Published October 23, 2020 by Harper Collins, One More Chapter
When Katie Colter’s life was saved during a ferocious storm by Rowan Coblentz, an Amish boy from the neighboring settlement, she repaid his kindness with a kiss. And in that one moment a forbidden love was ignited. But when Katie’s father found the young lovers together, he banished Rowan, and Katie never saw him again…
Now, six years later, with her father dead and the family farm in jeopardy, Katie needs Rowan’s help. But the shy young Amish boy she once knew has grown into a handsome and forceful man.
The attraction between them is still as strong as ever, but Katie’s life is on her family farm, with the horses she loves, and Rowan’s place is within his sheltered Amish community. Can their love find a way, or will it remain forbidden, forever?
There were things I really liked about this book and things I didn’t.
First off – I was expecting a clean read, typically Amish books are, and this is not one of them. This falls more into the romance genre than Christian genre. I tried to skip over the sex scenes as best as I could, and there were times I missed some important dialogue by doing so.
I liked the premise of his world vs hers and the forbidden love aspect. How many times have we longed for something we couldn’t have?
At first I was really annoyed by how they treated each other and how they seemed to blow up at each other and overreact and once the author reminded me a couple of times that they were only 22, I dawned on me this was a maturity issue. Once I recognized that, I was able to move on past the annoyance for the most part.
I didn’t really like Katie much through the first ¾ of the book. It seemed like Rowan was doing all the giving and she was doing all of the taking. There didn’t seem to be much of an acknowledgement that Rowan was contemplating giving up his entire life for her. I liked his chapters the best.
I wish there had been more dialogue between them, delving deeper into who they are and more into the issues they faced as a couple and less focus on their attraction to each other.
I’m curious if there will be a sequel to this for Rebecca. I wasn’t sure what to think about her character. I’m not sure how I liked how her mental illness (depression) was portrayed. I’m not sure if she was completely depressed and felt hopeless or if she was just being manipulative and based on what the author wrote, I’m not sure if she knew either.
Elle Beaumont, Meg Dailey, M. Dalto, Pam Dunn, Kristin Jacques, Candace Robinson, Leslie Rush, C. Vonzale Lewis, Jess Moore, Lauren Emily Whalen
General Fiction, Holiday
Published December 2, 2020
“‘I wear the chain I forged in life,’ replied the Ghost. ‘I made it link by link…’” -Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol Link by Link is a collection of 9 stories of ghosts, spirits, and creatures unnamed, all come to teach lessons we won’t soon forget. From sweet Christmas tales to terrifying holiday hauntings, these stories take a dive into the past in the hopes of creating a better—or at least different—future.
As with anthologies you get a mixed bag of contents. Some stories were great, but some of them were not so great. It’s tough when writing short stories to get enough content and back story to get your reader to connect with the characters and a few of the authors were more successful . It’s hard to rate this because some of the stories deserve a 1 star, while others deserve a 3 or 4. My two favorites were Yesterday’s News and Between the Quiet.
Thank you to #BookSirens for allowing me to read this book. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Our school opened in 2019 and not counting being closed for the pandemic or summer months, we have been open for 10 months total. The checkout numbers may not be considered high to some, but take into account we’ve only been open 10 months.
Graphic novels have become sooo popular over the last few years. In our library, graphic novels only represent 20% of our collection, yet they count for 41% of all our checkouts. A lot of parents are unhappy when their teens only checkout graphic novels, but I call them gateway books. They are fast to read and highly entertaining. Once a person, or a reluctant reader, has learn that a book can be a great source of entertainment they are eventually willing to branch out and read traditional books. A big portion of graphic novels are manga – Japanese graphic novels that are read from back to front, left to right. There are also many classics and popular novels that have been turned into graphic novels. The Hobbit, Anne of Green Gables, Maximum Ride, and the Percy Jackson series to name a few. I finessed this list a bit. If it was a true top 10 there would be 8 My Hero Academia books and 2 others, so I chose to combine all of those into one slot so I could highlight some more really popular books.
#1 – MY HERO ACADEMIA
By far and away, these are our number one checkouts. Hugely popular, we have two sets of these and they are constantly put on hold. The 1st book in the series has been checked out 54 times.
What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks” at age four? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?
Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all, gives him a chance to change his destiny…
#2 – THE TIME MUSEUM
This book has won many awards. The kids really liked this one and couldn’t wait for us to order the sequel. Checked out 35 times.
The internship program at the Time Museum is a little unusual. For one thing, kids as young as twelve get to apply for these prestigious summer jobs. And as for the applicant pool . . . well, these kids come from all over history.
When Delia finds herself working at the Time Museum, the last thing she expects is to be sent on time-traveling adventures with an unlikely gang of kids from across the eons. From a cave-boy to a girl from the distant future, Delia’s team represents nearly all of human history! They’re going to need all their skills for the challenge they’ve got in store . . . defending the Time Museum itself!
#3 – GHOSTS
Raina Telgemeier’s books resonate with many of our readers. This one is a popular re-read. Checked out 33 times.
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake – and her own.
#4 – The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home
A cute cat comic book, this one is constantly being put on hold. Checked out 31 times.
A multiple New York Times Best Seller and two-time winner of the Manga.Ask.Com Awards for Best Children’s Manga, Konami Kanata’s tale of a lost kitten has been acclaimed by readers worldwide as an excellent example of a comic that has truly been accepted by readers of all-ages.
Chi is a mischievous newborn kitten who, while on a leisurely stroll with her family, finds herself lost. Separated from the warmth and protection of her mother, feels distraught. Overcome with loneliness she breaks into tears in a large urban park meadow., when she is suddenly rescued by a young boy named Yohei and his mother. The kitty is then quickly and quietly whisked away into the warm and inviting Yamada family apartment…where pets are strictly not permitted.
#5 – CRUSH
#3 in the Berrybrook Middle School series. I don’t know much about, except I’m always shelving them.Checked out 26 times.
Jorge seems to have it all together. He’s big enough that nobody really messes with him, but he’s also a genuinely sweet guy with a solid, reliable group of friends. The only time he ever really feels off his game is when he crosses paths with a certain girl… But when the group dynamic among the boys starts to shift, will Jorge be able to balance what his friends expect of him versus what he actually wants?
#6 – DRAMA
Another popular Raina Telgemeier book.Checked out 26 times.
Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!
#7 – AWKWARD
#1 in the Berrybrook Middle School series. Checked out 24 times.
Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don’t get noticed by the mean kids.
Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.
On her first day at her new school, Penelope–Peppi–Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she’s already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the “nerder girlfriend.” How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!
Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can’t help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he’s a member of her own club’s archrivals–the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!
#8 – SMILE
Raina Telgemeier wins again! Checked out 24 times.
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, and especially those who have ever had a bit of their own dental drama.
#9 – THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER
The kids always told us how much they liked this book when they brought it back. It is one of our most worn out books. Checked out 22 times.
Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:
Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!
Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.
#10 – NARUTO SERIES
This is another series I am constantly re-shelving. The first 3-in-1 book has been checked out 21 times.
Twelve years ago the Village Hidden in the Leaves was attacked by a fearsome threat. A nine-tailed fox spirit claimed the life of the village leader, the Hokage, and many others. Today, the village is at peace and a troublemaking kid named Naruto is struggling to graduate from Ninja Academy. His goal may be to become the next Hokage, but his true destiny will be much more complicated. The adventure begins now!
After the violent death of her husband, Rebecca Holmes is content leading a quiet life spending time with her sisters and niece. When her younger sister Hannah asks her to plan her wedding, Rebecca discovers her friends and family all think her life is empty. Determined to prove them wrong, Rebecca takes up salsa lessons where she meets the charismatic salsa teacher, Gabriel Rodriguez.
Falling in love is the last thing Rebecca wanted to do, but she is inexplicably drawn to Gabriel. Opening her heart again is terrifying, especially after what happened with her late husband. With the help of the local vicar, Rebecca starts to believe that maybe she deserves a happy ending after all.
Just when she’s decided to give her heart to Gabriel, a betrayal brings back demons from the past. Heartbroken, Rebecca closes herself off again, but when disaster strikes her family, she is forced to confront her past actions. Can there be redemption for her and can she forgive those who betrayed her?
