The Breathe Of Dawn

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Title: The Breathe Of Dawn
Author: Kristen Heitzmann
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: November 1, 2012
Pages: 448

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Quinn Reilly did the right thing four years ago and put a man away in jail. Now after years of running and staying as anonymous as possible, the man her testimony put away is getting out of jail and is coming for her to exact revenge for what she did to him. Despite all her efforts, he knows where she is and she’s not the only one involved any more. She now has to worry about the kind family that reached out to her and the handsome widower and his child as well as herself. She doesn’t know how far he’s willing to go to exact revenge, but she isn’t willing to find out.

Morgan Spencer, corporate turnaround specialist and success guru, is still recovering from the death of his wife and the only thing keeping him going is his daughter, Livie. When Morgan meets the beautiful and aloof Quinn Reilly he’s intrigued and can’t stop thinking about her. But his counterproposal to her illegal request has both of their thrown upside-down and neither is sure if they made the right choice in their decisions.

The closer this couple gets and the farther they get away from the revenge stricken man straight from prison, the danger seems to shrink but neither realize just how far he will go to get back what he feels belongs to him. This couple has to run from a determined madman as well as heal from wounds long ignored, but it seems that their luck is running out and it’s now time to fight against a criminal with nothing to lose.

Will Quinn be able to win against a madman bent on revenge or will his revenge do more damage than she thought? Will Morgan be able to protect Quinn or will this man getting her despite his efforts? When Morgan realizes the full grip of this guys power will he abandon Quinn or put his life on the life to save her? Will this couple be able to survive one man’s determination or will it destroy everything?
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At first glance, this book, at 448 pages, is intimidating. The sheer volume of this book definitely made me reluctant to start it because of how huge it was. However, being from an author that I’ve enjoyed in the past I dove right in and I’m glad I did. Though not as good as some of her previous works, this book is better than your average romantic suspense and I really liked this new installment from one of my favorite authors. I also liked the direction that this book took. Don’t let this book’s size keep you from enjoying a great suspense.

Being a romantic suspense there will naturally be romance and I enjoyed this romance because of the cuteness of it and I enjoyed the fact that they worked through all that happened together. However, I would’ve loved to have had more romance and more of those emotional connections between the main characters. They were there I would’ve just enjoyed to have them more prominently there. But, my theory is that if you have suspense and a romance in one book one of them is going to suffer and I would rather it be the romance than the suspense.

The suspense in this book is classic Kristen Heitzmann. It’s nail-biting, gritty, and the determination of the stalker is just purely chilling. Though it kind of feels a tad bit unrealistic or at least a bit extreme, I enjoyed how the author formed the suspense and made it into something that you had no idea how it was going to end. This suspense really drags you into the story and makes you not want to put down this book until the very end. I guarantee that if you do start this book, you will finish it and will try to finish it in one night.

The characters in this book felt real to me, at least most of them did, I felt that I knew the by the time that this book ended and I wanted to travel down to their ranch and have a cup of hot chocolate with them. They also made me like them because they did almost anything to help and protect their families and supported their family through everything. Some of the characters, obviously, conjured up less than friendly feelings and some just seemed a tad unrealistic in their extreme beliefs and dislike of the main character. Also, there were times that the main character felt flighty, but mainly I felt that she was a tough lady put into a scary position. This book’s was definitely improved by the colorful characters.

Having been a fan of this author for years I have learned to expect huge books with a complicated plot and realistic characters and suspense. This book definitely kept up with that, though it wasn’t the best that I’ve read from her, it was still a book worth reading and it hasn’t ruined my love of her books. I fully intend to read more from her and I highly recommend this author to any reader who is a new or old fan of suspense. This is definitely an author that should be on anyone’s book shelf.

