Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren Review



In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father’s estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.

Although it flies against all the conventions for women of the time, they’re determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, proper gender roles are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined–and that’s just the start of
what their eyes are opened to in this unfamiliar world.

Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.

Set on keeping her family together and saving her father’s once-great plantation, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?

My Thoughts:

This story was very interesting. I had very little knowledge of the sugar plantations in the past and this story really allowed the reader to experience the culture and challenges of that time period and place.

The story does not gloss over the ugliness of slavery or the terrible way these people were treated…there were some very difficult scenes to read but I appreciated that they were historically accurate. I also found that the author portrayed how women were viewed by men very well…it was not an easy time for women.

The author describes everything very vividly…the scenes on the boat and the island were almost like watching a movie.

I loved the sisters in the story…Keturah, Verity, and Selah each had distinct personalities but supported each other through difficult times and had some great “sisterly” moments.

Overall, this was a great story that moved at a good pace and left me eager to read the next installment.

My Rating: 4 stars


I received this book from Baker Publishing Group to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett Review


Synopsis: Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as “pervaded with divine light.”

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford fashioned her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the choice of becoming a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark helps open Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas– a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

My Thoughts: I loved the first book in this series, The Road to Paradise, so I was eager to pick this one up! Set in Yosemite National Park, this story follows Olivia, an artist with a lot of secrets, commissioned to paint scenery from Yosemite and Clark, a trail guide who works at Yosemite and is dealing with issues from his past.

Karen Barnett is extremely gifted at setting the scene…I’ve never visited Yosemite but her descriptions make me feel like I almost have. In this book, the reader sees many different sights and locations in the park.

There is a lot of adventure and some mystery to the story, which was my favorite aspect. I wasn’t as fond of the romance as it seemed a bit forced and unrealistic at times (plus I’m usually not a romance reader).

I will say that I enjoyed the first book more but this one was still fun and worth picking up. I can’t wait for the next one!

My Rating: 3 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano Review


About the Book


Title: The Saturday Night Supper Club

Author: Carla Laureano

Genre: Christian fiction/romance fiction

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard Award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back . . . even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t…

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts:

This was such a fun and delightful story! It felt very modern but had great faith content. I related a lot to Rachel and her views regarding men and women and how they are treated…it’s a less popular view in this day and age but the author addressed it very well.

The book is full of food references, which I loved but left me feeling hungry ;). I learned a lot about the restaurant industry and the difficult job of a chef. I also loved reading about the pop up restaurants, something I had never heard of.

The romance was delightful as well as the friendships. I enjoy stories with healthy female friendships and this was a great one.

Overall, this was a very fast paced book that I flew through and really enjoyed. I will definitely be checking out more of the author’s books.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from the author/publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author


Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

Guest Post From Carla Laureano

I’ve got a confession to make: I have a cooking problem.

It started early and innocently enough, flipping through my mom’s cookbooks and marking things I wanted to try. Making cakes and muffins from a mix. Flipping frozen steak patties. Doctoring canned spaghetti sauce.

It wasn’t long before I got into the hard stuff: muffins from scratch, slow-cooked marinara, cast-iron seared and oven-finished rib eyes. Over the years, I tried to kick the habit numerous times, but every time things got tough, I found myself falling off the wagon and heading back into the kitchen. Even hosting dinner parties. Yes, dear reader, I pulled my hapless friends into my madness. To my shame, I even got some of them hooked with their own addiction.

Before I knew it, my obsessions started creeping into my day job. No longer was it enough to write contemporary romance about normal people who order take-out. No, I had to write chefs and passionate home cooks and describe the food in the books just as lovingly as I did a first kiss. And then the final straw—a book series centered entirely on food and the culinary profession, beginning with The Saturday Night Supper Club.

