It’s Been You by Rina Gray


It’s Been You by Rina Gray
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (230 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Marketing manager Tiana Holliday just landed her dream job at an award-winning agency in New York City. There’s just one problem: cocky playboy Nathaniel Lawson, her old grad school nemesis, is her new officemate.

As the firm’s rising star, Nathan never had to compete for prime clients until all-work and no-play Tiana strutted into his workspace. When an opportunity arises to manage a lucrative sports car account and nab a big promotion, he challenges her to a wager: Loser does the winner’s bidding for one month. But their friendly little competition suddenly threatens to erupt into an all-out battle of desire.

As they straddle the line between love and war, they just might discover that challenging each other outside the boardroom is even more satisfying than advertised.

Tiana Holliday is a strong career-minded woman, but when in competition with her college nemesis, Nathaniel Lawson, it makes the work day a lot more exciting. Both are seeking to gain a promotion at work. Tiana and Nathaniel pose a challenge outside of work which opens up an opportunity that both may not be ready for.

This is a quick enjoyable read that I thought was sweet. I enjoyed Nathaniel’s creativity and the outings he planned. I liked both Tiana and Nathaniel. They were both dominating in the work force but both well rounded in having a life outside of work having friends and family. The storyline is cute in how they build a relationship but don’t really seem aware of it. It’s a sweet boy likes girl story but for some reason he doesn’t reveal his true feelings. I also like the relationship that Nathaniel has with his father and his father’s wife. The book includes vivid supporting characters as well.

The writing is easy to follow. I like how the author incorporated Tiana in this second book, but a reader doesn’t necessarily have to read the books in order. The author is obviously a lover of Games of Thrones because it is mentioned several times through out the book. The relationship between Tiana and Nathaniel was refreshing to read. It shows that a book doesn’t have to include a lot of drama but still can offer a satisfying read. Its a good example of a relationship that could be authentic because it includes the troubles, self-doubt and miscommunication and misunderstandings that often accompanies relationships.

This book would be a recommendation for readers that enjoy watching the sparks of a relationship grow but also offers a happy ending.

Fool For You by Rina Gray


Fool For You by Rina Gray
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (126 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Sports journalist Melanie Foster has achieved most of her goals: Bomb.com job—check. Tomboy-to-smoking-hottie makeover—check. Convince her best friend, Damien Richards, to slide a ring on her finger and father her two-point-five kids—not so much. When she activates Operation: I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, she never imagines her BFF already has plans to stroll down the wedding aisle with another woman.

Damien’s in the middle of crisis mode. The non-profit for young athletes at which he volunteers is in financial trouble. He’ll pull out all the stops to rescue the organization that saved his life after his career-ending injury—even if it means sacrificing his personal happiness.

But when he finally wakes up to love and the very non-brotherly feelings he’s long held for Mel, it just might be too late. Damien must convince her that he’s worth the risk and turn the tables to show her he’s the one ready to be a fool for love.

Operation: I’m Gonna Make You Love Me is in full effect, but will it really bring Melanie the love she seeks?

I thought it was weird that Melanie Foster waited all these years to confess her love to her long time friend Damien Richards. The timing couldn’t be more off since Damien is in a serious relationship and just recently got engaged. Melanie is all in when it comes to getting Damien to love her. With his fiance Vanessa in the way it may not be as easy as Melanie thought.

Melanie is a smart and career minded woman that knows a lot about sports. From tomboy to heels and lady-like attire, Melanie came off as self centered in her timing to reveal her feelings to Damien. She tried once back in college to tell Damien how she felt but to no avail. Damien is a caring and likable guy that has his hands full. Refurbished Dreams, a mentor organization that helped Damien from a troubled path when he was younger, is now being closed down. Damien, a volunteer at the center, offers his help to keep the center open along with being pressured to marry his girlfriend Vanessa. With secrets, jilted love and friends that have your back and others that do the stabbing this makes for a interesting read.