Overall, this is a good book, though not the best this author has put out and its huge size can be a bit intimidating. This book is perfect for those who love romantic suspense or for those who like a suspense with a little romance. I don’t recommend this for younger readers but for older teens and adults it’s perfect. I give this book a three and a half out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through The Christian Manifesto in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

Week 6: Building Up The Men In Our Lives

Hey guys! I remembered this time! Yay. Anyway this week is about encouraging the men in our life, which is an article we all can use no matter our age or who is in our lives. Let me know if you like it as much as I do.
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Week 6: Building Up The Men In Our Lives

When our husbands let us down, it’s hard not to voice our anger and disappointment. We don’t do it to hurt or embarrass our husbands. We are women, and we’re wired to share our hearts with another person. We definitely need one another to become the women we want to be, but we need to be careful not to cripple our men by uncovering their weaknesses to everyone.

Obviously we all need someone to help us sort through our feelings. I think it is best to find one or two trustworthy people who are in favor of our marriages and won’t repeat our conversation to others. I have two best friends to whom I tell everything because they help me see things from my husband’s perspective and help me fight for my marriage by praying and sharing wisdom from the Word. I am careful, even with them, not to overshare in a way that would humiliate my husband, Steve.

Think about how we would feel if our husbands talked about our weaknesses at their workplaces. Let’s commit to covering our men and not exposing them, and let’s pray for them to grow as leaders.

Don’t Enable . . .

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her. (Ephesians 5:25)

Because we women are so good at leading, many times we leave our men in the dust or allow them to become weak leaders. How are they ever supposed to learn to lead if we do everything for them? We are not their mothers; we are their wives. Christ asked them to love, lead, and take care of us the way He loves the church.

It’s important that we not try to do things that are our husbands’ responsibility unless they are absolutely necessary. Even if we can do their job better than they can, we’re not helping them become the men they long to be; we are enabling them. They will see us as their mothers and not their wives, which will make us bitter toward them and produce the fruit of self-hate in their lives.

Do What You Can to Empower Him . . .

Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. (1 Peter 3:6)

I used to think it was strange that Sarah called her husband “master.” I thought maybe she was even putting her husband before God. But today I realize she was a wise woman. She was empowering her husband to find his place as her leader. We can also help our husbands become godly leaders for us. Even if they do not rise up right away, we shouldn’t give up on them. We can keep praying and empowering them. Whatever they do, big or small, let’s encourage them. Let’s be like Sarah and do whatever it takes to empower our men to be great.
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I love this one. Do you? We’re almost done, only two weeks to go. After that I’ll go back to just reviews unless something like this comes around again. I hope you guys are enjoying this as much as me. See you next week!

Week 5: Receiving God’s Love

Hey guys! As you can see, I forgot. Again! I’m sorry you guys. Anyway, this one is about receiving God into your heart and creating a relationship with Him. I hope you enjoy it.
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Week 5: Receiving God’s Love

Think how powerful it would be if we spoke the truth about how God feels about us at least as often as we silently said negative things about ourselves or replayed in our minds all the hurtful things that have been said about us. The truth is, we are not what others say about us, and if the men we love speak hurtful words to us that make us feel unworthy, we don’t need to repeat them any longer. Instead we can learn to rest in God’s unchanging love for us.

Even if no one has ever said anything kind to you, your Prince Jesus longs for you to breathe in the tender love, compassion, and kindness He feels for you. If you’re ready to have Jesus, the lover of your soul, become reality to you, I invite you to do the following . . .

Breathe In His Love . . .

For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4)

You know that feeling of exhilaration that sticks with you after you’ve spent time with a guy you know you’re falling in love with? As you part, you take a deep breath and feel waves of delight washing over you. Or you know the joy that wells up inside when your man unexpectedly says something so sweet that you feel treasured? You replay those words over and over in your mind because doing so gives you a lift.

Breathe His truth in; allow the words of your true prince Jesus to echo in your heart and soul.

After you consider God’s words to you—”I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3)—whisper toward heaven, “I love You, Lord.”

Sing about His Love . . .

