Timmy Failure: Zero to Hero

Author: Stephan Pastis

Series: Timmy Failure #0

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Release Date: April 6, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A fun, silly book that children will enjoy reading, which is the biggest win to get kids reading.

Timmy Failure has a great imagination and uses it to create a detective agency and solve the crimes in his town. He uses his detective skills to find out who stole his favorite shirt and from there he solves all crimes he comes across. Timmy is so famous there are multiple books about his life and even a movie! Now, Timmy gives us an inside look at to how he became the greatest detective in the world.

I read this book after my son started enjoying them to see what he was reading and be able to talk about it with him. With all that is out in the world, it is important to read and be involved in all our kids’ encounters. This book is silly, somewhat stupid at times but doesn’t have any of the “agenda” so many try to put in shows and books. I was happy reading this and finding out that it was an okay series for my kids to read. I was able to read it in a single day and can talk to him about the characters and storyline. On Amazon this is a “Teacher’s pick,” I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as the best pick for kids for the reason that it is a bit stupid and annoying but the fact that it doesn’t have any of the other things, I would consider inappropriate makes it worth the read. This is a good book for young readers to pick up and just enjoy reading.

The Swindler’s Daughter

Author: Stephenia H. McGee

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: May 2, 2023

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An exciting historical romance that exceeded my expectations!

Lillian Doyle is a high-society girl who thought her father died when she was a little girl. She learns that he only recently passed and now she is becoming the heir to all he is leaving behind. She has to go to take possession of her father’s house and when she arrives in Georgia she finds another woman saying it belongs to her son, Jonah. In the struggle to figure out where to go from there, Lillian finds out more about her father, their past, and the not so simple family business left to her.

This is the first book by McGee I have read and after a long string of historical romance novels on my list, this one went in with the rest of the stack. The problem for me with historical romance is they tend to blend together and seem the same after a while. The story was a quick read and full of wholesome content that is great for anyone looking for a clean read without any of the bad stuff so often included in books.  I would recommend this to readers that want a historical romance that can be read quickly and easily.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Engaging Deception

Author: Regina Jennings

Series: Joplin Chronicles #3

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: December 13, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The third book in the Joplin Chronicles is a great addition to the series that readers will not want to put down.

Olive Kentworth loves architecture but has kept it to herself for years. She gets offered a job for a home expansion which isn’t going to keep her love of architecture a secret, except her cousin poses as the builder. On top of that, she takes a position as a nanny for Joplin’s top architect Maxfield Scott who is a widower. It doesn’t take long for Maxfield and Olive to have a connection with each other as she helps with his family and his work unbeknownst to him. With each passing day, Olive’s involvement becomes harder to keep others from finding out and messing up all she has dreamed of.

As the third book in the Joplin Chronicles, it is not necessary to read the first two to enjoy this one as a good clean read. This is a nice easy read, like most of the historical romance I’ve read recently. The romance was woven in with the tension of Olive wanting to pursue her dream, or what she thought was her dream, until she met Maxfield and her view of what her future could be changed. I enjoyed the dynamic of the characters and what they were going through and how it affected them. I recommend this book to those that have read the series and even if they haven’t read the previous in the series this will still be a fun read.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

In This Moment

Author: Gabrielle Meyer

Series: Timeless #2

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: May 2, 2023

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A very different historical romance that was entertaining and captivating.

Maggie Hollingsworth is not your typical girl, she is able to live three separate lives at once, 1861 in Washington D.C., 1941 in Pearl Harbor and 2001 in D.C.  Every night she goes to sleep she wakes up at a different time period, which continues until she turns twenty-one when she will have to pick two of the lives to give up along with everyone she knows in those timelines. Each timeline has a different set of people in her life and dreams to try to fulfill. She doesn’t want romance until she knows where she will end up, even with a man in each century trying to win her heart. Based with the hardest decision of her life Maggie, isn’t sure what the right time is for her and her future.

This was such a different historical romance that I found myself in love with. The way Maggie had to go back and forth between the timelines and keep it all straight was such a great story. Gabrielle Meyer is an author that continues to surprise me with her creativity. These time-slip novels are a different breed and one that I am getting more and more in love with. This story kept me glued to the pages from the very beginning until the final page. This is the second book in the series, and I am not sure if more is to come but if it is I will be first in line to read it. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a different kind of story that will be thoroughly entertaining.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Mother & Son: The Respect Effect

Author: Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, Ph.D.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: April 5, 2016

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One of the best parenting books written, especially for mothers of boys!

It is always talked about father and sons and them being best buddies, but there is something special about the relationship between mother and son. It is a bond like no other, but how do we enhance that bond and make the relationship even better? Dr. Eggerichs has written a book that is specific for mothers and sons and how the relationship is so different from mothers and daughters. With each chapter I read, I was awed by the insight I found from within. When you think of mothers, the first thing that comes to mind is love; Mother’s give love to their children both girls and boys. This book shows that boys need love, but they also need respect even more. The way Dr. Eggerichs presents this information is eye opening and will give mothers tools that they need to help their sons feel loved and respected.

As I read this book, I found myself nodding my head in agreement with all I read; it is such good information for parents and written in a way I had not thought about before. I had this book recommended to me by another mother and have found that I can now be a better mother for my two sons. This book takes a good, biblical look at how we need to approach parenting our sons and helping them to grow up to be the best men they can be. I recommend this book to all parents of boys to try and be the best parent they can be.

Out of the Ashes

Author: Kara Thomas

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Release Date: May 1, 2023

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Out of the Ashes is the epitome of a slow-burn suspense thriller! So much tension drives this story, giving readers a great book!

