Great Reads

If you need ideas of books to read for the holidays, here are six I’ve enjoyed in the past couple months. Also, you can look back at previous posts to see highlights of other books I’ve already featured. There has been a lot of good reading this fall. I hope you have good books to read as well!

The Secretive Wife by Jennifer Peel

z5This might be my new favorite by this author. Seriously, this book had so much emotion and mystery pulling me deeper into Delanie’s life. Delanie is married to Peter, an ex-priest who is the sweetest, purest man on earth. Peter’s mom despises her new daughter-in-law, and makes Delanie’s life most miserable when she unearths her secret (a famous secret). When the news hits the tabloids and national media, Delanie’s and Peter’s blissful marriage is shattered by paparazzi, rabid fans, and nasty haters wanting their 5 minutes of fame in exchange for spreading lies. Delanie’s worst fear—that of losing her husband—is one more secret away from happening.

I inhaled this story. It’s a literary feast. The characters are phenomenal—so deeply layered and complex…and Delanie and Peter are one of my favorite couples ever!!! I can’t recommend this one highly enough. It’s SUPERB!

Violin Words by Taylor Dean

A woman sitting on her boyfriends shoulders giving him a kiss on the beachThis sweet Christmas romance will make you smile as well as give you some mystery to solve. Jade Lockwood runs the Lockwood cabins resort, her parents’ legacy. But that has left her with no social life these past few years. All that changes when she begins receiving love letters from an anonymous stranger—ME. As she tries to discover who is behind the Violin Words—so sweet and moving—she is both thrilled and terrified. Is it someone she knows, or is it a scary stalker? With a long list of “could-be’s”, Jade sets out to identify The Author. But the mystery deepens as a break-in and theft occur at the resort, leaving her feeling vulnerable and frightened. Her heart knows who she wishes The Author to be. Will the truth be as sweet as her imagination? This sweet, heartwarming romance with a twist of mystery and suspense is a perfect read for the holidays.

Seeing Miss Heartstone by Nichole Van

z3Miss Heartstone (Belle) proposes to Lord Blake after researching the man and finding him the best choice for a husband, which her mother demands she secure (the faster the better). Belle has a fortune, and Lord Blake (Colin) is in dire need of money for his newly inherited estate. But the man turns her down flat, humiliating her as he asks her why she must marry. He tells her to spread her wings and fly…and walks out of her life. Pondering his words leads to great changes in her life. In gratitude for Lord Blake’s kind wisdom and gentle rejection, she invests heavily in his business to help him get on his feet financially. But she does it under an anonymous funder—LHF. So begins a journey of many years as Lord Blake becomes tied to Belle as a business partner as he journeys to India and she works things out in Great Britain.

I savored every word of this book. Van is the master of writing romantic rhythms and beats that made the story intriguing and beyond scrumptious. Her characters are multi-layered and very lovable. I always wish they could be my best friends. Another one I HIGHLY recommend

Just a Name by Becky Monson

z2Super fun piece of chick lit. Funny characters, witty dialogue, silly scenes to keep me smiling. The romance was a frenemies trope with a slow-burn to buildup. I adored Logan and Holly. Logan is mysterious enough that you never know what he’s really thinking, which drives the heroine crazy. And Holly is lovable because of her weaknesses. I thoroughly enjoyed every scene in this story. Fun, lighter reading if you need a stress-reliever.

A Christmas Carol in Romance by Franky Brown

z1This is a cute, second chance Christmas romance that warms the heart. Andy works at a radio station. He’s bitter about Christmas, because a year ago the girl he loved broke his heart on Christmas eve. When Cassie returns unexpectantly to Romance, Oregon, his heart instantly engages, but he won’t allow himself to have a perpetual girlfriend ever again. He wants marriage. Cassie does not. Probably she never will. He can’t do the heartbreak again, so he keeps distance between them. But his grandma’s meddling brings them together to act in a Christmas Carol play, and he might experience a change of heart just like Scrooge that he plays. If you love Hallmark Christmas romances, you’ll love this one too.

