Book Reviews,  In the Stack,  Inspirational Books,  Reading

Book Review Minis

I want to give a shout out to some worthy small press/indie books I’ve read lately, so I figured I’d do that in this group of mini reviews.

Do you like your fiction with a Southern twang? I could actually hear the drawl when reading the dialog in Jennifer Hallmark’s debut novel, Jessie’s Hope. I recommend this story about realistic characters finding hope in the face of bitterness, abandonment, guilt, and feeling unworthy.

This was an unusual read for me since my normal genres involve straight romance and/or mystery-suspense. It’s part romance (two actually), part general fiction, and all heart.

Paralyzed at a young age, Jessie Smith plans a wedding to the love of her life, Matt Jansen, while her grandfather struggles to come to terms with his guilt over the accident that killed his daughter and paralyzed Jessie. Meanwhile, Jessie feels a need to reconnect with the father who abandoned her.

Homer, the grandfather, is gruff at times but it’s obvious he cares for his family, worrying and striving to provide for them when times are hard and grief overwhelms him. And I understood Jessie’s anxiety over both her wedding and her reunion with her father. I won’t spoil it with much said, but I liked the way the latter was handled.

This one gets a 4.8 on my star scale, and I’m waiting to read Angeline and Ben’s story. ๐Ÿ™‚

I should have gotten this out long ago when I first read A.M. Heath’s If Only It Were Yesterday. My apologies to the author for being so slow in recommending it.

This is a sweet story of finding one’s place in life and time. Liz Cooke is the owner of an antique store in a small Tennessee town. She’s also a contemporary young woman living in an era she deems as too crude for her tastes. She’s looking for a gentleman.

Liz often loses herself in historical heroes yet can’t see the guy waiting for her in her own time period…until she tries on a 19th-century dress. Her trip back in time is a lesson in “the grass isn’t always greener.” Confession: I related to Liz in so many ways, because in my younger years I was Liz—minus the dress and the dream. Maybe that’s why I write historicals?

I’m giving this one 4.5 stars (5 for the clever use of quotes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at the beginning of each chapter).

Another book I’m behind in reviewing here is Love Flies In by Heidi McCahan. This Alaskan-based novella was my first read from this author. The story actually takes place after the first novel in the Emerald Cove series, but is a stand-alone.

The descriptions and senses made me feel as if I were walking in the shoes of the main characters. Some of the banter between the hero and heroine added a humorous touch, and the family issues of each provided a heartwarming element.

If you’re looking for a light and romantic escape involving second-chance love, head on up to Alaska! I give this one 4.7 stars.

What indie/small press books have you read lately that impressed you? Give them a shout out here.

As an author of heartwarming historical and contemporary romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.


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