The Secrets of Emberwild by Stephenia H. McGee | Historical Romance Review

The Secrets of Emberwild by Stephenia H. McGee

Historical Romance

A gifted trainer in a time women are not allowed to race, Nora Fenton prefers horses to men. They're easier to handle, they're more reliable, and they never tell her what to do. After her father's passing, Nora is determined to save her struggling horse farm, starting with entering her prize colt into the harness races at the 1905 Mississippi and West Alabama Fair. If she wins, she may have a chance at independence. But when a stranger arrives and starts asking disconcerting questions, she suspects he may have other motives than unseating her in the training job that is rightfully hers.

Silas Cavallero will do whatever it takes to solve the mystery of his father's death--even if it means training an unwieldy colt for Nora, who wants nothing more than to see him gone. But when mysterious accidents threaten their safety and circumstances shrouded in secrets begin unlocking clues to his past, Silas will have to decide if the truth is worth the risk of ruining everything for the feisty woman he's come to admire.

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My Thoughts

Growing up I loved all things horse. I loved to ride them and care for them and in my spare time I read every book about them that I could get my hands on. Fast forward several years and I'm still a crazy horse lover and I'm still delighted to get my hands on a book that centers around horses. 

The Secrets of Emberwild checks all my horse loving boxes. Emberwild is a horse farm in 1905 Mississippi and is filled with beautiful offspring from Ember the prize stud for their farm. Nora Fenton has spent her entire life devoted to making her father's fledgling endeavor a success. But much to her horror shortly before her father's death he reveals that the whole thing is built on a lie. Nora has no idea what he's talking about but as the story progresses those words will come back to haunt her.

After the loss of his mother Silas Cavallero decides to set out on a journey to solve the mystery of his beloved father's death. That journey takes him to a small Mississippi town where his father was killed in a freak accident. Silas was about twelve at the time and has harbored doubts about the circumstances ever since. He takes a temporary horse trainer position at Emberwild and that's where he meets and clashes with Nora. 

The chemistry between the two just sizzles. I enjoyed watching their rocky relationship unfold. Not only is their relationship tumultuous but so are the circumstances surrounding the farm. This was a book that was hard to put down because each chapter ended with an urgent need to see what would happen in the next.

Stephenia McGee is a new to me author and I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style. At the end of the book there is a teaser for her next book. It sounds just as fascinating as The Secrets of Emberwild and I'm looking forward to diving in.

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Stephenia H. McGee
Photo Credit: MJHarper Photography



Disclosure

I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.









 

The World's Longest Sock by Juliann Law | Children's Book Review

The World's Longest Sock by Juliann Law

Juvenile Fiction

Experience the world’s fiercest knitting competition in this lively book about community, cooperation, and two knitters who are determined to create the world’s longest sock.

In Chile, Nana Nina starts knitting a sock and forgets to stop, and soon it's won the world record for "Longest Sock”! When Chuck, a lonely lumberman in New Zealand who also happens to be knitting a very long sock, sees Nina’s news on the TV, he is determined to beat her world record. And he does! Thus begins a battle of the knittest to see who can hold onto the world record—for good. The world takes sides: Team Nina or Team Chuck. But will all the pressure cause them to unravel? This yarn about a competition out of control will charm the socks off readers of all ages and knitting abilities.

The World's Longest Sock by Juliann Law

My Thoughts

What a fun little book! The story starts in Chile with Nana Nina who owns her own sock shop. In order to celebrate each sale she adds a new row to a sock and the sock just grows and grows. Eventually she's declared the world record holder for the longest sock.

Meanwhile Chuck in New Zealand has been happily knitting away during his quiet evenings at home. He's lonely and knitting helps pass the time. When he hears of Nina's accomplishment he decides to try for the record himself.

The story goes on to tell about the support of each individual's community of friends and family. The award goes back and forth until eventually the two are declared the winners of the longest PAIR of socks.

It's a fun way to talk about healthy competition and also how to come together to make something happen. The story is cute but I also have to mention how darling the illustrations are. This book would make a lovely addition to your family's personal library. I would even use it for a gift. 

The World's Longest Sock by Juliann Law

The World's Longest Sock by Juliann Law



Disclosure

I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.





 

Pretty Little Pieces by Carmen Schober | Contemporary Fiction Review

Pretty Little Pieces by Carmen Schober

Contemporary Fiction

Sometimes it takes everything falling apart . . .

Ambitious influencer Georgina Havoc and her designer boyfriend have been dubbed "the next Chip and Joanna Gaines"--a power couple that flip homes all over Nashville--and they plan to merge their unique styles into their new home renovation show. But their relationship falls apart when he blindsides her with a "pause." Forced to convince the network to take a chance on her as a solo star, Georgina takes on the task of renovating a forgotten cottage in the tiny, tight-knit town of Tarragon, Tennessee.

Facing one heartache and setback after another, Georgina moves forward with her plan to rebuild her life and save her career, but a surprise drop-in from her troubled twin sister makes things extra messy. The unexpected presence of rugged ex-sniper Cassidy Stokes also threatens to bring all the walls that she's built crashing down.

As she puts the pieces of her previously perfect life back together, will Georgina retreat to the familiar or boldly embrace a new design?

My Thoughts

Have you ever been at the top of your game only to watch it all slide away? That's where Georgina Havoc finds herself. She's spent years building her brand in the home improvement television industry. But just as true success seems to be within her grasp circumstances out of her control begin chipping away until she's left with crumbs.

