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Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy New Year 2018

Kelly Bridgewater

Wow!

It is really time to say hello to  2018?

Where did 2017 go?

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It was a very stressful year. There were many moments I didn't think I would make it through 2017. There were many trying moments for my immediate family. I pray that 2018 goes a lot better.

Lord,

I pray for everyone who reads this blog. Allow me to show your love to everyone. Allow me to bring my readers into great new books and maybe even draw me closer to finishing my books.










I pray that 2018 brings many moments for memories and also brings many different obstacles that bring me closer to God.

I, personally, want to finish my books and grow ever closer to you, Lord as I spend more time in yor Word and fellowship with my church.

Amen.

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I hope you enter 2018 with a wonderful feeling in your heart and a positive lookout to what the year will bring.

I hope to see you more in 2018.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christy Barritt: The Baby Assignment



By Kelly Bridgewater

Tasked with figuring out who left a baby girl at the Houston FBI office, Special Agent Tanner Wilson has only one hint--his ex-girlfriend's name written on a scrap of paper. But child psychologist Macy Mills doesn't recognize little Addie, and someone's dead set on abducting her . . .  even if it costs Tanner's and Macy's lives. And with Addie and Macy as targets, Tanner's new mission is to protect them both--at the risk of his own life and heart. Macy will do anything to help him find who's after Addie, and make amends for her past mistakes. But for their reunion to become a second chance at love, they must find a way to survive the danger threatening to tear them apart.

From Amazon






My Thoughts:

The Baby Assignment by Christy Barritt is a short novella from Harlequin. The romantic suspense novel is a quick read with non-stop thrills. From the first moment Special Agent Tanner Wilson arrives on the scene, he makes a huge splash, causing the world of Macy Mills to turn upside down. The romance and the suspense is formulaic, but Barritt does a great job at creating interesting types of suspense twists that keep me turning the pages. The romance heats up the moment Tanner and Macy meet each other again. I really enjoyed the novel especially because Barritt does a great job at creating original stories. Overall, I finished The Baby Assignment really quickly, but I enjoyed spending time with Tanner and Macy and watching them fight for each other and the baby.

I received a complimentary copy of The Baby Assignment by Christy Barritt from Christy Barritt, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Monday, December 25, 2017

Robin Lee Hatcher: You're Gonna Love Me



By Kelly Bridgewater

Who knew fate could twist a tragedy into a second chance at love?

Samantha Winters lives her life the way a good accountant should—measured, deliberate, and safe. 

After watching her father die in a tragic skiing accident, she decided never to allow risk into her life again. But she didn’t count on falling for Nick Chastain, who embodies everything she doesn’t want in her safely constructed world.

Against Samantha’s warnings, Nick plans a dangerous kayaking trip over spring break. Furious that he’s so careless with his life, she ends their fledgling relationship with harsh words.
Two years later, Samantha is desperately in need of a change. When she learns her grandmother has had an accident and is in need of a caretaker, Samantha quickly packs her bags and heads to Thunder Creek, Idaho. But nothing could prepare her for the surprise awaiting her in her grandmother’s hospital room . . . Nick.

With the charming backdrop of small-town friends, beloved cousins, and a whole church congregation rooting for them, can they set aside the disastrous ending of their first try at love? Has Nick changed enough to meet Samantha in the middle—and can she realize that a risk in love might be worth taking?

From Amazon


My Thoughts:

You're Gonna Love Me by Robin Lee Hatcher has a gorgeous cover that gripped my attention. I love how the woman is totally focused on the man in the picture, and he leans in capture her gaze. This drew me into the story right away. As for the novel, I knew it was a contemporary romance, so I knew what I was expecting when I picked up the book. I knew I was going to get a quick romance with a lot to tension thrown at the couple as they decide if they want to be together over everything else fighting for their attention.

With predictable plot, I knew that Sam and Nick would end up together. But I think the fun part of some contemporary romances is trying to figure out what conflicts keep them apart and why. What does it take for the couple to decide that they were completely right for each other? This time around with You're Gonna Love Me I had a hard time enjoying the novel. I knew where the novel was headed, so I got bored. Sam and Nick seemed very one-dimensional to me. I really didn't care what happened to either one of them. There story wasn't that interesting.

While I enjoyed returning to the small town of Thunder Creek and seeing Derek and Brooke from the first novel in this series, You'll Think of Me, and how much their marriage and life has changed since the first book, I wasn't drawn into Sam and Nick's stories as much. I enjoying watching the world around them interact with the couple. I love the old house that Nick bought, but I knew that it was a home that he bought with Sam and a future family in mind.

Overall, You're Gonna Love Me by Robin Lee Hatcher is a predictable, unoriginal novel that does return to Thunder Creek, Idaho, but I had a hard time getting engrossed in the novel and the couple. They didn't seem realistic enough for me. I wanted more from the story.

I received a complimentary copy of You're Gonna Love Me by Robin Lee Hatcher from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas!

By Kelly Bridgewater

Merry Christmas!

As we draw closer to my favorite holiday of the year, I want to wish you, personally, a Merry Christmas! I really look forward to the Christmas Eve service at our church, and I love celebrating Jesus Christ's ultimate beginning to his sacrifice. This time of year, it is a lot easier for me to talk to others about Jesus.

