Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Duel for Christmas


After seven long years in Devon, Lady Maud Worlington returns to London to reclaim life on her own terms, but a nefarious shadow and the prospect of financial ruin dog her steps. An impulsive and unforgettable kiss under the mistletoe creates a connection with Geoffrey, the handsome, young Duke of Tilbury. Yet as pleasant as it is to have a suitor, Maud is not sure how a boy of one-and-twenty can prove an equal partner in life and the equal of all the forces mounted against her.

The Duke of Tilbury considers himself as adept at managing matters as he is at swordplay, but his beautiful new acquaintance Lady Worlington has other ideas about how to manage her complicated life. Intrigued by their stolen kiss, Geoffrey pursues Lady Worlington’s affections, only to be foiled by the lady’s own doubts, by rivals for her hand, and by a sudden death that affects both their families. When Jacob Pevensey, the investigator from Bow Street enters the scene, the duke becomes a prime suspect in the murder case. Truths are unearthed that Geoffrey would rather keep hidden, and the twelve days of Christmas race toward a perilous end.

My thoughts:
First off, isn't this cover gorgeous?! The book is every bit as delightful as the cover. This is the first Pevensey story that I have read, and I enjoyed getting to know him a bit as well as the main characters. It takes a while for the stage to be set for the mystery, so it almost felt like the series shouldn't of been named for Jacob, but then he enters the scene. I enjoyed Rosanne's writing style and how this book is a delightful taste of Christmas in the 1800's. I look forward to reading more of her books!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

Purchase a copy:


About the Author:
Rosanne E. Lortz is a writer, editor, teacher, history-lover, and mom to four boys. She loves to read, sing, draw, compose, write, and create. Education is one of her passions, particularly a classical, liberal arts education. She has taught English composition and grammar, Latin, history, music, and various other subjects for ten years at both the elementary and secondary level and is currently the Director of Academics and Admissions at Paideia Classical Christian School in Gladstone, Oregon.

Rosanne’s first book, I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince, released in 2009. This book explores the tumultuous landscape surrounding the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death and is a tale of arms, of death, of love, and of honor. In 2015, Rosanne began her Pevensey mysteries, novels of romantic suspense set during the British Regency (with inspiration from medieval characters and events). The first three titles are: To Wed an Heiress, The Duke’s Last Hunt, and A Duel for Christmas.

Guest post from the Author:
The year is 1120. The place is the English Channel. A ship puts off from the French port. The passengers have been drinking, far too heavily. A submerged rock shatters the hull of the ship. The vessel goes down into the watery depths, and with it the heir to the English throne.
This incident from Medieval history was the inspiration for my Regency novel, A Duel for Christmas. Set in the early 1800s, the novel has a dash of suspense, a few tablespoons of murder mystery, and a heaping cup of sweet romance all blended together to make the perfect holiday read.
Lady Maud Worlington has just returned to London, determined to reclaim life on her own terms, but when an impulsive and unforgettable kiss creates a connection with Geoffrey, the Duke of Tilbury, she must decide if he can prove an equal partner in life and the equal of all the forces mounted against her. A watery death, financial ruin, and a nefarious shadow from the past dog their steps as the Twelve Days of Christmas race toward a perilous end.

For a complete list of blog stops, visit the tour page here.

Giveaway!
The grand prize is a $25 gift card to Amazon! Please go here to enter.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Zoe's Hiding Place


This beautifully illustrated book invites children to remember that the Lord is near when they are anxious. Zoe, a fearful mouse, is worried about a class trip. As she talks with her parents, Zoe realizes that she can turn to God for help. Papa Mouse gives her a verse from the “Great Book” that she can read when she is afraid. She learns that she can tell God all about her fears, and he will comfort her. Also included is a tear-out page of “Back Pocket Bible Verses” that will give children a practical way to remember God’s words when they are afraid.
A new series of hardback, illustrated children’s books for three-to eight-year-olds—each centered on an animal family—bring gospel help and biblical counsel to families. The animal characters, colorful illustrations, and the real-life issues each animal family face will captivate children. The first three books address anxiety, anger, and failure bringing biblical help and hope to issues every child faces. The last page of each book contains information for parents on how God, in his Word, helps children apply biblical truth to specific issues. Together children and parents will be guided by the stories into meaningful conversations about living by faith in the details of everyday life.

