Tag Archives: Karen Witemeyer

Heart on the Line

Heart on the Line

By Karen Witemeyer

The Story

When Danger Arrives, It’s More Than Just Her Heart on the Line

Grace Mallory is tired of hiding. She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper’s Station have found. But when the man she believes responsible for her father’s death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him. However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

(Back cover summary from Bethany House Publishers)

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            Karen Witemeyer has been a long-time favorite of mine. Her books always incorporate unique characters, humor, and a sweet romance. Heart on the Line is no exception to that formula. I could hardly pass it up, what with the heroine and I sharing a name.

I loved, in particular, Amos Bledsoe. He was such an interesting character, from his love for bicycles to his way of responding to different situations. I can see why Grace fell for him. 🙂 I also enjoyed how they met, on the line, as it were. The different elements of working for a telegraph office were fascinating, as I really knew nothing about that. I also appreciated how this wasn’t an easy journey for Grace and Amos. Just when you think they’re about to win, they get a setback, which is true to life, isn’t it?

This is a sweet read with some danger in the mix. If you’ve been reading the Ladies of Harper Station series, then you’ll enjoy this latest installment.

About the Author

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com .

(Biography from Bethany House Publishers)

I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.

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With This Ring?

25822013Book Review: With This Ring?

Authors: Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, & Melissa Jagears

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Bethany House’s website description of With This Ring?:

The Husband Maneuver

When ranch foreman Daniel Barrett seems ready to leave her life forever, Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins on their relationship. But to have any hope of maneuvering him into a proposal, she has to act fast or risk losing him completely.

Her Dearly Unintended

Josiah Huckabee just wanted to make sure Katie Ellen Watson was safe, but when the only bridge to her farm is washed out, the two find themselves alone. Alone, that is, until a menacing stranger appears. Maybe by pretending to be newlyweds, they’ll save their reputations–but can pretending to be in love turn into the real thing?

Runaway Bride

Hired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife, Big John Conroy never expected the job to interrupt his solitary Texas Ranger life. But now that he’s promised to keep Carrie safe, he discovers he may just want to make a few more promises.

Engaging the Competition

Harrison Gray and tomboy Charlotte Andrews have been rivals for years. With Charlotte intended for someone else, it seems they’ll never settle their differences until an accident changes things completely. When Charlotte breaks Harrison’s glasses–without which he’s nearly blind–she must help with his teaching position, and working together forces these former adversaries to reconsider everything.

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            This latest novella collection put out by Bethany House has a stellar cast of authors known for their stunning, hilarious, sweet, and touching novels. I love reading romances ‘gone awry’, and that is just what this collection is all about. It was funny and poignant by turns, and I loved every minute of it. I enjoyed how Karen Witemeyer wrote about Daniel’s story, because I had been curious when I finished A Worthy Pursuit on whether his story would get to be told. Mary Connealy also brought in a familiar character in Big John Conroy, which was fun to read about. I don’t know if the two other couples were mentioned in previous books or not, since I’m not as up to date on those authors. But both Melissa Jagears’ and Regina Jennings’ stories were so much fun to read. I have to say, though, that I enjoyed Regina’s the most, which was a very tough decision to come to. But Josiah’s cocky tenacity and Katie Ellen’s OCD perfection were such a great combo. Add into that a mysterious stranger, who was a hilarious character himself, and a natural disaster and this novella is a winner.

I thoroughly enjoyed this whole collection, and it was very hard picking which one was my favorite. Novella collections are perfect for those who don’t have the time or maybe attention span to read a full length novel, and this particular one is a five-star read. I highly recommend it.

About the Author

Biographies from Bethany House’s website: Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has over half a million books sold. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Learn more at www.maryconnealy.com

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children and can be found online at www.reginajennings.com

Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps, A Bride in Store, and A Bride at Last, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She’s a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. Find her online at www.melissajagears.com

I was given a review copy of With This Ring? from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Full Steam Ahead

 

urlBook Review: Full Steam Ahead

Author: Karen Witemeyer

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Bethany House’s website description of Full Steam Ahead:

When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead?

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole’s father has always focused on what she’s not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it’s too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family’s greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father’s rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole’s plans.

After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father’s rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family’s legacy?

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I was so excited to get the chance to request a review copy of Karen’s latest, Full Steam Ahead, since I am a big fan of her writing. I’m always a big fan of romance, history, and suspense all set in the wild west.

This novel is a bit different than her other offerings. Rather than the dusty west, this story takes place on the banks of various Texas rivers. This particular heroine comes from a wealthy family. Our hero is obsessed with finding a way to make riverboat travel safer.

