On My Kindle ~ His Most Suitable Bride by Renee Ryan

Purchase Link

About the book~
No one in Denver knows how close Callie Mitchell once came to ruin. Dowdy dresses and severe hairstyles hide evidence of the pretty, trusting girl she used to be. Now her matchmaking employer wants Callie to help find a wife for the one man who sees through her careful facade. 

For his business’s sake, Reese Bennett Jr. plans on making a sensible marriage. Preferably one without the unpredictable emotions that spring to life around Callie. Yet no matter how many candidates she presents to Reese, none compare with the vibrant, intelligent woman who is right under his nose—and quickly invading his heart. 

Sharing my thoughts~
When attorney Reese Bennett Jr.’s client and perpetual matchmaker points out that his law firm would suffer from his continued bachelor status and offers to help find him a suitable bride, he decides to allow her. But when Mrs. Singletary suddenly claims she’s too busy and turns that task over to her companion, Callie Mitchell, his ex-fiance’s sister, he debates withdrawing his permission. 

Docile one moment, bold the next. Plain one day, jaw-droppingly beautiful the next. Boring. Then exciting. Demure and shy. Then confident and determined. Who is Callie Mitchell and why is she hiding under dull shapeless clothes? Intrigued, Reece determines to find out, and accepts Callie’s offer to help him with his bride search.

Callie Mitchell refuses to forgive her past indiscretion over a man and believes that if she dresses plainly, no man will show interest and therefore she couldn’t repeat the mistake. But when gentle, handsome Reece looks past the dowdy dresses and begins to unravel the real Callie, her facade cracks. Her past did not have to define her future. She was a child of God, forgiven and loved…She could either spend the rest of her life feeling shame over her lapse in good judgment, or accept the Lord’s mercy. The past was the past. The future, hers for the taking.

While His Most Suitable Bride was an enjoyable read, I really appreciated the underlying theme of letting go of our past. I struggle with this myself, so I could relate to both Callie and Reese, and understood how their attitudes affected their decisions and relationships. Little gems like this were sprinkled throughout the book:

“Today is a new day, meant to be lived under grace.” ~Pastor Beau

“One must never focus on the ending when the story has yet to fully begin.” ~Mrs. Singletary

Whether you’re looking for a book to curl up with for a long evening, during a carpool line, or to take on vacation, you’ll want to include His Most Suitable Bride!

Disclaimer: Sending a big thank you to Harlequin Love Inspired Historical and NetGalley for allowing me the privilege of reviewing His Most Suitable Bride and for the free copy I received in exchange for my fair and unbiased review. This opinion is my own, and I received no compensation.

The Outlaw’s Redemption by Renee Ryan ~ My Review

About the book~
Who would guess the most formidable adversary former gunslinger Hunter Mitchell ever faced would be a fiery, violet-eyed female? Now that he’s served his time, Hunter intends to claim the daughter he’s only just discovered. While the law is on his side this time, his daughter’s devoted aunt certainly isn’t. 

Annabeth Silks can’t bear to let a onetime outlaw take little Sarah. As the daughter of an infamous madam, she knows the hardship of an unstable home. But every glimpse of Hunter’s reformed character dares Annabeth to look beyond his past…to the family and future she never thought to find.


My Thoughts~
Hunter Mitchell, a former gunslinger fresh out of a two year prison stint, returns to the brothel where he killed a man, intent on retrieving his daughter from Mattie Silks, the brothel’s owner. Reformed and longing for a chance to start fresh, he won’t allow Annabeth Silks to keep him from the sweet nine-year-old girl he just discovered was his. Annabeth can’t bear the thought of losing her niece, but even tougher for her to imagine, is leaving Charity House to live with Hunter as Sarah’s nanny, especially when her heart longs for more.

Initially, I passed on this book, non-committal about a reformed outlaw for a hero, but I’ve read other books by Renee Ryan and liked them, so I scooped it up. I’m glad I did.