The Calm I Seek is a heartbreaking novel about forgiveness and redemption.
I enjoyed this book. It got off to a bit of a slow start but once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. Rebecca is so hurt and lonely, but she thinks loneliness is the only option for her. She is angry with God, and ultimately with herself. The theme of forgiveness that is woven through the book is especially touching. It can be a lot easier to forgive someone else than to forgive ourselves. As she worked through those feelings, her relationship with herself and others around her began to change – she could feel the peace and love we find when we stop fighting against God. The book was engaging, emotionally satisfying and exactly what I needed at the time.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Sophia is afraid lockdown will put her life on pause – just as she was she was going to put herself out there and meet someone. When the first clap for the keyworkers rings out around her courtyard, she’s moved to tears for all kinds of reasons.
Jack is used to living life to the fullest, and is going stir-crazy after just days isolating. Until that night he hears a woman crying from the balcony beneath his. He strikes up a conversation with the stranger and puts a smile back on her face.
Soon their balcony meetings are the highlight of Jack and Sophia’s days. But even as they grow closer together, they’re always kept apart.
Throughout the first 40% of the book I kept thinking “too soon.” Where I am, we are dealing with skyrocketing cases and currently two of my kids schools, and the school I work at, have been shut down for 2 weeks due to a high number of cases. I kept putting the book down, shaking my head, thinking I just lived this, I don’t want to read about it. But then I would pick it up so I could find out what happened next. But I’m glad I kept going. The pacing is fairly slow the first half (I think that was part of my struggles as well) but then it picks up and gets going. Once that happened I was able to set aside my “too soon” feelings and really enjoy the story. I liked the community that came together through Jack and Sophia’s efforts and how they all learned to appreciate parts of the lockdown. Didn’t we all experience that as well this year? It was a relatable and charming story and I’m glad I stuck with it.
Piper Wyatt’s Christmas wish is to get promoted to manager at Blackstock Hotel and Resort. Not only does the promotion mean more money, but it means more time with her son and proof that she’s not such a disappointment after all.
Jace Petersen, successful owner of a national chain of sporting goods stores, finds himself alone and miserable on what should have been his honeymoon. That is until he literally falls onto the lovely Piper Wyatt. He’s intrigued with this woman who can fix a car in high heels. Too bad for him, he makes a horrible first impression, and Piper’s not allowed to mingle with the guests.
While Piper tries her best to steer clear of Jace during his stay, she can’t help but notice he’s not the man from their first meeting. But is he worth risking her promotion? Or is Jace right, Piper deserves more than she ever thought possible for herself?
Find out in this charming Christmas tale about finding love in the most unexpected place, a honeymoon.
I liked this one and I was immediately drawn into Piper’s world, but I felt like something was missing. I feel the length of the book (147 pages) greatly impacted the character development. Piper was a bit repetitive as she always rehashed “people expected more of me, I’m a mom now, I can’t take chances, etc.” I didn’t feel like there was that much dialog between those two so I couldn’t see why their relationship moved so fast. He never talked about his “left at the alter” situation beyond a few sentences and she never talked about her marriage and divorce beyond a few surface details. You get one tiny paragraph about Jace’s background (job, parents) but I never felt like I knew him.
All of these complaints aside, I really did like the book. Finn was cute, Piper was interesting and I cared whether or not she got the promotion she wanted. If you are looking for happily-ever-after entertainment without delving into nitty, gritty emotions, you will enjoy this book.
I work in the library in a middle school with grades 7-9. Over the next few weeks I will be highlighting the books/series that have been checked out the most by our students. The kids are the best judge of what is popular and what is not!
A little background……
Our school opened in the fall of 2019. Students attended for 7 months before we were shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a new library we are working on growing our collection and currently we have 3,834 books. We organized our library by genre, so kids (and reluctant readers) who gravitate only to certain genre’s would easily be able to find the books they enjoy.
In my opinion it’s the best job I’ve ever had! Stay tuned for the first post….. Graphic Novels!
