Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

The Best Intentions
Scotland's Melody
The Secret Society of Salzburg
Secret of the Sonnets
20-40-60-Minute Dinners: Meals to Match the Time You Have
Through the Wilderness: My Journey of Redemption and Healing in the American Wild
Secret Santa Claus Club: A Tool to Help Parents Unwrap the Secret of Santa
Mr. Pudgins
Revenge Never Rests
The Best Mistake
Meriden Park
More Inspirational Stories for Young Women
The Great Tree: A Christmas Fable
To Capture His Heart
The Call of the Sea
Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland
Come, Gentle Night
The Bad Boy Theory
Guide To Smart Wedding Planning: What You want to know and everything you haven't thought of yet.

Sheila's favorite books »

2023 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 3 books toward her goal of 100 books.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Bears: The Mighty Grizzlies of the West by Julie Argyle-Non-Fiction Book Review and Exclusive Author Interview

Book Summary

An up-close look at the powerful, notable grizzly bears—legendary apex predators of the American West.

The mighty North American brown bear, most often referred to as the grizzly, is an iconic symbol of power and strength. Mostly found in the Western United States and Canada, the still-endangered bruin has made strides into a tenuous sustainability. The strikingly beautiful photography, and the essay woven through the pages of Bears: The Mighty Grizzlies of the West, showcases this beautiful, smart, and incredible species. Julie Argyle explores their behavior, their family dynamics, and what it means to be a grizzly in the wilderness of the greater Yellowstone area. She includes stories about individual bears: Raspberry and Snow, The Beryl Sow, The Obsidian Sow, Snaggletooth, and 791 (a famous boar), and looks at the issues of increasing conflicts between humans and the grizzlies and what the future holds for them.

Book Details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Gibbs Smith (September 21, 2021)
  • Genre: Non-Fiction Animal Photography
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1423658795
  • I purchased my own copy for Christmas because I REALLY wanted this book! :)

My Review

Bears: The Mighty Grizzlies of the West by Julie Argyle is a book that takes you to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. The photos bring to life the Mighty Grizzlies in their habitat as they strive to survive in a world that is not always kind to them. With their habitat shrinking, more encounters between humans and bears are occurring with the bears sadly paying for these run-ins with their lives.

I really loved the way that Julie wrote such a marvelous discourse as she introduced us to several Grizzlies that she has photographed and learned to love through the years. She writes about Raspberry and Snow, The Beryl Sow, The Obsidian Sow, Snaggletooth, and 791 (a famous boar). I have grown to love many of these same Grizzlies especially Raspberry, Snow(her daughter), and Snow's new cubs. Also, I love the famous Grizzly 399 in Grand Teton National Park. 

Julie has a way of capturing the heart and soul of the animals she photographs. Once you see her work, you'll also fall in love with these animals and hopefully will want to get involved in protecting and conserving The Grizzlies and their homes. This book is not a long read, but it is packed full of powerful photos that will be ingrained in your mind and heart. I have always loved bears and I'm known as the "Bear" teacher. As a lover of these tremendous animals, Bears: The Mighty Grizzlies of the West is at the top of my list for you to buy. I promise you'll never look at Grizzlies in the same way again and you'll gain a greater appreciation for this impressive species.

****Meet Author Julie Argyle****
Julie Argyle is a professional photographer who has spent 40 years observing and photographing grizzly bears, along with other wildlife, within the Rocky Mountain West. Her photography business, Wild Love Images, has grown to capture the lives and stories of much of the wildlife in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Julie is an active voice for their preservation and protection.

See more of her works of photography 

Interview with Julie Argyle
I asked Julie Argyle why she wrote this book. I also asked her what she hopes readers gain from reading this book. 

Here are her answers:

In writing my books, I was hoping for people to gain compassion, understanding, and perhaps see a different view of what they once thought about grizzly bears. 

I would want them to know that they are so much more than what they are portrayed to be. 

Right now some would have you believe that grizzlies are vicious killers that need to be controlled, and the only way to control them is by killing them. That is so far from the truth.

In most cases, grizzlies do not attack just to attack, it is usually because they are defending their young or a food source. 

More often than not, it is a surprise encounter and a lot of the time it is due to human error. 

People need to understand that without all of the wide open spaces there once was conflicts between humankind and grizzlies are going to continue and only rise in numbers, therefore, it is very important to educate yourself and learn how to coexist. 

You can’t live peacefully beside something if you continue to fear them, and do not understand them. Therefore, knowledge is the most important tool you have. 