Night at the Opera by Stacy Henrie

Woman wearing a vintage blouseThis poignant mystery/romance is set in early 1900’s England. American heiress Gwen Barton is dragged to England by her mom to snag a titled Englishman as a husband, since no American men have snatched her up because of her bum foot. All Gwen wants to do is help her cousin and his wife at their orphanage for injured children. But until she comes of age, her life is not her own. When she attends the opera and discovers an injured man in an empty box during intermission, she helps bandage his wound and then kisses him to revive him. When he kisses her back, her heart becomes his, even though she has to leave before she can identify his face in the shadows. Thus starts the adventure of discovering who her mystery man is. I really enjoyed this historical romance.


JailbirdHooray! Another book by Taylor Dean!

I love her books, and have read every single one. She’s an amazing author, and she’s also an amazing person as I’ve gotten to know her better as we’ve emailed and chatted over life and writing. Her books are gifts to my heart (and they could be gifts to yours as well if you read them).

This latest release is the 2nd in the Sound of Silence Series (and should be read in order). It’s my favorite of the bunch (although I love them all). This one just resonated with me deep inside. I love a good redemption story, and this one ranks way up at the top of awesome redemption stories. I beta-read all three stories in this set, so I can assure you they are worth your time to buy and read. Even though I read the early version, I bought the final versions to keep in my favorites folder to read again. They are THAT good!


My hometown decided to rename me Jailbird.

Every day I silently scream out, “My name is Mia Faraday!” My time in jail does not define me. I am so much more than one heated mistake.

Continue reading

Stone Silence (& Winners)

Don’t you just love the sound of that title? I do. And I absolutely LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the book. Taylor Dean is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read every single one of her books, and reread them many times. Her stories always connect with my heart and stay with me long after I’m done reading them. Here is the blurb:

Great big beautiful love.

Does it really exist?

Everyone tells me it does. They say, “Spencer Elliott, don’t worry, you’ll find it one day. You just have to find the right man and when you do, it will surprise the heck out of you.”

I’m still waiting for that heck of a surprise to hit. It has proven to be elusive thus far. I’m pretty sure the entire world is lying about love and the joke is on me.

I know I want a man in my heart and in my life. Unfortunately, most men immediately push my OFF button and I lose interest quickly.

Feeling pressure to prove I’m trying to find my soulmate, I finally give in and agree to a date. Huge mistake. Afterward I find myself abandoned in the middle of nowhere, in desperate need of help.

That’s when I meet Stony by chance. Continue reading

Mine, mine, mine!

I’m super excited to announce the release of Taylor Dean’s new book, Girl of Mine. Taylor’s a super fun author friend of mine. I beta-read this book and LOVED it! She’s a great writer. I’ve read all her books and love the unique stories she creates.

It’s a fast-paced read that switches back and forth between present day and past and between love and heartache. The story starts out with desperate action as Luke kidnaps his ex-fiancée in order to explain choices he made that he sincerely regrets. Jill doesn’t know if she can ever forgive him for breaking her heart…and besides, she’s now engaged to another man, Troy’s best friend. Luke and Troy have been best friends since they were in diapers. A tragedy in their youth changed both of their lives, leaving one bitter and the other filled with guilt. The characters in this romantic saga are well-developed—even the villain will Continue reading

Tour de Hands – Day 3

bikeWe’re only 3 days into this race of words, but it’s already been intense and my books are huffing and puffing. To recap some of the highlights along the course so far…

  • We started Day 1 down in Texas at Taylor Dean’s site. Eyes of Light was in the lead there
  • Day 2 we ran into heavy snow up in Cape Cod (yes, my books put the Tour de France bikers to shame with their speed across long distances) and had to stop for a short pit stop at Sheila Hurst’s

Continue reading

Tour de Hands-Day 1

cityBikeRidersIt’s a little cold for biking right now, but my book, Hands of Mercy, wanted some exercise still. So starting today, my Bending Willow Trilogy books will be racing through other sites for the first official Tour de Hands. That’s right, and you have front row seats for this riveting race of words.

Today, Eyes of Light (Vol. 1) is in the lead over at Taylor Dean’s blog down in Texas. Taylor is not only one of my favorite authors, but she’s also Continue reading