Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Can't Wait for Wild at Heart

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Wild at Heart (Wild, # 2)

By: KA Tucker

Expected Publication: March 3rd 2020 by K.A. Tucker

400 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From the internationally best-selling author of The Simple Wild comes the continuation of a woman’s journey to Alaska and a life she never imagined for herself.

Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.

But Calla soon learns that even the best intentions can lead to broken promises, and that compromise comes with a hefty price—a log cabin in interior rural Alaska that feels as isolating as the western tundra.

With Jonah gone more than he’s home, one neighbor who insists on transforming her into a true Alaskan, and another who seems more likely to shoot her than come to her aid, Calla grapples with forging her own path. In a world with roaming wildlife that has her constantly watching over her shoulder and harsh conditions that stretch far beyond the cold, dark, winter months, just stepping outside her front door can be daunting.

This is not the future Calla had in mind, leaving her to fear that perhaps she is doomed to follow in her mother’s fleeing footsteps after all.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Edited to add: This one actually released yesterday.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

My Last Ten Book Hangovers

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week's topic is Top Ten Most Frequent Book Hangovers.

Ok so this was kind of hard because I don't always mention book hangovers in my reviews. I often mention them in my Sunday Posts for the weekly wrap up, but it's hard to determine what I was reading prior to that week sometimes. A few of these I specifically stated in my reviews that they caused book hangovers, and a few others I'm just going off how I remember feeling after reading them.

  1. Beach Read by Emily Henry (review coming soon)
  2. A Bad Day for Sunshine (Sunshine Vicram, # 1) by Darynda Jones (review coming soon)
  3. Shadow Knights (Knights of the Realm, # 2) by Jennifer Anne Davis (review coming soon)
  4. All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
  5. Well Met by Jen DeLuca
  6. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
  7. Push by Claire Wallis
  8. Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, # 3) by Robin LaFevers
  9. The Law of Moses (The Law of Moses, # 1) by Amy Harmon
  10. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Which books have caused your book hangovers? Let me know!

Monday, February 17, 2020

The Upside of Falling - Review

The Upside of Falling

By: Alex Light

Expected Publication: February 18th 2020 by HarperTeen

416 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--It’s been years since seventeen-year-old Becca Hart believed in true love. But when her former best friend teases her for not having a boyfriend, Becca impulsively pretends she’s been secretly seeing someone.

Brett Wells has it all. Being captain of the football team and one of the most popular guys in school, he should have no problem finding someone to date, but he’s always been more focused on his future than who to bring to prom. When he overhears Becca’s lie, Brett decides to step in and be her mystery guy. It’s the perfect solution: he gets people off his back for not dating and she can keep up the ruse.

Acting like the perfect couple isn’t easy though, especially when you barely know the other person. But with Becca still picking up the pieces from when her world was blown apart years ago and Brett just barely holding his together now, they begin to realize they have more in common than they ever could have imagined. When the line between real and pretend begins to blur, they are forced to answer the question: is this fake romance the realest thing in either of their lives?

When I started The Upside of Falling, things set off in a completely cliche direction. The bookworm and the quarterback fall in love. But it didn't take long to get hooked into the story and characters.

After Becca's parents divorced, she lost her belief in love. She still enjoys reading romance novels as it's okay for love to exist in fiction. It is fiction after all. But in real life...everyone leaves. And what's worse, Becca has no explanation for why her family fell apart. Her parents never argued. Just one day her Dad left and never came back. Yet she's been watching his house on occasion and knows he's living his life and moving on even though he's not a part of her life anymore. At the same time, Becca's ex-best friend just up and decided a couple of years ago that popularity was more important than Becca. And she never really got an explanation there either.

For Brett, his family has it all. His parents are in love. They're well off. He's captain and quarterback of the football team with intentions to play college ball. Yet even though we might each find ourselves on the hilltop, we will all at some time find ourselves in the valley. And Brett's world is starting to implode.

