Hummingbird Kisses (Hummingbird Hollow Book 1) by Delia Latham

My Review

Toni Littlebird owns Inn the Hollow (love the play on words!) and is known as the hummingbird whisperer.

Dax Hendricks arrives at Hummingbird Hollow’s Inn in the Hollow on a Harley that is barely able to make it to the front door.

Delia Latham’s Hummingbird Kisses is a winsome, inspiring book. The main characters, Toni and Dax, have both been told by God that when they meet their “one and only,” they will know them. Imagine that you are Toni or Dax and realize that the other person is the one God means for you, but you just know God made a mistake!

I felt, at times, they weren’t giving each other the proper respect-especially Toni in the beginning. However, as the story went on, they became more familiar with one other and “settled” down. They became adept at sparring and teasing each other, which was a cute, entertaining quality of the novella.

I experienced feelings of serenity and wonder at the descriptions of Hummingbird Hollow and its surrounding areas. The sensations evoked were ones of astonishment and amazement, making me wish I was there with Toni and Dax, sharing in the phenomenon they witnessed.

I also enjoyed reading about Toni Littlebird because I am part Cherokee. She was a very remarkable and slightly querulous woman, with the ability to “whisper” to hummingbirds!

The story is well written, and the personalities have depth and complexity which draws you into the tale.

I received the book from the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Toni Littlebird believes God has created someone especially for her. When she meets him, she’ll know he’s The One, and she will love him. But that’s before Dax Hendrick roars into Hummingbird Hollow on a noisy, crippled Harley, spitting stinky filth into the air and scaring away Toni’s beloved hummingbirds. Dax sports over-long hair, an unkempt beard, and a condescending attitude toward her ancestral home. Toni takes one look into his mesmerizing blue-green eyes and…she knows. This uncivilized creature is “The One.” She’d been right about knowing him, but wrong about something far more important: She will never love him. Why God sent Dax to this beautiful place is a mystery, and it’s clear he can’t expect any answers from the lovely but unsympathetic owner of Inn the Hollow—a haphazardly constructed dwelling that goes against every professional rule in Dax’s area of expertise. He hopes to get the green light on getting out of there before the uneven corners, crooked floor slats, and random construction wither his architectural creativity. Is it possible that, between God’s gentle leading and a lesson or two from the fascinating hummingbirds that populate the hollow, Dax and Toni will open their hearts to each other? Or will their stubborn wills ruin God’s beautiful gift of love?

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Hank and Sarah- A Love Story by Juliette Duncan

My Review

Hank and Sarah-A Love Story, is about falling in love at first sight-literally.

Sarah Richards, a nurse, lost her husband nine years earlier, leaving her to raise their daughter, Maddy, by herself. She is not looking, nor is she interested in finding love again.

Hank Mitchell, a doctor who had been burned by love, was and wasn’t interested in falling in love again either.

The story, according to Juliette Duncan, is geared more to the YA (young adult, tweenager) group. Nonetheless, it can be enjoyed by almost any aged reader.

One thing I enjoyed, which was also problematic, is how much is packed into the short novella. The other thing is-they fall in love immediately. Now I realize stories must move quickly in a novella, so perhaps the latter could be overlooked.  However, even though this is a prequel to another book, I feel too many plot lines were introduced and not satisfactorily concluded.

I also enjoyed Juliette Duncan’s writing style and look forward to reading the sequel, Rebellion in Riversleigh.

If you are looking for a short, quick read about sweet, Christian love, then Hank and Sarah will fit the bill!

I received the book from the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Sarah is a single mother whose husband died nine years earlier. She is a nurse and is taking a training course. There she meets Dr. Hank Wilson.

Hank is a Doctor that is very close to his family.

Hank and Sarah seem to hit it off immediately. Can they find what they are looking for in each other?

Precious Fire (Diamond Knot Dreams Book 3) by Mary Manners

My Review

Mary Manners has written another cute romance novella centered around the Diamond Knot Dreams Bridal Boutique, complete with all the mysterious happenings in the shop.

Precious Fire introduces us to Claire McLaughlin, friend of Lila and Avery from the first and second story in the series, and Ryan Kendrick. Claire has come to Clover Cove at their request to be the baker for the boutique. Ryan came to care for his step-brother after the death of their grandmother. In addition, the city hires him to renovate the town square.

Both Ryan and Claire are hesitant to fall in love. Both were hurt in previous romantic relationships and are not interested in forming another one anytime soon. However, people and other events conspire to bring them together.

I really liked Ryan’s little brother, Caleb. He overcame some huge adversities but still maintained a positive outlook. I hope in future books we can revisit Caleb and get a glimpse at how he is doing as he grows up.