Dani Kramer used to think growing up in foster homes was the most difficult thing she would ever have to do until all her dreams come true. Married to the love of her life, Dr. Brock Holland, and running a foundation that specializes in finding jobs for kids out of foster care, Dani seems to have it all. What no one knows is that it could all go away tomorrow if anyone finds out about the precious secret she carries.
For Brock Holland, military doctor, life has always been about duty to his career and country. But when he’s captured during a joint allied training mission, thoughts of Dani, his best friend, the woman he’s tried for years not to fall in love with, help him not only survive but reevaluate his priorities. However, when he returns home, he finds Dani is pregnant. In a cruel twist, duty calls again. He must marry Dani to save her from becoming a political pawn in a dangerous game she didn’t know she had signed up to play.
But who will protect Dani’s and Brock’s hearts from each other? Or will they discover their marriage is more than only sharing a last name?
Content warning: This book contains sensitive material related to PTSD, brief military violence, and pregnancy. For more detailed descriptions that include spoiler alerts see the authors blog on her website.
First off, I think the cover is absolutely gorgeous. It caught my eye immediately and just drew me in. This is the 2nd book in a series and while I don’t think reading the first book is a must, I think it would give the reader a better idea of who everyone is and their backstory.
There are things I loved about this book and things I didn’t but it was still worth reading through to the end. I’ve been sitting here for more than 30 minutes trying to figure out my feelings. I loved the marriage of convenience plot and I was glued to the book until I finished. I loved Dani but didn’t like her passiveness when it came to how unhappy she was. I get her background and her feelings of guilt played into that but she just went along with everything and everyone. I wanted her to fight for herself a little harder. There were some other things I just didn’t buy. I didn’t buy the boys devotion to their dad and the fact they couldn’t see how he was orchestrating everything around him. I thought the messiness of the relationships (and boy were they messy and complicated) were too easily and too quickly resolved. Ms Peel did a good job with the emotions surrounding the pregnancy complications. I’ve been there, done that, 6 different times and I thought she handled that well.
I don’t think this book was as good as the first, but I’m still looking forward to reading the third one when it comes out.
I discovered Jennifer Peel’s books during the first weeks of the pandemic when the public libraries closed down. Schools were closed and since I worked in a school, my job was shut down too. I needed books to take my mind off of everything that was happening around me. I signed up for Kindle Unlimited and found this series. I liked the first book and LOVED the second and third. She deals with some pretty tough topics in ways that I thought were realistic and inspiring. I highly recommend this series.
Ms. Peel writes clean romances and she has a way of drawing you in to the story and getting you emotionally involved with her characters and their lives.
On Widow’s Island, the secrets are dark…and everybody has one. So when Deputy Tessa Black responds to a call about an explosion in a quiet neighborhood, she gets more than she bargained for: the body of a teen who went missing weeks ago.
Until recently, Gavin was living in a reputable foster home. But now that he is found dead—Tessa can’t help but wonder if sinister forces are at play. Who would want to hurt him, and why?
With the help of her partner, Park Ranger Logan Wilde, Tessa tries desperately to decipher what happened to Gavin before another life is cut short. Someone on Widow’s Island knows the explosive truth. Will Tessa find the answers she needs before someone else turns up dead?
This book is not a stand alone book. I highly recommend reading the previous 5 before reading this one. In the 6th book of the Widow’s Island series we switch back to Tessa and Logan’s story. We have the usual murder to solve and I was surprised by the resolution of that problem. I didn’t figure out who the murderer was before it was revealed in the book. I really liked how Tessa and Logan’s relationship is played out and portrayed, although I was a little confused that he was consistently her back up. Maybe in his role as a forest ranger it was okay? But I digress. Logan is a companion that grounds Tessa and keeps her going. Dementia is a hard, hard disease. We had my husband’s grandmother with us for one week while arrangements were being made for her care and it was a very difficult week. We didn’t know what to expect from one moment to the next, if she would know us, if she wouldn’t and how she would react. Ms. Leigh did a good job of showing the beginnings of the disease with Tessa’s mom in this book and previous ones. I enjoyed how the book ended.