#BookReview: A Love Most Worthy by Sandra Ardoin

Happy 2019! Wow, how did that happen?

Every year before Christmas, I have the best intentions to get all my shopping and wrapping done early so that I can kick back in front of the fireplace and finally make a dent in my To Be Read stack. And every year…

I fail.


Somehow, I get sucked into watching gobs of Hallmark movies. Was anybody else disappointed with this year’s offerings? I should have opted to read.

Maybe next year.

Anyway, I was super excited to get my hands on this gem right after Christmas.

book cover A Love Most Worthy lady with apron and red hair

Wowza, isn’t it gorgeous? And the story inside is just as appealing as the cover. Let’s get started!

Here’s the blurb:

She didn’t know which was colder, an Arctic winter or her new husband’s heart. (Whoa! Talk about a tease! Sandra could’ve left off the rest. I was hooked from the first sentence!)

Hallie Russell believes life should be lived to the fullest. For that reason, she sails to the gold rush town of Nome, Alaska to take her cousin’s place as the mail-order bride of a respected shopkeeper. But when her aloof husband’s wedding-night announcement rocks her plans for their marriage, Hallie sees her desire for a family to call her own vanish as quickly as the dreams of hopeful miners.

Tragedy led Rance Preston to regret his rowdy ways and open a general store for the miners in Nome. He’s content in his bachelorhood, but his two orphaned nephews deserve a proper and serious-minded mother. Duped once by a vivacious female, he’s determined to never again let his heart overrule his head…until the high spirits of his new bride threaten his resolve.

When a misunderstanding comes to light, will they allow the gale force winds of insecurity to destroy what they each need most?

My thoughts…

The hero’s angst in the first few lines drew me into this story immediately! Now a committed guardian of his two young nephews, Rance Preston waits on the beach for the mail order bride who would care for the youngsters while he manages the store. Romance isn’t part of his marriage agenda (You can read the book to find out why!) unlike the heroine who craves a proper family. The author did a fabulous job of showing the hero’s mixture of dread and acceptance and the heroine’s determination and grit to love her husband and his nephews before she steps a foot on shore in Nome, Alaska. Rance’s doubt almost cost them everything but considering his past experience, f found his reactions understandable. Besides, how could I not admire and respect him? He gave up much to care for these two boys and only wanted what was best for them. If I had lived during that time period, I would’ve wanted Hallie for a best friend. The setting on the pages came alive, and I got a real sense of the mixture of excitement and desperation of the gold panners.

Normally, I lose interest in historicals because of the voluminous page count but A Love Most Worthy was short enough to hold my interest, yet long enough to satisfy. The plot, combined with a natural faith element that weaved organically through the story, kept me turning pages. Overall, I’m thrilled that this particular book kicked off my reading this year!

A Love Most Worthy releases on February 5, but don’t wait! Pre-order your copy for only $.99 by clicking here, and this sweet gem will be waiting in your kindle inbox that Tuesday morning. It’s that easy. Happy reading!

What were some of your favorite reads in 2018?

Disclaimer: I received a copy of A Love Most Worthy from the author without any mention or expectation of a review. Other than the free copy of this ebook, I was not compensated, and this review represents my fair and unbiased opinion.

On My Kindle ~ Celtic Cross by Tammy Doherty

Purchase Link

The Cover Story~

A stranger arrives on the Donovan ranch just one breath away from dead. Matt Donovan does not hesitate to help, despite her unknown past. What happened to this woman? Who is she? Will the man who shot her come riding down the trail after her, shattering peaceful Glenpark, Colorado?

When Cristeen wakes, she can remember nothing of her past. Only one thought haunts her day and night: trust no one. Matt fears Cristeen’s fierce independence will lead only to tragedy. Can he help Cristeen see the need to trust the Lord before it is too late? Can Cristeen overcome her belief that loving can only bring heartache?

Then a madman bent on revenge tracks her down. Matt cannot rescue Cristeen this time. Only the Lord can save her now…if she has enough faith to trust. Can she overcome the past and learn to trust?

My Thoughts~
I must confess I was reluctant to pick up this book because of the title, but I needn’t have hesitated. Cristeen rarely speaks Celtic, just a couple occasions, but the title comes from her constant fiddling of a Celtic cross, a gift from her mother. Fiercely independent but lacking self-esteem, she grew up trying to be the son her father wanted and is more comfortable in the barn hanging out with the horses than inside a kitchen. Matt Donovan watched his mother wilt and die on the ranch and vowed never to marry a woman who didn’t love the secluded ranch life as much as he did. 

I enjoyed the unusual way the author segued into new chapters, and that this was a love story from beginning to end. But while Matt and Cristeen are drawn to each other, both must overcome internal obstacles.

“I can hire a housekeeper. That’s not what I was looking for. I want a ‘heart-keeper.'” ~Matt

Don’t you just love that? I appreciated the gentle faith thread weaved in this sweet romance. In some areas, head-hopping had me a little confused, but overall, Celtic Cross kept me turning pages because I cared about the characters and wanted them to have their happily-ever-after. 

Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of Celtic Cross. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.

Head In The Clouds by Karen Witemeyer ~Sharing My Review

Purchase Link~B&N

About the book~

Adelaide Proctor is a young woman with her head in the clouds, longing for a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a staid governess position on a central Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her romantic yearnings behind.

When Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America’s wool industry, he never expected to become a father overnight. And five-year-old Isabella hasn’t uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon–and intrigues him at the same time. But he can’t afford distractions. He has a ranch to run, a shearing to oversee, and a suspicious fence-cutting to investigate.
When Isabella’s uncle comes to claim the child–and her inheritance–Gideon and Adelaide must work together to protect Isabella from the man’s evil schemes. And soon neither can deny their growing attraction. But after so many heartbreaks, will Adelaide be willing to get her head out of the clouds and put her heart on the line?

Sharing My Review~

Adelaide Proctor abandons her teaching position to follow the man she believes will provide her with the family she so desperately longs for. Not that Henry Belcher makes her heart race, but she’s waited a long time for him to propose. When she finally catches up to him, she accepts that there won’t be a proposal. Grieving the loss of the family she’d dreamed of, she applies for a governess position, determined to follow God’s cloud, just like the Israelites who wandered in the wilderness. I love how the title was such an integral part of the story. 
The plot dragged a bit during the narration regarding Lucinda’s journal, but for the most part, I was glued to the pages and couldn’t wait to get back into the story whenever I had a chance. Head in the Clouds is sure to make you consider some deep topics like…why God doesn’t always intervene to prevent suffering. 

I especially appreciate how Gideon and Adelaide come to love each other without the snippy dialog that’s common in many historicals, but rather, from a mutual admiration and respect for one another that develops into something deep and genuine. Adelaide’s inherently clumsy,  creative, stubborn and loyal, and when she tugs a smile from sweet little Isabella, Gideon can’t help but fall for her. 
As I have come to learn, Karen Witemeyer books never disappoint! Head in the Clouds is another awesome read that will keep your head in the pages. Pure enjoyment!

Disclosure: I scooped up Head in the Clouds while it was offered free on Amazon. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.