In other ways, Full Steam Ahead is just as I expected from Karen. Nicole is a feisty heroine who will do whatever it takes to keep her family safe, even to the point of putting herself in danger. Darius is driven to right past wrongs, revealing a tender heart scarred by the tragic steamboat explosion. And, as always, Karen infused Full Steam Ahead with rich historical detail and a subtle, yet poignant spiritual message.

I loved how these characters were willing to sacrifice for each other, be it their dreams, their safety, or even their lives. Nicole and Darius’s relationship is fun to read about, as each are passionate about certain things, and when they begin to be attracted toward each other it is truly full steam ahead. 🙂

The danger in this book is real, with a no-holds-barred feel. Nicole and Darius must be truly willing to risk everything to keep those they love safe.

Darius and Nicole both must realize that in order to truly be whole, to be fixed, they have to place themselves in God’s hand. They are incapable of fixing their many flaws on their own, but God is willing to fix their broken vases.

Who are your go-to authors? I’d love to hear who you would recommend!

About the Author

Biography from Bethany House’s website: Two-time RITA finalist and winner of the coveted HOLT Medallion and ACFW Carol Award, CBA bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance because she believes that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com

I was given a review copy of Full Steam Ahead from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

 

A Match Made In Texas

9780764211768Book Review: A Match Made In Texas

Authors: Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Carol Cox

Review by Grace Olson 

The Story

Taken from Bethany House’s website synopsis of A Match Made In Texas:

 There’s a secret matchmaker at work in frontier Texas!

In the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas, a good-hearted busybody just can’t keep herself from surreptitiously trying to match up women in dire straits with men of good character she hopes can help them. How is she to know she’s also giving each couple a little nudge toward love?
A Cowboy Unmatched
Neill isn’t sure who hired him to repair Clara’s roof–he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?
An Unforeseen Match
Hoping to earn an honest wage on his way to the land rush, Clayton ends up on Grace’s doorstep, lured by a classified ad. He may have signed on for more than he expected though–and he may have found the one woman who can keep him from moving on.
No Match for Love
Andrew can’t fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?
Meeting Her Match
When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker’s son how much she cares for him?

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I absolutely fell in love with this collection and its characters. When I requested this book, I had read two of Regina Jennings’s novels, part of a book by Karen Witemeyer, and started the first five pages of a Mary Connealy novel. And while I had heard of Carol Cox, I had never read any of her books. Boy will I be changing that for these four authors.

First, Karen’s story, A Cowboy Unmatched. I was already somewhat familiar with Neill when I received this collection, so I was very interested to see what was going to happen with him. As I’m beginning to discover, Karen does not disappoint. This was a sweet love story with plenty of tension as far as the villain was concerned. What a great start to A Match Made In Texas!

In An Unforeseen Match, the heroine shared my name, fancy that, so I already had a connection with her. I have really loved Regina’s novels, and this one absolutely delivered. What a beautiful love story! Grace having to overcome her blindness and Clayton helping her with that was so compelling, and it had a marvelous ending!

My first look at Carol Cox’s writing, No Match For Love, got me hooked. This novella had some mystery in it, which I thought I had figured out, but she threw in a twist that had me chuckling. After the previous two authors that I had some experience with and whose writing I enjoyed, I wondered if Carol’s story would hold the same appeal for me. Did it? You betcha!

At last, in Meeting Her Match, I got to meet the woman who has been anonymously helping all these other couples to find their true loves. And what a story she had! Let’s just say that this matchmaker isn’t the only scheming lady in Dry Gulch. How this woman finally found her own match surprised me, but it was the perfect end to this novella collection.

Final thoughts? Love, love, loved it! All four of these romances flowed beautifully together, despite the fact that all of them have very different characters, plots, and even authors! A Match Made In Texas is definitely the best book I have read recently, and one I would highly recommend. Well done, ladies!

If you want a glimpse of what these characters might look like, take a look at this blog: http://ncharacters.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-many-characters-from-match-made-in.html I recently re-discovered it, and have been loving looking through the archives. Stop by and take a peek!

About the Authors 

Since there are four different authors involved in this book, I’m not going to introduce you to all of them. If you want to learn more about any of these ladies and the other books they’ve written, you can go to their respective websites: Karen Witemeyer: http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/ Mary Connealy: http://www.maryconnealy.com/ Regina Jennings: http://www.reginajennings.com/ Carol Cox: http://authorcarolcox.com/

I was given a review copy of A Match Made In Texas from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group House, in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.