What I liked…


I really appreciated the way Hunter treated Mattie, the brothel owner. By treating Mattie with respect and dignity, Hunter sealed the deal with Annabeth’s heart.


Relationships are complicated. I liked that the author didn’t sugarcoat Annabeth’s relationship with her mother. Ryan portrayed their unusual bond realistically, showing the embarrassment, the shame, the stigma. Annabeth loves her mother, but doesn’t appreciate being labeled a madam’s daughter or the risk of losing her reputation and home. Mattie also loves her daughter but isn’t willing to give up the finer things in life for her daughter’s sake.

I also admired how the author handled Hunter’s past. When he arrives on scene, he’s already reformed. Ryan shows us Hunter’s commitment to being a better man without being preachy.

What I didn’t like so much…

Hunter had actually been married twice, which I found a bit confusing in the beginning and unnecessary.

Overall…

I really enjoyed this story and getting to know Hunter, Annabeth, and Mattie, all strong characters. Great job, Ms. Ryan!

The Outlaw’s Redemption releases on 7/1/13 with Harlequin Love Inspired Historical, but you can preorder it here~ Preorder Link

Disclaimer: Sending a huge thanks to Harlequin Love Inspired Historical and NetGalley for providing me with an advance review e-copy. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.

Have you read The Outlaw’s Redemption

Do you agree with my review? What were your thoughts?

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Sharing my Review of GROOM WANTED by Debra Ullrick

The Blurb:
It’s a perfect plan—best friends Leah Bowen and Jake Lure will each advertise for mail-order spouses in the papers, and then Jake will help select Leah’s future husband, while Leah picks Jake’s bride-to-be! Surely the ads will find them what they seek: a wife who’ll appreciate Jake’s shy charm and a groom who’ll take Leah away from the Idaho Territory she detests. When the responses to the postings pour in, it seems all Leah’s and Jake’s dreams will soon come true. But the closer they each get to the altar, the less appealing marrying a stranger becomes. Is it too late to turn back—or to turn around and find the happiness they truly seek together, at last?

My Review:

Leah rejected best friend Jake’s “marriage of convenience” proposal, intent on finding a husband from New York so she could leave behind the awful nightmares of her father’s death. She didn’t consider that those bad memories would follow her. Jake’s ad garners more responses, but Leah figures she hit the jackpot when wealthy Fitzwilliam Barrington and his sister arrive to determine if Leah is suitable marriage material. Jake and Leah’s friendship evolves into something stronger and deeper as they recognize and appreciate the endearing qualities in one another.

Historicals aren’t typically my genre of choice, but Debra Ullrick’s turning me into a historical lover. I enjoyed getting to know Leah and Jake, real next-door-neighbor-type characters, and journeying with them as they discovered who their hearts belonged to. At times, I wanted to have a serious talk with Leah. How could she be so willing to marry a snobby, arrogant Fitzwilliam when sweet Jake was right there in front of her? Ms. Ullrick crafted a book with great conflict and a powerful, timeless message, that God’s plans are so much better than we could ever imagine. I would have liked more physical tension throughout the book, but that’s just me. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one!

Purchase Link ~ Love Inspired Historical Available August 2012

Debra Ullrick is a multi-published, award-winning author. For years, Debra has lived on a working cattle ranch in the Colorado Rocky Mountains with her husband of thirty-seven years and her daughter, which brings authenticity to her books that are set in the country and in the historical West. Besides following Christ, her passions include: reading, writing, drawing Western art, feeding wild birds, animals, and watching Jane Austen movies, COPS, Little People, Big World, and Castle. She is also a ginormous fan of classic muscle cars, mud-bog racing and monster trucks.

Debra loves to hear from her readers. You can find her online at: Facebook, Twitter and Shoutlife. Or you can contact her through her website at http://www.debraullrick.com. While there, check out Debra’s other available titles.

Disclosure: I received this book from the author for a fair and honest review.