I loved being able to learn more about Clover Cove and enjoyed the way everyone worked together to make their hometown a more pleasant and fun place to live.

Mary Manners has the unique ability to put you in the middle of the plot. This quality endears you to the characters and helps you become vested in their lives. It is so much fun to learn of each new couple, while at the same time catching up with the other Clover Clove residents. You feel as if the area is your home away from home and the people are your friends!

Publisher’s Review

Claire McLaughlin, weary of running a corporate rat-race, dreams of pursuing her passion to bake sweet confections. So, when former college roommate Lila Brooks asks for her help with catering services at Diamond Knot Dreams Bridal Boutique, Claire grabs the invitation with both hands.

Ryan Kendrick has returned home to Clover Cove to raise his step-brother following the death of their grandmother. Hired to renovate the Town Square, he rents office space on the second floor of Diamond Knot Dreams and soon succumbs to talented Claire McLaughlin’s sweet confections—as well as the blue-eyed beauty herself.

As their romance blooms, so do the shenanigans of Diamond Knot Dreams’ meddling spirit, Ellie. Will her antics help to draw Claire and Ryan closer together, or bring the blossoming romance to a grinding halt?

Jeweled Dreams (Diamond Knot Dreams Book 2) by Mary Manners

My Review

Jeweled Dreams opens with such a cute, most erudite child that you immediately fall in love with her! Mackenzie “Kenzie” Ballentine not only stole her uncle’s heart when he became her guardian, but she will steal yours, too! Reading about her will leave you amazed at her language skills and ability to perceive situations, while at the same time being delighted by her five-year-old charisma.

One of my favorite types of stories is a series that follows characters from previous books, and Mary Manners has done this with her Diamond Knot Dreams series. Each person is inter-related in some way, either through friendship or birth. The only problem is when the series ends, and I have lost all my new friends!

I love the way Manners sets up her stories with such delightful personalities. I can easily see myself as friends with any or all of the people she so eloquently pens.

I am also loving this series. I have a special place in my heart for renovations and new business ventures, both of which are highlighted. Plus, who can help falling in love with a small town where life is so idyllic?

Jeweled Dreams is a novella, so it is quick to read and sure to delight!

Publisher’s Summary

When best friend Lila Brooks sends out an S.O.S. for help at Diamond Knot Dreams, graphic designer Avery Lakin heads to Clover Cove. She’s planning to stay only a few weeks, but nature photographer Jason Ingram captures her attention. Soon, she finds herself swept up in the beauty of his work…and in him.

Jason Ingram spent his twenties traveling the four corners of the earth as a nature photographer. But tragedy has called him home to Clover Cove. He’s determined to share nature’s bounty through his photography studio while he focuses on raising his precocious niece, Kenzie. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for Avery Lakin.

When strange things begin to happen at Diamond Knot Dreams—rumored to be haunted—Avery and Jason must bond together to get to the heart of the matter.

Veiled Gems (Diamond Knot Dreams Book 1) by Mary Manners

My Review

Lila Brooks has picked Clover Cove, home of the Cutler’s and the Cutler’s Nursery (A Tender Season) as her perfect place to start her wedding business.

Morgan Holt agrees to assist Lila with renovating a charming, albeit neglected, Victorian home into a one-stop bridal shop.

Things go awry from the beginning and don’t seem to get better as time goes on.

I enjoyed this story for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was the renovation aspect. The details of what is and is not possible during the renovation brought back pleasant memories of when I worked in new and renovation construction.

My heart felt for Morgan; I could understand how hard it was for him to let his guard down enough to allow others into his life.

Mary Manners always pulls you into the story and doesn’t let go. Her characters are relatable, her cities ever so charming and she doesn’t paint life as always being a bed of roses. In fact, she has quite a few thorns that have to be avoided or picked out after getting too close!

Veiled Gems, book one of the Diamond Knot Dreams Books, is just the right size story for a quick escape, one I’m sure you will enjoy!

Publisher’s Review

Lila Brooks believes in fairytale endings for everyone but herself. She coaxes her dream of opening a wedding shop into reality when she commissions Morgan Holt to transform a run-down Victorian house into an all-inclusive bridal boutique, Diamond Knot Dreams. Clover Cove’s residents have whispered that the house is filled with spirits, but superstitions have no place in Lila’s life.

Morgan Holt spent the better part of his youth transplanted from one foster home to another. Separated from his older brother, Gunnar, at an early age, they’re reunited shortly after Morgan’s arrival to Clover Cove. But the last thing Morgan wants is to trust his heart again to a family—or a woman as beautiful as Lila Brooks. He has plans to finish work on the Victorian and then ride off into the sunset, a move he’s perfected over the years.