The author has a good writing style with humor and up to date jargon. The plot is interesting, but has a few slow parts. At first I thought it was a little predictable but I was glad to see there are a few surprises at the end. A recommendation to readers that enjoy a quick read that delivers a happy ending to a woman set on getting her man.

Casting Bones by Don Bruns


Casting Bones by Don Bruns
Publisher: Severn House
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (250 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Introducing New Orleans homicide detective Quentin Archer in the first of a brand-new mystery series.

When a prominent New Orleans judge is brutally murdered, former Detroit cop Quentin Archer is handed the case. His enquiries will lead him into a world of darkness and mysticism which underpins the carefree atmosphere of the Big Easy. Interrogating crooked police officers, a pickpocket, a bartender with underground contacts and a swamp dweller, Archer uncovers some troubling facts about the late judge’s past. But it’s only when he encounters a beautiful young voodoo practitioner that he starts to make headway in the investigation.

Voodoo queen Solange Cordray volunteers at the dementia centre where her mother lives. When she starts reading the mind of one of her patients, she learns that a secretive organization known as Krewe Charbonerrie may be behind the murder of the judge. And the second murder. And the third . . .

Money–or maybe greed–is the root of all evil. Some people will do anything for their greed for money. Casting Bones examines some of the lengths that people will go to in order to gain wealth.

This is the first book I’ve read by Don Bruns. I don’t know what city he lives in but he surely painted a picture of New Orleans that is vivid and accurate. I didn’t know much about voodoo before but I feel like I do now. The author did his research on voodoo, along with knowing the city life of New Orleans. His observation in human behavior and details are amazing. This combination of details along with his talented writing, combined with a suspenseful plot made this a really great read. I enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end. The suspense started on the first page and kept me interested through out.

There is something about the writing style that made the story flow so smoothly. The details of the city, the men on the police force, maybe the realness of the main character, Quentin Archer. I felt I knew him; his story could be the average cop’s life. I empathized with him for the loss of his wife. He is a honest man trying to uphold the law, but struggles with his family while searching for answers for his wife’s death. Relocating from Detroit under dire circumstances, to the New Orleans police force Quentin finds himself investigating the case of murdered Judge Lerner. When it seems the suspect is caught and the case could be closed, Solange Cordray, a third generational voodoo practitioner contacts Detective Quentin with information that may show a lot of well known city officials in a bad light. When two more judges are murdered, this really is cause for alarm. What is the killer trying to cover up? Why is Quentin’s boss and partner so set against the information that Solange has revealed to Quentin?

This book has a lot of suspense. Finding out why the judges are being murdered and by who; was Quentin’s wife death an accident? Who on the police force is working on the side, selling information? But, don’t worry. There’s not so much going on that you get lost. Along with the suspense the author adds in the attraction between Solange and Quentin. I like the attraction between the two and that they didn’t act on the attractive impulse. The ending left me with hopefulness that there will be a future book about the two.

The story wraps up nicely and ties all ends but the last chapter leaves me to believe that there will be more of Solange and Quentin working together. This is a full story and I like that the author didn’t water it down making the book much longer than it was. It is just the right length.

This is a great story presented in a masterful style that I highly recommend. This will be a treat for those that enjoy good suspense, with lively characters set in a city that is just as lively.

A Taste So Bittersweet by October Weeks

taste
A Taste So Bittersweet by October Weeks
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (95 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Eight years ago, twenty-nine year old slayer Fiona Wesley was turned into a vampire. She survived her transformation but carries the nightmares and scars from the attack. Continuing to hunt the worst of her kind keeps her grounded, as does her new family. She does her best to stay away from slayers, but the past has a way of sucker-punching a person.

Now, not only is she facing the beasts that turned her, but also the one slayer that’s given her nightmares. A slayer that was once her best friend. All of that just as she’s taking her first steps into the arms of the man she loves.

