Friday, May 29, 2015

Review: In Firefly Valley by Amanda Cabot

Returning back to Rainbow’s End in Amanda Cabot’s Texas Crossroads series, our previous main characters Greg and Kate have been a boon to the local economy.  They have brought in Marisa, the daughter of their chef Carmen, to be their business manager. Marisa comes back to the town where she is known as the daughter of the town drunk.  Enter author Blake Kendall and you have a start of another romance in the Texas hill country.  However, just like in the first book we have a secondary romance as well which did take me by surprise.  This book, by the cover anyway, looks like a peaceful place to go, but dealing with such issues as anger, unforgiveness, and mistrust has our characters always on edge.  Throw in the fall-out of an alcoholic and missing father, deeper issues are then touched upon. The third book having been set up nicely, is one in which I look forward to reading so that I can return to Rainbow’s End resort.  I received a copy for review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.  

Link to my review of Amanda Cabot's At Bluebonnet Lake

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Review: Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman

Dauntless by author Dina Sleiman is a young adult read that has a lot to offer for teens and adults.  In this ever popular genre, Dauntless doles out just what is popular like a strong heroine, a possible love triangle, true love, plenty of angst, and even a type of dystopian novel.  Taking place during the medieval ages our heroine Merry is a type of Robin Hood character only different.  Having been forced from her home due to a corrupt king, Merry and her band called The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest have learned to survive unseen.   However when her old friend, Timothy Grey who has long thought her dead, identifies her, loyalties are questioned and love becomes a test.  This is a time where you know the bad guys are bad and the good guys are good.  Add a touch of supernatural and you have the makings of a most engrossing read.  I highly recommend this to teens and adults and I look forward to reading the second in the series.  I received a copy of this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Review: Always on my Mind by Susan May Warren

Welcome back to Deep Haven and for another visit with the Christiansen family.  Always on my Mind focuses on middle son Casper and his volatile relationship with Raina, the love of his life.  After discovering that Raina and his younger brother Owen had a history, he fled to South America on an archaeological treasure hunt.  Realizing he missed his family, he heads back home only to discover a very pregnant Raina living with his sister Grace.  Casper, wanting to fix things with Raina is unable to express to her how he really feels.  He also struggles with letting go.  Raina is running from her own sorry circumstances and feels that she and Casper just will not work especially since she is having his brother’s baby.  This read packed an emotional punch but shared some really great truths.  Raina was self-destructive and making some poor life choices.  She would not see reason and trust those who cared about her.  That was hard to watch and sometimes I just wanted to shake her.  However, Casper who wanted to swoop in and be her hero began to rely on prayer.  When she would not see him, he prayed for her.  When she would not listen to him, he prayed for her.  I really liked how Ms. Warren showed in her writing that that was the best thing to do, especially when someone is so determined to not listen to good advice and thus they choose to go it alone.

Adding a thread of suspense, this story also involved an old mystery surrounding a legend of the town that Casper and Raina are trying to unravel.  Darek, the older Christiansen brother has a prominent role in the book as his story continues especially dealing with his struggles in running his family’s resort and being there for his pregnant wife, Ivy and his son Tiger.  By the end of this book Ms. Warren sets up the next story nicely which is about younger sister Amelia and I hope we see a glimpse of the other missing brother, Owen and his return as well.  I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) for an honest review and the opinions are my own. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Review: Yesterday by Amanda Tru

Yesterday by Amanda Tru was a fun, hard to put down read in almost one sitting kind of book.  It was a time travel romance, need I say more?  This was a well-crafted story and the timelines were easy to follow and made so much sense I could see why she needed to travel in time.  Hannah, not knowing she possessed this gift or how it is happening has changed some people's histories.  For the better, I personally think.  Especially hers and her love interest Dr. Seth Mcallister.  However, time traveling does have its consequences and I hope as the series progresses we get more answers.  Yes, this is the first in a series and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book after that ending of Yesterday.  I received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network Inc., (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.  

Review: As Love Blooms by Lorna Seilstad

As Love Blooms was just the sort of book I was craving for and didn’t even realize it.  This was a lighthearted romance and yet a great history lesson of the prejudices women went through in the past.  From wearing pants, to working outside the home, and eventually the suffrage movement for women to vote, I appreciated all the more what our fore-mothers fought for: our freedoms that so many of us take for granted now.  I liked the tenaciousness of Tessa and how she would not be bullied by anyone.  I also liked how Reese (love that name!) was just the man to not only let her be herself, but to keep her grounded as well.  Their love story was not without its ups and downs and some secrets on both sides that needed to see the light.  Supportive family and a bit of mystery turned adventure rounded out this well told story.  This was a first read for me by Ms. Seilstad and the third in the series.  However, I look forward to going back and reading about her two sisters’ adventures.  I received a copy of the book for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh

Paper Hearts is a romance story between two very broken people.  Abigail Pressman, who is unlucky in love and now about to lose her business to Dr. Jacob Willoughby, who is a widower with a daughter he is trying to raise and to protect.  Growing up in a broken home, Abigail holds on to the one thing her father left for her and that is his book store business.  Jacob is a doctor who has just moved into town, trying to escape the secret that he carries concerning his late wife and he intends to open his new medical building in the same building Abigail’s book store is.  Starting off on the wrong foot, both are having a hard time of letting go of the past and moving on.

