Provenance

What I read: Provenance by Carla Laureano

Why I picked it up: Someone I follow on Goodreads read and love it.

How I read it: On audio at 2x while walking, mowing, and driving.

What it’s about: Kendall grew up in foster care and at 18 set out in the world on her own to make something of her life, which she did. She apprenticed under a great interior designer and ended up starting her own business. Now she finds out she’s inherited a plot of land and 5 houses from her grandmother, who she never even remembers meeting. It’s set in small town Colorado and made me want to go live in the new village they’ve designed!!

What I liked: The mayor was a delight!! The way he was true to himself and his faith was really a great read. I also love that he gets his own great family story.

What I disliked: Kendall ended up in foster care because the computer system to communicate lost children was defunct. If society had done a better job, she wouldn’t have had the suffering she did. That made me sad because I know it’s true life for so many.

Genre: Christian romance, foster care, adoption.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and definitely!!

Husband Auditions

Goodreads

What I read: Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong

Why I picked it up: An author I love and follow on Goodreads read it and loved it. And I trust her, so I picked it up!

How I read it: On audio a few days ago, I realized I didn’t actually finish it this morning though, so today became that day.

What it’s about: As the final single lady who’s attended the final wedding of her friend group, Meri has been given “the list.” It’s been a good luck token for everyone who has gotten married, never meant to be taken seriously, but to have fun, she and her brother’s roommate create a YouTube show called “Meri Me” where she tries to do all of the items on the list. Does it get her a husband? Sort of.

What I liked: Meri and Kai are a delightful duo. I really enjoyed their video making sessions.

What I disliked: The list is going to be given credit for their relationship, but it had nothing to do with it. It was just her spending time with him that did it – she already knew the guy!

Genre: Christian, chaste romance.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ and yes – it’s a delight.

Cherished

What I read: Cherished by Kim Cash Tate

Why I picked it up: It was available on Hoopla and I liked the first in this mini series.

How I read it: On audio at 2x.

What it’s about: Kim and Brian were high school sweethearts until everything changed. After a major incident, she locked up her heart and is just now letting family and friends back in as she comes back to the Lord in faith.

What I liked: There’s a sensitive issue at the center of their story that is dealt with really well. It’s an amazing showcase of the Lord’s mercy.

What I disliked: I wanted more depth.

Genre: Christian fiction, romance.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ and maybe.

When We Were Young

What I read: When We Were Young by Karen Kingsbury

Why I picked it up: I realized it’s part of the Baxter series, and I hadn’t read it yet.

How I read it: On hardcover.

What it’s about: Emily and Clara have only each other until they also have Noah. Their love is like no other, and everyone who follows them online calls them #relationshipgoals. But the truth has become a different story. Things aren’t good between them, and Noah is moving out tomorrow. His last night is full of A Christmas Carol style dreams where he sees the future of his family without him. It’s not good. But he’s given a second chance to make things right.

What I liked: I loved Emily’s story here where she relives her love story throughout the evening.

What I disliked: Noah’s return to his family is lovely, but he never seems to say “I’m sorry.” Just that he’s got a second chance. Maybe I missed that.

Genre: Christian fiction, chaste romance.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ and if you love the Baxter series, yes.

A Royal Christmas Wedding

What I read: A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

Why I picked it up: Delighted by this series on audio, and this is the final one.

How I read it: On audio.

What it’s about: Prince Collin and Avery get their own story and it’s a delight.

What I liked: I liked the swiftness of the story, it all takes place in about 30 days during the month of December.

What I disliked: This is the final story, with an epic epilogue which is a nice topping.

Genre: Christian, chaste romance, royal.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and as a cap to the series, absolutely!

How to Catch a Prince

What I read: How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck

Why I picked it up: I’m really enjoying this series! It’s #3 of 4.5 and a delightful addition.

How I read it: On audio at 1.75x.

What it’s about: Prince Stephen did something amazing a month before he left for Afghanistan where everything changed. His story with Corina got stopped before it ever really got started when her brother Carlos died. Stephen decided what Corina was feeling about that and pushed his own hurt upon everyone else.

What I liked: The connection for Corina between the kingdom of Brighton and the Kingdom that really matters. I also love how the Archbishop spoke to the truth of Christ’s sacrifice when he helped Stephen see the truth of what happened in Afghanistan.

What I disliked: I wanted more of the story of Corina’s parents and their grief. That felt stilted and that it could have used a little more development.

Genre: Chaste Romance, Christian, Royals.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and it could be read as a stand-alone, but it’s really better as part of this series.

A March Bride

What I read: A March Bride by Rachel Hauck

Why I picked it up: working my way through this series!

How I read it: On audio while spreading pine needles … which are a pain in the bottom to spread.

What it’s about: How much is Suzanne willing to give up to marry King Nathaniel? Her very citizenship? How much can he give her when everyone seems to be rsvp’ing no to their royal wedding?

What I liked: She’s reminded of who she really belongs to by her pastor. I needed that reminder too.

What I disliked: King Nathaniel keeps something from her that ends up creating a rift. The issue might still have but if he was communicating better it wouldn’t have been such a hard blow.

Genre: Christian, royal romance .

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and only as a follow up to the first one.

Once Upon a Prince

What I read: Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck

Why I picked it up: I found this series doing some browsing on Hoopla.

How I read it: On audio.

What it’s about: After being dumped instead of proposed to (right ring, wrong girl situation), Suzanne is reduced by Nate under a legendary tree. They fall in love, but there’s just one small thing: he’s about to be king and the law of the land is he can’t marry a foreigner.

What I liked: They both love the Lord and have some beautiful prayers. It’s an epic love story!

What I disliked: Nothing really. It was a bit long, but it all seemed necessary.

Genre: Christian, royal romance.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and I think this is going to be a good series!

Faithful

What I read: Faithful by Kim Cash Tate

Why I picked it up: Was in Hoopla looking for Christian romances to listen to and this one looked interesting.

How I read it: On audio at 1.75x.

What it’s about: Three friends in all different states of life: single at 40, infidelity, and husband is an unbeliever. Each of their stories plays out during a two week sermon on God’s plan for sex and discussions in intimacy groups.

What I liked: This is a Christian romance with deep Christian themes. That’s not always true. I also appreciated the diversity of race and faith in the book.

What I disliked: Cedric seems to be inauthentic. I never really liked him.

Genre: Christian romance.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ and sure.

The Bake Shop

What I read: The Bake Shop by Amy Clipston

Why I picked it up: I’ve read the other three in the series, I figured I would be delighted by the first!

How I read it: In less than a day in the hardcover.

What it’s about: Christiana has some of the best baked goods in the county, and when a booth opens up at the market where her cousins sell coffee, jam, and produce, she moves her road side stand to the market. Her booth neighbor, Jeff, quickly goes from irritating her to being the one God has set aside for her. It’s a sweet Christian love story.

What I liked: I love the friendship these cousins have, it’s why I keep coming back to the series.

What I disliked: Her father. I can get behind authority and hierarchy, but when one person (who is flawed) has all of the authority and is unwilling to listen to truth, I get a bit flustered reading it. He was so clearly in the wrong and would listen to no one. He almost made what he was afraid of happening happen.

Genre: Amish romance.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and yes, the whole series is a delight, but not necessary to read them in order. Books two, three, and four.