Thursday, November 15, 2018

A Christmas By The Sea by Melody Carlson

Book review of A Christmas By The Sea by Melody Carlson (Revell) by papertapepins

Wendy couldn't believe she was standing here discussing toilets with a perfect stranger. Not
that he was perfect--although he 
was rather attractive. But he was obviously enjoying her discomfort a bit too much.

He eased the bulky box from the shelf and onto the floor, leaning it against his leg. "So . . . you're new in town?"

"Not exactly." She watched as he easily picked up the container. Was he trying to be friendly or actually hitting on her?

When Wendy Harper inherits her family's beachside cottage in Seaside, Maine, she sees it as a way to finally pay off the debts that have mounted since her husband died. Her twelve-year-old son Jackson sees it as an exciting new start in a life that has grown rather gray without his father.

Before it can be sold, the neglected property must be renovated. Wendy and Jackson move in--temporarily, she reminds him--in order to fix the place up before Christmas. But the charming town, along with local craftsman Caleb Colton, pulls on Wendy. She knows that the most responsible thing to do is to sell the cottage and return to Ohio, but the lure of the sea--and a fresh start--is hard to resist.

Wendy moves to Seaside, Maine, to fix up the cottage she's inherited and hopefully get her feet back under her. She has a 12 year old son, who is not doing well since his father died, and he's super excited by the prospect of moving there. He doesn't know that it's supposed to be temporary, and Wendy doesn't get around to really telling him, although it is, of course, a big emotional problem in the story. The setting sounds lovely, the plot is sweet, and the story is quite light and fluffy. I found myself wishing for more substance in this cute little book.

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


  1. Melody Carlson

    Melody Carlson

    Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over 200 books with sales of more than 7 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the...
    Continue reading about Melody Carlson

Monday, November 5, 2018

One Thing I Know by Kara Isaac

Book review of One Thing I Know by Kara Isaac (Howard Books) by papertapepins

She has the whole world fooled. But the one man who just may see through her holds not only the key to her success, but also her heart…

Rachel Somers is America’s #1 relationship coach—America just doesn’t know it. Rachel writes the books, but her Aunt Donna plays the face of the operation. Living in fear of their secret being exposed, Rachel has no choice but to keep up the charade or lose the big money required to care for her father. With the deadline for their next book closing in, Rachel finds herself out of inspiration and running out of time. The last thing she needs is her aunt and publicist concocting a harebrained scheme to join forces with some radio star in the hope it will help deliver the elusive next book idea.

Lucas Grant is a star of late night radio—though it’s come with an unexpected price of hoards of women who keep calling his sports show to ask him for relationship advice. They make his ratings look great, but they also mean he has to waste hours talking to people like Dr. Donna Somerville about feelings instead of his first love: football. When a big-time producer calls, it looks like his hard work is about to pay off. But the offer comes with a catch—the producer is convinced Dr. Donna is not what she seems and he wants Lucas to discover her secret. To do that, he needs to win over her tight-lipped assistant who holds the key to his success and—he begins to suspect—his heart. Can love find a way through the lies that force them apart?

I've been intrigued by a couple of Kara Isaac books before and I finally took the leap with this one. It wasn't as I expected, but that's not all bad. It's an interesting premise with a cast full of colourful characters - at times in the beginning it's difficult to keep them straight. There's more depth to this story than one would think at first glance, but that does contribute to a slower pace and a lot more introspection and discussion than I'm used to.

I enjoyed it, but I can't say I loved it. Personally I thought they missed quite a few chances for some humor that would have lightened it up a notch, or throw in some action now and again, but that's probably just me. Just be warned, this isn't a light read, but I did appreciate the author's light touch in the romance department. Definitely a clean read, thank you for that.

Kara Isaac

Kara Isaac is the RITA® Award-winning writer of five novels. She lives in New Zealand (yes, it’s really as beautiful as it looks in the movies!) where she spends her time chasing three small people, writing horribly bad first drafts, and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in the South Pacific. Find out more at

Friday, November 2, 2018

A Sparkle Of Silver by Liz Johnson

Book review of A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson (Revell) by papertapepins

Uncovering the past can lead to an unexpected future . . . 

Millie Sullivan plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of a palatial estate on the shore of St. Simons Island, Georgia, where her great-grandmother was a real guest ninety years ago. When Millie learns of a lost diary that may contain the location of a hidden treasure on the estate and reveal the identity of her great-grandfather, she sets out to find the truth of her heritage--and the fortune she desperately needs. But it won't be easy.

When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate's private library, he threatens to have her fired. Still, her story seems too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up.

A Sparkle of Silver is a treasure hunt through time, looking in the present for the lost journals and a map of some kind to a decades old lost treasure, and also a romp through the past via the journal of Millie's great grandmother. I did find this book a little difficult to get into, and I didn't immediately connect with the characters of Millie and Ben. As the story went along, I came around and enjoyed it more and more, but the first third or so of the story was a bit slow and a little whiny. I enjoyed both the story that played out in the journals and the present day, probably more so the journals, but I did find it sometimes annoying to flip back and forth - it felt somewhat disconnected, like two different books. 

I wish I could say a lot of great things about this story because Liz Johnson is one of my favourite authors, but this one was just ok for me. However, if you're a Georgia history buff read this one for sure.

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


  1. Liz Johnson

    Liz Johnson

    Liz Johnson is the author of more than a dozen novels, including A Sparkle of SilverThe Red Door InnWhere Two Hearts Meet, and On Love's Gentle Shore, as well as New York Times bestselling novella and a handful...
    Continue reading about Liz Johnson

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