Though the title says book one of Fiona Wesley at the end of the story it states that this is a retelling of the The Damned from Fiona’s point of view and that this book is roughly three-quarters of the original. This may explain why I was lost and felt that something was missing while reading.

Regardless that the story is written well with good editing, the plot seemed to be all over the place. The story starts with Fiona tracking a Damned in San Francisco, then back home to learn Geneva is being hunted. Soon the focus was on her attraction to Mads. Then The Ripper (Tuck) is introduced. Tuck is someone Fiona used to know. And then Geneva’s and Fiona’s past is told through a flashback. Before the sudden ending Fiona is having relations with Mads. See? Kind of random.

I found the book a struggle to follow but that can mostly be attributed to the face that there was more telling and than actual action. The story isn’t a total loss, though. For someone who is a fan, who follows the author’s series, it’s likely the story line will be an easy one to follow. The author does a good job of defining and explaining the various types of vampire classification names such as Damned, slayer, vampyr and strigoi. The story is short but has several characters and each seems to have their own back story in how they were turned and what happened afterward.

Despite the fact that this isn’t one that I would necessarily re-read, it is written very well and the ending leaves potential in continuing Fiona’s story. A reader who enjoys a close knit vampire family will be sure to enjoy this interesting start of a series.

Nobody Knows by Susan Coryell


Nobody Knows by Susan Coryell
Overhome Trilogy, Book 3
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (258 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

With a successful writing career and blissful marriage, Ashby Overton is fulfilled and content at historic Overhome Estate in Southern Virginia until a stranger walks into her life. The arrival of Professor Ellis O. Grady coincides with a violent and bizarre turbulence emanating from the dark world of Overhome’s ancient spirits.

As paranormal events build into chaos, Ashby must use her sixth sense to sort out the real from the imagined in both the visible and the invisible worlds as, stirred into fury, the souls of Civil War slaves engage in a dangerous battle destined to reveal long-held secrets of the past.

What is the connection between the enigmatic professor, a slave-built chapel and a restored overseer’s cottage on Overhome Estate? Ashby struggles to find the answers before the spirits destroy her family’s heritage, and the lives of those she loves.

What are the spirits trying to tell the Overton family?

Ashby Overton is a historical romance writer who also happens to have experience when dealing with paranormal spirits. Ellis O. Grady, PhD Professor of Sociology introduced himself to the Overton family as a possible blood relative. His investigation stems from treasures and notes that belong to his distance relatives who were captured in Africa and enslaved by Burwell Overton. The Overton family, which happens to be big on their family history, takes Professor Ellis to the historical Jared Chapel. Jared Chapel served as the center of black social life and represented freedom of worship for Blacks in Overhome back in 1782. That historical site is at risk of being bought by a cold hearted developer, Sonny Slaughter. The spirits are restless and trying to get the Overton’s family attention. This is a story that offers an intriguing mystery, with a strong family unit and a community that is willing to stand together to preserve the towns historical site.

The book is well written, the character are developed and the unique plot kept my interest. It has a somewhat intriguing start but spent a lot of time introducing characters and talking about horse training. I like the diary entries because they were informative and helped narrate the story along by giving more details. The story is interesting and told with a variety of characters and events that all combine into a balanced story with the mystery being solved by the end. Strange things are happening and items are disappearing. The author did a good job of pacing the story and explaining so that it was easy for me to follow the story as it unfolds.

The book wasn’t only about family history and huntings. The author threw in a threat to Ashby’s marriage. Luke hires a young lady that seems more interested in him than in working at his veterinary practice. This plays out in the mist of the paranormal mystery and is resolved.

Even though this book is part of a series this can be read as a standalone. I was not lost and was able to complete the book without questions or confusion.

This was a satisfying read that I would recommend to the reader that enjoys a book that is a balance between mystery and paranormal.