Each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. (Psalm 42:8)

When I was learning to let myself receive God’s love, I would actually sing love songs to Him. Though they had been written for a woman to sing to a man here on earth, I began to understand that if I would crave God’s love first, He would meet my needs. Only then would I be able to give and receive love.

Today I love worship songs that sing of God’s love for us. I blare them throughout my house in the mornings so Satan will not be able to whisper lies to me any longer. Consider doing the same.

Write Love Letters to Him in a Journal . . .

Connect your heart to heaven by writing love letters to your Lord. It is amazing what happens to your heart as you begin to express your love in writing to the only One who will never walk away from or reject you. Hang on to this treasure of truth: how you feel about yourself will never change God’s love for you.

Let Us Pray . . .

Dear God,
I confess I do not feel worthy of your love. It is hard for me to believe that You even love me. Help me, Lord, to look to You for my worth. Forgive me for not allowing myself to receive Your love. Forgive me for looking to others to make me feel like I have value when You are the only one who can validate me and love me the way I long to be loved. From this day forward, I choose to let You love me so I can love others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live.
I will praise my God to my last breath!
May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the LORD. (Psalm 104:33-34)
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Wonderful. Stay tuned for more from this wonderful teacher.

Soul’s Gate

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Title: Soul’s Gate
Series: A Well Spring Novel
Author: James L. Rubart
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: November 6, 2012
Pages: 400

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Thirty years ago Reece Roth got the opportunity to travel inside another person’s soul and battle for them and their healing. He traveled until tragedy struck his life and altered his future forever. Now God has called him back to fulfill a prophecy spoken over him three decades ago, a prophecy about four warriors with the potential to change the world. Reece believes they can change the world but his deepest regret holds him back from teaching them all he knows. It also keeps him from believing that he’s cut out for teaching them.

When Brandon Scott, Marcus Amber, and Dana Raine arrive at Well Spring, their spiritual meeting place, they are ready to get closer to God than ever before, but what they get is so much more than any of them expected. At first they think Reece is crazy and a fanatic, until they start to see biblical evidence and see it happen. The prophecy scares them, particularly what it prophesies, but they are willing to do what they thought impossible because the Lord is with them. They’ll do it, even if it means they’re thrust into a spiritual war they never really knew existed.

The more they get involved in soul saving, the more they catch the Enemy’s eye and the more they’re attacked with the intent to get them to stop. Not to mention painful pasts and relationships threaten to destroy all they’ve worked towards. As they learn to trust and lean on each other they’re attacked more. They’re prophesy is coming closer to being fulfilled and they have to rely on God and each other to take down they’re enemies. In the hidden war of the spirit, there is no place demons won’t go nor where angels won’t chase them.

Will the four be able to fulfill their prophecy or will they fail? Will Reece be able to overcome his regret or will it destroy all of the work started decades ago? Will the past hurts of the four hold them back or will they find healing and prosper? How will the four take out an enemy that seems much more powerful and so determined to stop them? When the time comes will they be able to band together and trust God and each other or will their training fall to the wayside?
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This book delved into topics that very few people think about, the constant war between angels and demons. I knew this existed and I knew that God can teleport human beings across space and time, but this book delved in deeper into the topic than I ever have. Everything in this book seems plausible, except the soul saving thing, but then again isn’t anything possible with God? This book definitely isn’t one that would be considered a quick read, but enjoyable nonetheless.

The thing I loved most about the story was the story. I loved how the heroes weren’t always sure of themselves and their mission like we are always shown and I loved how it was written in such a way that any Christian no matter where they’re at in their spiritual walk can relate to this book. I also loved how this shows freedom, freedom from our sins and regrets and sorrows though Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. Though parts of this book seemed a little unrealistic at times, the overall story that’s in the pages of this book is worth the read.