There were many mirroring situations. Becca's parents' relationship was a mirror of Brett's. And Becca's ability to reconcile with Jenny was a mirror of her inability to reconcile with her father.

On a personal level, reading about the challenges that Brett's parents go through was really difficult and emotional for me. I've discussed before that my family has been touched by infidelity, and so reading through this brought back a lot of old memories and emotions that I truly prefer not to relive. I did feel like there were some pieces of their story that didn't make sense to me. But these things revolved around information that Brett didn't have and therefore the reader also wouldn't have. Those pieces weren't part of the purpose of this book, but I couldn't help but latch onto them.

On the other hand, I was impressed with how well of a job The Upside of Falling did in showing the negative effects of divorce on a child. In today's society, divorce is rampant. And because of that, it is often played off like it's normal and that children are unaffected by, or even happy with, their parents' divorce. But Becca's spent six years struggling with her feelings and questions she doesn't (and never will) have an answer for. Brett feels like his entire world is falling apart and school just isn't quite important in the wake of his family problems.

I also wanted to briefly discuss how frequently books attack sympathy. I feel like I need to do a Mountains Out of Molehills post about this. But briefly, I'll just say that sympathy is not a negative thing. Someone telling you that they're sorry that you're going through a difficult time is not wrong. It's not bad. It's not pity. No, it might not be that person's fault that you're experiencing a difficult situation, but that doesn't mean that they can't be genuinely sad that you're dealing with something difficult. We need more sympathy and empathy and caring among each other, and I really wish authors would stop perpetuating negative thoughts surrounding someone offering sympathy to another human being.

I also struggled with Becca's reaction to her books at the end of the story. She does realize that she'd overreacted. But it almost felt like an attack against book readers which isn't really the right message to send considering your target market (other readers).

There was also another Mountains Out of Molehills moment when Jenny mentions that the entire school assumes she's straight. She goes on to say that she's not sure. But aside from this being completely unnecessary to include given that it furthers the story in no way whatsoever, why would the characters not assume that Jenny was straight given that she's dated guys extensively according to previous information given in the book.

The Upside of Falling ended up being better than I expected it to be. I teared up one time and had to put it down long enough to pull myself together a little. I wish I'd have known that cheating would be a prominent conflict point so I could have prepared myself accordingly--although I likely wouldn't have picked this up had I known this ahead of time. I did have a few Mountains Out of Molehills issues. But overall, I loved the story between Brett and Becca. I'm a sucker for fake relationships that turn real. The Upside of Falling gets 4 Stars. Have you read The Upside of Falling? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 02/16/20

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

The full moon had my kids acting like lunatics this week. Did anyone else experience any craziness? Sunday night we took my mother-in-law out to dinner. That was nice. Monday through Wednesday were normal days. We did get to walk as it wasn't raining during our normal walking time, but it was way too wet to play outside. Thursday my mom came to spend the day with us. She's retired now so I expect we'll be seeing her a lot more. We also had the HVAC people come to do our routine maintenance. Friday, Little Girl had a Valentine's Day party at school. So cute. I said last week that I'd had a stretch of "blah" books, but when I looked back at what I've been reading this year, I think they've been better than I was feeling last week. And that's actually the problem. It's not that I've been reading "blah" books, but I've been battling a book hangover from a really good book is more the problem. Although there is 100% one blah book in there, and I've DNF'd one this week though so that was a bummer.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of The Number of Love (The Codebreakers, # 1) by Roseanna M White (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Favorite Hate to Love Relationships
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Where to Lost Wander by Amy Harmon
Thursday: Review of On Wings of Devotion (The Codebreakers, # 2) by Roseanna M White (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of The Upside of Falling by Alex Light
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to link up for the 2020 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2020 to sing up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

The Opposite of Falling Apart

By: Micah Good

Expected Publication: February 25th 2020 by Wattpad Books

352 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Book Depository )