My thoughts: The third book in Good News for Little Hearts talks to kids about how to deal with anxiety. I like how this book not only addresses it, but also helps give kids practical tools on how to face what they are anxious about and help them overcome their fears. These books have been wonderful for my children and I to read through, since they enjoy the stories and illustrations, and they work as great conversation starters on talking about emotions. I highly recommend this series!
I received this book from the publisher. This is my honest review.

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Jax's Tail Twitches


Everyone gets frustrated when something important to them goes wrong. In Jax’s Tail Twitches, the whole Squirrel family ends up out of sorts when acorn gathering doesn’t go according to plan. Although Papa, Mama, Jax, and Caspian Squirrel all get angry, they also learn about the power of saying sorry, seeking forgiveness, remembering God’s words, and praying together. Edited by David Powlison, Jax’s Tail Twitches ends with a special section that guides parents in teaching children how the gospel of Jesus Christ changes how we respond when life goes wrong. Also included is a tear-out page of Back Pocket Bible Verses that will help children and adults remember to turn to God for help when they are angry.
A new series of hardback, illustrated children’s books for three-to eight-year-olds—each centered on an animal family—bring gospel help and biblical counsel to families. The animal characters, colorful illustrations, and the real-life issues each animal family face will captivate children. The first three books address anxiety, anger, and failure bringing biblical help and hope to issues every child faces. The last page of each book contains information for parents on how God, in his Word, helps children apply biblical truth to specific issues. Together children and parents will be guided by the stories into meaningful conversations about living by faith in the details of everyday life.

My thoughts: Another childrens book for the win! My children and I are enjoying this series of books and the difficult emotions it covers. This is an excellent story on dealing with anger and apologizing when you do get angry. I like how this book also offers a section for the parents on how to discuss anger and dealing with it in healthy ways. I highly recommend this series!
I received this book from the publisher. This is my honest review.

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Buster's Ears Trip Him Up



Buster was sure he was the fastest bunny in the meadow. But during a race at summer camp, nothing goes as planned and Buster gets tripped up. After his epic fall, his older sister, Ivy, helps him see that failure is an opportunity to grow. As Buster remembers God’s love, he is able to let go of others’ opinions and accept that it is okay to try your best but not always be the best. Edited by Edward T. Welch, Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up ends with a special section that guides parents in teaching children how the gospel of Jesus Christ comforts and sustains us through failure and turns our focus away from ourselves and toward others. Also included is a tear-out page of Back Pocket Bible Verses that will remind children and adults of God’s love and help for those who get tripped up.
A new series of hardback, illustrated children’s books for three-to eight-year-olds—each centered on an animal family—bring gospel help and biblical counsel to families. The animal characters, colorful illustrations, and the real-life issues each animal family face will captivate children. The first three books address anxiety, anger, and failure, bringing biblical help and hope to issues every child faces. The last page of each book contains information for parents on how God, in his Word, helps children apply biblical truth to specific issues. Together children and parents will be guided by the stories into meaningful conversations about living by faith in the details of everyday life.
- Each story, based on a different animal family, will keep even the youngest child engaged.
- Brightly colored, fun illustrations welcome children into a detailed animal world.
- Each story helps children process a challenging situation with concrete, grace-based, help.
- Instead of moralism, children are offered a practical way to follow Jesus through a difficult situation.
- Based on CCEF’s model of hope and help that encourages a growing relationship with Jesus.

My thoughts: We all have to deal with disappoint at some time or other in our lives. I love how this book talks about how we deal with our disappointments and feelings of failure when those times come. This has been a great book for me to read and discuss with my children. I love how the story plays out, and the encouragement that Buster receives. The illustrations are darling as well!
I received this book from the publisher. This is my honest review.

This post contains affiliate links.

God Made Me and You


This beautifully illustrated children’s book invites kids to explore God’s design for ethnic diversity and challenges readers—both parents and children—to learn and live out counter-cultural, biblical views, fostering a lifelong celebration of diversity for the glory of God. Designed for four- to eleven-year-olds, God Made Me and You by Shai Linneis the second book in the God Made Me series, starting with God Made All of Me by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb.
Because Scripture teaches that ethnic diversity is not something that should be tolerated but rather enthusiastically embraced, Christian hip hop artist Shai Linne helps children, parents, and caregivers to celebrate this biblical truth through a lyrical, rhyming style and colorful illustrations.
God Made Me and You is an approachable guide for families to begin conversations about cultivating a God’s perspective on ethnic diversity, confronting the sins of racism, bigotry, and ethnic pride.
Because children learn from family members, media, or peers, parents and caretakers have a responsibility to teach their children what God has to say about the beauty of diversity in his image-bearers, with a particular focus on ethnic diversity.
This colorful and compelling children’s book serves as a resource and lifelong gift for children and parents, helping families understand diversity from a biblical perspective and with a clear picture of the beauty and glory of God.