The vivid descriptions are a huge plus for this book as well. The imagination that was put into what a soul would look like is amazing. If I were to have thought what a soul looked like, I would’ve never ever have come up with the idea of landscapes or even the type of landscapes the author did. His descriptions of those landscapes are vivid and image forming and they make you feel like you’re standing alongside our heroes and it allows you to become a part of the story.

One thing I didn’t care for, besides the unrealistic-ness of some parts, was the fact that I didn’t really get to know the characters as much as I thought I would. Oh, you got to see their change and the inside of most of their souls, but for some reason I left the book feeling like I didn’t really get to know them at all. Some characters got more page time then others and I would like to see more of the other characters in the books to come, as well as getting to know the characters more in the next ones.

This being the first book I’ve ever read by this author, there wasn’t much I could expect. However, I loved this book and I definitely intend to read more from this author in the near future and I highly recommend that you do the same. Any author who can make me think and allow me to think on things I’ve never given much thought on leaves me no choice but to read as many of his books as I can get my hands on. This book comes highly recommended.

Overall, this is a great book to make you think and is definitely not a quick light read. This book is perfect for people looking for something different in a book or for someone who likes their books to delve into the supernatural. I don’t recommend this book to anyone other than an adult or a very mature teen. I give this book a four out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through The Christian Manifesto in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

Week 4: Fighting to Find the Benefits and Blessings of Purity

Hi guys! Back again for week 4. Sorry I didn’t post this Friday like I was supposed to. With all the holiday planning it’s been busy and things have been slipping my mind like crazy.

Anyway this article is about singles and their fight to stay pure. I loved it so here it is:
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Week 4: Fighting to Find the Benefits and Blessings of Purity

When I was a new Christian, it never occurred to me to change the way I dressed or flirted; after all, I was single, so why shouldn’t I dress the way I wanted and get whatever attention I could? I had worked hard to lose over fifty pounds and get in shape. I was finally thin for the first time.

Then one day, about a year into my walk with God, my young singles pastor came up to me after our church service and politely asked me if I could come to church dressed more modestly. He told me I was distracting him and some of the young men in our group from focusing on God. I know it took every ounce of courage he had to confront me and help me understand how men struggle, and even though I was a bit embarrassed and slightly offended, I’m glad he took a chance and told me the truth.

We have no idea the major internal battle that goes on inside our men when it comes to women. The truth is, sex and women hold the key to unlock a beast inside of them. Deep down inside, our men are screaming for some relief from all the overstimulation and sensual battles that war against their souls every day. Even those men who desire purity are forced to fight for it because of all the women who flirt and flash their flesh to get attention. Even our beloved King David, a warrior who was strong enough to stand before a giant, could not withstand temptation when he saw Bathsheba naked in the bathtub. The interesting thing about this story is that Bathsheba was unaware she was even tempting David. Bathsheba was in her own home, taking a bath in her own yard, but when David’s eyes saw her flesh, he lost his strength and forgot who he was: a God-appointed king. Once he lost his moral compass, he lost his senses. He caved to his craving for her and then set up her husband to be killed on the battlefield so his own sin wouldn’t be exposed.

David’s moment of weakness had tragic consequences as the baby conceived by Bathsheba died. But even more tragic was that a piece of David’s soul died that day, and the passion he once had to be a heroic man never did fully return. Our hearts’ desire is for men to know how to connect to our hearts, but we make it difficult for them when we blind them with our bodies. We know how to grab their attention, but in the process are we trading what we want most, which is a real love relationship with them? Feeling sexy is fun, but what is the cost when we force men to fight temptation? Somehow it seems the price that we pay to get attention is not worth it. And it’s really out of control when a man cannot even attend church because the women are distracting him from worshiping.

Look at the influence the first lady in the human race had. Her craving led Adam to follow her into disobeying God. Eve saw something that was pleasing to the eye, and she wanted it more than she wanted to obey God. She ended up taking her husband down with her, and the Fall occurred.

