Category Archives: Thomas Nelson Publishing

Review: The Summer We Forgot by Caroline George

Title: The Summer We Forgot by Caroline George
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Mystery, Romance
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Caroline George once again transports readers with lush, evocative prose, leading them to ask the question: what happens when we can’t even trust ourselves?

Some memories are better left forgotten.

Darby and Morgan haven’t spoken for two years, and their friend group has splintered. But when the body of their former science teacher is found in the marsh where they attended camp that summer, they realize they have more questions than answers . . . and even fewer memories.

No one remembers–or no one is talking.

The group of reunited friends suspects that a murderer is stalking the coastal highway 30A, and they are desperate to recover their memories as quickly as possible . . . before their history they can’t remember repeats itself.

Everyone has a secret.

As tensions rise and time runs out, Darby and Morgan begin to wonder if they can believe one another . . . or if they can even trust themselves.


The Summer We Forgot by Caroline George is an intriguing young adult mystery.

Darby and Morgan’s friendship ended two summers ago when their science teacher, Dr. Richard Herowitz, disappeared. Their rift also altered their group friendship in the aftermath of their curious summer counselor job at Camp Choctawhatchee.  When Herowitz’s body is discovered, the group of friends realize none of them have many memories of what happened at the camp. As they work together to uncover the truth about Herowitz’s death, will they also repair their friendships?

The Summer We Forgot is a fast-paced young adult mystery that is very engrossing. The perspectives alternate between Morgan and Darby’s points of view. The addition of police interviews adds interesting details about the teens and their recollections of what happened at Camp Choctawhatchee. With themes of forgiveness and parental expectations, Caroline George brings this clever mystery to a twist-filled conclusion.

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Filed under Caroline George, Contemporary, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Romance, The Summer We Forgot, Thomas Nelson Publishing

Review: Mulberry Hollow by Denise Hunter

Title: Mulberry Hollow by Denise Hunter
A Riverbend Romance Book Two
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 333 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


When a handsome handyman faces a medical emergency on the Appalachian trail, his sudden appearance in town challenges an ambitious doctor’s plan to remain single for life.

Avery Robinson decided to be a physician after helplessly watching her mother lose a battle with a terrible disease. Now at risk of developing the same illness, Avery guards her heart from love. She’s driven to protect her loved ones as a workaholic doctor in the tiny mountain town of Riverbend Gap, North Carolina.

Contractor Wes Garrett is hiking the Appalachian trail, in memory of the man who died saving his life, when an illness racks his body. After an agonizing fifteen-mile hike to Avery’s clinic, he collapses on her doorstep. He recovers to find himself in debt again—but this time to a beautiful doctor.

When he decides to help her renovate a rundown carriage house, the obstacles to their attraction sprout like weeds—starting with the woman waiting for Wes at the end of the trail. Will he be able to relinquish the debt he owes his best friend? And will Avery find the courage to risk everything for love?

This second book in Denise Hunter’s popular Riverbend Romance series explores what it might be like to live fearlessly and free.


Mulberry Hollow by Denise Hunter is a thought-provoking, faith-based romance.  

Dr. Avery Robinson returned to Riverbend, NC to set up her practice and be near her family. She has accomplished many of her goals by her thirtieth birthday but she is looking for another doctor to join her clinic. Avery’s single-minded focus on medicine has helped her maintain her no relationship decision. She has also avoided her friends’ attempts to set up her with eligible men. Avery’s family health history is the reason she does not plan to marry or have children but her family has a difficult time respecting her wishes. Will her unexpected patient Wes Matthews change her mind?

Wes is thru hiking the portion of the Appalachian Trail that in honor of his deceased friend, Landon. As soon as he completes the hike, he plans to keep the promise he made to Landon to take care of his sister Lillian. But an unanticipated illness brings him to Avery’s doorstep. Short on money, Wes works off his debt to her by renovating her carriage apartment. Wes is surprised by how much he enjoys Avery’s company, but will he change his plans to move to Lillian’s hometown in order to honor his promise?