My thoughts: This is an excellent book to pick up and use to talk to kids about the beauty in our differences. My children haven't really noticed that people come in all shapes and sizes yet, but I still think that starting them young with books like this is important, since it helps to shape their views as they get older and start noticing. I love that this book celebrates how God made us all in His image.
I received this book from the publisher. This is my honest review.

Summer Plans and Other Disasters


Elementary school music teacher Callie Stevens thinks she’s finally figured out God ’s plan for her life—she even made a list to keep her on track. Moving in with her brother and reconnecting with her ex-boyfriend are at the top of the list. What ’s not on the list is running into her childhood crush, Ryan. God wanted her to connect with Kyle, right? Trying to figure out God ’s plan is hard enough. But a dating-averse older brother, the young blonde who adores him, a pregnant best friend, and Callie ’s continual mishaps make her wonder whether her best-laid plans were truly God-inspired. “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, Gang aft a-gley, And leave us nought but grief and pain, For promised joy.” —Robert Browning

My thoughts: This book is a cute read, about a young woman who has her summer planned down to the T. When she returns to her hometown, with the idea to give her ex boyfriend a second chance, she also signs up to help renovate the town lighthouse and park. I enjoyed that this book not only had her POV, but also that of her brother and his friend. This book was an adorable read that I enjoyed.
I received this book from the publisher. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

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The Girls Guide to Conquering Middle School


The transition from elementary school to middle school skirts the borders of traumatic for many girls. Their bodies are changing, their moods are shifting, their friendships are tested, and boys can become a big distraction. Girls may begin to struggle with grades, behavior, and relationships with family and friends. How do they know what to do and what not to do in this new environment with new expectations?

Erica and Jonathan Catherman offer girls ages ten to twelve the practical help they need to make the move to middle school as painless as possible. The "do this, not that" format covers a hundred relevant topics and situations middle school girls will face, including the first day, bullies, test taking, cell phone use, homework, gossip, leadership, respect, sports, PDA, and many more.

My thoughts: Every girl in middle school, or who is about to enter middle school, needs a copy of this book! Filled with etiquette, tips, jokes, and real life experiences, this book is a wonderful resource for girls in middle school. Each subject is accompanied with pictures on dos and don'ts. I love the variety of topics in this book, from personal hygiene to finances, navigating personal relationships and managing schoolwork. This is a fun an informative guide!
I received this book from Revell. This is my honest review.


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Shift Your Thinking for Success


We all desire success--but we don't all understand what success actually is. Success isn't a place you arrive at after working hard. That's a goal. Success is found in the character you maintain while you pursue your goals. It's about who we are and how we project our persona at work, at home, at school, and everywhere else. And all it takes to find success and fulfillment are simple shifts in the way we think.

In this wisdom-packed book, Dean Del Sesto offers readers 77 brief reflections to help them shift their thought patterns for greater success in business and life. He shows how to interrupt the things that aren't currently working and provides clear alternatives to think, plan, and act differently for better results.

Perfect for leaders, influencers, businesspeople, coaches, teachers, and professionals of all industries, Shift Your Thinking for Success is a game-changer.

My thoughts: This is an excellent book, filled with short, insightful thoughts that are then backed up with more information. A lot of them can be applied to real life and not just business success, but then there are also insights on how to work out branding and social media. This is an excellent book to pick up, especially if you are wanting help on achieving your dreams.
I received this book from Revell. This is my honest review.

This post contains affiliate links.

Alive


Alive: Gospel Sexuality for Students gives teenagers and young adults a biblical, gospel-centered framework to understand sexual issues. In a changing culture where feelings about our identity inform our sexual choices, this ten-week small group resource by Cooper Pinson of Harvest USA, applies biblical truth in a compassionate way to sexual struggles.
Cooper Pinson, with years of experience working with students, aims to bring the theological truths of our union and communion with Christ into the world of sexuality. Students are met where they are and encouraged to talk about the issues that are part of their everyday world. At the same time, they are guided to learn robust, deep, and strengthening theological content that will help them follow Jesus in how they express their sexuality.
Out of this framework, topics addressed include God's good design for sexuality, gender-related issues, singleness, dating, marriage, masturbation, pornography, and same-sex attraction, among others. Students are shepherded to understand their sexuality in the light of who Jesus is and to approach these issues with truth, faith, and compassion.

