Murder Mezzo Forte by Donn Taylor

Book 2 in the Preston Barclay series.

Professor Preston Barclay, “Press” to his friends, has built a reputation for solving a murder along with his fellow professor, Mara Thorn. When the pair find the dead body of another professor following a trustee/faculty reception, they both want to avoid the appearance of investigating the case.

Yet finding the dead woman plunges them into the middle of a police investigation. Both appear to be suspects in the murder. Past history with one of the police officers comes back to haunt Press.

Danger lurks not only for Press and Mara, but also for anyone they question.

Filled with twists and turns, this suspenseful romance kept me turning pages.

The novel refers to events that happened in Book 1, Murder in Disguise. It may be helpful to read that novel first.

The characters are interesting and believable. I will look for more novels by this author

-Sandra Merville Hart

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas – Use coupon code SandraMHart for a 20% discount on Lighthouse Publishing books!


Last Stop, Cordelia by Lisa Carter

The Rails to Love Romance Collection

 The action begins with the first paragraph!

Neil MacBride risks his life to save Cordelia Cochrane, but is she grateful? No, the feisty reporter actually has the nerve to tell Neil that he should have let her remain in danger—she’d get a better newspaper story.

Being out in the middle of the Wyoming Territory with a group of former Civil War soldiers turned rail workers, Cordelia grudgingly decides to accept Neil’s help. She only cares about furthering her career.

Neil is ambitious, too. The Union Pacific worker is determined to lead his team, who are laying tracks daily. He’s been without family for a long time yet there is something about Cordelia that captivates him.

I loved this novella. I fell in love with Neil before Cordelia did!

The dialogue in the story is especially good. The couple have meaningful conversations from the beginning. The secondary characters, hardened by war experiences, are also lovable and believable.

Definitely recommend this author.

-Sandra Merville Hart

The Depot Bride by Amanda Cabot

The Rails to Love Romance Collection

Eugenia Bell is more interested in photography than in Chauncey Keaton, the man her rich and powerful father wants her to marry. When her father invites Mason Farling to Cheyenne to write a book commemorating the new depot that will include Eugenia’s photographs, she is thrilled.

Mason appreciates the ingenuity in Eugenia’s photographs immediately and he’s excited for the opportunity to work with the talented beauty.

Mason captures Eugenia’s attention in a way that Chauncey never did.

The characters are likeable and believable.

This historical romance novella is a quick read yet it grabbed my attention.

Recommend! Will look for more by this author.

-Sandra Merville Hart

A Royal Christmas Wedding

The Royal Wedding Series

Avery Truitt is thrilled to return to Brighton Kingdom where her sister is married to the King of Brighton. Yet her heart aches for her lost relationship with Prince Colin, whom she dated while in high school—the one who stood her up for her prom five years ago.

Prince Colin has never forgotten Avery. He followed her impressive volleyball career, flying over to attend tournament games without her knowledge. But his dad was right. Colin needs to focus on his career with the family business.

Meeting Avery again reminds Colin why he loves her and how much the broken relationship hurt.

Yet there is a long-standing Brighton tradition for royal weddings. Could the ringing of the tower bell actually be for Avery?

A modern-day Christmas romance that will steal romantic hearts. This is a wonderful story to read during the Christmas holidays. I will look for more novels by this author!

-Sandra Merville Hart





A Wonderful Love by Linda Wood Rondeau

I had a hard time putting down this novel.

Dorie Fitzgerald moved with her two small children to a small city in northern New York to live near her parents after his husband was killed in Iraq. She needs emotional connections as much as a job so she tries out for a part in a community theater and lands a minor role.

Jamey Sullivan is helping his ailing father while waiting for his big break on Broadway. He plays the part of Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life” where Dorie catches his eye immediately.

This contemporary romance is multi-layered. Dorie still grieves for her hero husband; her children miss their father. Jamey’s dad has refused to sell the family business to the family who monopolizes the town’s businesses for years—if he changes his mind, Jamey will be free to pursue his dreams.

There are many twists that kept me turning pages when I should have been doing other tasks.

I enjoy reading stories set in the Christmas season, especially during the holidays. If you also are looking for a good Christmas story, check out this novel.

-Sandra Merville Hart

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas  Use coupon code SandraMHart for a 20% discount on Lighthouse Publishing books!


The Christmas Baby by Lisa Carter

This contemporary romance novel is the first book I’ve read by this author.

