The Sapphire Bride by Cynthia Woolf

sapphire bride

The Sapphire Bride is an endearing western romance by Cynthia Woolf and is the second book in her newest series, The Central City Brides.  The brides, of course, are mail order requested by men out west.  In this series, Cynthia Woolf, has created the scenario that the brides are coming with “baggage” that means to kill them.  The grooms are friends and seem to be following the first in ordering brides and become very protective of their brides against their enemies.

In the Sapphire Bride Ava is an independent woman from New York who designs jewelry.  Because the social restrictions of the times, Ava can’t exactly get ahead with her own business there.  She is in her mid-twenties and doesn’t believe she will marry because, after all, how many men would let her continue with her own dream?  Her twin brother, Jeffrey who is an Archeologist, understands her and encourages her dream.

When Jeffrey arrives on her doorstep wounded and dying, he shares with her a secret and news that the men after him will also come after her.  In order to flee quickly, Ava signs on as a mail order bride leaving the next day.  Her destination is Central City where she will marry Seamus Madigan, better known as “Lucky”.

Lucky is a saloon owner and wants a wife and children.  What he has to offer is absolutely NO love, a saloon as their home and a painful past.  He doesn’t want a wife whom he must babysit when he has a business to run.  When his new wife, “Jane Ava Smith” arrives he is more than ready to begin on those children, doesn’t mind her jewelry designing, and continually hurts with his “I don’t love you” comments.

Lucky and Ava have some truths to face when they are confronted by the malicious revenge of a spurned woman and men bent on thievery and murder.  Can Lucky save Ava?  Will Ava trust and forgive Lucky?  What will happen when they must face a devastating loss?

Ms. Woolf writes a story that I call a clean, charming western that is a quick read.  There are interactions with the characters from the first book in the series, which I haven’t read yet but I must say I didn’t feel I needed to in order to understand this story.  Sapphire Bride is stand-alone even though it is part of a series.  From what I picked up there is the continued theme that the brides are coming to Central City with danger close behind them.  Both brides so far are also from New York which I don’t know if all in the series will be or just these two, but it was an opening for the “brides” to open up to each other and speak of home.  The reader was also given a glimpse of the other male friends in the group and now will have to wait to see who will be the next to order his mail order bride.  My assumption and it is strictly my personal guess as I haven’t read anything on what to expect, but I believe there are two more friends left which would mean two more books for the series.


A Bond of the Heart: A Sacred Bond Friends and Family Novella by Lee Tobin McClain


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Shane MacQuaid was born rich but now he is homeless by choice. When his connection to childhood friends first introduces to him to God he quickly sees that his family isn’t what he wants. They have the riches and the corporate family business but he decides he doesn’t want it, so he enlists into the military.  When a bomb blast causes him physical harm with lasting repercussions he returns home to only once again leave when his family becomes oppressive and his future is unclear.

Dani Cooper is a sweet person who has issues with trusting too much to everyone else’s too little.  She has been married twice and left twice with children from each marriage.  Her older sister is the only family she has left in her home town and although Dani relies on her help she could do without her constant advice and criticism.

Shane rents the garage apartment from Dani while building a business as a local handyman.  He soon becomes a part of the community so that it feels like home and every day he falls a little more in love with Dani and her kids.  Just as he feels he is breaking through Dani’s self-imposed rules of not getting involved again, his interfering family shows up.  His sister in law has Dani’s sister believing him to be dangerous and deranged and his brother is trying to force him home for medical treatment and then to take over as CEO of his family’s business.  When Dani walks away Shane feels his life is falling apart just as he was putting it together.

The author has created a storyline in which God is central to these characters.  Shane’s character wasn’t exposed to God and his grace until he met the young men from the Sacred Bond Brotherhood.   It was through this friendship God is working with Shane and showing him that by following the plan God had for him that his life would be enriched.  Dani trusted God more than she did herself after her failed marriages and teen pregnancy.  With a leap of faith both of these two are brought together for a beautiful romance and a happily ever after with God leading them forward.  This is a wonderful story of sacrifice and trust with love as the ultimate prize.  I have always enjoyed the Sacred Bond Brotherhood men and how strong their faith is and was very happy to read this novella showcasing their friends and family. Truly heartwarming and recommended.