My thoughts: This book is a great resource for youth groups and church libraries to have on hand, since it is a great guide to get students thinking about what the Bible says about sexuality. I like that the scenarios are short and to the point, backed up with thought provoking questions and scripture verses to get kids thinking about where they stand on important issues. This book has a section for everyone to go through, along with another section for the guide.
I received this book from the publisher. This is my honest review.

This post contains affiliate links.

The Light Before Day


After three years on a whaling voyage, Henry Macy returns to Nantucket to news that his grandmother has passed, bequeathing her vast fortune to him and his sister, Hitty. And it was truly vast. But Lillian Coffin was no fool. The inheritance comes with a steep cost, including when they should marry and whom--a Quaker in good standing, of course. But if they relinquish the inheritance, it all goes to Tristram Macy, their father's thieving business partner.

As Hitty and Henry seek a way to satisfy the will's conditions, they'll be faced with obstacles on every side--and it may be that Lillian Coffin will have the last word after all.

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher surprises and delights with this story of hope and renewal, love and redemption, arriving just when most needed.

My thoughts: While I have read and enjoyed many of Suzanne's books, I do believe this series may be my favorite! I love that she worked so hard to preserve the history of Nantucket in the stories, and brought much of it to life for me! I found Henry and Hitty's story to be a fascinating one that show cased the islands forward thinking in the 1840's with integrating schools. I highly recommend picking this series up! It made me want to visit Nantucket for myself.
I received this book from the publisher. This is my honest review.


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The Sound of Distant Thunder


Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver are both romantics. Seventeen-year-old Katie is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait to marry Jonas until she is eighteen, despite her parents' insistence. So much can happen in a year. Twenty-year-old Jonas is taken in by the romance of soldiering, especially in defense of anti-slavery, even though he knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church. When his married brother's name comes up in the draft list, he volunteers to take his brother's place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation?

From the talented pen of Jan Drexler comes this brand new Amish series set against the backdrop of the Civil War. She puts her characters to the test as they struggle to reconcile their convictions and desires while the national conflict threatens to undermine and engulf their community.

My thoughts: This was an interesting and unique read, with exploring the Civil War era from the view point of a young Amish couple. I enjoyed getting to know Katie and Jonas as they sought to keep their love alive during war time and the separation that it brought. I look forward to the other books in this series, since a lot of things were left unfinished!
I received this book from Revell. This is my honest review.


This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

God Bless You and Good Night


God Bless You and Good Night is now available as a touch-and-feel book! This beloved bedtime classic has touched more than 315,000 families, and this touch-and-feel edition offers even more fun as little ones prepare for bed.
Bedtime can be a precious time of connection for you and your little one. Enjoy those snuggly moments together as you read this classic bedtime book while exploring all the fun touch-and-feel elements, from the polar bear's soft fur to the elephant's leathery skin to the silky grass of the African grasslands.
In God Bless You and Good Night Touch and Feel, sleepy little ones are reminded of God’s blessings and how much they are loved. The delightful rhyming story takes readers through several scenes of snuggly animals who are getting ready for bed from putting on pj's, brushing teeth, and saying good-night prayers. Now with added touch-and-feel elements, children can engage with the story even more. God Bless You and Good Night Touch and Feel will be a favorite part of the bedtime ritual for parents and children.
Whether for a baby shower or birthday, or as a heart-melting way to surprise the grandparents-to-be, God Bless You and Good Night Touch and Feel is the perfect touch for any celebration.

My thoughts: This is such a sweet good night book! I love how there are different animals, and the touch and feel part is different textures. The book has sweet illustrations and cute, rhyming text that tells the story of several of our favorite animals (penguins, polar bears, kangaroos, hedgehogs, otters...) going through the different parts of getting ready for bed. This is a darling book to read before bed!
I received this book from Book Look. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Rhapsody and Rebellion



 

Rhapsody and Rebellion by Aubrey Wynne

An enduring legacy... A rebellion... A destined love...
Raised in his father’s image—practical and disciplined—there are no gray lines interrupting the Earl of Stanfeld’s black and white world. Until his mother has a dream and begs to return to her Highland home.

Alisabeth was betrothed from the cradle. At seventeen, she marries her best friend and finds happiness if not passion. In less than a year, she’s a widow. Vowing to honor her husband’s memory, she joins his activist group of Glasgow weavers and is soon embroiled in the Radical War of 1820.