Today the “fall of families” is an epidemic. We are losing our moral men of faith by the masses while pornography and human trafficking are out of control. Our men are forced to look at our flesh, whether they want to or not. They don’t even have to seek it on the Internet; all they have to do is walk out their doors. Is it any wonder they are struggling to remain pure? Something has to change, and it has to start with us. How will our sons and daughters find the strength to remain pure and experience a pure love if no one leads the way?
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Amazing right?! If you have something you want posted let me know. See you next good. Hopefully I won’t forget this time…

Over The Edge

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Title: Over The Edge
Series: The Kincaid Brides
Author: Mary Connealy
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: August 1, 2012
Pages: 336

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Callie Kincaid came out west with nothing except the clothes on her and her son’s backs and she’s determined either chase down her runaway husband or find shelter with his brothers. However, her plan doesn’t work quite the way she intended. Within a few minutes of entering the west she’s engaged in a shoot out and is now injured and at the mercy of none other than her husband!

Years ago Seth Kincaid survived a fire that altered his life forever and then he went war and came back crazier than ever. There are pieces to his past that he doesn’t remember, but you would think he would remember having a wife let alone a son! However, he doesn’t and his newly discovered wife doesn’t seem to happy about that. Seth wants nothing more than to start over and make amends, but Callie just wants to shoot him. Now Seth has to convince her that he’s different and worthy of trust.

The more time Callie and Seth spend together the more the attraction that Callie can’t forget and Seth wants to remember comes roaring back and Callie is finding it difficult to not trust the man she married. Seth wants nothing more than to be the husband and father he couldn’t have been as I’ll as he was, but convincing Callie that he’s different is going to test everything he knows and possibly show him he isn’t as different as he once thought.

Will Callie be able to forgive the past and move on with her husband or will she spend her life alone because of her lack of mercy? Will Seth be able to prove that he’s different than the man that walked out on her or will he lose the best thing that ever happened to him? Will Callie and Seth find that the love that they felt for each other is gone or never really existed at all or will they find that the love they felt for each other is still there and as strong as ever? Will this Kincaid family end on a happy note or a sad one?
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Having never read the first two books in this series, I didn’t know what to expect and I was hoping that this wasn’t a continuation series. Thankfully, the series isn’t a continuation series but there are aspects that can get confusing at times. Also, though the book wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t fantastic either. There seemed to be some scenes that were continued from the previous two books and at times, some of those scenes are a little too unrealistic. Having started this book with no real expectations, I wasn’t really surprised by the outcome or execution of the novel.

The storyline of this book is solid, though at times too unrealistic. I liked the action scenes of the novel, though they seemed a little unrealistic, at least the beginning did. The bullets flew with very few reloads on either side and the heroine was concerned with conserving bullets for her husband one minute and the next she’s firing blindly into the bushes! I also felt it odd that Seth can’t remember anything about his wife or their brief time together until all of a sudden. Though I know that happens, it seemed a little too sudden in this book. I did like the direction this book wanted to go, though. It was a nice storyline if it didn’t seem too rose-colored. I mean what person goes through a shoot-out in a stagecoach without getting hit with a real bullet?

The romance in this novel was actually nice. It had some passion, which I prefer, but not too much to seem like the author was trying too hard to force it. Most of the romance revolved around him not remembering but knowing that what he was feeling wasn’t something that was new. I didn’t like how angry Callie got when Seth tried to figure stuff out about her. I would imagine that if you loved a man and he suddenly forgot you, you would do almost anything to help him remember. Callie was just mad that he didn’t remember. The more emotional or intimate scenes were sweet and I wished that there were more of them. This romance had the makings of a special one but kind of fell short where it mattered.

The hero and heroine were a tad bit hard to feel sorry for or feel for because Callie was completely unforgiving toward her husband and unwilling to help him remember anything about their life together and Seth is so busy convincing people that he’s changed that he doesn’t stop to consider that maybe he hasn’t. The worst part of that though is that we’re not really given any proof that he has changed just that he says he has. There is a lot that prevented me to getting into the characters, mostly the women of the book and that made the book suffer.

