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Lisa Carter’s Beyond the Cherokee Trail

When Linden Birchfield arrives in the Snowbird Cherokee community to organize the 180th commemoration of the Trail of Tears, she runs head on—literally—into arrogant former army sniper Walker Crowe. A descendant of the Cherokee who evaded deportation by hiding in the rugged Snowbird Mountains, Walker believes no good can result from stirring up the animosity with the white Appalachian residents whose ancestors looted the tribal lands so long ago.

Though at odds over the commemoration, Linden and Walker must unite against an unseen threat to derail the festival. Together they face an enemy whose implacable hatred can be traced to the events of the Trail, a dark chapter in America’s westward expansion. When called to resurrect his sniper abilities, Walker must thwart the enemy who threatens the modern-day inhabitants of tiny Cartridge Cove—and targets the woman who has captured his heart.

Review

Reading a book by Lisa Carter is always so refreshing and such a joy to read. My thoughts:

What I liked:

Diversity. As always, I love that Lisa Carter explores the culture of American Indians. And I particularly love that she hasn’t stayed with the same tribe in all her books. This time, it’s the Cherokee, particularly the Cherokee that was a part of the Trail of Tears. It’s heavy stuff at times, but when you see how much they overcame it is a wonder to look at. But, I just love the way she seamlessly interweaves Cherokee culture in this book.

The dual stories. Usually, I don’t like books with two stories and two romances because one can often feel a bit slighted. Not so here. Both stories were thoroughly engaging (though if I had to choose I really wanted to know what happened in the past) and neither romance felt slighted (though the one in the past went not quite how I would have liked). I loved every moment of both.

Walker. Lisa can write some awesome heroes. He had me from the first page.

Spiritually, the book deals with believing God in hard times; times that make you scratch your head and ask why. And you just have to face the past and move on or it will destroy you.

What I didn’t like:

Linden and Walker both have heavy pasts. But Walker is completely upfront with his and learning to move past it (and frankly, I thought his past was more traumatic then Linden’s). I didn’t like that Linden holds her past as a secret almost to the end and then acts like her pain trumps others. I mean, her past is painful, I just felt like she wore it almost like a badge of honor for too long.

Romantic scale: 8

Overall, I loved this book. I’ll read anything buy Lisa Carter.

**I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

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What I’m Looking Forward To…

Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It’s where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she’s beautiful.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother’s neglected duties. Home on leave, he’s sent to find Wesley. Knowing his brother rented a cottage from a fellow painter, he travels to Devonshire and meets Miss Dupont, the painter’s daughter. He’s startled to recognize her from a miniature portrait he carries with him–one of Wesley’s discarded works. But his happiness plummets when he realizes Wesley has left her with child and sailed away to Italy in search of a new muse.

Wanting to do something worthwhile with his life, Stephen proposes to Sophie. He does not offer love, or even a future together, but he can save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he believes he will, she’ll be a respectable widow with the protection of his family.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie agrees to marry a stranger and travel to his family’s estate. But at Overtree Hall, her problems are just beginning. Will she regret marrying Captain Overtree when a repentant Wesley returns? Or will she find herself torn between the father of her child and her growing affection for the husband she barely knows?

What do you think? I love the idea of marrying a stranger….at least in a book!

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Monday Musings…Kindle Unlimited

For those of you who are Amazon-ites (buy your kindle reads from Amazon). You have probably heard of this thing called Kindle Unlimited (KU). What you do is pay $10 a month and then you can download and read any book in the Kindle Unlimited program.

I am a part of this program. I use it all the time. But there are a lot of books in the KU program which means there is a lot of stuff to comb through. So, how do you choose a book? You’re no longer wasting money, but no one wants to waste time. Here are my helpful tips:

1.Reviews.

Let’s face it, reviews matter. There is one author I just downloaded this weekend due to reviews. I had read her before and she was just okay to me. But this other book of hers has over 500 reviews! Definitely worth a second look! I almost always click on books with over 40-5 star reviews. Even if the cover is lame, if the reviews are high, the reviews trump the covers. To me, these books have been tried by more than the authors close friends and are certainly worth at least finding out what they’re about.

2.Covers.

Covers sell books. If I come across a book with a stunning cover but little to no reviews, I will still check it out. In fact, the cover doesn’t need to be stunning, if I know that it’s a Christian novel, but it has like a rock star on it, then I’m curious. Because that’s not something I see done often.

3. Pick the opposite.

Occasionally, I will do a random stop check and just pull up a book I know would usually not be my kind of read. Does anyone watch Say Yes to the Dress? Well, I noticed a common theme is that when girls try on the dresses they swore they didn’t want, they ended up loving it. And so, sometimes, even though I see that clearly this is a book I would usually avoid, I will check it out anyway by downloading the sample chapter. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been happily surprised!

So. Those are my tips for people with lots of choices. Do you have any you want to share?

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Roseanna M. White’s The Lost Heiress

Sweeping Romance and Mystery in the Edwardian Era

Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. When her friend Justin uncovers the fact that she is possibly a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother’s death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook’s life is threatened do they draw close–but will their loyalty come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother?

As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that their friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?

And then for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of the very rare treasure in her possession–and those who can save her still aren’t sure who to trust.

Review

Roseanna M. White is always a treat to read. I know when I pick up one of her books I can expect romance and drama. Here’s my thoughts:

What I liked:

The mystery. You know almost right away who Brook is, but what you don’t know is how or why she ended up where she did. And I was totally invested in her story and why things happened the way they did.

Regency. I love a good regency with class issues and manners and the ability to say much with very little. It’s all here.

Brook. It has been such a long time since I read a heroine that I just loved. I loved Brook. If she had problems she didn’t hide them. She was confrontational and nobody could fall back on the excuse of miscommunication. She managed to be fiercely independent and yet still play within the rules of her society. She was a heroine I could trust to narrate the story and one I could trust to interact with others.

The romance. It kind of reminded me of this old movie called Gigi (very very loosely reminded). The romance was something you could believe in because it had a solid foundation of friendship and even if Brook and her guy argued, you never got the sense that they were over. Surprisingly enough, this book was probably one of the most drama free romance novels Ms. White has written.

Spiritually, the novel deals with the power of prayer and how curses and things of that nature can be real, particularly if directed towards unbelievers. I loved it.

What I didn’t like:

It’s really not a big deal, but I would say the suspense/mystery part was a bit underwhelming-but only in the sense that I kept expecting the plot to be a bit more intricate. I mean, the suspense had me on my toes!

Romantic Scale: 8

Overall, very good and such a fun novel to read. Recommended!

** I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

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What I’m Looking Forward To

When one man is brutally murdered and the priest he works for mortally wounded on the streets of Bunard, Willet Dunham is called to investigate. Yet the clues to the crime lead to contradictions and questions without answers. As Willet begins to question the dying priest, the man pulls Willet close and screams in a foreign tongue. Then he dies without another word.

Willet returns to the city, no closer to answers than before, but his senses are skewed. People he touches appear to have a subtle shift, a twist seen at the edge of his vision, and it’s as though he can see their deepest thoughts. In a world divided between haves and have-nots, gifted and common, Willet soon learns he’s been passed the rarest gift of all: a gift that’s not supposed to exist.

Now Willet must pursue the murderer still on the loose in Bunard even as he’s pulled into a much more dangerous and epic conflict that threatens not only his city, but his entire world–a conflict that will force him to come to terms with his own tortured past if he wants to survive.

This book comes out November 5, 2015….seems so far away!

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Monday Musings…Feelings

Do you write your reviews based upon how you feel after you read a book? Initially, I kept my feelings mostly out of it. If the author wrote the correct formula: good heroine, loads of romance, page turning plot, than I gave a good review and 5 stars (amazon).

And if the plot was ridiculous, and the heroine annoying, and the romance silly, then you could tell how I felt by my review.

But I recently read a discussion post from a blogger and she said sometimes she will read a book and the plot is predictable and the romance is lame, and the heroine is annoying, but when she finished the book she was smiling and thinking about it all day long. And so she gave the book 5 stars, because it did it’s job. It entertained her.

I love this advice. Because really, at the end of the day, it’s not about the formula, its about whether the past few hours you spent were enjoyable. It’s about whether youre still thinking about that book the next day or whether you’ve forgotten the main character’s name already. And so lately, even if a book has followed the right formula, if I was bored reading it, I rate it lower; in contrast if the book has the wrong formula, but I can’t put it down, I rate it higher. I have made the way I feel at the end of the book a major part of my review.

How about you? Do you take into consideration how you feel after reading a book to write your review?