Crossing the border into Scotland, Gideon finds his predictable world turned upside down. Folklore, legend, and political unrest intertwine with an unexpected attraction to a feisty Highland beauty. But Lissie doesn’t trust the Englishman or the rising desire between them. When the earl learns of an English plot to stir the Scots into rebellion, he must choose his country or save the clan and the woman that stirs his soul.

Get your copy for just 99 cents for a limited time!

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Excerpt
The sound of horseshoes and carriage wheels crunched in the drive. A moment later, the heavy oak door slammed open. Calum Dalais filled the doorway, wild black curls clinging to his neck and strong jaws, a whip in his hand.
“Let’s go, my lovelies. We dinna know how long this uproar may last.” Sapphire blue glittered with urgency. “I’ve rented a hack to get us out of the city limits. The carriage is too tempting for the rabble.”
Maeve picked up her heavy skirts with one hand, grasped her reticule with the other, and hurried for the door. The footman tossed baggage on top of the hansom then returned to assist Maeve. Her heart beat rapidly as she settled on the frayed padded bench. A far cry from the soft velvet of their own carriage. Maeve had been delighted to accompany her parents to Edinburgh. Now she prayed for the safety of her Highland home.
“What if they stop the carriage? I’m frightened, Calum.” Panic added a shrill pitch to her mother’s voice.
“They’re just hungry and tired of not being heard. I willna let anyone harm come to ye.” Her father’s calm tone soothed both the women. “Now up ye go, Peigi, my love. We’ll be out of here in the blink of an eye.”
He sat across from them, rapped his knuckles against the roof, and the vehicle lurched forward. The horses whinnied in protest and sidestepped men running through the streets and debris flying in their path. Someone tried to hitch a ride on the side of the vehicle. Calum swore under his breath, leaned out the window, and punched the man in the face. The trespasser fell on his arse in the mud, holding his nose with one hand and a waving an angry fist in another.
The sun’s bright rays barely penetrated a dark, narrow alley as the driver took a detour to avoid the throng of rioters. Maeve peeked out the window and saw a glimpse of the square at the end of the backstreet, packed with hundreds of people streaming in from all sides. On a shoddily erected platform hung a noose, with a group of workers balancing what looked like a man on their shoulders. They tied the noose around his neck. One of his arms swayed unnaturally by his side, and she sighed with relief when bits of straw fell from the coat sleeve.
The driver cracked his whip, the hack careened around another corner, and they broke free of the crowd. As the noise subsided, Maeve listened to her parents argue about the political situation that had led to the insurrection. She leaned her head against the hard bench, each rut jerking her neck back and forth. It had been such a long day with little sleep the previous night. Her lids grew heavy, and her mind traveled back to the angry mob as she drifted off.


 

 

Praise for Aubrey Wynne:

“Well-written historical romance with a bit of everything – a tragedy, a conflicted hero, a strong and fragile heroine, interesting characters, and a happily ever after.” Amazon verified review

“Best Regency Romance I’ve read in a long time and highly recommend!”
N.N. Light Book Heaven Reviews

“I adored this story. I look forward to reading more in this series.”
Reads2Love Review

“A wonderful romance!”
5 Kindles Review

 

Author Aubrey Wynne
Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of
children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas.
Her short stories, Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete's Mighty Purty Privies have won Readers Choice Awards. Dante's Gift and Paper Love received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.
In addition to her Chicago Christmas novellas, Aubrey will release two more Regency romances in 2018. The Wicked Earls’ Club will release again in 2019. Wynne’s medieval fantasy series launched in 2017 with Rolf's Quest, winner of the NTRWA Great Expectations.

 

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Instagram * Newsletter * BookBub * Amazon

 





$50 Blast Giveaway

Winner’s choice of a $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in PayPal Cash

Ends 11/2/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Take ten: longest books I have read

In no particular order.;) As usual, click on the image to learn more about the book on Amazon. This post contains affiliate links.

1. War and Peace


2. Les Miserables


3. Wives and Daughters


4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


6. The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill


7. The Ladies of Ivy Cottage


8. The Widow of Larkspur Lane


9. The Shock of Night


10. A Haven on Orchard Lane

Shelter of the Most High


The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love?

My thoughts: This book was excellent! I haven't had the pleasure of reading Connilyn's books before, so I was in for a delightful surprise. I loved the historical details in this story, the chance to catch a glimpse at the cities of refuge that the Bible talks about. I loved the contrasts that were portrayed between Sofea and Eitan's worlds. I wish I had read the first book in the series, since I feel like this series should be read in order to give the reader a background on the characters. That said, I can still highly recommend it!
I received this book from the publisher. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

Purchase a copy:


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