Coexistence is the key to the future, not only for grizzly bears, but for so many other species, including our own.

Bears: The Mighty Grizzlies of the West

Here are some websites where you can go to get more information about how to get involved and protect the mighty grizzlies and other animals that are threatened, like Wolves.-

Vital Ground works in the northern Rocky Mountains to conserve land for grizzly bears and other wildlife. As a land trust, we focus on private lands that connect larger wild strongholds, building lifelines for grizzlies and all things wild.

  • Bear League: People Living in Harmony With Bears.
  • Our mission is to promote “People living in harmony with bears.” We believe that education is the cornerstone of our mission. It is our goal to educate people about the true nature of these animals.

For The Love Of Bears Is A Nonprofit Committed To Bears And The Critical Ecosystems They Call Home Through conservation, education, research, and advocacy we seek to safeguard the future of bears.

The Wolf Conservation Center envisions a world where wolves thrive

Our mission is to advance the survival of wolves by inspiring a global community through education, advocacy, research, and recovery

We are driven by our values of respect, community, and passion.

Respect - We respect wolves, their complex ecological role, the landscapes they shape, the people who care about them, and the people who live among them.

Community  - We are inspired by the pack. We bring people together, we nurture, we educate, we aid, we protect, we organize, and we defend. We are always stronger together.

Passion - We have a passion for wolves, for the landscapes we share, and for the work of protecting them. Our passion drives us to learn, see the big picture, and be diligent and tenacious in the long-term work of saving wolves.

Defenders of Wildlife works on the ground, in the courts, and on Capitol Hill to protect and restore imperiled wildlife and habitats across North America. Together, we can ensure a future for the wildlife and wild places we all love.

Other Beautiful Photos from Julie

Monday, September 18, 2023

Under The Java Moon By Heather B. Moore-Historical Fiction Book Review (WWII)


Book Summary

Based on a true story, this gripping WWII novel captures the resilience, hope, and courage of a Dutch family who is separated during the war when the Japanese occupy the Dutch East Indies.

Java Island, 1941

Six-year-old Rita Vischer cowers in her family’s dug-out bomb shelter, listening to the sirens and waiting for a bomb to fall. Her charmed life on Java—living with other Dutch families—had always been peaceful, but when Holland declares war on Japan and the Japanese army invades Indonesia, Rita’s family is forced to relocate to a POW camp, and Rita must help care for her little brother, Georgie.

Mary Vischer is three months pregnant when she enters the Tjident women’s camp with thousands of other women and children. Her husband, George, is somewhere on the Java Sea with the Dutch Navy, so she must care alone for her young children, Rita and Georgie, and her frail mother. The brutal conditions of the overcrowded camp make starvation, malaria, and dysentery a grim reality. Mary must do everything she can to keep her family alive.

George Vischer survives the bombing of his minesweeper but feels little hope floating on a small dinghy in the Java Sea. Reaching the northern tip of the Thousand Island would be a miracle. Focusing on the love of his life, Mary, and his two children, he battles against the sea and merciless sun. He’ll do whatever it takes to close the divide between him and his family, even if it means risking being captured by the Japanese.

Under the Java Moon highlights a little-known part of WWII history and the impact of war on Indonesia, its people, and the more than 100,000 Dutch men, women, and children who were funneled into prison camps and faced with the ultimate fight for survival.

Book Details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Shadow Mountain (September 5, 2023)
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639931538
  • ****I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, NetGalley, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.****

My Review

If anyone was going to tell the story of The Vischer family and their experiences during World War II, it had to be Author Heather B. Moore. Once again this is a country that I had no idea was so affected during this terrible war. The Dutch East Indies was occupied by the Japanese and the Dutch people living there were placed in prison camps. The horrors of war spread far and wide over the world. 

Rita, her parents, her grandmother, and her younger brother Georgie were living a happy life until Holland declared war on Japan. George had gone off to fight the war, while Mary, Rita's mom, is left to run things for the family while she is three months along in her pregnancy. The atrocities start as soon as Mary, her mother, and her children are sent to the prison camp. The women and children suffered so many things there including starvation, beatings, disease, and death. At times it was painful to read the abuse that was taking place in the camps. Mary was an incredibly strong woman who did everything in her power to keep her family safe and alive.

The last several chapters of the book brought me to tears. You are brought along on this emotional journey and can't help but be moved greatly by the events that took place to real people. I'm glad that Rita told her family's story. It needed to be told. As always, Heather B. Moore did copious amounts of research before and during the writing process of this book. 

Under The Java Moon needs to be read by all people, from all countries and walks of life. We need to remember and learn from our world history so the horridness of this war is not allowed to take place again. Though reading about war is never pleasant, I feel I honor the sacrifices that so many people made who lived and died during WWII. This is a must-read book, especially for historical fiction lovers.

****Meet Author Heather B. Moore****

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than ninety publications. Heather writes primarily historical and #herstory fiction about the humanity and heroism of the everyday person. Publishing in a breadth of genres, Heather dives into the hearts and souls of her characters, meshing her love of research with her love of storytelling.

Her ancient era historicals and thrillers are written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes historical women's fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore, and . . . speculative fiction under Jane Redd. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. Despite failing her high school AP English exam, Heather persevered and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in something other than English.

Please join Heather's email list at:
Twitter: @heatherbmoore
Instagram: @authorhbmoore
Facebook: Fans of Heather B. Moore
And yes, the Blog still lives:

Literary honors: 2020 Goodreads Choice Award Semi-Finalist, Foreword 2020 INDIES Finalist, ALA Best New Books - September 2020, 6-time Best of State Recipient for Best in Literary Arts, 2019 Maggie Award Winner, 4-time Whitney Award Winner, and 2-time Golden Quill Award Winner.

Heather is represented by Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

~*~*~*~*Purchase Under the Java Moon~*~*~*~*




Friday, September 15, 2023

Dead West by Linda L. Richards-Mystery Suspense Book Review

Dead West by Linda L Richards Banner

Dead West

by Linda L Richards

September 4 - 29, 2023 Virtual Book Tour

Book Synopsis:

Dead West by Linda L Richards

Still struggling towards the light, this time the assignment is to save, not kill.

Taking lives has taken its toll. Her moral justifications have faltered. Do any of the the people she has killed — some of them heinous, but all of them human — deserve to die?

Her next target is Cameron Walker, a rancher in Arizona. When she arrives at his remote desert estate to carry out her orders, she discovers that he is a kind and beautiful man. After a lengthy tour of the ranch, not only has she not killed him, she’s wondering who might want him dead.

She procrastinates long enough that a vibe grows between them. At the same time, she learns that he’s passionate about wild horses and has been fighting a losing political battle to save the mustangs that live on protected land near his property. He’s even received death threats from those who oppose him.

She finds herself trying to protect the man she was sent to kill, following a trail that leads from the desert, to the Phoenix cognoscenti, to the highest offices in Washington, DC. Along the way she encounters kidnappers and killers, horse thieves and even human traffickers. Hopefully she can figure out who ordered the hit before they hire someone else to execute the assignment.

Praise for Dead West:

"Linda L. Richards delivers yet another riveting entry in her hired killer series. Set mostly in Arizona desert country, Dead West is a dust devil of a story, twisting in wildly unpredictable ways and with a powerful emotional center. But this book isn’t just a marvelously compelling thriller; it also cries out passionately for protection of the endangered wild horses of the West. Kudos to Richards for seamlessly weaving an important message into the fabric of a terrific tale."
~ William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author

"When a contract killer’s wounded conscience begins to awaken, it only heightens the dangers of her profession. In Dead West, the incomparable Linda L. Richards poses the possibility of redemption and recovery for her tragic heroine, all while sending her – and us – on a deadly thrill ride through the stunning Arizona wilderness."
~ Clea Simon, Boston Globe bestselling author

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Noir, Suspense
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: September 2023
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781608095124 (ISBN10: 1608095126)
Series: The Endings Series, Book 3
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | Goodreads | Oceanview Publishing         

****I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, NetGalley, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.**** 

My Review 

Dead West is the first novel I've read by Author Linda L. Richards. Wow was I impressed! This story grabbed your attention and made you wonder what was going to happen next. I was so intrigued by the main character as she tells the story in first person. It's not often that I've read about a woman assassin. I loved how the mystery unraveled while it also became tangled up by so many other things happening. Do you like how vague I'm being in this review? I'm not one to give things away in my reviews because I don't want to spoil it for other readers. Just know, that this book will keep you guessing and questioning the hired killer's every move and those who are thick into the mystery. 

Another aspect I loved was how the plight of wild horses was shown. I have always felt that humans should not be taking the land away from wild animals. We've encroached on their territory and habitats enough. I learned a lot and felt an emotional connection to the horses.

