Friday, May 24, 2019

Reviewer's bookshelf: "Sweet on You" by Becky Wade

Book Summary (Amazon): Britt Bradford and Zander Ford have been the best of friends since they met thirteen years ago. Unbeknown to Britt, Zander has been in love with her for just as long.

Independent and adventurous Britt channels her talent into creating chocolates at her hometown shop. Zander is a bestselling author who's spent the past 18 months traveling the world. He's achieved a great deal but still lacks the only thing that ever truly mattered to him--Britt's heart.

When Zander's uncle dies of mysterious causes, he returns to Merryweather, Washington, to investigate, and Britt is immediately there to help. Although this throws them into close proximity, both understand that an attempt at romance could jeopardize their once-in-a-lifetime friendship. But while Britt is determined to resist any change in their relationship, Zander finds it increasingly difficult to keep his feelings hidden.

As they work together to uncover his uncle's tangled past, will the truth of what lies between them also, finally, come to light?

My thoughts.... Oh, the tension!! I loved the romantic tension in this novel! Becky Wade is an expert at drawing you into the hearts of her characters, and I believe "Sweet on You" is one of her best examples. This is the third book in the Bradford Sisters series (and yes...all of them are fantastic!), so there are hints to Britt and Zander's story throughout each book leading up to this one. By the time I finished the second book in the series, "Falling for You," I was eagerly anticipating Britt's story. In each novel, Wade adds fun little insights into what is happening with the characters. In "Sweet on You," there are a set of text messages Britt and Zander sent to one another, a note Britt wrote to her friend about Zander in high school, a letter Britt sent on Zander's behalf (without his knowledge), and several more fun tidbits. It is a creative and clever way to give backstory over several years' time without pages of explanation. Loved it!
     Not only was there romantic tension, but there was also an element of suspense. As they worked together to solve the mystery of Zander's uncle, they encountered some dangerous people which led to some intense situations. I liked this added dimension to their story. It certainly complemented the romantic aspect in that Britt and Zander had to depend on one another in a way that they never had before, which brought out conflict but also drew them closer together. 
     There were certainly times when I wanted to throttle Britt and Zander for the choices they made, but I appreciated their character flaws in the well as their strengths. It really made this book a fantastic read and a wonderful conclusion to the series. I would highly recommend all three books, as well as the prequel novella. 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher in order to give an honest review, which I did.**

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Reviewer's Bookshelf: "Verity" by Lisa T. Bergren

Book Summary (Goodreads): After leaving England behind for a new life in the West Indies with her sisters, Verity Banning wants something to call her own. Her affinity for animals inspires her to set up a business importing horses, as well as other goods in demand by the island residents. But when she arrives in the Colonies to purchase her goods, unexpected news of Captain Duncan McKintrick awaits her—as does the captain's handsome brother, Ian—whose sympathies lie with the fledgling Patriot cause.

As the great-granddaughter of a British general and friend to many Loyalists, Verity believed all she wanted was a peaceful resolution. But both the Patriots and the impassioned Ian McKintrick are steadily laying claim to her heart. When faced with the decision of what—and for whom—she will fight, can she set her feet on a new path despite the danger that awaits?

My thoughts...I would highly recommend reading the first book in this series, "Keturah," before reading "Verity." It explains the events leading up to the Banning sisters traveling to the West Indies as well as all the things that have happened before Verity's story. 
     I have really liked this series because of its unique setting and interesting plot lines. There are a lot of twists, but it keeps the plot intriguing and at a great pace. I have never read books that were set in the West Indies until this series, so I have enjoyed the mental imagery that Lisa Bergren has created through descriptive language. Not only is this book set in the Indies, but also the shores of a young America. This made an interesting contrast. Both settings played a part and were affected by America's fight for independence, which was also a learning point for me. 
     There was a lot going on in the plot of this novel. Verity is one who is dedicated to her sisters, but also wants to make her own way in life. As she branches out pursue her dreams of owning her own business, she also searches for Duncan McKintrick, her lost love. In the process she meets his brother, Ian, and they become business partners. Their partnership takes them from one shore to another and into situations that helped them grow in courage and faith. There were also moments of suspense when Verity faced a villainous man bent on revenge in the Indies, as well as British soldiers who suspected Ian and Verity of treason. 
     I would definitely recommend "Verity." Exciting plot, interesting characters, suspense, and romantic tension come together to make a very interesting read!

**I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley to give an honest review, which I did.**