The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd | Book Review

Okay, so blame this analogy on the fact that this month I’m deprived of all my sports, so I’m left with baseball. I’ve enjoyed all of the previous books I’ve read of Sarah E. Ladd, but I have to say The Curiosity Keeper, knocked it out of the park. I absolutely loved it!

“It is not just a ruby, as you say. It is large as a quail’s egg, still untouched and unpolished. And it is rumored to either bless or curse whoever possesses it.”

Camille Iverness can take care of herself. She’s done so since the day her mother abandoned the family and left Camille to run their shabby curiosity shop. But when a violent betrayal leaves her injured with no place to hide, Camille must allow a mysterious stranger to come to her aid.
Jonathan Gilchrist never wanted to inherit Kettering Hall. As a second son, he was content to work as the village apothecary. But when his brother’s death made him heir just as his father’s foolish decisions put the estate at risk, only the sale of a priceless possession—a ruby called the Bevoy—can save the family from ruin. But the gem has disappeared. And all trails lead to Iverness Curiosity Shop—and the beautiful shop girl who may be the answer to his many questions.

Caught at the intersection of blessings and curses, greed and deceit, these two determined souls must unite to protect what they hold dear. But when a passion that shines far brighter than any gem is ignited, they will have to decide how much they are willing to risk for their future, love, and happiness.

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What a book to kick off her latest series! I enjoyed this book from the first page until the last. I didn’t want it to end and this will be one I re-read in the future and makes the “Favorites of 2015” list. She continues to become a solid and trusted voice in the Regency genre. Don’t you just love experiencing this kind of book?

One of the reasons this book was so fabulous is how you felt reading this book. I felt the pain of rejection some characters felt. Instead of unconditional love, it was rejection. She just didn’t tell you how they felt, you felt it too. You’re engaged from beginning to end.

This book is a perfect blend of London and countryside, mystery and suspense, friendship and love and sacrifice, intrigue and betrayal. Truly her best book yet.

Have you had a chance to read any of Sarah’s books? Do you have a favorite?

(Thank you to Litfuse and Thomas Nelson for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD | Goodreads

Among the Fair Magnolias | Four Southern Stories Book Review

True confessions time. I originally gave this collection the side eye. If you aren’t one prone to “side-eye” antics, one way it can be used is being rather cautious towards one person or object. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s very rare I’ll enjoy a novella and my schedule was rather tight, so I figured I’d just pass and get to it at a later time. But then this collection kept popping up everywhere, so I finally caved and pretty much said, why not?!

So logical.

I can’t explain it either.

I’m really glad I took a chance though. A collection of novellas is a great way to read something from a favorite author while you are forced to wait for their next release (here’s looking at you Tamera) and get introduced to new authors along the way.

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home. So when new owner, Aidan Bedford, a Boston attorney and former Union soldier, seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But the clock is ticking. Can she find the box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front. This time, one of the heart.

An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray
When Russell Stark returns to Fort Worth, he’s determined to begin a new life. But when he arrives at his mother’s homestead, he discovers she’s very ill, and the woman he loved is still as beautiful and sweet as he remembered. With time running out, Russell must come to terms with both his future and his past.

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
Abigail knows all too well what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin Charles and take her place in society. But her heart belongs to another. A terrible incident forces Abby to choose between love and duty.

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
Emily has a secret: She’s in love with one of the freedmen on her family’s plantation. Meanwhile, another man declares his love for her. Emily realizes some things are not as they seem and secrets must be kept in order to keep those she loves safe.

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A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
This was my first book of Dorothy Love’s and I quite enjoyed it! I really enjoyed the setting and appreciated how Love was able to make me care about characters in a shorter time span. Plus it made me excited for my trip to South Carolina in September. (4 Stars)

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
This one was my favorite. First because, well, Tamera. Second, I “met” this character in Tamera’s recent full length release and was so happy to get to read her story. I thought it was fabulously done and even if you didn’t read To Win Her Favor, I think you’ll still really enjoy this one. I’m also determined to make peach cobbler now. I’m sure that won’t end up a disaster or anything. (5 stars)

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
What I appreciated most about this story was the honest look at reconstruction and what eventually led to Jim Crow. For a novella, this definitely packed a punch in showing how the Klan worked and their hate and terrorism. For that alone, it was worth reading. The stories between the characters were a bit predictable, but I’m glad I read it. (3 Stars)

An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray
I love Shelley’s writing – her books set around the Chicago World’s Fair are some of my recent favorites. But I didn’t love this one as much as her previous works. I think that’s more due to the fact that western-ish type novels are a hit or miss with me. If you enjoy stories set in Texas though, I would recommend checking this one out. (3 stars) .

Is there a collection of novellas you’ve enjoyed reading? I’d love to hear about it!

(Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD | Goodreads

The Doctor’s Lady | #HedlundChallenge2015 July Discussion

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(The 2015 Jody Hedlund Challenge is a monthly series featuring the novels of author Jody Hedlund, hosted by Cassie of Bookshelves and Windows and Jamie of Books and Beverages. We invite readers and bloggers to join us in reading and discussing these books together. Every month, we’ll announce the book about four weeks before the discussion post will go live (alternating between Cassie and Jamie’s blogs). The following month, after everyone has read the book, we will discuss and interact with each other about our thoughts on each book with special appearances throughout the year! If you’re on Facebook be sure to join our group!)

Be sure to head over to Cassie’s blog to join in the discussion of The Doctor’s Lady! There’s awesome discussion questions and the best quiz! Which Hedlund heroine are you?!

—You can find the post here

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Guest Posting for All Lady July!

Hello everyone! Hope y’all had a fabulous week  – I’m glad to be back posting and chatting all things books! Today I wanted to let y’all know I’m over at the lovely Wesley’s blog, Library Educated, joining in All Lady July – which is a fabulous month dedicated to women and literature (it actually went live Friday). This is the second year she’s done it and I’m grateful to be able to join in!

I’m talking about who influenced me early on as a reader and some the girls/women I read about as a little girl who stuck with me. I hope you’ll join in!

— You can find the post here. —

I hope you stop by!

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Announcing August’s #HedlundChallenge2015 | The Preacher’s Bride

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(The 2015 Jody Hedlund Challenge is a monthly series featuring the novels of author Jody Hedlund, hosted by Cassie of Bookshelves and Windows and Jamie of Books and Beverages. We invite readers and bloggers to join us in reading and discussing these books together. Every month, we’ll announce the book about four weeks before the discussion post will go live (alternating between Cassie and Jamie’s blogs). The following month, after everyone has read the book, we will discuss and interact with each other about our thoughts on each book with special appearances throughout the year! If you’re on Facebook be sure to join our group!)

I’m super excited to host our next read! It was the very first book I read from Jody (thank you Kindle deals!) and I’ve been hooked ever since (it also reminds me of my early blogging days and all the fun changes since then). I’m so excited to read this one again – it’s based on John Bunyan and his second wife and I hope you’ll join in! Oh and it’s Jody’s debut novel!

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The Preacher’s Bride
In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John’s protests of her aid. She’s even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family. Yet Elizabeth’s new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John’s boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher’s enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she’s more determined than ever to save the child and manshe’s come to love.

Discussion Date: August 25, 2015

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD.com

And don’t forget! We’ll be discussing The Doctor’s Lady (another based on a real life couple!) next week, so come back for the discussion!