Wes and Avery have an immediate connection and their time together is a welcome reprieve for the usual solitary evenings. Wes keeps in touch with Lillian as his time in Riverbend lengthens. Avery continues to remain resolute in her choice to not marry or have children. Underlying their growing friendship is a simmering attraction they work hard to ignore. Avery’s reason for remaining single is understandable but will love make a difference? Wes has a strong desire to repay Landon’s sacrifice by caring for Lillian, but is there another way to fulfill his promise?

Mulberry Hollow is a heartwarming romance with an idyllic setting. Wes is an honorable man whose choices are dictated by guilt. Avery is a caring and compassionate woman but her fears are preventing her from living life to its fullest. The storyline is engaging and easy to relate to. The secondary characters are well-developed and quite appealing. Wes and Avery’s future together is far from certain as Denise Hunter brings this delightfully charming romance to a heartfelt conclusion.  A Riverbend Romance series can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend book one as well.

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Filed under A Riverbend Romance, Contemporary, Denise Hunter, Mulberry Hollow, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Thomas Nelson Publishing

Review: Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson

Title: Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 319 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


You’ve Got Mail meets The Proposal—this romance is one for the books.

Savannah Cade’s dreams are coming true. The Claire Donovan, editor-in-chief of the most successful romance imprint in the country, has requested to see the manuscript Savannah’s been secretly writing while working as editor herself—except at her publishing house, the philosophy is only highbrow works are worth printing and commercial fiction, particularly romance, should be reserved for the lowest level of Dante’s inferno. But when Savannah drops her manuscript during a staff meeting and nearly exposes herself to the whole company—including William Pennington, new publisher and son of the romance-despising CEO herself—she races to hide her manuscript in the secret turret room of the old Victorian office.

When she returns, she’s dismayed to discover that someone has not only been in her hidden nook but has written notes in the margins—quite critical ones. But when Claire’s own reaction turns out to be nearly identical to the scribbled remarks, and worse, Claire announces that Savannah has six weeks to resubmit before she retires, Savannah finds herself forced to seek the help of the shadowy editor after all.

As their notes back and forth start to fill up the pages, however, Savannah finds him not just becoming pivotal to her work but her life. There’s no doubt about it. She’s falling for her mystery editor. If she only knew who he was.


Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson is an enchanting contemporary romance.

Savannah Cade is an assistant acquisitions editor for a family-owned publishing company in Nashville. Since the company does not publish romance novels, Savannah pitched the book she has been writing to an editor who works at a different publishing house. She has been polishing her romance for several months and time is running out for her to submit it to editor-in-chief Claire Donovan.

After Savannah drops her manuscript during a meeting, she hides it away in the secret room no one else seems to know about. When she later retrieves her work in progress, she is demoralized by the discovery that someone has critically edited her novel. In a moment of pique, Savannah finally sends her manuscript to Claire. Unfortunately, the mystery editor’s observations are spot on and Savannah needs this person’s assistance in order to get published.

William Pennington has recently returned to Nashville and his family-owned publishing company. He is rigid and somewhat grim at the office which is why Savannah is so surprised by how friendly and open he is off the clock. He also values her opinion and she is stunned when he takes her advice as he begins making changes at the company. As much as Savannah enjoys spending time with him, she loves the written exchanges between her and the mystery editor.

Set against the backdrop of the publishing world, Meet Me in the Margins is a funny contemporary romance.  Savannah is absolutely marvelous but she is a bit of a pushover when it comes to her family. William is doing his best to save the family business but he and his CEO mother are often at odds over some of his decisions. The storyline is engaging with an understated romance.  The cast of characters is wonderfully quirky and quite entertaining. Following a very touching dénouement, Melissa Ferguson provides a sweet epilogue that will delight readers who enjoy wholesome romances.

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Filed under Meet Me in the Margins, Melissa Ferguson, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Thomas Nelson Publishing

Review: Much Ado About a Latte by Kathleen Fuller

Title: Much Ado About a Latte by Kathleen Fuller
Maple Falls Series Book Two
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


A coffee war is brewing in Maple Falls, where Anita and Tanner are serving up plenty of sparks to keep the town buzzing.

Anita Bedford needs to face reality. It’s time to decaffeinate the dream that she and Tanner will ever be more than friends. Growing up in small-town Maple Falls, she’s had a crush on Tanner for years. But he’ll only ever see her as good, old, dependable Anita. Now she’s finally ready to make her own goals a reality. In fact, that deserted building next door to Sunshine Diner looks like a promising location to open her own café . . .

Tanner Castillo may know how to operate a diner, but he doesn’t know beans about love. After pouring his life savings into buying the Sunshine Diner, he needs to keep his mind on making a success of it and supporting his widowed mother, not on kissing Anita Bedford. First order of business: improve his customers’ coffee experience. Next, he should probably find out who bought the building next door . . .

It’s a bitter cup to swallow when ambition turns longtime friends and coworkers Anita and Tanner into rivals. Now that they own competing businesses, how could they ever compete for each other’s hearts? Or will the two of them come to see what’s obvious to the whole, quirky town of Maple Falls: potential for a full-roast romance, with an extra splash of dream?

Welcome to Maple Falls, where everyone knows your name, your coffee order, and your relationship status.


Much Ado About a Latte by Kathleen Fuller is a lovely, light-hearted friends to lover romance. Although this latest release is the second book in the Maple Falls series, it can be read as a standalone.

Twenty-six-year-old Anita Bedford is a waitress at the Sunshine Diner. She is very sweet which makes it easy for the customers to adore her. Anita’s relationship with her parents is a little strained because she feels like a disappointment to them. She is also insecure because of her learning disabilities but when she grows tired of her unrequited love for her co-worker Tanner Castillo, she decided to open her own business, a coffee shop next door to the diner.

Tanner has long hoped to purchase the diner so he jumps on the opportunity when the owner decides to sell. He has big plans in mind after the sale goes through, but he holds off revealing his recent acquisition. Tanner works long hours and continues to honor the promise he made to his father before his death. He enjoys spending time with Anita but he has no room for romance due to his business aspirations.

Much Ado About a Latte is a wonderful romance with a delightful small-town atmosphere. Anita and Tanner are charming characters whose biggest problem is their inability to communicate. Anita lacks confidence in her ability to get her business off the ground and she stubbornly refuses to accept help. Tanner’s reaction to Anita’s purchase is unfair and he is extremely slow to clear the air between them. Their romance is very understated but believable. Although the ending is a little abrupt, Kathleen Fuller’s epilogue is very heartwarming and sigh-worthy. I am a huge fan of the  Maple Falls series so I am very much looking forward to Harper’s book!

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Filed under Contemporary, Kathleen Fuller, Maple Falls Series, Much Ado About a Latte, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Thomas Nelson Publishing

Review: Riverbend Gap by Denise Hunter

Title: Riverbend Gap by Denise Hunter
A Riverbend Romance Book One
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational, Romance
Length: 335 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


She came in search of the family she’d always wanted—and found the kind of love she’d never dared imagine.

When Katelyn Loveland’s car veered off a winding Appalachian Mountain road, she thought she was done for. That is until Cooper Robinson, local sheriff’s deputy, came to her rescue. And though Katie narrowly escaped her brush with death, she still fell. Hard.

She wasn’t the only one. But soon Cooper learns that the woman he’s more attracted to than any he’s ever met is his brother’s new girlfriend—and therefore unquestionably off limits. Yet, despite their best efforts, Cooper and Katie can’t seem to avoid running into each other. Or ignore the undeniable chemistry between them.

As they grow closer, Katie shares secrets from her past and the real reason she moved to their small North Carolina town. She also wins over Cooper’s welcoming and bighearted family. But they don’t know that her feelings for Cooper keep growing—all while she’s dating his brother. Soon the stakes of their emotional connection become higher than either could have imagined.

Katie stands to lose the first family she’s ever had, and a scandal could doom Cooper’s campaign for sheriff. Suddenly they find themselves on the edge of another precipice—and they’re forced to make a decision that could change their lives forever.


Riverbend Gap by Denise Hunter is a wonderful inspirational romance with a delightfully unique storyline.

Katelyn Loveland is relocating after accepting a job working in her friend Dr. Avery Robinson’s medical clinic. She is also dating Avery’s brother, Gavin, who has recently gone through a divorce. Katie’s arrival in town gets off to a memorable beginning when she is involved in a frightening accident. Off-duty sheriff’s deputy Cooper Robinson comes to her rescue and there are definite sparks on both sides. However, when they realize she is dating his brother, both are determined to ignore their attraction. But emotions are tricky things to wrangle into submission and everything they both care about is eventually threatened.