Soon Lila and Morgan have a chance at their own Happily Ever After, but will events from the past destroy their future?

A Tender Season (Diamond Knot Dreams Book 0) by Mary Manners

My Review

A Tender Season is Mary Manners’ prequel to the Diamond Knot Series of novellas (In case you wondered about the Book 0 in the title!).  The story, by necessity, is short, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good book, or have a good plot!

I enjoyed this short, tender story of love the second time around, where the two main characters of the novella weren’t sure if they would ever face love again.

One aspect I really enjoyed and was pleasantly surprised by was the age of the characters. It’s unusual, but refreshing, to encounter a couple that is older-by that I mean, past college, career building and child-bearing years.

A Tender Season is short enough to read quickly but long enough to whet your appetite for more, so be sure to take a 30 minute or so break and read this delightful story!

Mary Manners has done a wonderful job with her prequel, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

Publisher’s Summary

Love blooms in the most unlikely places…

Hattie Cutler and Anthony Moretto have both survived the death of their spouses. With children grown and the Cutler Nursery business flourishing, Hattie decides it’s time to turn her attention to other endeavors. A community garden on the church grounds is just the place to start. She spearheads the project, and when Anthony steps in to offer his assistance more than gardening is on the agenda. The two have shared a long-time friendship which has blossomed into love; that truth is clear to everyone—with the exception of Hattie and Anthony. But can the two learn to sow more than vegetables and, in turn, reap a beautiful future together?

To Gain a Bodyguard (Gaining Love Series, #3) by Tanya Eavenson

My Review

Life is hectic for agents Madi Reynolds and Brice Johnson. When you throw in Madi’s brother’s wedding (scheduled around Christmas no less), Brice’s struggle with PTSD, issues concerning human trafficking and then top it all off by a threat on Madi’s life, then things go from hectic to frenetic in no time! To Gain a Bodyguard introduces us to the two ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents with feelings for each other. Both are afraid to show, or even admit to themselves, for a myriad of reasons, their true feelings.

Tanya Eavenson always manages to pack a lot into her novellas, and she does so again this time. Yet, you don’t feel lost or bewildered in the short story. There are many endearing moments, along with some scary situations. I began to care about each of the main characters, riding on a roller-coaster of emotions with them, hoping things would turn out well for everyone. I also appreciated the strength they drew from their faith. There’s a slight cliff-hanger at the end, leaving me with the hope that this isn’t the last we’ll see of Madi and Brice!

I was delighted to be able to catch up with Amabelle and Patrick too, whom we met in Eavenson’s previous books, To Gain a Mommy and To Gain a Valentine. Don’t worry if you haven’t read either of them, as each story stands alone.

If you are looking for a short, atypical romance story, then look no further than To Gain a Bodyguard, (Gaining Love Series, #3) by Tanya Eavenson.  (It is also part of the upcoming box set of Christmas romance novellas, titled Winter’s Kiss by multiple authors).

I received this book from the author, Tanya Eavenson. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Review

Undercover ICE agent Madi Reynolds has spent years infiltrating a human-trafficking ring, but when her life is threatened, she is forced to walk away and advised to leave the country. Undeterred, she continues her plan to attend her brother’s Christmas wedding, with her partner assigned as her bodyguard. But after seeing Brice care for her niece, she finds it’s more than her life that needs protecting. Is there really any defense for the heart?

War Veteran and ICE agent Brice Johnson has been defending his country and American lives for as long as he can remember. Now, he faces the biggest assignment of his life–protect the woman he loves. He’s never been one to run from a fight, but when an old flame butts in expecting a second chance with Madi, and crippling visions of war call out to him, he begins to wonder if surrender is an option after all.

Thursday Throwback – To Gain A Mommy

to-gain-a-mommy

About the Book

They had a plan, but will it work?

Thirteen years ago, pediatrician Hope Michaels was the fool-hearted girl who came home from college to learn the man she loved was engaged to her twin. But now to move on with her life and accept a proposal of marriage, she must confront the one man who holds the key to the wounds of her past.

Fire Captain Carl McGuire can put out any flame, except for the one Hope sparks within him. As she stirs up his life and heart, Carl knows some things never change. Even a past he’d rather keep hidden.

When a new neighbor moves in across the street who would be a perfect fit for their family, Mary and Brody form a plan to bring their dad and Hope together. But how will it work if Hope keeps pushing him away?

My Review

Widower Carl McGuire is trying to carry on after the death of his wife, Faith. He and his children, Mary and Brody, are getting on with their lives, until Hope Michaels moves in across the street, throwing everyone’s life into an uproar.