All joking aside, cooking really is an addiction that I haven’t been able to kick. As a writer, I spend hours locked in my own imagination, creating things out of words and ideas. And while it’s immensely fulfilling, it’s a long, painstaking process that takes months, even years, before I can release the final product into the world. While there’s a large amount of planning and analysis involved in creating a book, the work is still mostly in my head.

Which is why I find cooking to be such a relaxing creative pursuit. Dicing a pile of vegetables into perfectly uniform cubes may take the same concentration and precision, but it’s concrete and measurable. It becomes a personal challenge to do something better than last time, improving by tiny, nearly imperceptible increments. It’s the closest to meditation that my always-on brain ever experiences, clear of all thought except for my activity at the present moment.

And yet, simultaneously, food is ephemeral. Mistakes last only as long as it takes to eat them or toss them directly into the trash can, depending on the nature of the mistake. If a sauce breaks, I toss it and start over. If I burn something, I either cut off the burned part or I order takeout and try again the next day. There’s an element of experimentation and instinct and whimsy that isn’t hampered by the pursuit of perfection. Let’s face it, a mediocre chocolate chip cookie beats a perfect celery stick any day of the week.

It was natural, then, to write a chef heroine who had dedicated her entire life to the pursuit of culinary perfection and explore all the ways that food makes our lives and relationships richer. How it anchors our memories. How we nurture others by feeding them. How a simple meal becomes meaningful not because of the food, but because of the connections we form with others over the dinner table.

In the end, I guess my cooking problem isn’t that much of a problem after all. If you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen.

Blog Stops

Rachel Scott McDaniel, February 20

A Baker’s Perspective, February 20

Just Commonly, February 20

Mommynificent, February 21

Among The Reads, February 21

A Greater Yes, February 21

proud to be an autism mom, February 21

Fiction Aficionado, February 22

Quiet Quilter, February 22

The Power of Words, February 23

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, February 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 23

Janices book reviews, February 24

C Jane Read, February 24

Faery Tales Are Real, February 24

All of a Kind Mom, February 25

Inklings and notions, February 25

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 25

Carpe Diem, February 26

Smiling Book Reviews, February 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 26

Splashes of Joy, February 27

Its Storytime with Van Daniker, February 27

Simple Harvest Reads, February 27 (Guest post from Mindy)

Radiant Light, February 28

Moments Dipped in Ink, February 28

Baker kella, February 28

Pause for Tales, March 1

Book by Book, March 1

Bigreadersite, March 1

The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 2

Have A Wonderful Day, March 2

Reader’s Cozy Corner, March 2

Bibliophile Reviews, March 3

Two Points of Interest, March 3

Reading is my Super Power, March 3

Texas Book-aholic, March 4

amandainpa, March 4

Singing Librarian Books, March 4

By The Book, March 5

Neverending Stories, March 5

Pursuing Stacie, March 5



To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize of a $200 Visa Card for the winner and a friend to attend a cooking class!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers Review


Synopsis: A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want―money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist―an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.

Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship―and both their lives―forever.

My Thoughts: In one word, beautiful! This book was a beautiful story of two damaged people from difficult backgrounds. Francine Rivers’ writing is superb. Although this story is almost 500 pages, it never dragged or felt like it was too long.

The characters were complex and developed beautifully through the story. I was not a fan of Grace at first, but after learning more about her life, I understood why she had her guard up and acted the way she did. The reader gets a look at Roman’s thoughts and sees his vulnerability and the pain that he’s dealing with.

There are a lot of great lessons to be learned in this book but they’re not presented in a preachy way. It’s definitely the kind of book that makes the reader think and can grow their faith.

My only problem with this book was the trope of “misunderstandings” happened a few times and it’s a trope that I really dislike. Other than that, this book was nearly perfect. I’m not a “romance reader” but I read Francine Pascal’s romantic stories, because they are so much more than romance.

I highly recommend this book!

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron Review


Synopsis: Launching a brand-new series, Kristy Cambron explores the collision of past and present as she discovers the ruins of a French castle, long lost to history.