I received this ARC in exchange for my review.


A Leap of Faith by Nell Castle

aleap of fiath

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Although the title, A Leap of Faith, gives the impression of this being a Christian Inspirational story; I don’t believe this is a story I would classify as that. It is a story that is centered on a church and is the foundation to the character’s lives with the main male character being a pastor. I admit I even had to raise my eyebrows at least once with a few lines.  But in regards to the story having Christian aspects, yes there are some. Some of those aspects are the goodness of helping others who have fallen on hard times, the act of volunteering, church events with the congregation pulling together are in this story and are woven wonderfully to create the foundation of church involvement.

The main characters are Pastor Jackson Thomas and Sophia Anton.  Sophia grew up in the church that Jackson has now to lead, but she isn’t aware of Jackson as she hasn’t been in church for two years.  When her friend, Kate asks her to help with an annual church dinner, Sophia does but never expects to run into the new pastor (not even knowing there was one) while trying to pick the locked church door with a bobby pin.  Jackson is immediately attracted to Sophia but is trying to hold onto his vow to never marry or get involved again.

With the immediate attraction comes a lot of confusion for both characters. Pastor Jackson Thomas was married before but when a terrible accident caused the death of their unborn child and the end of his marriage, he is racked with guilt and decides to isolate himself from any future relationships.  Sophia is a “pleaser” and has to feel as if she is needed.  Unfortunately, she has a friend who is taking advantage of that and has Sophia believing she has to change in order to be with him and then they would have everything she has ever wanted.  The confusion comes from their mutual attraction and inability to act on it.  When Sophia is hurt by Jackson’s apparent dismissal of their feelings she makes a terrible decision that will rip them apart.

Two years later, fate gives them another chance. When they meet again, the attraction is still very strong and very apparent.  When two meddling friends provide them a way to explore this undying love, will they take the chance or be stubborn?  Will Jackson tell Sophia the truth about his past so that she understands? Will Sophia run again?

This is a wonderful short romance.  I really liked the side characters that the author created as support.  Kate is the strong but a little wild best friend of Sophia.  Because they have been friends forever, Kate knows Sophia and can see the underlying problems of Christopher’s influence.  Then there is Hazel who now homeless and unable to care for herself is facing medical issues.  And Christopher…well he is a girl’s nightmare full of pretty boy arrogance.  A sweet contemporary romance perfect for curling up to.








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Elizbeth Lennox has written the following about this exciting combination from two of the queens of Sheik Romances!

Get four breath-taking sheik romances from two of your favorite authors – all in the same box set!

The Sheik’s Challenge by Elizabeth Lennox
When she sings, she sounds like a cat in heat…but Ana, a brilliant mathematician, stuns and surprises Najid del Sabur, Sheik of Safir.  Her bright eyes defy him and her smiles sooth him, while her body makes him lust for her.  But can he catch her?  Can he convince her that her past won’t hurt their future?

The Prince’s Challenge by Elizabeth Lennox 
She can’t sit still.  She’s beaten every nurse and doctor on her floor at cards.  And she’s achingly beautiful.   But is she friend or foe?  Having been caught in the line of fire by a bullet meant for his brother, Prince Jual del Sabur, Minister of Defense for Safir can’t decide if the lovely Sonya was part of the assassination attempt or innocent and just caught by bad timing.  All he knows is that he is definitely caught by her startling eyes and her soft sighs as he explores that question.

The Sheikh’s Untraditional Lover by Leslie North
Ultra-traditional and devastatingly handsome Prince Zafar Tadros thinks a business/sports complex is not what is needed for his country—but he believes in helping his family. With the region increasingly doing more business with Western companies, his father Sheikh Ahmadi has ordered this new business/sports complex to be a mix between West and East cultures.
Zafar has decided he will work to integrate as much traditional elements as possible, but Belle Mooney, an innovative American architect has taken her direction from Zafar’s father and is going for innovations. The two clash over designs—and only one can win.

The Sheikh’s Stubborn Partner by Leslie North 
With the deadline fast approaching, playboy Prince Adyan Tadros must supervise the only construction company that will take on the job of building the business/sports center in less than six months. The meticulous Edna Abbey has taken over her father’s construction company while he recovers from a stroke, and the last thing she wants to do is rush the project. But with attraction between her and the Prince growing everyday, she may be glad for the distraction…

The Replacement Bride (Hope’s Crossing Book 2) by Cynthia Woolf



Hope’s Crossing is a series that Cynthia Woolf began with The Hunter Bride and continues with this second book, The Replacement Bride.  In each of these books, set in the Western States, the men find women scarce and opt for a mail order bride.

In a previous review of The Hunter Bride, I wrote of Sam Longworth a sheriff who ordered a bride and wasn’t about to actually fall in love with her after being hurt previously.    That same theme is used in The Replacement Bride.  In this story we have Jesse Donovan a man who left home for New York City, made a good living and found a woman he wanted to marry.  When the gold mines called him, he promised to strike it rich and marry Rebecca Jane and keep her living in luxury.  Jesse did leave New York and did make good strike, but Rebecca Jane wouldn’t come out to Montana which left Jesse closed off to love ever again.  With political aspirations Jesse needed a wife to serve as hostess so he ordered himself a mail order bride like his friend Sam.  He ordered a replacement bride.

Clare Griggs is from Colorado and is a farmer’s daughter, his eldest daughter and not the son wanted.  After living with the fact she would never live down the disappointment her father has because she was a girl and not a boy, Clare finds her way to becoming a mail order bride where she can find love and not more disappointment.  She agrees to become Jesse’s bride with hope for the future.  She didn’t know she was only a replacement bride.

Jesse is content with Clare as a wife and sees that she is going to be the perfect hostess for when he runs for office.  But stubbornly he refuses to let himself love Clare and open himself up to being hurt once again.  What he doesn’t seem to understand is that his referring to Clare as his replacement bride has in fact hurt her deeply.  It doesn’t seem to matter what she tries, Jesse doesn’t love her.  When Clare has an accident and may be permanently hurt, Jesse pulls away instead of closer to her.

Clare must make a decision to stay and remain a disappointment in her father’s eyes as well as her husbands, or fight for what she wants until Jesse’s stubborn heart finally cracks.  Will Jesse’s heart welcome Clare or will he face loosing yet another woman in his life?

I do enjoy the simple story lines of Cynthia Woolf’s books.  I also like how she has the continuing theme throughout her series…the men are tough, fair and good men but once hurt they turn very stubborn.  The women have to be wily and patient until their men finally figure out what is going on!


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The Duchess Contest by Gina Robinson



Things heat up between Riggins and the two beautiful women who share a bloodline and could be the next Duchess to Riggins; the newest Duke England has to offer.  As usual Gina Robinson brings us a serial that keeps you wanting more. Gina Robinson gives us another sexy romance in this newest serial involving the untouchable Riggins.

Riggins doesn’t know what to do now that there are two women who could fit the dead Dukes’ demands, but who does he choose? Each lady will offer him a different perspective on the arrangement and his time is counting down for his decision.  Not knowing if he can trust Lady Rose and finding himself thinking too much on Haley, Riggins comes up with a plan.

A weekend to this estate of the Helen, the dead Duke’s wife and ancestor of Haley and Lady Rose, Riggins brings along his entourage of friends.  Each has his job assigned in order to help Riggins in his choice of bride.  Which I thought was a wonderful way for us all to enjoy the characters as we have come to love and read.  Justin is working hard to find a way to combat the dead duke’s will and outsmart the conditions set for Riggins.  Our lovely Kay who is pregnant and due anytime, must try to convince the ladies that being pregnant may not be for them.  And last but most definitely not one to be over looked is our dashing Lazer.  Lazer is set to task doing what he does best….get the girl.  He tries to get one of the ladies to fall for him instead of Riggins.

Haley is falling hard for Riggins, and tries hard to keep this a business arrangement in order to get the help her sister’s needs.  When Lady Rose arrives in Seattle, Haley isn’t sure she can compete against Lady Rose. When offered a chance to visit the castle of her late ancestor Lady Helen, Haley and her sister Sid can’t say no.   When arriving at the estate, Haley is shocked to see how much she resembles the Helen even with generations separating them.  After an intimate encounter with Riggins Haley is more than ready to take Lady Rose on in the Duchess Contest to fight for Riggins and to fulfill the dead Dukes’ demands, but will she be able to win against Lady Rose’s secrets?

Lady Rose is a mystery. She is a decedent of Lady Helen but she is still an enigma to Riggins.  Having information she shouldn’t have sets alarms off for Riggins.  What is her game and what does she ultimately want?  How far is she willing to go to make sure she is the next Countess?  I love her character as the antagonist and competitor to Haley.  They are so different that it makes the story exciting.

With his decision made, Riggins knocks on a door only to be shocked by the room’s occupant.  What will Riggins do now?

I can’t wait to see what Riggins will do in the next part of the Billionaire Duke.  Gina Robinson certainly has her secrets and games keeping the suspense going and our interest on the edge.  I loved her unexpected guest to the Castle as well and hope to see more in the next part.  I also appreciated how she brought the characters we met through Justin and Kayla’s story.  It was nice to see the connections develop.

Serials are usually not my favorite to read.  If I can’t finish as one book then I don’t buy it. I just don’t like constantly paying for the individual parts.  The one exception I have to that is Gina Robinson. I love her stories and the way she writes them to keep my interest and the cliffhangers are awesome.  I really do recommend her as an author to check out.

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Four Weddings and a Fiasco: The Wedding Switch by author Sharon Kleve

Publication Date: August 23, Publisher: Kindle Worlds 51 Pages

Publication Date:
August 23,
Kindle Worlds
51 Pages

The Wedding Switch is about a young woman who thanks to her mother’s marital habits has become a pro at wedding planning.  You would think this would scare her off marriage but it hasn’t. She has her own business and is quite successful and dreams of her own wedding.  With her boyfriend proposing this may be her chance to have that dream wedding.  But Abby knows something isn’t right but she can’t decide what it is.

Derrick is a businessman and a ladies man.  He never has had any intentions of settling down until a promotion at works means he has to be married. Abby is the perfect wife material to land the promotion so he asks her to marry him but needs it done before the end of August.  Of course he is attentive and the perfect boyfriend until she agrees, then he shows his insincerity.  When Abby seems to drag her feet he decides she needs to be pushed, by hiring Hunter to pose as an engaged man whose fiancée is unavailable and he needs Abby’s help.  Derrick wants Hunter to get Abby to plan a wedding as if it were his own and then make it happen.  And of course he explains this all to Hunter at a restaurant as he flirts with the waitress!

Abby and Hunter are drawn to each other from the first, yet how can they do anything about it when they are both supposed to be engaged?  Abby begins to question if she and Derrick truly love each other and should be married and if yes why is she so drawn to Hunter.  Hunter wants Abby but he is stuck in this lie Derrick created.

Abby is confused yet she looks at her engagement ring and wonders if she is doing the right thing. She even lost her ring in the sink and wasn’t truly upset by that.  I don’t know too many ladies who are in love with their man who would not be upset and freakin out!  That should be a pretty blatant clue especially for someone who has watched her Mother marry numerous times.

Hunter can’t stand Derrick’s games and decides he has had enough of playing along. Derrick in ass and Abby deserves better.  Yay a real man steps up!  Time to save Abby from disaster..

What a triangle and mess!  What will Abby and Hunter do about their attraction? Will Derrick and Abby marry so he gets the promotion?

A fun, quick read in which the main and secondary characters each gave much to the overall story.

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