Hope relocated her pediatric firm back to her hometown to be close to her Mom. Little did she know, she would be moving across the street from the only man she had ever loved, the one who betrayed her and broke her heart.

I really enjoyed To Gain a Mommy. The children were so true to life. Mary is twelve with a going on 20 attitude and Brody is eight, and loves dogs, and don’t even get me started on Hope’s dog, Goldie. She is such a sweetheart! I appreciated feeling as if I was getting to know each character, and in getting to know them, to also understand why they chose certain paths or behaved a particular way.

Even though this is a novella, the characters are well-rounded. As you read the story, you become invested in their pains, hopes and dreams.

Tanya Eavenson has written a short (only 93 pages), sweet story of heartbreak, betrayal and redemption. To Gain a Mommy is a quick read and a great book to curl up with on a lazy day.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

(Originally posted 2-27-2017. I am re-posting in conjunction with CelebrateLit’s tour, I am under no obligation to do so, nor was I asked to do so.)

Honeysuckle Cove Secrets by Mary Manners

Publisher’s Summary

Peyton Foster harbors a secret…from the day he first stepped into her life she’s loved Luke Maddox. Though she thought they’d developed a lasting friendship, events surrounding her mother’s death chased him away. It’s all for the best, since Peyton’s passion as proprietor of A Whisper in Time proves the perfect complement to her shyness—a much better fit than her former misguided schoolgirl attraction to Luke.

Luke Maddox feels a connection with Peyton Foster from the first moment their paths cross. But when he settles in Honeysuckle Cove, a past riddled by years traversing the foster care system leaves him longing to fit in, leading him to take part in a foolish school dare that costs him Peyton’s friendship. Haunted by the mistake, he searches for a way to mend the past and find a way back to Peyton’s heart. When a break-in at A Whisper in Time causes their paths to once again cross, Luke must make a choice—bare his heart and face the consequences, or allow the only woman he’s ever loved to slip away.

My Review

Feeling overwhelmed after a break-in at her business, Peyton Foster contacts Luke Maddox, the owner of a local alarm company. She expects to hear, “I told you so,” from Luke since he had warned her this might happen. Not wanting to believe anyone in Honeysuckle Cove would break into her business, she didn’t heed his advice.

Honeysuckle Cove Secrets may be a novella, but it covers a lot of issues, not the least of which are crime, abandonment, betrayal . . . to name a few. However, the story flows smoothly.

I enjoyed getting to know Peyton and Luke, learning their fears and heartfelt desires. Even more fun was catching up with old friends Maggie Brennan and Dylan O’Conner from book one, Sunrise at Honeysuckle Inn. Also, the city folklore lives on!

Mary Manners’ newest novella is a wonderful story of forgiveness, along with a hint of mystery and intrigue. Book three in the series can easily be read as a standalone book, except then you would miss out on the fun of meeting and liking the charming people of Honeysuckle Cove. It is a perfect story for when you want to read a quick and appealing romance with relatable characters you will come to love.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

To Gain a Valentine by Tanya Eavenson

To Gain a Valentine

Publisher’s Summary

Pediatrician Patrick Reynolds works wonders with sick children, yet when it comes to pets, he’s clueless. But caring for his sister’s menagerie while she’s on vacation is the perfect answer to working through a broken engagement. Hoping to escape the memories, he returns to his hometown, the last place he’d expect to find love.

Life as a single mom is never easy, but pet shop owner Amabelle Durand has found contentment. When an old friend returns to care for his sister’s pets, he enlists her assistance to keep the animals alive. But when Amabelle’s young daughter falls ill, she finds herself attracted to more than the handsome pediatrician’s medical skills.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, will Patrick and Amabelle miss out on the love they’ve always desired? Or will their love take flight under the stars on this very special night?

My Review

Tanya Eavenson reintroduces us to Patrick, who had a pivotal role in To Gain a Mommy. He comes back to his hometown to assist his sister while she’s on vacation. He is trying to put hurts and disillusionment behind him, but how can he when he keeps losing his nephew’s pets? HIs character is so lovable, he’s a great pediatrician, but he’s a lousy pet keeper. However not for lack of trying. How was he to know that in addition to hamsters, lizards and parakeets, there would be a suitcase and clothes eating Lab?

Amabelle Durand is a struggling single mom and the busy owner of a pet shop. When her daughter, Abby, falls ill, she seeks the help of Patrick since the nearest doctor is an hour’s drive away.

I enjoyed To Gain a Valentine, book two in the Gaining Love Series. The story is short, only 93 pages, but a lot is packed into those pages. You will find laugh out loud moments, along with some anger and a few “aww” moments, too.

If you are looking for a quick story and sweet clean romance, then you will want to check out Tanya Eavenson’s newest novella.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.