This book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I usually get in a romance or historical and I’m not sure that’s a compliment. Though I loved the premise of the story, I didn’t love the execution and felt that the story really didn’t follow the path of the synopsis and had major twists that weren’t even hinted at in the synopsis. Though, I wasn’t completely satisfied with this book, I feel like the author is right on the edge of a good western romance, if she improves just a little, and because of that I do plan on reading more from this author, just with less gusto than I read this book.

Overall, it’s you’re average romance but a slightly lower quality action. It’s perfect for a person who loves western romances with a little action and suspense. I think that adults and older teens could read this without much trouble, but it probably shouldn’t be handed to anyone much younger than that. I give this book a three out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

The Trouble With Cowboys

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Title: The Trouble With Cowboys
Series: A Big Sky Romance
Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: October 2, 2012
Pages: 304

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Annie Wilkerson is Moose Creek’s premiere horse trainer and equine columnist for Montana Living. Trying to put her kid sister through college and providing for her young nephew makes money tight and when Annie’s column is cancelled she’s left reeling. Until she’s told that she’s been given first shot at a new lovelorn column, a column that she can’t afford to turn down. There’s just one problem, she knows nothing about love having never been in it.

Dylan Taylor is a cowboy with a reputation of a smooth-talking heartbreaker, but just because you have a reputation doesn’t mean it’s true. All Dylan wants is for his ailing horse to get better and the turn the head of the most stubborn woman in town, Annie Wilkerson. Even if it means he has to help with her lovelorn column, help he’s totally unqualified to give, in exchange for her to work with his horse, Braveheart. And if he tries to prove that not all cowboys are bad in the mean time, oh well.

The more time they spend together the more their attraction grows. Annie is reluctant to get involved with a cowboy after what happened to he family, not to mention she has a secret that might ruin everything. Dylan wants a relationship but is hesitant to risk heartbreak again. Their love seems impossible, but with love and cowboys anything is possible.

Will Annie be willing to put her past and prejudice behind her for love or will she live the rest of her life with regret over what could’ve been? Will Dylan put his heart on the line to who could quite possibly be the one for him or will he be too scared to take the plunge? Will Annie’s secret ruin them or will it bring them closer together?
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I haven’t read the other two books in this series yet, so I didn’t really have an idea of what to expect but I did know that I didn’t really expect it to be great. This book surprised me. Instead of being your average romance with an average ending, it was an average romance with a twist and great ending. I actually really enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would.

The romance is typical but it has a bit more of steam than a usual Christian romance. It was enough to engage you but not too much to offend and it was amazing. I loved the setting for romance that the author set and I absolutely loved how she used the, somewhat cliche and cheesy, scene of the water fight. Thanks to romance movies that a part of every girls dreams now and I loved how she incorporated that. This romance was definitely a unique one.

The storyline was sweet as well. I loved how Annie refuses to even consider cowboys because she thinks they’re trouble and that Dylan was determined to win her over and show her that not all cowboys are bad. The story progressed really well and wasn’t boring at all. The author even added a few twists into the story that kept you on your toes. This story is so well written it’s hard to find fault with it at all.

If the rest of the series is as good as this one, them this series is one that can truly be enjoyed and left feeling lighter. It definitely raises your spirits and leaves you feeling like you got what you paid for. After this book, I fully intend to go back and read the other two books in this series and I recommend you do too, if you haven’t already.

This author captured my heart with this book and has proven herself to be a fantastic storyteller. She’s an author I would recommend to any romance lover, not just for the romance but for the incredible story. I fully intend to read more by her and I highly recommend her to anyone, new readers or new readers to her. If you haven’t read a book by her yet, do so as soon as possible.

Overall, a great book that will keep you entertained for the entire thing. I highly recommend this to romance lovers and possibly those who like a good story. Though not best for young readers, this book is perfect for teens and adults alike. I give this book a four out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*