Dead West will leave you with many moments full of tension, anxiety, and fear. There were plenty of obstacles and plot twists that will leave readers on their toes until the very end. This is an author who I hope to read more of her books. This was a wonderful and wild ride.


Read an excerpt:


I’m sitting on a beach. It’s a ridiculous proposition. Fluffy white clouds are scudding through a clear, blue sky. Surfers are running around carrying boards, often over their heads. Then they plunge into a sea that looks deadly to my non-surfing eyes. Palm trees are waving, and the air is so neutral, you don’t have to think about it. Soft, welcoming air. You just float right through.

The view is beautiful. It’s like a movie backdrop. A painting. Something skillfully manufactured to look hyper-real. Textbook paradise, that’s what I’m talking about.

I’m sitting on this beach, trying not to think about the reason I’m here. But it’s hard. Difficult. To not think about it, I mean. I’m here, in paradise, because someone has to die.

Someone will die.

I got the assignment a few days ago. I flew to this island to pull it off.

My target is a businessman who lives on this island in the South Pacific. He is the kind of self-made guy who has achieved every goal in life and would seem to have everything to live for. Only now, apparently, someone wants him dead because here I am, ready for business.

So I stake him out. You need to understand at least the basics of who someone is before you snuff them out. This is the idea that I have. I’m not going all sensitive on you or anything, that’s just how it is. In order to do the best possible job in this business, you need to understand a little about who they are. It’s not a rule or anything, it’s just how I feel.

His name is Gavin White, and I researched him a bit before I got here. He made his fortune in oil and wax, which is an odd enough combo that you perk up your ears. Only it doesn’t seem to matter: the source of the income would seem to have nothing to do with the hit. Would seem to, because there is only so much I can learn about that, really. On the surface, anyway, I can find no direct connection between Gavin White’s livelihood and the death that someone has planned for him and that I am now further planning.

I follow him and his S560 cabriolet all over the tropical island. He makes a few stops. I watch what he does, how he moves and who he interacts with. Some of it might matter. I’m not doing it for my health. I’m watching him so I can determine when I might best have advantage when I go to take him out. There are always multiple times and different places to fulfill my assignment and usually only one—or maybe two—that are virtually flawless. Sometimes not even that. So I watch.

And it’s more than an opportunity I’m looking for, though that can play a part. It’s also a matter of identifying what will make my job not only easier, but also safest from detection. And so I watch. And I wait.

As I follow him, he stops first at a bank. Does some business— I’ll never know what. After that he visits his mom. At least, I guess it is his mom. An older woman he seems affectionate with. From my rental car, I can see them through a front room window. There is a hug and then a wave. It could be a bookkeeper for all I know. But mom is what I guess.

After a while he heads to the beach. He sits on the sand, contemplative for a while. I think about taking him there; full contemplation. But it is crude and much too exposed.

More time passes before he takes off his shoes, leaves them on the beach, and walks into the surf. I leave my car and take up a spot on the sand, just plopping myself down not far from his shoes.

I watch him surreptitiously. It is obvious he did not come to the beach to swim. He is fully clothed and he hasn’t left a towel behind there with his shoes. There is none of the paraphernalia one associates with a visit to the beach, even if this were one that is intended for swimming, which it is not. Signs warn of possible impending doom for those who venture into the water.

“Strong current,” warns one sign under a fluorescent flag. “If in doubt, don’t go out.”

“Dangerous shore break,” warns another. “Waves break in shallow water. Serious injuries could occur, even in small surf.”

I don’t know if Gavin White read the signs, or noticed them, but even though he is still fully clothed, he steps into the water anyway.

First, he gets his feet wet. Not long after, he wades in up to his knees. He hesitates when the water is at mid-thigh, and he stops there. For a while, it seems to me, it is like a dance. He stands facing the horizon, directly in front of where I sit. His shoulders are squared. There is something stoic in his stance. I can’t explain it. Squared and stoic.

Waves break against him, push him back. He allows the push, then makes his way back to the spot where he had stood before.

Before long, he ventures deeper still. The dance. I watch for a while, fascinated. I wonder if there is anything I should do. But no. The dance. Two steps forward, then the waves push him back.

And now he is in deeper still, and further from shore. I see a wave engulf him completely, and I hold my breath. He doesn’t struggle, but then I see him rise, face the horizon, square his shoulders.

The waves are strong and beautiful. And they are eerily clear, those waves. Sometimes I can see right inside them. Careful glass tubes of water, I can even observe that from shore.

For a while he stands like that, facing the horizon—a lull in the action of the waves. And then he is engulfed once again. I hold my breath, but this time he doesn’t rise.

I sit there for a long time, considering. And waiting. My breathing shallow. But he doesn’t reappear.

After half an hour, I text my handler.
“It is done,” is all I say, just as I know she will expect.
It was not my hand, but the mission has been accomplished regardless. No one knows better than me that there are many ways to die.


There are many ways to die.
I think I have died many times. Certainly, I’ve wanted to.
I died when I lost my child. Died later when I lost my husband, even though by then there was little love left between us. Still. I died.

I died the first time I took someone’s life. At the time it felt like living, but I didn’t yet know the difference. And then there was the time I had to kill someone I loved. I died that time, too.

Sometimes I believe I have died so much that I’ve forgotten how to live. That I should most correctly walk into a waiting undertow just like Gavin White did. I don’t know what stops me, honestly. I don’t. Though there are days when it’s a very close thing.

This isn’t one of those days.

When my phone rings, it tells me the call is coming from Kiribati, a place I’ve barely heard of before. All of her calls are like that. Routed through some other place. They might be chosen for their convenience, but I think they are also selected for the mirth they might provide. I’m not certain she has a wicked sense of humor, but I suspect it, pretty much.

She never used to call me. For a long time, it was text and email only, secure channels always. And then the calls began. I imagined that it meant we had developed some sort of connection. I no longer wonder about that now.

Whatever the meaning, the calls have never been from normal places; they don’t come from the places one might expect. And none have been from the same odd place twice. They are chosen for some reason I don’t understand. Some inside joke I stand outside of. She can be cryptic that way. Another reason I guess I imagined for a while that we belonged.

“That was efficient,” is what she says by way of greeting.

“What do you mean?” I figure I actually know, but it makes no sense to admit that going in.

“He walked into the sea,” she says. How does she know that? It makes me wonder, but not deeply. It would not be the first time I’ve wondered if there is someone who watches the hunter. It would even make a dark sort of sense.

“Yes,” I say, unquestioning. She has her ways. “That’s right. He did.”

“Hmmm,” she says. And then again, “Hmmm.”

“There are many ways to die,” I say, and by now it feels like gospel. Something sacred. And more true than true. “What I really don’t understand,” I say, sailing into a different direction, “is that you said things weren’t going to be like this anymore.”

“Excuse me?” I am put off by her tone. Surprised. It comes to me from a new place. Unexpected. And she doesn’t back away from it. Goes on just as strongly, instead. “What do you mean by that?” It’s a challenge.

“I’m trying to think how you put it,” I say. “Something about how things have been wrong with the world. How we could . . . how we could make it right.”

“Did I say that?”

“You did,” I reply.

“I do maybe remember something like that. Maybe.”

I feel my heart sink a bit at her words. And why? I can’t even quite put my finger on it. It felt, maybe, like I might be part of something. Again. And now? Now I’m not.

“You did say that,” I say it quietly though. Almost as an aside.

“These things take time, as it turns out. One can’t just flip a switch.” I can hear her pushing on, rushing through. “Meanwhile, I’ve got another one for you,” she says, and I’m relieved that she has tacitly agreed to leave the drowned man to sink or swim. Disappointed by how easily the hopeful words she’d fed me not so long ago could be pushed to one easy side. Disappointed and relieved all in one gulp. It’s an odd thing to feel. I find I don’t like it. “So if you’re ready,” she says.

“Another what?” I ask it, but I suspect I know.

“Job,” she replies, and I wonder why I wasted breath.

“I’m ready enough,” I say, though I’m struggling. I struggle every time.

“Good,” she says. “I’ll send you the details, but I think the juxtaposition of these two will amuse you.”

“How so?” And I try not to digest the irony around any aspect of a contract killing being amusing.

“Well, you’ve just been in the Pacific. Water, water everywhere.

And now you’re heading for the desert.” “I am?”

“You are. Right out into it, in fact. The target is in Arizona.” “Phoenix?” Which is all I really know of Arizona.

“You’ll fly to Phoenix, but, no: the target is near a national park.

Rural. A place you won’t have heard of before, I’m betting. I’ll send the details once I’m off this call.”

When I first get off the phone, I try not to think about it too much. It’s like my brain doesn’t want me to pay attention. Or something. But I put off checking my email. I’ll do it later. Right now, there are things that need my attention.

Okay. “Need” would be an overstatement. There are things. I choose to give them my time. Walks in the forest with the dog. Cooking succulent meals for one. And recently, I have taken up plein air painting, simply because it was there.