*Note: The above link to Book Depository is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--After losing his leg in a terrible car accident, Jonas Avery can’t wait to start over and go to college. Brennan Davis would like nothing more than to stay home and go to school, so she can keep her anxiety in check. When the two accidentally meet the summer before they move away, they’ll push each other to come to terms with what’s holding them back, even as they’re pulled closer to taking the biggest leap of all—falling in love. The Opposite of Falling Apart has more than 2.1 million reads on Wattpad.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

On Wings of Devotion - Review

On Wings of Devotion (Codebreakers, # 2)

By: Roseanna M White

Publication: January 7th 2020 by Bethany House Publishers

400 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Adult

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--All of England thinks Phillip Camden a monster--a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But as nurse Arabelle Denler watches the so-dubbed "Black Heart" every day, she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their paths twist together and he declares himself her new protector, she realizes she has her own role to play in his healing.

Phillip Camden would have preferred to die that day with his squadron rather than be recruited to the Admiralty's codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved. What comes as a shock is the reborn desire to truly live that Arabelle inspires in him.

But when an old acquaintance shows up and seems set on using him in a plot that has the codebreakers of Room 40 in a frenzy, new affections are put to the test.

I enjoyed The Number of Love, but it was a little slow to get going for me. The romance was atypical due to a main female character that is so mathematical and logic-focused. So even though I liked it, I wasn't sure I was going to continue the series, but the opportunity to get Camden's story pulled me in. And I'm so glad that I did.

Normally I find myself connecting to the male characters in books a little easier than the female characters. Or maybe the better way to say that is that I find myself more critical of the female characters. Sometimes that's simply the difference of the female typically being the narrator. Regardless, I absolutely loved Ara. She is the exact type of character I love to root for. While I couldn't fathom her agreement to marry without love, I understood her motivation to create a stable family so she wouldn't be alone. What I loved most about her was her continued choice to do the right and good thing despite how it might affect her personally. I appreciated the personal struggles that she worked to overcome. Like Margot, Ara has a strong relationship with God, and she follows the inclinations that He gives her.

Oh Camden. So much that he had to work through. I almost feel like I need to re-read this book now that I know his story. He came from such a dark place. Ara is sure that God is working on Camden--wearing him down and calling him back to Himself. I don't want to say too much because his story is so essential to the twists and turns which would be spoilers to reveal.

Unlike Das Gespenst from The Number of Love, Denzille's story was more interesting. I appreciated that her pieces weren't completely hidden from the reader. It's frustrating enough to jump from the main characters to a side story so at least it was easier to see how she fit into the overall story.

Favorite quotes:

-If you want to be healed, He’d whispered into her heart when she was around Cassandra’s age, then heal others.

-“I don’t think God has much to do with this particular situation.” Jeremy wasn’t fazed. He just turned to watch for whatever auto might appear through the bare-limbed trees lining their drive. “Your ignorance is showing, brother. God has much to do with everything.”

-“Avoid Him as you may, I daresay even you have heard the story in the Gospels of the rich young ruler and how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”“Always found it absurd. If everyone goes about giving away all they have—”“He does not ask everyone to give all they have. But if He does, are we willing? Truly willing?” She shook her head. “Whatever He asks of us, whether it be a fortune or a pittance or our time or our devotion, we can be sure it will be painful. Cutting out what stands between us and God always is. But we can also trust that in the giving, we’ll gain something far more precious.”

-“You know it’s true. You know you need Him.” Blast, but he could drown in those eyes. “I need you.” She shook her head. “Don’t put that responsibility on me. I’ll fail you— people cannot help but fail. Not to mention . . .” She narrowed those eternal eyes at him. “How exactly can you claim you care nothing for matters of faith if they’re part of what you stand here claiming to love about me?”

-“Perhaps you should instead praise Him for using the cruelest of circumstances to achieve the brightest of miracles.”

