Review: Irish Encounter and Mars…With Venus Rising

About the book: After almost three years of living under a fog of grief, Ellen Shepherd is ready for the next chapter in her life. Perhaps she’ll find adventure during a visit to Galway. Her idea of excitement consists of exploring Ireland for yarn to feature in her shop back home, but the adventure awaiting her includes an edgy stranger who disrupts her tea time, challenges her belief system, and stirs up feelings she thought she’d buried with her husband.

After years of ignoring God, nursing anger, and stifling his grief, Payne Anderson isn’t ready for the feelings a chance encounter with an enchanting stranger evokes. Though avoiding women and small talk has been his pattern, something about Ellen makes him want to seek her—and God again.

Can Ellen accept a new life different than the one she planned? Can Payne release his guilt and accept the peace he’s longed for? Can they surrender their past pain and embrace healing together, or will fear and doubt ruin their second chance at happiness?

My review: I love all things Irish, so I had no issues getting right into this story. I definitely enjoyed the tidbits of information sprinkled through the first chapters about Ireland. The story was entertaining, and I liked that it was a story about older people. Being a self-proclaimed grammar nerd, I found a number of errors, but they didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the book.

My rating: 4 roses


About the book: A meddling horse, paper bag floors and a flying saucer on the town square. The little town of Mars has it all–including a brand new resident who might spell heartache for one of its own.

Twenty-something Penn Davenport yearns for an exciting life in the big city and wants to shed the label of orphan that she’s worn for years. To achieve that dream, she must pass the CPA exam then move away from the two aunts who reared her after her parents died in a plane crash.

When John Townsend—full of life and the joy of living—moves to town, he rattles Penn’s view of herself, her life, and her dreams…which isn’t such a bad thing until she falls for him and discovers he’s a pilot.

My review: I enjoyed this story, but I don’t understand the title. I get the Mars part, since they live in the town of Mars, but even after finishing the story, the Venus Rising part escapes me. Maybe because several scenes involved looking at the stars???

Although this book could use another proofread, as I saw a number of easily correctable grammar issues, it made me laugh and the story itself easily overcame my predisposition to find errors.

My rating: 4 roses

I received these books from the author/publisher in exchange for honest reviews.

Happy Reading,