Katelyn is longing for family so she is delighted to be welcomed with open arms by Gavin’s mom, Lisa and stepdad, Jeff. She is settling into small town life with ease soshe is a little reluctant to pursue the other reason she moved to town. Katie is also mourning a heartrending loss and she is a bit emotionally fragile at times. She is continually drawn to Cooper but she does not want to hurt Gavin nor does she want to lose the family of the heart she is building.

Cooper has a bit of a reputation with women since he has yet to find “the one”. He is very close to his family and everyone is grateful that Katie has helped bring Gavin out of his depression. Cooper attempts to quash his feelings for Katie and avoids her as much as possible. But it is inevitable they are thrown together and Cooper makes a decision that throws his future in doubt and causes strain between him and his family.

Riverbend Gap is a thought-provoking romance with a gentle undercurrent of faith.  Katelyn and Cooper are delightfully appealing characters whose lives are closely intertwined which makes it difficult to ignore their growing feelings. Unexpected conflict from outside sources serves to inadvertently bring them into contact despite their best efforts to maintain their distance from each other. With their future hanging in the balance, Denise Hunter brings this heartwarming romance to a sweet conclusion.

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Filed under A Riverbend Romance, Contemporary, Denise Hunter, Inspirational, Rated B+, Review, Riverbend Gap, Romance, Thomas Nelson Publishing

Review: The Heart of Splendid Lake by Amy Clipson

Title: The Heart of Splendid Lake by Amy Clipston
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Bestselling author Amy Clipston transports readers to a picturesque lakeside town in this heartwarming contemporary romance.

Brianna is the youngest of the three Porter sisters and the only one who chose to stay in the small town of Splendid Lake, North Carolina. She followed in her father’s footsteps and became an expert boat mechanic, helping him run their small resort with cabin rentals, a convenience store, and a marina.

When Brianna’s father unexpectedly dies, Brianna is steeped in grief and guilt—then left alone to clean up the mess. To make matters worse, a constant stream of real estate brokers begins marching through her property, offering to buy the family land. In particular, she keeps running into handsome real estate mogul Scott Gibson.

As Brianna struggles to keep it all together, Scott finds his way into her heart. And as the two fight against their feelings, they just might find themselves forging a surprising and exciting new love at Splendid Lake.


The Heart of Splendid Lake by Amy Clipston is a charming small-town romance.

Twenty-six-year-old Brianna Porter’s world is turned upside down when her father unexpectedly passes away. In the aftermath of his death, she struggles with helping her mother through her grief while also trying to keep the family business going on her own. Brianna is a little resentful when her sisters are unable to provide support after her mother’s health crisis. She is also frustrated with her fiancé Taylor Reese’s inability to find time to help her. Juggling so many problems, Brianna is grateful for real estate developer Scott Gibson’s assistance. But are his reasons for helping her as altruistic as they appear?

Brianna is overwhelmed after her dad’s shocking death. She is barely making a dent in getting the resort ready to open when her mom suffers a health emergency. Although she initially does not trust Scott, Brianna soon relies on him for his construction skills as they make necessary repairs around the resort.  As they spend more and more time together, she begins to have feelings for Scott. But Brianna feels she must honor her commitment to Taylor.

Scott is a kind-hearted, compassionate man who is very easy to like. He is patient with Brianna after their misunderstanding. He jumps and helps without a second thought and he is incredibly gentle with Brianna’s mom. Scott and Brianna  share common interests and they greatly enjoy each other’s companhy.  Scott soon realizes his feelings run deeper than friendship but he has too much integrity to come between Brianna and Taylor.

The Heart of Splendid Lake is an engaging romance with a warm and inviting setting. Brianna is a little prickly and struggling to cope with everything that has recently happened with her family. Scott is a self-made and hardworking man who has not always had an easy life. Brianna struggles with many difficult choices at various points in the unfolding story. With a late conflict to resolve, Amy Clipston brings this sweet romance to a heartfelt conclusion.

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Filed under Amy Clipston, Contemporary, Rated B, Review, Romance, The Heart of Splendid Lake, Thomas Nelson Publishing