On Wings of Devotion was more enjoyable in every way than I expected. I found myself wanting to seek out other books written by Roseanna M White which is one of the best compliments I can give On Wings of Devotion. I'm giving this 4 Stars, and I'm excited about the final book in the series to come. Have you read On Wings of Devotion? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Can't Wait for Where the Lost Wander

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Where the Lost Wander

By: Amy Harmon

Expected Publication: April 28th 2020 by Lake Union Publishing

348 pages

Genre: New Adult, Historical Fiction

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--In this epic and haunting love story set on the Oregon Trail, a family and their unlikely protector find their way through peril, uncertainty, and loss.

The Overland Trail, 1853: Naomi May never expected to be widowed at twenty. Eager to leave her grief behind, she sets off with her family for a life out West. On the trail, she forms an instant connection with John Lowry, a half-Pawnee man straddling two worlds and a stranger in both.

But life in a wagon train is fraught with hardship, fear, and death. Even as John and Naomi are drawn to each other, the trials of the journey and their disparate pasts work to keep them apart. John’s heritage gains them safe passage through hostile territory only to come between them as they seek to build a life together.

When a horrific tragedy strikes, decimating Naomi’s family and separating her from John, the promises they made are all they have left. Ripped apart, they can’t turn back, they can’t go on, and they can’t let go. Both will have to make terrible sacrifices to find each other, save each other, and eventually…make peace with who they are.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Favorite Hate to Love Relationships

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week's topic is Top Ten Love Freebie. I chose Hate to Love Relationships.
  1. Katy & Daemon - Lux series by Jennifer L Armentrout
  2. Duval & Ismae - Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
  3. Warner & Juliette - Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  4. Jonah & Calla - The Simple Wild by KA Tucker
  5. Dexter & Reid - Shadow Knights (Knights of the Realm, # 2) by Jennifer Anne Davis - Wishful thinking because we haven't gotten to love yet.
  6. Aria & Perry - Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  7. Margaret & Gregory - Promised by Leah Garriott
  8. Sunshine & Levi - A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones - Again wishful thinking here since we haven't gotten far enough to determine if there will be a love come from this hate relationship.
  9. Sidney & Asher - Meet Me at Midnight by Jessica Pennington
  10. Alex & Laura - A Convenient Fiction by Mimi Matthews
  11. Quinn & Grayson - How to Speak Boy by Tiana Smith
  12. Jack & Pepper - Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
  13. Emily & Simon - Well Met by Jen DeLuca
  14. Alex & Brittany - Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
  15. Maggie & Caleb - Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
  16. Noah & Echo - Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
  17. Gus & January - Beach Read by Emily Henry

Which books are on your favorite hate to love relationship lists? Let me know!

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Number of Love - Review

The Number of Love (Codebreakers, # 1)

By: Roseanna M. White

Publication: June 4th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

400 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy that just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the too-intelligent Margot, but how to convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amidst biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them, but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save them all from the very secrets that brought them together.

I requested The Number of Love on a whim. I liked the description, but I'm not typically big into spy books or this time period. But something about it drew me in. I ended up putting off reading it because of this. But I'm glad that I ended up reading it when I did.

Sometimes I struggle with characters and people who base so much of their beliefs on science. But I suppose I've never encountered a character that did the same with math. And you know what? I actually ended up liking Margot because of her relationship with math. I also appreciated her relationship with God which involved math as well. It's just how she thinks and processes information.

I loved Drake as well. His understanding of Margot and how her brain works was the most endearing trait. The side characters were bright and complex. I appreciated each one and what they each brought to the story.

I certainly didn't predict each piece of this story which is a good thing. The Number of Love does have a love story, but it took a while to get going and I often thought that piece wasn't the focus of the story. The Number of Love gets 4 Stars even if I don't feel like my review is showing off it's merits as well as I'd like. I enjoyed the romance and the unique way Margot sees the world. Have you read The Number of Love? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 02/09/20

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Finally a normal week with very little to report. We did get outside Monday and Tuesday, and those were lovely days. By Wednesday the rain was back with a vengeance, and on Thursday we had tornado watches. Thankfully there were no tornadoes near us and I was able to go to the chiropractor while Grammy stayed with the kids for a bit. I'm in a little reading slump. I'm not to the point where I'm not reading at all, but I have had a stretch of books that were just "meh" and "okay." I'd much prefer a stretch of great books. Oh well, they can't all be winners.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Promised by Leah Garriott (4.5 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Love's Mountain Quest (Heart of Montana, # 2) by Misty M Beller
Thursday: Review of The Winter Companion (Parish Orphans of Devon, # 4) by Mimi Matthews (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of The Number of Love (The Codebreakers, # 1) by Roseanna M White
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Thursday: Review of On Wings of Devotion (The Codebreakers, # 2) by Roseanna M White

Don’t forget to link up for the 2020 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2020 to sing up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

In Five Years

By: Rebecca Serle

Expected Publication: March 10th 2020 by Atria Books

272 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Perfect for fans of Me Before You and One Day—a striking, powerful, and moving love story following an ambitious lawyer who experiences an astonishing vision that could change her life forever.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

Four Days of You and Me

By: Miranda Kenneally

Expected Publication: May 5th 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire

352 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A new swoon-worthy romance following a couple's love story on the same date over four years.

Every May 7, the students at Coffee County High School take a class trip. And every year, Lulu’s relationship with Alex Rouvelis gets a little more complicated. Freshman year, they went from sworn enemies to more than friends after a close encounter in an escape room. It’s been hard for Lulu to quit Alex ever since.

Through breakups, make ups, and dating other people, each year’s class trip brings the pair back together and forces them to confront their undeniable connection. From the science museum to an amusement park, from New York City to London, Lulu learns one thing is for sure: love is the biggest trip of all.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Winter Companion - Review

The Winter Companion (Parish Orphans of Devon, # 4)

By: Mimi Matthews

Expected Publication: February 11th 2020 by Perfectly Proper Press

? pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A winter reunion for the orphans brings romance for Neville Cross in Book 4 of Mimi Matthews' USA Today bestselling Parish Orphans of Devon series.

She Needed to be Seen...

As a lady’s companion, Clara Hartwright never receives much attention from anyone. And that’s precisely how she likes it. With a stormy past, and an unconventional plan for her future, it’s far safer to remain invisible. But when her new employer is invited to a month-long holiday at a remote coastal abbey, Clara discovers that she may not be as invisible as she'd hoped. At least, not as far as one gentleman is concerned.

He Wanted to be Heard...

Neville Cross has always been more comfortable with animals than people. An accident in his youth has left him with a brain injury that affects his speech. Forming the words to speak to his childhood friends is difficult enough. Finding the right things to say to a lovely young lady’s companion seems downright impossible. But Miss Hartwright is no ordinary companion. In fact, there may not be anything ordinary about her at all.

During a bleak Devon winter, two sensitive souls forge an unexpected friendship. But when Clara needs him most, will Neville find the courage to face his fears? Or is saying goodbye to her the most heroic thing he can do?

I wasn't sure what direction Mimi Matthews would go in The Winter Companion. I liked Neville's character what little we see of him in the prior books of the series. I almost felt protective of him in a weird way. So I found myself nervous about his story. Yet it was just right for him.

Neville was injured in a fall and near-drowning incident when he was a child. The resulting head injury affected his speech most of all. While he could still speak, long sentences are difficult and interacting with strangers is partially flustering to him. I just loved his character so much. He's a gentle giant. Strong and large physically, but tender and caring emotionally. Every decision Mimi Matthews made in regards to him made sense to me.

*Side note: I hate that we live in a world where an author of a fictional story has to write a note at the end explaining that all people who have injuries or disabilities respond differently and apologize to some who she might have offended with the language used by the character or about the character. This just makes me sad. But I suppose I understand why she would write this note. I certainly don't fault her for it because I assume she will still end up receiving negative feedback from someone out there concerning this exact thing.

Clara is the perfect compliment to Neville. She is sweet and gentle herself. And I admire her desire to learn, her work ethic to help herself and her brother, as well as the things she's gone through. There was a point in my life when I couldn't have understood how someone could get you to question an experience you went through together, but I have experienced enough to know that this can 100% happen. And I felt for her to not feel confident in how she was reading a given situation.

