Monday, January 26, 2015

Masterpiece Marriage - a Litfuse Review

Masterpiece Marriage by Gina Welborn
Series: Quilts of Love
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press (December 16, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1426773633

Read Chapter 1 here! Click on "Excerpt" to download and read.

Book Description
He wants to save his business. She wants to be a professor. But are they asking for more than they can really have?

After a flood damages the looms at Zenus Dane’s Philadelphia textile mill and the bank demands loan payment, Zenus turns to his aunt for help repurposing his textiles. Trouble is . . . his aunt has already been hired by the lovely yet secretive Englishwoman Mary Varrs.

Eager to acquire his aunt’s quilt patterns, Zenus attends the summer Quilting Bee, a social event his aunt has uniquely designed with the secret purpose of finding Zenus a wife. However Zenus only has eyes for Mary, but Mary has no such desire for him.

Though his aunt is determined to design a masterpiece marriage, both Zenus and Mary will have to overcome their stubborn ways. Can he realize that love requires stepping out of his routine? And will she recognize that following her heart doesn’t mean sacrificing her ambition?

My Thoughts
Set in the late 1800s when America was going through big changes in industry, women's rights, and breakthroughs in science and knowledge in general, this was a book that I truly enjoyed! I haven't read very many books set in this time period, and it has been a pleasure to plunge into that time!

Zenus Dane's textile factory was horrifically damaged by flooding. His business future loomed very grim, until he decided to reconnect with his Aunt Priscilla in the hope that she can help him come up with a quilt pattern that he can market to try to salvage his loss.

Mary Varrs is Aunt Priscilla's neighbor. Mary, who is working diligently to become a professor, becomes part of Aunt Priscilla's plot to find her nephew a wife. Mary wants none of that. And really, neither does Zenus.

The story matter in this story was really very fresh and out-of-the box. Women's suffrage, botany, textile mill--all of those combined into a novel centered around a quilting theme. Love it!

The characters were enjoyable. I found myself laughing quite a bit and definitely felt drawn in continually. 

Loved this read, and I would highly recommend it!

About the Author
Gina Welborn is the author of several novels and novellas, including The Heiress’s Courtship. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers; the president of Faith, Hope and Love; and one of the founding members of She lives in Cache, Oklahoma, with her pastor husband and their five children. Visit her online at

I've been given a copy of Masterpiece Marriage by Litfuse Publicity Group, in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own.

Swept Away - a Litfuse review

Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven
Series: Quilts of Love
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press (November 18, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1426773625

Read Chapter 1 here! Click on "Excerpt" to download and read.

Book Description
Sara doesn’t think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.

Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.

Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer’s granddaughter.

Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

My Thoughts
I have read some truly enjoyable books in the Quilts of Love series. This book is one of those. Reading is a passion, and while my life has been a bit more chaotic than I'd like lately, I try to get in as much reading as I can. Books like this one make my free time (which is already extremely limited) pleasurable.

The books in this series are quick reads (a couple of hours if I my children allow me uninterrupted time ;) ), and are centered around a quilting theme. The characters in this novel are Sara Jane Morgan, a school teacher on summer break, and Andrew Stevenson, a handyman and artsy broom maker. Sara Jane's grandmother Sari has decided, upon meeting Andrew at a craft fair, to set her granddaughter up with him. She hires Andrew to do some home repairs at her house, while Sara Jane spends her days helping Sari go through quilt squares to assemble a quilt. Andrew and Sara Jane are not attracted to each other and buck against Sari's feeble attempts to bring them together. But when Sari starts having some problems, Andrew and Sara Jane are united in helping the elderly woman and find themselves more accepting of each other.

The authors do a wonderful job of sketching the characters, and the scenes were well constructed. However, I found a little annoyance at the characters' treatment of one another. I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't read it, but there's a bit of back and forth annoyance between Andrew, Sari the grandmother, and Sara Jane. Also, there's a bit of story that I'd have liked to have seen fleshed out a bit more--I feel like this story could have continued or been drawn out more, because of the weighty background stories of the characters.

All in all, this was an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to others who enjoy some light reading!

About the Authors
Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning author and a professional book reviewer. A stay-at-home mom and home school teacher, Laura lives with her family in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

Cindy Loven is active in the church and writes from her home in Conway, Arkansas, where she lives with her husband and their son.
I've been given a copy of Swept Away by Litfuse Publicity Group, in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Most Inconvenient Marriage - a Regina Jennings Launch Team review

A Most Inconvenient Marriage
336 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (December 2, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764211404

Book Description
Abigail Stuart Thought She was Jeremiah Calhoun's Widow.
But Jeremiah Calhoun Is Very Handsome, Very Alive, and Very Perplexed.
Most Inconvenient Indeed.

With few options of her own, nurse Abigail Stuart agrees to marry her patient, a gravely wounded soldier calling himself Jeremiah Calhoun. They arrange a quick ceremony before he dies, giving Abigail the rights to his Ozark farm and giving Jeremiah the peace of knowing someone will care for his ailing sister after he's gone--a practical solution for both of them.

After the war, Abigail fulfills her side of the bargain--until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up, injured but definitely alive, and wastes no time in challenging Abigail's story. Abigail is flummoxed. After months of claiming to be his widow, how can she explain that she's never seen this Jeremiah Calhoun before? How can she convince him that she isn't trying to steal his farm? And will she find a way to stay, even though this practical arrangement has turned into a most inconvenient marriage?

My Thoughts
Historical romance is one of my favorite genres. When it's coupled with an inspirational theme, I'm on it! When I had an opportunity to review Regina Jennings' newest novel, I jumped on board. There's nothing that I appreciate more than a well-written novel and characters who seem life-like. Jennings accomplishes both of those. She's an author who, although she's relatively new, manages to tell a story in such vivid detail that I can see the action in my mind as if it were a movie. I like that!

While reading this novel, I found myself having to tear myself away from it. I went through several frustrating real-life situations that demanded my attention during the time that I was attempting to read, and I found myself longing to get my hands on it so that I could continue reading! It isn't often that I carry a book to the bathroom with me to prop up on the counter while I'm fixing my hair or putting on makeup. It's not often that I take a novel along with me in the diaper bag in the hope that I could even sneak in two minutes of reading time somewhere. THIS is one of those books. And because of my desperate attempts to get at it during the chaos that held me captive, the book is a little worn. It now wears the marks of a well-loved novel. lol

The novel's setting takes place just after the Civil War has ended, and its location is in the Ozarks. Prison hospital nurse Abigail Stuart managed to get herself hitched to a dying Civil War prisoner named Jeremiah Calhoun. When he asks her to go back to his home and take care of his sister and his ma, Abigail has no qualms about heading that way. Her own family had basically disowned her because of a misunderstanding, so a trip to the Calhoun property was accepted as her new home. However, when she got "home" and realized that Jeremiah wasn't dead after all, but was instead someone totally different than the man whom she had married, Abigail felt the foundation underneath her begin to crumble.

When Jeremiah got home, injured and war-beaten, and found that some woman claimed to be his bride, he did his best to try to convince everyone that Abigail was definitely not his wife. Jeremiah had someone waiting on him, after all! But when he found out that Laurel had given up on him after hearing that he'd died and instead had set her affections on another, Jeremiah found himself one frustrated man.

I loved this story. There was some interesting and gripping conflict at the end of the novel (that I won't spoil for you) that surprised me. I love when an author can accomplish that element of surprise!

If you've never read any of Regina's novels, I highly, HIGHLY recommend you give her a try! If you're a local, just ask me and I'll loan you my copy of A Most Inconvenient Marriage! ;)

Regina Jennings is one of my favorite authors. She's a relatively new author who has published four novels, all of which I've had the pleasure of reviewing. It has also been my pleasure to be a part of Regina's read and review launch team, which has enabled me to provide feedback directly to Regina, given me the opportunity to have a copy of her novel(s) in exchange for an honest review. My comments are my own and not a paid review.

If you'd like to read more from Regina, check her out on Facebook!