Love in the Shadows by Linda H. Bost


Love in the Shadows by Linda H. Bost
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (258 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Abby is a beautiful biracial slave living on a plantation in Mason, Georgia. She pretends to be a slow-witted mute, a ruse suggested by her owner as a means of protection from her white grandfather, who seeks to kill her. She dreams of two things: safety and freedom. A further scheme to keep her safe brings her in contact with wealthy, handsome Lawrence Mallory, who has impulsively married a beautiful woman only to find she suffers from a violent mental illness.

Lawrence soon learns Abby is more than she appears to be, and an attraction grows between the two. When Lawrence’s wife dies, he goes away for several years, leaving Abby bereft. Returning home at last, he is prepared to ask the woman he loves to marry him despite the odds against them as an interracial couple, but a terrible misunderstanding separates them.
Will their love remain in the shadows forever?

There is a beautiful lesson that comes with reading this book. The author did a wonderful job of portraying that members of God’s family know there is a place where all are welcomed and loved.

The story touches on several issues such as race, family and freedom. True freedom is not determined or controlled by man. This is a happy, heartwarming feel good read with a great plot that is well worth the read. It’s filled with loving and caring characters whose voices are still with me after the story is over. At the end I found myself appreciating the author for the task of writing this complete story and was glad that I picked such an awesome read.

Abby Rose’s life started under grim circumstances: being hunted down to be killed by her grandfather, but fortunately Momma Hattie was there to help her. Along with the protection of Jack Bradley, the two remain hidden from John Wesley. Even though it’s been eighteen years John is still on the hunt and Abby could still be at risk of being found. The characters are well developed and Momma Hattie is an example of strength and encouragement. Though she endured hardship she kept a positive mindset. Her words in a conversation to Lawrence are still fresh in my mind. During a life of slavery when Momma Hattie could have held hate and anger she chose to focus on her blessings instead of dwelling on her tragedies. That just spoke volumes to me. When something crappy happens, or life isn’t going our way, we have to change our perspective.

This was an epic family love story about building a family and relationships. It’s love beyond race and blood. It’s standing for a change even though tradition has already written how the laws of man should go. This wasn’t just a book that when I finished it, I was done. This is a book that left me thinking about what traditions I carry and what I can change.

Lawrence Mallory marries Elizabeth Bradley and moves to the south to help his sister Kathleen and her husband Adam O’Daley on the O’Daley Ranch. With Elizabeth’s mental condition her father sends Momma Hattie, Abby Rose and Eli with Lawrence and Elizabeth. Building a home in the south takes some getting use to for everyone but mostly those in contact with Elizabeth and her worsting condition. This book offers a full story of events that are hard to summaries but the over all message is one that was delivered without being preachy.

I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy a clean read and one that covers the good and the bad in life, but still gives the reader a happy ending.

Charlie’s Wives by Simon Luckhurst


Charlie’s Wives by Simon Luckhurst
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (238 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Norfolk, Virginia, 1864. Charlie Brewster arrives to recruit African American soldiers for the Union. He is recently returned from three years of service, and though he’s physically uninjured his psychological battle scars run deep. He survived the war…can he survive the peace?

Tensie Stevens’ husband is at the front. She cannot read or write, and wants to send him letters, so Charlie offers to put her words on paper. She has never known a white man show this much kindness. As a former slave she is scarred, too, although some of hers are physical. She helps him recruit other soldiers and he writes letters for their wives as well. So near to the world of war and men he starts to learn about intimacy and women.

Charlie’s Wives is a title that surely deceived me.

Charles Brewster served four years of bloody engagements in the war, and later worked to recruit African American soldiers. Though his recruiting role went beyond finding recruits he also took to writing and reading letters to the wives of men that were serving in the war.

Even though this is a book dealing with the harshness of war it is also heart warming to read about the families and how they deal with their men away at war. With the task of recruiting many men and writing letters for the women Charlie gets to hear the most intimate parts of many relationships. Charlie develops a fondness for the women that brings a heart warming feel to the book. To read and see that Charlie still suffers from mental stress of his time in the war but that he also turn around and make something loving come from that bitterness makes Charlie a real hero.