When Samantha Newsom was only thirteen years old, her family was murdered, and the only thing left of her home was ashes. The investigation into what happened to he family was not handled well and when she returns over twenty years later she is quickly pulled back into all the tragedy she tried to leave behind. Rumors surface that Samantha’s baby sister may still be alive surface, along with other secrets, leading Travis Mecham to investigate the case. The little town Samantha grew up in is no longer a safe place; with every secret she uncovers, the danger increases and this time she might not make it out alive!

Out of the Ashes was a true slow burn thriller that was a quick read and very enjoyable. The only downfall I would say is it’s not very memorable, after reading it and leaving it for a awhile I don’t have much that I remember about the story other than it being a good quick read. For some though that is a good thing, a quick enjoyable read that doesn’t take a lot of mental energy. The characters were enjoyable to read about, and just when I thought I knew who the killer was, there was another twist and turn. For readers that enjoy a good thriller, this is one not to be missed!

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Broker of Lies

Author: Steven James

Series: Travis Brock Thriller #1

Publisher: Tyndale House

Release Date: April 11, 2023

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Steven James at his best writing a fantastic suspense thriller that does not disappoint!

Travis Brock works at the Pentagon as a redactor and has an eidetic memory. One night, he wakes up to a fire in his house. He searches for his wife who ends up dying in the fire. The fire is ruled arson and for over a year and a half afterwards he searches for answers that no one else has for him. During his search, he finds himself in the middle of a terror attack and helps a homeland security officer that has been framed for an attack. Together they must work to prove her innocence and stop the attack before others are hurt or worse.

It has been far too long since I have had a new Steven James novel in my hands. He is one of my very favorite thriller writers for so many reasons. He has a way of crafting characters that are amazing, relatable, and so fun to read about. The plot of this book had me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning; so much tension on each page making it hard to put down until I knew if these characters were going to come out alright by the final pages. This book is the first in a new series by James and already I’m in love with these characters and what they can do. The ending has a great cliffhanger and twist that brought the biggest smile to my face knowing there is more to come by a master storyteller. I recommend this book to fans of thrillers and a storyteller that will show you what it’s like to read a book that is written by one of the best.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

The Year of Jubilee

Author: Cindy Morgan

Publisher: Tyndale House

Release Date: April 18, 2023

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Family can cause the most drama, and in this novel, it creates all the right kinds of drama for a wonderful read!

Jubilee, Kentucky has been the home to the Mockingbird family when their lives are rocked by division and illness striking their youngest son, Isaac. Grace is fourteen and left in charge of her younger brother while the rest of her family is at the hospital. It’s 1963 and a hard time for Grace and the rest of her family; her aunt June comes to help but Grace is left with most of the burden. Grace meets a boy named Golden who is unlike anyone she has met and ends up being a key factor in helping her brother. Nothing is as it seems when she must decide between what she is told and what she knows.

The nicest thing about this book is the way it flows; Cindy Morgan has a beautiful way of crafting words that are read so easily. Even though it read quickly and easily, the subject matter was hard and heavy. It is difficult to find a book with a deep subject matter that flows in such a way, but when one is found it turns out to be a beautiful read. I’m thankful for authors that have a way of writing stories that have a deep meaning and are written in a way that will keep the reader interested and turning the pages. I recommend this book to readers that not only enjoy historical fiction but a story with good characters and a heartfelt message.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

After the War

Author: Anita Frank

Publisher: HQ

Release Date: July 21, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Secrets always have a way of reemerging no matter how much effort goes into keeping them.

Jack needs to escape from his past in Newcastle.  Putting as much distance as he can, he arrives in Berkshire.  There he meets a friendly farmer who offers him a job to help oversee the farm.  Even though he knows nothing of the work, Jack accepts his offer.  There he meets the farmer’s daughter, Gwen, who is hiding a secret of her own, a pregnancy.  Jack offers to marry her and, on that day, war is declared with Germany.  After marriage, Jack enlists and promises Gwen that she will never see him again. 

Six years later, victory bells are ringing across England.  Jack has been wounded many times but remains alive and decides to return home to England.  Gwen wonders if Jack will return and when he does, they find that one of the greatest challenges of their lives will be adjusting to married life.  As trouble arises, they find they must work together and trust one another to make it through life.

The first part of this story really drug out, but the second half flew by in a flash.  There are a lot of references to farm life that get monotonous and could turn readers away, but hopefully they will give it a chance.  Also, as the title states, this book is not about the war.  It is about what happens to Gwen and Jack after the war.  This is also when the tension really gets going moving the story along.  There is also not much romance in the book.  Even so, the ending is worth the read!

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

The Secret to Happiness

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Series: Cape Cod Creamery #2

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: May 2, 2023

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Return to Cape Cod for another great story!

Callie is at the top of her career, until one mistake brings it all down crashing around her.  Needing a place to hide out and determine what is next in her life, Callie flees to Cape Cod to visit her favorite aunt.  But her cousin Dawn is not thrilled to see her.  There has been some tension in the past that left Dawn feeling second best to Callie.  But even Dawn can see that Callie is struggling with depression.  To get her out of this, Dawn drags Callie to a local community college class about finding happiness.  While skeptical at first, Callie discovers this class, and its instructor, might be just what she needs.

I was so happy to return to the Cape Cod Creamery for another lighthearted feel-good story.  This one focuses on Dawn’s cousin Callie and her current distress.  Fisher does such a great job of introducing characters who just fold right into your lap and make you want to be their friend.  Callie was one of those characters who you felt for right away and just wanted to see her happy again.  I also loved meeting new characters as well as visiting some recurring characters from the first book.  Such a great read to start off the summer reading season!

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.