I love reading books set during the Christmas holidays as soon as the weather gets cold in the fall. These novels get me in the mood for Christmas.

Anna Reyes, a widow, returns to her home town to begin a new life and have her baby near family and friends.

Ryan Savage has been Anna’s best friend since childhood. Old feelings, long-buried, stir to life when Anna moves into a trailer near the school where they both work.

Anna’s timing couldn’t be worse. Ryan plans to move away in the new year. He’s been offered a dream job.

The old friends are drawn together by students in need. Ryan has to decide if he should accept the new job.

Under Carter’s skillful hands, this novel filled me with Christmas spirit.

Recommend! Will look for more by this author.

-Sandra Merville Hart

Object Talks for Christmas by Verna Kokmeyer

I love this book for children!

The author has taken many of the common items associated with Christmas and created an easy, fun lesson for preschool children through elementary.

The author uses items such as ornaments, candles, candy canes, cranberries, cookie cutters, holly, pine cones, and many more as interesting object lessons.

With each object is a scripture reference, discussion, prayer, and activity. The discussions are appropriate and useful for parents and teachers.

Included are Christmas crafts or activities that children can do with parents. Some crafts will be easy for an elementary-aged child to create without much adult assistance.

I definitely recommend buying this book for your children and grandchildren. Packed with great ideas!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas    – Use coupon code SandraMHart for a 20% discount on Lighthouse Publishing books!

Yuletide Angel by Sandra Ardoin

Violet Madison has a secret. After everyone is tucked inside their cozy beds for the night, Violet delivers food to the needy during the Christmas season. She is dubbed the Yuletide Angel.

No one knows the identity of the Yuletide Angel—except her neighbor, Hugh Barnes. The confirmed bachelor worries for Violet’s safety and follows her to protect her.

Raised to believe herself plain, Violet has little confidence in herself though people do praise her baking. She dreams of owning a bakery yet women don’t own businesses in Meadowmead, despite it being the 1890s.

She also dreams of changing Hugh’s mind about remaining a bachelor.

This book captured my attention from the first page. It’s a gentle story set during the Christmas season. It transported me back in time. I loved it.

This is exactly the kind of story I love to read during the Christmas holidays. I will look for more novels by this author!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas – Use coupon code SandraMHart for a 20% discount on Lighthouse Publishing books!

A Groom for Mama by Catherine Castle

This contemporary romance is a definite page-turner! I had a hard time putting down this novel.

Given the title, the story seemed like it would be about a son or daughter finding a suitable husband for their mother. It’s the opposite.

Allison had dated Jack in a long relationship a few years ago. She broke off the relationship and moved away. Jack maintained a friendship with Mama, Allison’s mom.

Now Mama is sick, dying from a rare form of cancer. She is determined to see Allison married before she dies and enlists Jack’s dating service to set her up with dates to find “Mr. Right.”

Allison suddenly finds herself on a whirlwind of dates with several “Mr. Wrongs” with the occasional “nice guy, just not for me” men while Mama undergoes further testing.

Those dates torment Jack, who has never stopped loving Allison.

Castle writes with humor. The author excels at building romantic tension and also at touching the hearts of readers with family drama. The characters are likeable and believable.

There are many twists that kept me turning pages when I should have been doing other tasks.

Definitely recommend this novel and this author!

-Sandra Merville Hart


Anna’s Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

This novel is the first book in the Amish Beginnings Series.

The story is set in 1737. A small group of Amish embark on the ship, Charming Nancy, on their way to the colonies where a member awaits their arrival.

Anna doesn’t want to go to the New World where William Penn has made land available to her church members. She wants freedom to worship God just as her members do, but she’d rather stay with her grandparents.

Bairn, the ship’s carpenter, isn’t pleased when his captain agrees to transport so many passengers. Half the number of passengers would be crowded below deck, but the little boy, Felix, refuses to stay below. Anna comes after him. She’s beautiful but is also one of the ‘Peculiars.’ Bairn fights his growing feelings for her.

There are many layers to this story. Bairn is a man with a past. Readers are given glimpses of it throughout the novel.

There isn’t a lot of dialogue in this novel. The main characters are believable. One is a character readers will love to hate.

There are many surprises in the action-packed drama. I had a hard time putting it down.

Anna’s strong faith in God is her anchor when things go terribly wrong.

Full of twists and turns, this novel is a definite page-turner!

Recommend! Will look for more by this author.

-Sandra Merville Hart