Mimi Matthews doesn't always shy away from physical relationships with her characters even though she isn't exactly descriptive of physical scenes. But The Winter Companion was about as tame as they come. Yet this was totally in line with the characters and not at all a complaint on my end.

I'm excited to see more come from this world as she mentions wrapping up some loose ends with Teddy and potentially following the children of the 4 orphans in the future. At this point, I feel certain that I will check out all of Mimi Matthews's future work.

Favorite quotes:

-one’s infirmities weren’t any easier to tolerate simply because some other poor chap had it worse.

-Words only had value if they were honest and true.

The Winter Companion was a perfect wrap to this series as Neville and Clara couldn't have been more deserving of each other and this happily ever after. The Winter Companion gets 4 Stars. I can't wait to read more by Mimi Matthews. Have you read The Winter Companion? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Can't Wait for Love's Mountain Quest

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Love's Mountain Quest (Hearts of Montana, # 2)

By: Misty M Beller

Expected Publication: June 30th 2020 by Bethany House Publishers

336 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Young widow Joanna Watson is struggling to make a new home for her five-year-old son, Samuel, in the little mountain town of Settler's Fort. When she returns home from work to find Samuel and the woman watching him missing, with no lawman in town, she enlists a man she prays has enough experience in this rugged country to help.

Isaac Bowen wants nothing more than a quiet, invisible life in these mountains, far away from the bad decisions of his past. But he has a strong suspicion of who's behind the kidnapping, and if he's right, he knows all too well the evil they're chasing.

As they press on against the elements, Joanna fights to hold on to hope, while Isaac knows a reckoning is coming. They find encouragement in the tentative trust that grows between them, but whether it can withstand the danger and coming confrontation is far from certain in this wild, unpredictable land.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Promised - Review

Promised

By: Leah Garriott

Expected Publication: February 18th 2020 by Shadow Mountain

368 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Margaret Brinton keeps her promises, and the one she is most determined to keep is the promise to protect her heart.

Warwickshire, England, 1812

Fooled by love once before, Margaret vows never to be played the fool again. To keep her vow, she attends a notorious matchmaking party intent on securing the perfect marital match: a union of convenience to someone who could never affect her heart. She discovers a man who exceeds all her hopes in the handsome and obliging rake Mr. Northam.

There’s only one problem. His meddling cousin, Lord Williams, won’t leave Margaret alone. Condescending and high-handed, Lord Williams lectures and insults her. When she refuses to give heed to his counsel, he single-handedly ruins Margaret’s chances for making a good match—to his cousin or anyone else. With no reason to remain at the party, Margaret returns home to discover her father has promised her hand in marriage—to Lord Williams.

Under no condition will Margaret consent to marrying such an odious man. Yet as Lord Williams inserts himself into her everyday life, interrupting her family games and following her on morning walks, winning the good opinion of her siblings and proving himself intelligent and even kind, Margaret is forced to realize that Lord Williams is exactly the type of man she’d hoped to marry before she’d learned how much love hurt. When paths diverge and her time with Lord Williams ends, Margaret is faced with her ultimate choice: keep the promises that protect her or break free of them for one more chance at love. Either way, she fears her heart will lose.

Promised is absolutely everything I need in a book. I mean I'm not sure this book could have been much better for me.

I could relate to Margaret deeply. I've been burned in my past and I had to question if opening my heart again was worth it. I found her choice of men to focus on a bit confusing. I mean her previous fiance Edward had a mistress which was the cause of her breaking their engagement. So she sets her sights on someone else who will certainly have a mistress as well simply because she knows to expect it from him and therefore won't be caught off guard by his betrayal? I find that a little hard to believe. But I didn't want to question it too deeply because I was enjoying the rest of the story so much.

