.

Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:

From the first page, this story had my attention and it kept hold of it through the very end. I lost no small amount of sleep trying to find out what would happen next.

The issues Grace and Torin struggle with throughout the book are issues I think most of us can relate to on some level. Combine this with Kraak’s incredible wordsmithing and this makes for a read that not only engages our hearts but also our minds.

Elements I especially liked/disliked:

It was fun getting a behind-the-scenes look at how a logging company was run in this era. There were also several tidbits of real history which were unique and a fun addition.

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THEME:

The theme can best be summarised in this quote from the book:

The path to joy goes through sorrow, not around it.

Ending:

The ending included some fun surprises, a few chuckles, and lots of satisfied grinning.

Overall Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

P.S. Today is release day!!! Don’t forget to grab your copy! Amazon

Psst! Feel free to borrow any of the photos above for sharing on social media and remember to tag me @KathleenDenly ! (Also look for Click-to-Tweet quotes at the bottom of this post!)


 

Let’s chat!

Have you read either The Story Peddler or The Story Raider? Do you enjoy fantasy fiction? How do you feel about cliff-hanger endings?

TWEETABLES:

“The path to joy goes through sorrow, not around it.” Read the #BookReview!

The ending included some fun surprises, a few chuckles, and lots of satisfied grinning. Read the #BookReview!


Note: Although I did receive a free ARC of the digital version of this book, I was under no obligation to write a positive review. You may read my full disclosure of materials HERE.


Enjoy Christian Romance?

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First Line Friday – 08.22.19

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Welcome to First Line Fridays! The day we grab the book closest to us and share the first line. Join the fun and discover your next read!

This week I am sharing the first line from a book I’m currently reading: The Bride Blunder by Kelly Eileen Hake.

The Bride Blunder

Here’s the first line:

Baltimore, Maryland
1859

“No.” Marge Chandler shook her head, wishing it were so easy to shake away the sudden image springing to life in her mind.

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Come visit Buttonwood for a marriage mistake like no other in the third novel of Kelly Eileen Hake’s Prairie Promises series.

In the Nebraskan Territory of 1859, Gavin Miller writes home to request the hand of Miss Marguerite Chandler.  Unfortunately, while he never forgot Marguerite was the French word for Daisy, he’d failed to recall that the two cousins shared their grandmother’s name, and Marge was the nickname of the wrong Miss Marguerite Chandler! When his surprise bride comes to Buttonwood, unexpectedly followed by the very cousin he’d meant to marry, will Gavin be able to solve The Bride Blunder?

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Spotlight: The Yellow Lantern

The Yellow Lantern FB Banner

About the Book

The Yellow Lattern CoverBook: The Yellow Lantern

Author: Angie Dicken

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release Date: August, 2019

Josephine Is Forced to Spy for Grave Robbers
Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

In Massachusetts in 1824, Josephine Clayton awakes on the table of the doctor she’s assisted all these months. She was presumed dead by all and has become the doctor’s next corpse for his medical research. Frightened, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. A deal is struck—Josie will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she’ll await her true mission—posing as a mourner to help his body snatcher procure her replacement. At the mill though, Josie is praised for her medical remedies among the mill girls, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager Braham Taylor. Yet, when Braham’s own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.

What price will Josie pay for love when her secrets begin to unravel?

Click here to grab your copy.

About the Author

AngieDicken

Angie Dicken credits her love of story to reading British literature during life as a military kid in England. Now living in the U.S. heartland, she’s a member of ACFW, sharing about author life with her fellow Alley Cats on The Writer’s Alley blog and Facebook page. Besides writing, she is a busy mom of four and works in Adult Ministry. Angie enjoys eclectic new restaurants, authentic conversation with friends, and date nights with her Texas Aggie husband. Connect with her online at www.angiedicken.com.

More from Angie

Barbour’s True Colors Crime concept intrigued me from the very beginning. Being the daughter of a doctor and discovering the ties of grave robbing to the early medical profession, I was excited to dive deep into 19th century Massachusetts. Grave robbing around Boston and New York was often employed by doctors desperate for medical advancement. Men and women were both involved in the procuring of bodies for doctors. Finding these accounts led me to take took a look at the current medical remedies of the time—tinctures, elixirs, and herbal concoctions. My heroine was created in the tension of a desire to heal and the desperation of medical pursuits.

Amidst these medical ties to the historical moment of 1824, something was also shifting among women in rural areas of New England. Many women were employed by newly built cotton mills (Lowell Mill was my inspiration for the fictional Gloughton Mill in The Yellow Lantern). These working opportunities for women offered an escape from their home-bound lives and the rare chance for independence. Of course, with such industrial environments, injuries, and sometimes death, would occur. Noting the accounts of these kind of fatalities in historical articles, my research came full circle.

I found three strong threads to weave into my grave-robbing story—desperate doctors in need of research, a doctor’s assistant needing an escape from her village, and a mill, not only offering that escape, but the chance at bodies for the desperate medical community.

My heroine, Josie Clay, found life in the tangle of these threads of mills, medicine, and grave robbing—all playing out within the pages of The Yellow Lantern.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, August 15

Seasons of Opportunities, August 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 15

Bigreadersite, August 16

Emily Yager, August 16

Inspired by fiction, August 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, August 17

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 17

Daysong Reflections, August 17

Retrospective Spines, August 18

Spoken from the Heart, August 18

Kathleen Denly, August 19

Through the Fire Blogs, August 19

Christian Bookaholic, August 19

Maureen’s Musings, August 20

For the Love of Literature, August 20

Simple Harvest Reads, August 21 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Godly Book Reviews, August 21

A Reader’s Brain, August 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 22

Betti Mace, August 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 22

Hallie Reads, August 23

Mary Hake, August 23

Inklings and notions, August 23

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 24

For Him and My Family, August 24

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, August 24

Connie’s History Classroom, August 25

Pause for Tales, August 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 26

amandainpa, August 26

Blossoms and Blessings, August 27

Texas Book-aholic, August 27

janicesbookreviews, August 27

Back Porch Reads, August 28

Just the Write Escape, August 28

Giveaway

The Yellow Lantern giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angie is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of each of the books in the series!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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