I see this as an inspirational story because of Charlie’s dedication and compassion for the men of military service. The story offers flashbacks of Charlie’s war time and his current position as a recruiter for the Army. While recruiting, Charlie is adamant that the women write to his men.  Charlie’s life seem to revolve around keeping the men at war encouraged. This is where his compassion for the men is displayed so strongly. He could have served his time and went on to do his duties as a recruiter. His being away from his mother and sister and not getting returned letters made him upset and frustrated. This could definitely play a vital part in his need to make sure others stay in contact with their families.

The book is well written and tells a unique story based off of true events. I did find the book entertaining. I wanted Charlie to find a happy ending. The dialogue such as:  “Ya’ll, Marser, and sah” took awhile for me to get use to. Readers should be mindful that the language used in the book is dialectic that was acceptable during the 1800’s and the description of war scenes may be too harsh for readers that don’t want to read the details of war.

I would recommend to those that enjoy a good read, but not necessarily one that ends in a completely happy ending.

Breathless by Beverly Jenkins


Breathless by Beverly Jenkins
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (384 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

As manager of one of the finest hotels in Arizona Territory, Portia Carmichael has respect and stability—qualities sorely missing from her harsh childhood. She refuses to jeopardize that by hitching herself to the wrong man. Suitors are plentiful, but none of them has ever looked quite as tempting as the family friend who just rode into town…and none has looked at her with such intensity and heat.

Duchess. That’s the nickname Kent Randolph gave Portia when she was a young girl. Now she’s a stunning, intelligent woman—and Kent has learned his share of hard lessons. After drifting through the West, he’s learned the value of a place to settle down, and in Portia’s arms he’s found that and more. But convincing her to trust him with her heart, not just her passion, will be the greatest challenge he’s known—and one he intends to win…

Though Portia Carmichael and her sister Regan were left with their Aunt Eddy and Uncle Rhine Fontaine and their mother didn’t have the best reputation in town they turned out to be fine adult women. With a bitter assumption of love and relationships from her mother’s example Portia is adamant about not getting married. We probably all have declared what we won’t do and majority of the time we know how that turns out. Will the love bug make its way to Portia and perhaps leave her breathless?

Though this book didn’t quite leave me breathless I did find it entertaining and to be a well written story. The first conversation was between Portia and her younger single sister Regan commenting on Portia’s need to find a man. For any reader that has read previous books by Ms. Jenkins this book pretty much follows suit. There isn’t any surprise or suspense as to will there be a mate for Portia; you know there will be. I would have liked for the story to have started with a neutral subject like the planning of her aunt and uncle’s anniversary dinner or the arrival of Kent Randolph and then later during the relationship between Portia and Kent there could have been some resistance and her hesitation to be involved then be brought up. Emphases on Portia’s underlying mother abandonment issues were repeated through out the book with no resolution; and even though the majority of the book was on Portia’s lack of a love life her relationship with Kent grew so quickly it was all a turn off for me.

I didn’t feel the connection between Portia and Kent. I like that they spent time together, getting to know each other but the physical seemed quick and rush. Men around town were interested in Portia but she paid them no mind but quickly found interest in Kent not even knowing his past. Her hesitation to not marry was so quickly forgotten. I would have liked to have saw something more personal and heartfelt from Portia as to why she so quickly changed her mind about marriage.

I did like that Portia is a strong and independent woman. She realized she was good at bookkeeping and set a goal to open her own business doing bookkeeping for the neighboring businesses. She wasn’t a lady waiting around for a man to take care of her. She had plenty men wanting to marry her but she enjoyed working and having her independence. Her sister Regan also was a woman of independence by delivering mail twice a week with her mule Josephine, which was not kindly looked upon in such early times. Even though their mother disappointed them their aunt and uncle did a good job in bringing them up to be self sufficient ladies.

There were sub-stories that happened around town that gave a filling story. The events that unfold with Uncle Rhine purchasing Old Man Blanchard’s land gave the story more interest because it built conflict and gave something to the stotyline in addition to the romance. There were several characters introduced in the story that I found it distracting trying to keep up with all the names and to figure out who was relevant to the story.

I didn’t read book one in The Old Series, but I was able to follow the storyline okay. However to get the full history and background of the characters it may be best to read book one first. The author has a gift for writing and story telling. The Fontaine and Carmichael’s bring about a fascinating ongoing story as part of The Old Series. I enjoyed the loving family atmosphere, the western setting is so real and the author’s knowledge about riding horses was fascinating to read. I would like to continue with the series just to see will there be more revealed about Portia and Regan’s mother and is there any hope for their relationship to be repaired.

This is a book that I would recommend to a reader that enjoys a love story that is simple with no frills and definitely those that have read book one in The Old Series.

Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom


Glory Over Everything: Beyond The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Historical, Action/Adventure, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (384 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Jamie Pyke, son of both a slave and master of Tall Oakes, has a deadly secret that compels him to take a treacherous journey through the Underground Railroad.

Published in 2010, The Kitchen House became a grassroots bestseller. Fans connected so deeply to the book’s characters that the author, Kathleen Grissom, found herself being asked over and over “what happens next?” The wait is finally over.

This new, stand-alone novel opens in 1830, and Jamie, who fled from the Virginian plantation he once called home, is passing in Philadelphia society as a wealthy white silversmith. After many years of striving, Jamie has achieved acclaim and security, only to discover that his aristocratic lover Caroline is pregnant. Before he can reveal his real identity to her, he learns that his beloved servant Pan has been captured and sold into slavery in the South. Pan’s father, to whom Jamie owes a great debt, pleads for Jamie’s help, and Jamie agrees, knowing the journey will take him perilously close to Tall Oakes and the ruthless slave hunter who is still searching for him. Meanwhile, Caroline’s father learns and exposes Jamie’s secret, and Jamie loses his home, his business, and finally Caroline.

Heartbroken and with nothing to lose, Jamie embarks on a trip to a North Carolina plantation where Pan is being held with a former Tall Oakes slave named Sukey, who is intent on getting Pan to the Underground Railroad. Soon the three of them are running through the Great Dismal Swamp, the notoriously deadly hiding place for escaped slaves. Though they have help from those in the Underground Railroad, not all of them will make it out alive.

This book felt like a gift to me. I was so eager to see what happened after The Kitchen House and excited that the characters from The Kitchen House characters had a connection to the characters in this book. I was not disappointed. In fact, this book was so many things. Entertaining, realistic, had a brilliant use of language, vivid characters, numerous sudden and unexpected plot twist and was definitely a book that was hard to put down.

James Burton’s life is told in a story that is gripping and engaging from the first page. The fast moving narrative is superbly written. Ms. Grissom is truly a talented storyteller. The plot is well planned out. In the beginning while the foundation of the story was being laid out it did get a little confusing on the time line of events, but the author easily smoothed it over by keeping the plot and storyline moving.

Jamie Pyke and Henry find themselves both together under circumstances that cause them both to be in hiding. From this relationship forms a lasting bond that carried these two men into years later that shows sometimes favors may need to be returned. Pan, the young son of Henry, is left with James Burton because Henry can’t bring his son to his job. Pan is taught to read and write, speak proper English and how a man should dress. Feeling grateful to Mr. Burton’s kindness, Pan sets out on a mission to get a gift for Mr. Burton, but in doing so he disobeys his father and heads towards the shipyard. Pan gets kidnapped and sold into slavery. Then James Burton finds himself running from secrets that have been uncovered and with a promise to find Pan James uses this time to leave Philadelphia.