Margaret is honest to a fault. She rarely hides what she is feeling for the sake of decorum when she can speak plainly and ensure she is not misunderstood. Despite her frank manner, she seems to be regularly pursued by not one but at least two men who ignore her adamant refusal.

I loved how each piece of the story between Margaret and Gregory played out. From the way Margaret immediately dismisses Gregory due to her initial twinge upon meeting him. I want to mention each individual little thing that I appreciated connecting each piece of the puzzle together, but those pieces are spoilers.

I have to give Gregory props for his continued pursuit of Margaret after being repeatedly turned down in often a very harsh manner. He could, as Margaret criticized, at times be arrogant. But I didn't mind it so much.

The banter between these two was perfect. Readers who particularly enjoy hate-to-love relationships will eat Promised up. I know I did.

Promised was so good I stayed up late reading which I just don't do anymore since having kids. That's one of my top signs of showing how much I'm enjoying a book. Margaret was so easy to like and her journey is not easy. The side characters all pop off the page no matter how short of a role they may have had to play in the overall story. And the hate-to-love banter and flirting was so good. Promised gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read Promised? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - 02/02/20

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

On the one hand, I can't believe it's already February. On the other hand, didn't January seem extra long this year? Finally, a normal and uneventful week. We've not done anything out of the ordinary for the most part. Tuesday I was able to take the kids for a walk, but we had to wait for the temperature to heat up that it was later in the day and we weren't able to follow it up with playing outside. Thursday, we did get to walk and play outside. As I was pushing the kids on our swing (which is hanging from a tree in our backyard), an old, dead limb fell from higher up and almost impaled my children. That was probably the most terrified I've been as a mom so far. Thankfully, neither of them were hurt. Friday night we took my Mom out to dinner for her birthday.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn (4 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Colors of Truth (Carnton, # 2) by Tamera Alexander
Thursday: Review of A Convenient Fiction (Parish Orphans of Devon, # 3) by Mimi Matthews (4 Stars)
Friday: January 2020 EOM Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Promised by Leah Garriott
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Thursday: Review of The Winter Companion (Parish Orphans of Devon, # 4) by Mimi Matthews

Don’t forget to link up for the 2020 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2020 to sing up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Selah (The Sugar Baron's Daughter, # 3)

By: Lisa T Bergren

Expected Publication: March 3rd 2020 by Bethany House Publishers

352 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Selah Banning has come of age on the West Indies island of Nevis, shaped by experiences far beyond the typical upbringing of a young British lady in 1777. She never anticipated that the most tumultuous time of her life might await her in the year ahead.

Jedediah Reed, a young Methodist preacher with a call to serve the slaves of Nevis, has settled at Selah's family's plantation, the Double T. As Selah's heart is drawn to the same people, their shared purpose brings them together--despite her guardians' concern with a romance that promises little security for the future.

As Jedediah's faith and Selah's abolitionist leanings lead to changes on the plantation, the Revolutionary War continues to build in the States. With the threat of starvation and the conflict with island mogul Angus Shubert growing ever stronger, the future of the Double T and its people hangs in the balance.

The Runaway Bride (The Bride Ships, # 2)

By: Jody Hedlund

Expected Publication: March 3rd 2020 by Bethany House Publishers

384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Wealthy Arabella Lawrence flees to British Columbia on a bride ship still wearing the scars of past mistakes. One of the few single women in the boomtown, she immediately has suitors, but she is determined not to find herself trapped again by a poor choice.

Vying for her hand are two very different men. Lieutenant Richard Drummond is a gentleman in the Navy and is held in high esteem. Peter Kelly is the town's baker and has worked hard to build a thriving business. He and Drummond not only compete for Arabella's affections, but clash over their views of how the natives should be treated in the midst of a smallpox outbreak.

As Arabella begins to overcome her fears, she discovers someone in dire need—a starving girl abandoned by her tribe. Intent on helping the girl, Arabella leans on Peter's advice and guidance. Will she have the wisdom to make the right decision or will seeking what's right cost both her and Peter everything?

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!