When I want to paint, I take the dog and my gear and we hike out to some remote spot and I set up my stuff and I paint what I see. Try to paint what I see. The dog meanwhile amuses himself— chasing squirrels, digging holes, sniffing his own butt. He’s very skilled at self-amusement. I’ve never seen anything like it.

In less clement weather we hunker down and brave it out. I make a fire in the fireplace because it’s beautiful, not because we need the warmth.

There is something idyllic to this life. Easy. After a while it gets even easier to forget . . . forget what? Everything, really. It gets easier to forget to remember.

I paint the dog. My online classes have gone well enough, and I have proven to be a good enough student—and the dog a good enough subject—that I end up with a pretty credible representation of him; something I am proud to hang. And even if I wasn’t, it’s not like anyone is ever going to see.


Excerpt from Dead West by Linda L Richards. Copyright 2023 by Linda L Richards. Reproduced with permission from Linda L Richards. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Linda L Richards

Linda L. Richards is the award-winning author of over a dozen books. The founder and publisher of January Magazine and a national board member of Sisters in Crime, she is best known for her strong female protagonists in the thriller genre. Richards is from Vancouver, Canada and currently makes her home in Phoenix, Arizona. Richards is an accomplished horsewoman and an avid tennis player. She enjoys yoga, hiking, cooking and playing guitar, though not at the same time.

You can find her at:
BookBub - @linda1841
Instagram - @lindalrichards
Twitter - @lindalrichards
Facebook - @lindalrichardsauthor
TikTok - @lindalrichards

Learn More about Linda in this #AuthorInterview!


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and opportunities to WIN in the giveaway!



This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Linda L Richards. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

The giveaway is for $20 Amazon Gift Card



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Wednesday, September 13, 2023

A Lady's Promise: A Historical Romance by Ranee S. Clark-Historical Romance Book Review

 Book Summary

For orphaned New York socialite Isabella De Vries, finding a husband has become imperative. After unsuccessfully navigating four Seasons, it’s time to enlist the help of an old family friend to find her a suitable match. She trusts Preston implicitly, but his solution is both unconventional and he himself will marry Isabella in name alone so that she may be the sole beneficiary of his inheritance when he succumbs to the disease that will soon take his life. His plan solves everyone’s Isabella will be cared for, and his inheritance will be protected from his irresponsible younger brother, Prince. There is no love left between Prince Baxter and his older brother. When he hears that Preston is going to marry Isabella, Prince knows he will have to charm his way into friendship with Isabella if he wants to see any portion of the inheritance money. His plot, however, quickly crumples to pieces as he and Isabella establish a genuine connection―and he makes the mistake of falling in love with her.

Book Details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Covenant Communications; First Edition (September 5, 2023)
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 200 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1524424129
  • ****I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, NetGalley, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.****

My Review

A Lady's Promise takes place in what was known as The Gilded Age of New York Society in 1895. It's always nice to read a romance set in a chapter of history I haven't read as much about. 

I loved Isabella, the orphaned New York Socialite, who was raised by her uncle and aunt. Isabella is such a lovely character that all people are drawn to. She is caring, kind, and intelligent. When Preston, a dying old family friend offers her a marriage of convenience to Isabella, she accepts. Preston doesn't want to leave his inheritance to his immature younger brother Prince, unless he changes his ways.

This story is told from Isabella, Preston, and Prince's POV. This was great to get a richer perspective of what was happening and how everyone was feeling. Though this is a slow-burn romance, it's well worth your effort to jump in and enjoy the ride. 

I wish that Preston and Prince could have resolved their differences in this story before Preston's inevitable death from cancer. Though Prince and Bella grew to know one another better with the stories the brothers spoke of. In some ways remembering the past was healing for the brothers. This sweet romance is full of emotional and maturity character development. There is flirting between two people destined to fall in love but truly there is no love triangle between Preston, Bella, and Prince. I believe things in the long run worked out the way that Preston had hoped for. 

****Meet Author Ranee S. Clark****

In a house overrun by boys, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Raneé loves football and enjoys watching (and playing!) other sports as well, like basketball and baseball. When she’s not chauffeuring three busy boys to various activities (and sometimes while she is!), Raneé is either writing, reading (usually romance), obsessing over clothes in the form of her online boutique, or figuring out how to get a Crumbl cookie in rural Wyoming. When her real-life love interest can drag her away from imaginary worlds, she doesn’t mind spending some time with him in the great outdoors that he loves.

Find out more about Raneé at

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