A thirteenth century castle, Chateau de Doux Reves, has been forgotten for generations, left to ruin in a storybook forest nestled deep in France’s picturesque Loire Valley. It survived a sacking in the French Revolution, was brought back to life and fashioned into a storybook chateau in the Gilded Age, and was eventually felled and deserted after a disastrous fire in the 1930s.

As Ellie Carver sits by her grandmother’s bedside, she hears stories of a castle . . . of lost love and a hidden chapel that played host to a secret fight in the World War II French resistance. But her grandmother is quickly slipping into the locked-down world of Alzheimer’s, and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history.

Sparked by the discovery of a long forgotten family heirloom, Ellie embarks on a journey to French wine country to uncover the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty–the castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale–and unearth its secrets before they’re finally silenced by time.

Set in three different time periods–the French Revolution, World War II, and present day–The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged, and an enchanted castle that inspired the epic fairy tales time left behind.

My Thoughts: Based on the synopsis, I wasn’t sure if this was a book I would enjoy but because I’ve read 2 books by Kristy Cambron and loved them, I decided to give this a try….I’m very glad I did.

This story follows 3 women in 3 different time periods and centers on a castle in France. I enjoyed the storyline of Avaline, who lived in the 1700s the best. Each character was very developed and their stories were woven together beautifully at the end.

The setting is very atmospheric, so much so, that when I would pick up my book to read, I would tell my family, “I’m going to France!” Kristy Cambron’s writing is beautiful and descriptive, I can see her becoming one of my favorite auto-buy authors.

The story did slow down a bit in the middle but for the most part was very engaging and interesting. I highly recommend it!

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Beneath A Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer Review


Synopsis: Estelle Brantley grew up in affluence and knows exactly how to behave in high society. But when she is cast from the social registers due to her father’s illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in the subjects of manners and morals so they can “marry up” with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he’s put off by the snooty airs and fastidious behavior of the “little city gal” in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the down-to-earth men. How can he teach her that perfection won’t bring happiness?

Learn More and Purchase HERE

My Thoughts: This is the third book that I’ve read by Kim Vogel Sawyer and I can confidently say that she is becoming one of my favorite authors. I am not particularly a fan of historical fiction because I often find that it’s a bit predictable and cliched but Sawyer’s historical books do not fit into that mold.

I expected one thing when starting the book based on the synopsis and got something much different (in a good way).

The author is very gifted at character development…each character had their own voice and was very easy to picture. I found myself chuckling several times at the scenes of these “rascally” men who were very unrefined and just wanted to get some wives (the sooner the better). The contrast of these men to the uppity and snooty Abigail was very fun to read about.

This story took several very unexpected turns that surprised me. There was depth to this story that I’ve found in all of Sawyer’s books, which really adds to the enjoyment and makes them more memorable.

I also appreciated that although there was romance, it began as a friendship and was very slow burning and sweet.

My only wish was that there was an epilogue to see where these characters were in the future. A sequel would be even better!

All in all, this was a very enjoyable story that I could see myself rereading in the future. I definitely recommend Kim Vogel Sawyer’s books…I plan to purchase many more to read.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from the author to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse Review


Synopsis: A New Series Begins for Lovers of History, Adventure, Romance, and Ancestry 
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Mary Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?

My Thoughts: First of all, the cover of this book is beautiful. I was also very intrigued by the premise…the story follows Mary Chapman, who is travelling to the New World from Holland. I have never read a book about this time period so I was looking forward to this story.

The author does a great job at capturing the emotions that the Mayflower passengers experienced during their long journey. The story really made me reflect on the apprehension and fear that these people felt.

The story includes both fictional characters and true passengers from the Mayflower. I learned a lot about the voyage and enjoyed the atmospheric quality of the story. I could easily picture the sights and smells that the author so vividly described throughout the story.

At times I felt that the story was a bit slow moving but overall it was very interesting and atmospheric. I will definitely pick up the other books in the series.

My Rating: 3 stars

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.