So what's a girl to do? Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again. And that's what she does. She heads out to a quaint little town that has fond childhood memories. It also has the rugged Cassidy Stokes. He's a little farther down the recovery road than Georgina but it's still an ongoing journey.

This is the first book I've read by Carmen Schober and I really enjoyed it. The story does contain a lot of fixer-upper elements so if that's your thing you are in for a treat. That's not really my thing but I liked the characters and the overall story. You can't help but cheer these two on. There are seemingly insurmountable things that should keep the two apart, but my goodness you want them to find a way to be together.

I'm looking forward to going back and reading her previous book After She Falls and I'm going to be eagerly awaiting her next novel. I hope you'll give this one a chance. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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Carmen Schober
Photo Credit: © Bekah Hastings




Disclosure

I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.






 

The Mistletoe Countess (Freddie and Grace Mysteries #1) by Pepper Basham | Historical Fiction Review

The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham

Freddie and Grace Mysteries #1
Historical Fiction

Will the magic of Christmas bring these two newlyweds closer together, or will the ghosts of the past lead them into a destructive discovery from which not even a Dickens’s Christmas can save them?

Mistletoe is beautiful and dangerous, much like the woman from Lord Frederick’s Percy’s past, so when he turns over a new leaf and arranges to marry for his estate, instead of his heart, he never expects the wrong bride to be the right choice. Gracelynn Ferguson never expected to take her elder sister’s place as a Christmas bride, but when she’s thrust into the choice, she trusts in her faithful novels and overactive imagination to help her not only win Frederick’s heart but also to solve the murder mystery of Havensbrook Hall before the ghosts from Frederick’s past ruin her fairytale future.

My Thoughts

Are you up for a Christmas murder mystery? What? Christmas and murder don't go together? In this case they do!

The Mistletoe Countess was in my Christmas TBR pile from last year. Who knew such an awesome tale was just lurking on my shelf? There was just so much to love about this book. It's technically a Christmas book, but really it's just set during the Christmas season. So if you're finding this in March go ahead and read it, you'll be in for a real treat.

The story has a gothic romance style but Grace's sunny disposition makes it laugh-out-loud funny at times and pushes all those creepy, sinister elements to the side. I do believe that she has leapt to the top of my favorite character list. 

Grace's new husband Frederick is quite the character as well. The two of them together are a combination of molten lava and fireworks. I'm absolutely thrilled that this is just book one in the series and we get to follow along as these two newlyweds continue to grow in their relationship.

In all seriousness I think my favorite aspect of this novel was not just Grace the character but grace the attribute that flowed through her. We could all take a lesson from Grace in dealing with others. From a difficult mother-in-law to wary household staff she could give each of us a master class on how to treat others.

As soon as book two comes out I'm reading it. No waiting around for a year to pass this time!

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Pepper Basham




Disclosure

I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.





 

On The Way To Christmas by Sheila Roberts, Melissa Ferguson and Amy Clipston | Christmas Book Review

On The Way To Christmas by Sheila Roberts, Melissa Ferguson and Amy Clipston

Sheila Robers, Melissa Ferguson and Amy Clipston
Contemporary Romance

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, anything can happen.


In this glittering and heartwarming collection, three of today’s bestselling sweet romance novelists offer up the gift of cheer for the winter holiday season.

A Christmas Do-Over by Sheila Roberts

Darby doesn’t want to go home for the holidays, but a career fail sends her slinking back to the small town she always wanted to escape. No one there is especially glad to see the former mean girl—especially not her sister, Erica, or childhood best friend, Gregory. Darby is working hard to be a better person, but has she eaten enough humble pie to make amends?

Dashing Through the Snow by Melissa Ferguson

When Willow’s boyfriend of seven years dumps her on the eve of a romantic getaway, she decides to take the two-week train trip on The Christmas Express alone. Hurt as she feels, she can’t anticipate how the hilarious rebound ride with conductor Oliver, elf Ian, and aging world adventurer Clarence will heal her heart—and renew her sense of worth.

A Perfectly Splendid Christmas by Amy Clipston

Kacey adores the metropolitan life, but when she gets away to help her sister during a family crisis and run her bakery, she falls in love with former classmate Drew. The problem: he’s a small-town man, and she’s a big-city woman. Is their love big enough to overcome such a major difference?

Curl up with your favorite holiday drink and sink into three worlds where dreams once thought long-gone are still within reach.

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My Thoughts

What a delightful read this collection of stories was. I usually have a favorite but I would be hard pressed to pick one this time around. Each of the three is a stand-alone story that is filled with lovely characters and charming settings.

Along the way we meet Darby who is trying to become a reformed mean girl. You can't help but cheer her on as she makes amends and finds a new path in life. Then we join Willow on an interesting train adventure. The unexpected encounters will change the direction of her life. Finally we travel with Kacey back to her hometown where she helps her sister during a short-term crisis. In the midst she may find a long term life change.

The Christmas spirit flows through each of these tales and allows the reader to escape into a delightful winter wonderland. One of the best parts is that each individual story is a novella so you can grab a cup of cocoa and read a story in one sitting. That's what I did three nights in a row. By the way, I think this would make a great addition to the book lover's stocking on your list!



Disclosure

I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.



 

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