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I thank you for sharing these weeks and months reading my thoughts on books, Bible scripture, and writing advice, whenever I have something important to say. It means a lot to me to see you here.


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Have a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Cara Putnam: Imperfect Justice



By Kelly Bridgewater

The police say the woman was a murderer. Emilie Wesley knows they can’t be talking about her client . . . can they?

To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.

Reid Billings thought he knew his sister—right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but 
Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.

Thrown together in the race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl—and find a future for themselves in the process?

From Amazon



My Thoughts:

Imperfect Justice by Cara Putnam is a great mixture of suspense, romance, and a legal thriller to keep a number of unique and different fans happy. She didn't compose this novel to fit into one tiny little genre. It fits across a number of them. I enjoy stories that feature strong women who are seeking justice for other characters and for themselves.

The writing is clear and concise. I had no problem figuring out what Emilie's issues were. Putnam does a great job at dragging me into her personal and professional life and allowing me to travel with her as she struggles through her cases. Putnam does a great job at bringing me into the setting. Living in Indiana like Putnam, it was nice to see a familiar sports team like the Colts mentioned.

The romance was sprinkled into the story between Emilie and Reid Billings. It was not overwhelming or take over the story. Emilie and Reid's romance was slow going, but Putnam allowed them to actually explore their feelings like a real-life couple would. I didn't gag or flip through the pages while the romance was going on.

The plot with hunting for resolution for Kaylene and her daughters was exciting and kept me flipping the pages. I really enjoyed how Putnam told the story of seeking justice without really smacking upside the head with a resolution that I was told. The characters of Emilie and Reid worked really well together to solve the mystery.  I enjoyed spending time with the plot and was fascinated as the story moved along. If I wasn't so busy, I would have jumped in and finished the story quickly.

Overall, Imperfect Justice is a unique story that mixes well with the romance and the suspense. I wanted to know and hoped that Kaylene would get her deserved justice by the end of the novel.

I received a complimentary copy of Imperfect Justice by Cara Putnam from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Ratings: 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, December 15, 2017

Favorite Books of 2017



By Kelly Bridgewater

Well, another year is behind us. To be honest, where did it go? One minute, it was New Year's Eve, then we hit Memorial Day, then it was zooming past Halloween. Most of this year was a blur, but I did read some pretty amazing books.

If you click on the book titles, they should take you to my reviews of each book. I hope you agree, or if you haven't gotten around to reading them, maybe you can add them to your TBR pile.
(All pictures come from Amazon unless otherwise noted!)


 









 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 




How about you? Where any of these your favorite books this year? Did you find something new to read for your TBR pile?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Julie Klassen: The Ladies of Ivy Cottage



By Kelly Bridgewater

Return to Ivy Hill in The Ladies of Ivy Cottage as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold.

Living with the two Miss Groves in Ivy Cottage, impoverished gentlewoman Rachel Ashford is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. When the village women encourage her to open a subscription library with the many books she has inherited or acquired through donations, Rachel discovers two mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but will both find more than they bargained for?

Rachel's friend and hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and fills her days managing her girls' school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what--or who--has captured each man's attention? The truth may surprise them all.

Meanwhile, life has improved at the coaching inn and Jane Bell is ready to put grief behind her. Now if only the man she misses would return--but where is he?

As the women of Ivy Hill search for answers about the past and hope for the future, might they find love along the way?

From Amazon


My Thoughts:

When I think of Regency romance, I think Julie Klassen and Sarah E. Ladd. Both authors capture the essence of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters when they compose a novel. I was introduced to Klassen's writing with The Secret of Pembroke Hall, which I enjoyed. I loved the mystery surrounding the house. As for her newest addition to her first series, The Ladies of Ivy Hall, the story lagged in the beginning, but then picked up pace as the novel moved along.

The top aspect of Klassen's writing is her ability to create the world for her characters. She does a great job at describing and staying true to her settings. I have no problem visualizing the settings with her characters and traveling with them as they move around. I can see the houses and the inn. The story becomes alive with her setting.

The characters shine in their different settings. I really liked seeing more of Rachel in this edition. She became front and center as one of the main characters, and it was nice seeing develop a library that would give her a way to provide for herself. Mercy was a character that shined in this story too. We learned more about her family and her situation that Klassen made hard for her to survive. Again, we return to the story of Jane, but Klassen draws her closer to a happy ending, but rips the rug right out from under her. I really don't see any transformation of the three main women. A couple of the men change, but the women don't really.

The plot lagged in the beginning. I thought that I would be giving a bad review because I couldn't stay focused on the plot. The story is just the characters moving around and doing things, but no real conflict. Then the story picks up around sixty percent where the conflict comes one after another. Once majority of the conflict is solved, than Klassen throws in hopeful resolutions for each woman. I wanted more with the plot.

The spiritual element isn't really there either. I didn't know what the novel's theme was. The characters attended church, but nothing really spiritual about any of them.

Overall, The Ladies of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen features a wonderful world brought to life with vibrant characters who begged me to stay and learn more about them, but the plot of their story didn't really capture my attention until almost the end.

I received a complimentary copy of The Ladies of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars