Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon/Book Review

Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon
Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Revell
Book acquired through Revell Reads Blogger Program
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 31, 2020

My Thoughts

**I received a complimentary copy of Starfish Pier through Revell Reads Blogger Program, in exchange for an honest review**

Starfish Pier is a romantic story with a slow build. It gives the backstory of Steven and Holly, two people with opposing viewpoints on life. The tension in their love story only deepens after Steven’s details from his difficult past are revealed.

This story is layered with religious undertones; Holly is a strong pro-life advocate, and her resolve to find value in every life is felt from everyone around her. Despite being a new resident of this seaside Oregon community, Holly’s calm demeanor is welcomed by her students and other members in the area. While Steven is a bit intimidated by the cause Holly strongly holds to her heart, he is equally drawn to her heart.

Starfish Pier also focuses on Patrick (Steven’s brother), as he fights alcohol addition. This story plays the role of Patrick fighting the battle of the bottle, as his habit threatens to repeat the dangerous cycle his father lived through. Patrick grapples with his addiction, but there is nurturing guidance on his side from his wife and other townspeople.

While I felt that Starfish Pier kept drifting to many storylines within Steven’s family (and the sudden tale about the cannon), I did appreciate that this story that teaches about the power of forgiveness. Love and understanding can only come through patience.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Synopsis

A year ago, ex-Delta Force operator Steven Roark left the rigors of combat behind to run fishing charters in Hope Harbor, decompress, and talk some sense into his kid brother. Business is good–but making peace with his past is more challenging than he expected.

First-grade teacher Holly Miller leads a quiet, low-profile existence–until she’s recruited to advocate for a cause that’s dear to her heart. When she solicits Steven’s assistance, sparks fly–especially after they find themselves on opposite sides of an issue that disrupts their placid seaside community.

As these two seemingly incompatible souls search for common ground, might they discover a deeper connection–and find that love can banish darkness and light the way to a future filled with promise?

Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon invites you back to Hope Harbor–where hearts heal . . . and love blooms.

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Goodreads Monday: May 4

I’m taking part in Goodreads Monday. This was started by Lauren’s Page Turners, in which you choose a book listed on your Goodreads TBR and talk about it.

This Week’s Post:

Starfish Pier by Irene Hamilton

Why I Want To Read It:

I received a complimentary copy of Starfish Pier through Revell Reads Blogger Program. I’m looking forward to jumping right into it! The cover just makes me want to head to a beachfront town!

Synopsis

A year ago, ex-Delta Force operator Steven Roark left the rigors of combat behind to run fishing charters in Hope Harbor, decompress, and talk some sense into his kid brother. Business is good–but making peace with his past is more challenging than he expected.

First-grade teacher Holly Miller leads a quiet, low-profile existence–until she’s recruited to advocate for a cause that’s dear to her heart. When she solicits Steven’s assistance, sparks fly–especially after they find themselves on opposite sides of an issue that disrupts their placid seaside community.

As these two seemingly incompatible souls search for common ground, might they discover a deeper connection–and find that love can banish darkness and light the way to a future filled with promise?





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‘Silent Shadows’ by Natalie Walters/A Review


Silent Shadows by Natalie Walters
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
Acquired through Revell Reads
Release Date: March 31, 2020


My Thoughts

**I received a copy of ‘Silent Shadows’ by Natalie Walters through Revell Reads Blogger Program, in exchange for an honest review**

‘Silent Shadows’ is the third book in the Harbored Secrets series, but you don’t need to read the previous two books to ‘catch up’ with the plot. This story follows Pecca Gallegos, a nurse at a veteran rehab center in Walton, Georgia. I was introduced to in Deadly Deceit (Book 2), and she was quite a proactive character. I was interested in reading about the conflicts she faces.

I was immediately swept into Pecca’s dilemmas, as well as the romantic scenes she shares with Colton Crawford, an Army vet with personal struggles of his own. Both characters seek to rebuild their lives through the grace of a higher power, and with additional assistance from the Walton, Georgia community. Pecca also has family providing guidance in nontraditional ways!

I loved how this story kept me engaged from beginning to end! Through the love story and the risky conflicts brought upon these characters, there was always the constant message of the nurturing presence of God. One should always have the confidence that everything will ultimately work out for the best.

I also appreciated how Natalie Walters values the hard work our military forces endured. There is the constant message of loyalty and brotherhood Colton and the other veterans display toward each other throughout the novel. We must always stay thankful to our military for all the hard work they’ve done throughout the decades. Even during these complicated times of the pandemic, our military stands guides us with solidarity.

‘Silent Shadows’ is a lovely book with characters holding a lasting message of grace and community. I recommend this novel to those searching for a fast-paced romantic suspense tale!


Rating: 4/5 Stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Synopsis

Pecca Gallegos moved to the tiny town of Walton, Georgia, to protect her son and escape the dangerous lifestyle that once defined her. When a series of strange circumstances evolve into threats, Pecca finds herself confiding in an unlikely ally–her stubborn patient.

Army veteran Colton Crawford is desperate to recover from the undiagnosed disorder that is ruining his life, and his instincts are on high alert when threats against his nurse and her son force him to take action. But Colton’s involvement only ramps up the danger when he uncovers a family secret revealing that whoever is after Pecca is closer–and more deadly–than they realized.

With this suspenseful new story, Natalie Walters welcomes you once more to Walton, Georgia, where everyone knows your name–but no one knows your secret.





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WWW Wednesday: March 25

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and now maintained by Taking on a World of Words.

There are three prompts for WWW Wednesday:
–What are you currently reading?
–What did you finish recently reading?
–What do you think you’ll read next?

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
So far I like reading about Lydia’s ‘dual’ life, so to speak! I’m halfway into the novel, so I suspect things are going to get pretty complicated!

Berried in the Past (Cranberry Cove Mystery #5) by Peg Cochran
Thank you NetGalley for this wonderful eARC! I enjoyed this lovely mystery novel set in small town Michigan! It was filled with an eclectic cast of characters and delicious recipes!

Out of the Embers by Amanda Cabot
Thank you Revell for the complimentary copy! I really loved reading this historical romance set in 1850s Texas. It was a heartwarming tale!

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
This book is the April selection of the Literally Dead Book Club! I’m glad that Book of the Month offered this story as one of their choices to purchase!

‘Out of the Embers’ by Amanda Cabot/A Review

Out of the Embers by Amanda Cabot
Publisher: Revell
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: March 3, 2020

Synopsis:
Ten years after her parents were killed, Evelyn Radcliffe is once more homeless. The orphanage that was her refuge and later her workplace has burned to the ground, and only she and a young orphan girl have escaped. Convinced this must be related to her parents’ murders, Evelyn flees with the girl to Mesquite Springs in the Texas Hill Country and finds refuge in the home of Wyatt Clark, a talented horse rancher whose plans don’t include a family of his own.

At first, Evelyn is a distraction. But when it becomes clear that trouble has followed her to Mesquite Springs, she becomes a full-blown disruption. Can Wyatt keep her safe from the man who wants her dead? And will his own plans become collateral damage?

Suspenseful and sweetly romantic, Out of the Embers is the first in a new series that invites you to the Texas Hill Country in the 1850s, when the West was wild, the men were noble, and the women were strong.

My Thoughts:
**I received a complimentary copy of Out of the Embers through Revell Reads Blogger Program**

Out of the Embers is a touching story about discovering a true sense of home through resilience and hope. The book follows a young woman named Evelyn Radcliffe and her young charge Polly after being saved (by fate) from their home being burned down. They find the sanctuary of Wyatt Clark and his family in Mesquite Springs, Texas. While Polly’s lineage has her own deep-seeded secrets, Evelyn changes her identity in order to have a more peaceful life. Along the way she encounters unexpected–and unwelcome–surprises from certain citizens. She also causes great changes in Wyatt’s life, as he seeks to discover his own destiny within the surroundings of his horse farm.

Both Evelyn and Wyatt are people seeking a change in their life paths: Evelyn seeking to start over from her devastating family losses, while Wyatt longs to branch out from a seemingly static life in Mesquite Springs. They each have a missing piece in their lives to fill as they establish their positions in society. Through the close-knit community of Mesquite Springs, Evelyn and Wyatt discover the meaning of family and kindred spirits.

I enjoyed the setting of the 1850s in Texas, as it displayed a simpler life. These residents live a happy life without the technology that bombards our present lives in every passing moment. Amanda Cabot also writes beautifully the nature of courtship, getting to know someone’s personality and quirks before committing your life to another. She also describes the bonding nature of female relationships, as Dorothy and Evelyn’s heartwarming scenes wonderfully describes.

I found Out of the Embers to be a heartwarming novel about community coming together during difficult times. It also has the touching connection of Evelyn and Wyatt’s story as they navigate their paths in life.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Friday Reads: March 20

I’m about halfway into reading ‘Out of the Embers’ by Amanda Cabot. Thank you so much to Revell Reads for sending me a copy of this book! I’m really liking this book, as it’s a blend of Historical Fiction with Romance. I’m going to post a review on this book fairly soon!

I’m also starting on ‘You Are Not Alone’ by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkinen. This is the April selection for the Literally Dead Book Club. Since I don’t have the March selection, I’m starting the April read a bit early!

A New Story, and Addressing Fears

Today I began reading ‘Out of the Embers’ by Amanda Cabot. I received the book through Revell Reads blogger program. It’s a Historical Fiction/Romance novel, and I always take a liking towards the HF genre.

In ‘social distancing news’, Andy worked from home, and I alternated my time between reading and taking care of chores. I also signed up for a webinar for my school. The topic involves how to communicate with students about COVID-19. While my school is closed for at least two weeks, many families are understandably stressed about this sudden change in routine. I’m looking forward in hearing what this webinar entails.

March 2020 TBR

Happy 1st day of March! The days of Winter are nearly behind us!

I’ve yet to put out my February Wrap-Up post, and I will have that up very soon. For now, these are the reads that I’ll be reading during March!

We Ride Upon Sticks and Are There Presently by Quan Barry

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Pantheon Books. Since this book comes out on March 3rd, I’ll have my review posted within the week!

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This novel is the March selection at my local library’s book club! I’ve heard so much about Where the Crawdads Sing, so I can’t wait to learn why it’s so popular!

Out of the Embers by Amanda Cabot

I received a complimentary copy of Out of the Ashes from Revell Reads. It sounds like a romantic suspense novel set in the countryside. I’m curious to see what happens!

I’m sure I’ll add more to this list, but these are the selections are definitely a ‘must read’ for March!

What books are on your TBR list this month?

‘Collateral Damage’ by Lynette Eason/A Review

Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason
Book 1 of Danger Never Sleeps series
Publisher: Revell/Baker Publishing Group
Length: 320 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Christian Fiction
Acquired from Revell Reads Blogger List
Release Date: January 7, 2020

Synopsis:

Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others–but her days of helping military personnel are over. She’s got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she’s not equipped to take on more. Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that war sent his way–terrorists, bombs, bullets. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin.

Finally convinced that he needs help, Asher makes an appointment with a counselor, and Brooke is pressed by her boss to take him on. When he arrives at her office she isn’t there–but a dead body is. Brooke is devastated when she walks in, and Asher is a conveniently strong shoulder to cry on. But she can’t take him on as a client after sharing such an intimate and unprofessional moment, can she? And he’s not sure he can handle sharing his deepest fears with such a beautiful woman.

When it becomes clear that Brooke was the real target of the attack–and that her secrets go even deeper than his own–Asher vows to protect her no matter what.

My Thoughts:

**Thank you Revell Reads for providing me a complimentary copy!**

Collateral Damage is a definite page-turner! As I was reading, I became so absorbed with the characters’ actions in every scene. Brooke and Asher are two individuals brought together through the circumstances of war and trauma. The story progresses as their war-time experiences converge in the normally safe environment of home, now heavily complicated.

I found this story very fast-paced, as the mysteriously dangerous figures in the book kept me in suspense, along with guessing who may be the one out for Brooke’s life. The twist in the book occurs before the mystery is revealed, but its weight carries the shocking consequence of the key players through the end. 

Collateral Damage falls under the Christian Fiction genre. Occasionally, Brooke and the other characters reach out to a higher power when enduring extreme difficulty. The feeling of having faith at all times accompany these individuals throughout the story. It’s the gentle message of reaching out to a higher power in times of conflict that I greatly appreciated.

If you love a book with mystery and suspense, then Collateral Damage is the book for you!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Reading Blog: Collateral Damage

I’m about a quarter of the way through Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason. I’m so happy that Revell Reads provided me a copy to review, since this is a eye-opening story about war-torn Afghanistan. Although this is a fiction story, I appreciate the fact that there are stories out there featuring people living their lives in times of war and conflict. There is also the issue of PTSD as a focal point in the main characters’ story arcs. I can’t wait to see what happens in this story as I continue to read it!