Promises Renewed (The Potter’s House Books, Book 5) by Mary Manners

My Review

Mary Manners scores again with her latest book, featuring Brianna Caufield and Jackson Reed.

Brianna loved Jackson with all her heart when they were teenagers. However, life, circumstances and the enticement of a pro football career shatters her dreams of marriage and a family. She doesn’t let the loss keep her down. She finishes school and starts a youth center for the kids in her hometown.

Mary Manners has written a book with a lot of depth and meaning. She deals with young love, loss and healing. Through Brianna and Jackson’s lives, she shows how others are affected by decisions that were taken out of their hands, how faith is so necessary to life and how forgiveness is crucial to being able to move on and forward in life.

I enjoyed Promises Renewed  because, unlike novellas which only give a small snapshot of the characters, a novel tells the complete story. We’re able to understand decisions made, even if we don’t agree with them and we come to care genuinely for the individuals concerned.

Promises Renewed is book 5 of The Potter’s House Books. There are currently five of 21 available, this one being released on the 22nd of May; the others will be released through 2019. Each book is a standalone and is designed so they can be read in any order you wish.

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

Publisher’s Summary

A heartbreaking secret stands between Brianna and Jackson, and she plans to keep it that way…

When Brianna Caufield hosts an online auction to raise money for her fledgling youth center, the last thing she expects is to be matched for a date with Jackson Reed. Lured by the fame of an NFL career, the hometown hero and all-star quarterback broke off their engagement without so much as a backward glance. Now, washed-up and wiser, Jack’s come home with renewed faith and a changed heart—and he wants Brianna back. No matter how much she still cares for Jackson,

Brianna knows the secret she harbors will destroy any chance of a future together. Can Jack find a way to coax the secret to the surface? And if he does, will forgiveness draw them closer together…or will their love be shattered?

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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?

Angel Song by Mary Manners

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Publisher’s Summary

Down on her luck, college-educated art teacher Quinn Sanders is a single mom who’s returned to Landers Hollow to raise her five-year-old daughter, Linsey. While working at the local diner, Quinn is befriended by Jason Graves. She has no idea Jason’s the youth director of Landers Hollow Community Church until he asks her to lend a hand with the children’s Christmas pageant. Jason is dealing with issues of his own—a painful divorce following a doctor’s confirmation that he’ll never be able to father a child. Jason longs for a family of his own, but, rejected and disheartened, fears it may never come to pass. Jason and Quinn are both searching for a Christmas miracle. What they find is sweeter than an angel’s song.

My Review

Quinn Sanders, single mom, lost her job because of budget cuts and has returned home, only to find work as a waitress. She’s barely able to eke out a living for herself and her daughter. To make matters worse, it’s almost Christmas, her car won’t start and all four of the tires on her car are bald.

Jason Graves, church youth director, lost his help for the annual Christmas pageant and thinks Quinn is the answer to his prayers. Only one problem; she doesn’t agree!

Mary Manners’ novella, Angel Song, is an enchanting short story about the Christmas season. I felt the bitter cold as Quinn unsuccessfully tried to start her car, the frustration of her feeling as if it were just one more thing on a mountain of disappointments and the feeling of redemption as her life began to slowly turn around. I also delighted in Linsey, Quinn’s daughter! She added warmth, laughter and tenderness to the lives of everyone she touched.

Miss Manners does a wonderful job of portraying two souls reeling from rejection and heartache, learning to trust God in all circumstances.

Angel Song is the perfect story for Christmas in July, evoking memories of the joy of the season and the reasons we celebrate it.

                                          Christmas in July sponsored by                                                 https://www.asimplyenchantedlife.com/christmas-in-july-signup/

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.

Love at Christmas Inn: Collection I by Tanya Stowe, Marianne Evans, Mary Manners and Delia Latham

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About the Book

Nestled into five beautiful acres just outside Hope Creek, Tennessee, Christmas Inn is an unforgettable place known for its joyful atmosphere and festive setting. Holiday decorations adorn each room. Trees glittering with ribbons and ornaments, gorgeous wreaths, velvet stockings and pine-scented candles brighten visitors’ stay at this vacation spot dedicated to Christmas all year, every year. The resort offers all the usual enticements plus one unique amenity…love. The little white chapel behind the inn, built by the Christmas family in the 1890s, boasts bell tower bells that toll when couples fall in love.

But Christmas Inn has fallen on hard times. The chapel bells haven’t rung for many years, and this Christmas may be the final celebration at the resort…unless love finds its way home.

My Review

Four magical stories are woven into the sweet enchantment of new love discovered and lost love found in Love at Christmas Inn:  Collection I by authors Tanya Stowe, Marianne Evans, Mary Manners and Delia Latham.