I can’t summarize all that happened, I can only say this is a story that is well worth reading. The character’s lives and details are so real. The story is a mixture of heartbreak with smiles of joy and love. The story was so real I was there with the characters and the story was painted with such a visual skill a reader can see the story unfolding. The anticipation of how James would be able to live after he has been exposed was amazing. And the even deeper suspense as to how Pan would be rescued and would lives be lost during their escape kept me enthralled.

This story is wonderful all around. Glory Over Everything lives up to its title by the payoff at the novel’s end. The plot, character, the writing were incredible. I am not sure if I had tears of happiness for Jamie’s ending or sadness because the story was ending. I see another story happening on the life of Adelaide. Her spirit is so bright I can’t see the author not letting it shine.

In addition to The Kitchen House being on the list of my favorite books, I’ll be adding the sequel to that list as well. Highly recommended to readers who enjoy a superb written storyline that’s guaranteed to keep your attention.

Preacher’s Wife by Sarah Christian

wife
Preacher’s Wife by Sarah Christian
Publisher: Salt of the Earth Press
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (105 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Hiding from a man who wants him dead, Matthieu Whitney has finally made a peaceful life for himself as the pastor of Sweet Town. Much of that peace relies on passing as white, which proves agonizing as he finds himself driven to distraction by the beautiful and sharply intelligent Beulah Douglass. He knows from experience courting and secrets don’t mix.

Already struggling as a young mother alone, Beulah isn’t looking for trouble. Certainly not the kind of trouble that comes in the form of a tall, dark, and handsome pastor with haunting green eyes and a protective streak as wide as the Mississippi. After he’s injured rescuing her from an accident, she’s happy to help Matt, though it means trying to deny the growing connection between them. As danger mounts and their enemies grow, can Beulah have any hope of being the Preacher’s Wife?

In the shadow of wild Deadwood sits quiet Sweet Town. Established in the Dakota Gold Rush of the 1870s, Sweet Town is surrounded by gentle hills and fields of clover. It’s a place where anyone can start over and redemption is never out of reach.

Even though Beulah Douglass, a freed slave new to Sweet Town, felt like she was making a good start she wasn’t fully secure in her new environment. With Hiram Bell after her she is left with the feeling as if she is waiting out a storm instead of truly living. Pastor Matthieu Whitney has a past and a secret that he is hiding. Will his past life soon be exposed? Is Sweet Town a place where anyone can find redemption and start anew?

Pastor Whitney saves Beulah from being stepped on by a horse. Indebted to him, she sees to it that he gets proper treatment along with feeling obligated to care for him while he recovers from his injury. During his recovery time they learn a lot about each other which sets up the foundation for other parts of the book to unfold.

This is a sweet read that I enjoyed. It’s proof that a book can be entertaining and it doesn’t have to contain adult language and context. The plot is well laid out and easy to follow. When I started reading the book I didn’t realize that it is book 5 in a series. Thankfully the author gave enough background that I wasn’t lost. Reading this book and the host of wonderful characters and their lives in this small town made me want to read the previous books in the series.

The characters are strong and proud. Bridget O’Cuinn is a red headed Irish immigrant. At the onset of the book, she is opening a small laundry business. Beulah is a freed slave who works along with Bridget at the laundry service. Beulah’s heritage is evident by looking at her coiled and curled hair. She was held captive and her son was conceived from that unholy cruelty and her display of being proud and brave helps Pastor Whitney speak his truth to the congregation.

Though life isn’t perfect the citizens of Sweet Town show examples of the good and the bad; it also shows it takes the unity of a village to conquer out bad. And in that village you have those that will take a stand to help protect along side you.

Decisions must be made in order to protect Beulah and her son Jonah. Though this is the old west and Hiram Bell was tracking Beulah, as well as Beau Jennings looking to expose Pastor Whitney there wasn’t a lot of action.

It’s a feel good read that shows that even though the world may be surrounded by hatred, and unkindness makes us afraid, we have the power of forgiveness and we are blessed to give that to ourselves and others. This is one I would recommend to a reader that not only is looking for a happy ending but a clean read where the characters leave you with a positive message.