Hannah’s Moon (John A Heldt)

I received a free copy of Hannah’s Moon in exchange for an honest review. This did not change my opinion of the book.

Claire and Rob Rasmussen have decided that they want to adopt a child, but between red tape and money, they face a discouraging road. After hearing from Claire’s distant aunt and uncle, Geoffrey and Jeanette Bell, they decide to travel to a place with plenty of adoptable children and little red tape: 1945. Along with Claire’s brother David, they travel to 1940’s Chattanooga where they meet little Hannah and fall in love. But, it’s not a straightforward trip back to 2017 for them; after something unexpected occurs, the family finds themselves much more entangled the  1940’s than they ever expected to be.

This book definitely starts with an emotional punch to the gut. It was heartbreaking, but so powerful. It was definitely one of the most compelling first chapters I have ever read. I had to set my Kindle down for a minute and process. It could not have been written better.

Many of the issues I had with the previous book in the series that I read (Indiana Belle) were not issues here. There was more than one twist that kept me on the edge of my seat. I was surprised at the direction things were going more than once and by the last 100 pages or so I was practically chewing my nails in anticipation. While the characters were sometimes just too perfect, it wasn’t so much that I stopped liking them. They often seemed to nice to be real and a few more flaws would have made them seem more real to me.

The ending is somewhat bittersweet, but certainly sparks interest in the other books in the series if you haven’t read them already. I haven’t, but I didn’t feel like I was missing too much information to make it all make sense. Like Indiana Belle, Hannah’s Moon has plenty to offer for fans of history and is just very enjoyable all around.

Indiana Belle (John A. Heldt)

I received a free copy of Indiana Belle from the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not change my opinion of the book.

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When doctoral student Cameron Coelho opens a package of historical documents in 2017, he could never guess just where it will lead him. Beyond simply helping him with his dissertation, he finds the picture of a beautiful society writer from Evansville, Indiana who was brutally murdered in 1925. In a series of events that would have seemed unlikely just a short time before, Cameron finds himself in the 1920s and an adventure he could never have imagined.

Honestly, my typical time travel book contains a lot more burly Scotsmen. What Indiana Belle lacks in men in kilts, it makes up for with a solid story. Did it totally floor me? Not particularly, but it was a very enjoyable book. It was a little bit of a slow starter for me, but there are a few twists and ultimately a nice ending. Cameron is a good, if slightly staid, guy. And while Candice didn’t stand up to a modern feminist ideal, taken in the frame of the 1920s, she was positively rebellious.

John Heldt definitely did a great job making the ’20s seem real and positively familiar. He clearly did his research and uses it to great advantage, while not bashing the reader over the head with it. And, while part of a series, I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything not having read the others. It can easily be taken alone.

My only real criticism of the book is a little strange: the use of the word “chuckled”. It’s in there so many times. Seriously, just so many. However, minus that, Indiana Belle was a good book, with a little romance (light enough to keep it guy friendly, I think), a little mystery and a little history. It has plenty of appeal for lovers of many different genres.