Christmas Inn, built by Angus Christmas in the 1800’s, has a rich history and an interesting legacy. According to legend, if a couple at the inn falls in love, the bells at the chapel begin to ring. Interestingly enough, the bells stopped ringing years ago, except when a couple has fallen in love.

I enjoyed reading the four novellas in Love at Christmas Inn. The stories are all connected together seamlessly.  Each story is distinct from the others, yet the plots are often overlaid. For instance, several of the stories share the same snowball fight, many characters reappear, and of course, the central setting is always the Christmas Inn.

The rich imagery of the Inn, decorated year-round in a Christmas theme, comes alive with each author’s story. I couldn’t keep from imagining myself walking over Jingle Bell Creek on the North Pole Bridge, watching children playing on the giant Santa’s sleigh, sitting in the quiet chapel or marveling over the Nativity near the frozen waterfall.

The legend takes on a life of its own as the four authors find different and unique ways of “ringing the bells” for love.

If you revel in the magic of Christmas and a year-round celebration of the season, you will want to read Love at Christmas Inn!

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

Sunrise at Honeysuckle Cove by Mary Manners And Bonus Beyond the Storm

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About the Book

Honeysuckle Cove Inn has been in the Brennan family for three generations. When Maggie Brennan’s parents retire, they call her home to Honeysuckle Cove and hand over the reins of the historical inn. If Maggie successfully maintains the business over the course of a year, the inn is hers forever. Maggie considers the timing perfect, with one exception—she finds her path entangled once again with that of Dylan O’Connor.

Dylan has made a name for himself as the go-to guy when it comes to renovations and repairs in Honeysuckle Cove, and he’s waited nearly a decade for high school sweetheart Maggie Brennan to return home. But his handyman skills will be put to the test when it comes to rebuilding the bridge between Maggie’s heart and his, and designing a future…together.

My Review

Mary Manners has written another delightful story in the novella, Sunrise at Honeysuckle Cove.

Maggie Brennan left Honeysuckle Cove for the bright lights of the big cities in California. She left behind her parents, her family’s legacy, Honeysuckle Cove Inn, and most especially Dylan O’Conner.

Imagine Maggie’s consternation when she returns home, after her parents have retired to the sunny Florida beaches, to find Dylan is living in her home at her parent’s request!

A delightful story about small town life and all the quirks found there. One curious theme centers around Maggie’s relatives three generations back, a folklore the city has latched onto wholeheartedly. It is a cute story with just the right measure of suspense and romance.

I enjoyed the backstory of Maggie and Dylan. I felt Maggie’s sadness over her sister, Dylan’s frustration at his sister and his compulsion to care for his nephew, Cam. The new intersecting of Maggie, Dylan and Cam creates an equal amount of tension and resolution.

Mary Manners’ imaginative narrative draws you into the story and holds you to the very end.

Sunrise at Honeysuckle Inn is a pleasing story that was a fun, thoughtful and quick read.

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

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I so enjoyed Mary Manners’ first book in the series of Honeysuckle Cove that I decided to purchase the 2nd in the series, Beyond the Storm.

About the Book

Recreational Therapist Ava Kennedy is in charge of Valentine’s Day festivities for shut-in patients at Honeysuckle Cove Children’s Hospital. When a winter storm threatens to derail planned events and steal the children’s joy, Ava calls on longtime friend and firefighter Nick Jones for rescue. The two have been close, platonic friends since kindergarten, but Ava soon finds her heart whirling like the drifting snowflakes outside her office window.

Nick Jones is skilled at extinguishing fires, so he doesn’t count on kindling a flame with lifelong friend Ava Kennedy. But he’s got a sweet spot for kids and women…especially when one particular woman—Ava—possesses a soft heart and laughter that draws like an electron magnet. Despite Nick’s valiant efforts to resist, he finds himself caught up in the attraction.

Will these friends’ new feelings weather the shifting tempest…or is this simply a passing storm?

My Review

Ava Kennedy, the recreational therapist at Honeysuckle Cove’s Children’s Hospital, is in a quandary. She has worked extensively on a Valentine’s party for the children who are patients at the hospital, only to find there is a major snowstorm on the way.

Nick Jones, her best friend since kindergarten, has always pulled her out of a bind, but does she dare ask him for a favor this big?

I enjoyed reading about other people in Honeysuckle Cove. In addition, we get to reunite with Maggie and Dylan, and the folklore continues, too.

Beyond the Storm is another quick, fun read. Mary Manners does an outstanding job of immersing the reader into the lives and trials of the Honeysuckle Cove residents.

Beyond the Storm is a wonderful book to curl up with in front of the fire, or on a favorite chair, or to enjoy outside on the patio.