Living in a town called Loves Park in which her great, great grandparents are the town founders, Abigail longs for the fairy tale love story.  Until Abigail finds a set of paper hearts that a husband and wife have been writing to each other throughout the year.  Wanting to know more about their love story and commitment, Abigail finds out this is their eighth year in writing them and sending them to the town.  Unfortunately, when more paper hearts are found and then sent, they hint of a tragedy for this couple.  After reading the paper hearts, she realizes more about love than she ever thought possible.  She no longer wants the fairy tale, but the long lasting love she has been reading about.   However, through a series of events:  the town finds out about the paper hearts, sides are drawn between Abigail and Jacob, a quirky group of ladies called the Valentine Volunteers try to fix Abigail’s love life, and her mother pushing  her to get married, Abigail decides not to hate Jacob after all.  In all of this, Abigail is changing and realizing that maybe her dreams were what was holding her back the whole time.  When she decides to let go will she be ready for what is awaiting her?  I enjoyed this bitter sweet, old fashioned love story that dealt with the deepness of love instead of the superficial.   I received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: Little Seed: A Life by Callie Grant

Little Seed: A Life

This little board book was a cute read with delightful illustrations.  Very colorful and sturdy it tells the story of how one small seed has so much purpose in its life when it does exactly what God made it to do.   A nice story to read to a child that even teaches a basic science lesson.  My little guy enjoyed it and really enjoyed finding all the little bug pictures in it.  I received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review: No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason

No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason was a non-stop action thriller from page one.  I had a hard time putting this one down as the characters were in constant danger from everybody and they literally had no place to hide.  Dealing with biological terrorism and being set up by technology, Jackie Sellers and Ian Lockwood really had no chance to regroup and figure out what was happening.  They had to think and think fast while they were on the run from the good guys AND the bad guys.  Reminiscent of the Fugitive, this story had action, suspense, close calls, and a romance thread to tie it all up nicely.  And just when I thought I had everything figured out, Ms. Eason throws in a few surprises of the twists and turns variety.  This was my first read by Lynette Eason and I look forward to checking out her previous books and any future novels she writes.  I received this book for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.

Review: Akiane Her Life, Her Art, Her Poetry by Akiane and Foreli Kramarik

This book was a lovely look at a very talented young girl and her family.  Told from the viewpoint of her mother, we are taken into this family’s home and given a glimpse of what their lives was like and how Akiane’s talent was allowed to progress and be nurtured.  This family is a lot like any family, with good times and bad times, sickness and financial problems.  I really think it was great that Akiane’s mom held back her mommy impulses of getting angry, especially when her daughter was making such a mess in creating her art.  I am glad she saw such talent in her daughter even though I was cringing myself as I read those parts.  Akiane has a very artistic nature and her mother really showed that in her writing of how her young daughter would act and think.  This is not only this family’s journey but it is a lovely book containing many of Akiane’s paintings and her poetry that goes along with it.  I look forward to seeing how her talent will grow as she becomes a young woman.  I was given this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Review: Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

Beyond All Dreams

Beyond All Dreams is another riveting read by author Elizabeth Camden.  In this one we have Anna O’Brien working as a map librarian at the Library of Congress in 1897.  A bit of a lonely woman, she has one dear friend and an estranged aunt that she visits infrequently.  Having had her voice damaged due to an unfortunate childhood accident, Anna likes to stay quietly too herself working on the requests given to her by the congressmen.  Then one fateful day she is called to sit in on a hearing where she and a certain congressman from Maine, Luke Callahan, have a memorable first meeting.  Luke is a very hard working politician who is dealing with raising his nephew and controlling his anger which has plagued his family line for years.  Determined not to follow in his late father’s footsteps and not to forgive him either, he is instantly intrigued by this quiet librarian with an alluring voice.  Deciding that she is the perfect match for him, he intends to pursue and court her.  She on the other hand has reservations.  But when she uncovers some wrong information concerning the Navy’s records of the ship that her father supposedly sank with, she turns to Luke for help.  Neither of them would ever have guessed what they have begun to uncover.  This was a sweet romance and I really liked Luke’s tenacity and how he would not give up and let Anna go.  The mystery in this story and why exactly the government would go to such great lengths to prevent Anna from knowing the truth about what happened to the ship her father sailed on kept me turning the pages quickly.   Again, I really enjoy Ms. Camden’s books and her very unique characters and their situations.  I have received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Review: Loving Helen by Michele Paige Holmes

Loving Helen is the second in the Hearthfire series and is a companion story to Saving Grace where we get younger sister, Helen’s viewpoint.  This novel does not start where Saving Grace leaves off, but rather has a parallel story which I found very interesting.   I quite liked Helen as she is really completely different than her sister.  Not as bold or scheming, Helen is much more of a gentler, quieter nature.  Helen starts off by trying to get Samuel Preston to notice her and perhaps offer for her hand in marriage, however she comes to the conclusion that he is still very much in love with his late wife.   That is until she unwittingly sees him and her sister together and witnesses his affection and obvious feelings for Grace.   Just like in Saving Grace, we have a slow building love story and we are shown a great deal of character growth over the time given in the story.   This is a very romantic and tender read and not only that, but it is a clean read as well.  The ending was perfect and I look forward to the story of their brother, Christopher.  I received an e-copy for an honest review and the opinions are my own.

Here is a link to my review of Saving Grace, the first in the Hearthfire Historical Romance Series: