Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Review: Two Hearts by James Eric Richey


                                                                   Two Hearts

Two Hearts is a book that really took me by surprise.  First off the cover is beautiful and so peaceful looking.  Don’t let that cover fool you.  There is definitely a wild and untamable story between those pages.  The first couple of chapters started a little slow, however that quickly turned into an ‘I can’t put this book down’ phenomenon.  This book introduces us to high school sweethearts Jaxon and Annie who marry young and are very much in love.  Annie, whose own mother thinks their happiness won’t last, chooses to ignore her mother’s dire warnings.  This book shows the growth and maturity of their marriage with the everyday life ups and downs, but what happens when major life changes begin to happen?  Jaxon, trying to care for his family, and Annie who is beginning to doubt her husband’s love, are facing some trying circumstances.  I really felt for these two characters and wanted them to have as close to a fairy tale happy ending as possible.  I really enjoyed how strong of a character and what a good husband Jaxon was.  As for Annie, her emotions sometimes clouded her judgement and I did not like some of her decisions.  That being said, being a woman myself I did understand her.  This was a clean read with a bit of everything included, from romance, suspense, and an underlying threat of danger.  There was no bad content just really great story telling and I highly recommend it.  I received a copy of this book from iRead Book Tours and the opinions are my own. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

Irish Meadows is a historical family drama with not one but two unfolding romance stories.  Sisters Colleen and Brianna O’Leary have suitors and potential husbands that their very controlling father, James, has picked for them.  Neither one is happy with their father’s choices or the fact that they don’t have much say in their lives.  When Gil Whelan, whom James raised like a son comes back home, James has plans for his life as well.  Throw in an irresistible priest in training with dimples by the name of Rylan Montgomery, mix it up with a potential for an off limits love interest, and you have the makings of a lot of drama of a forbidden romance.  There were a few characters that I really wanted to wring their necks over some of the choices they were making, and I did not know if this book would end well.  Needless to say, I was very caught up in this story and the family dynamics of the O’Leary’s.  I am pleased with the ending and I look forward to continuing reading more about this family.  This is my first read by Ms. Mason, and if you are a fan of author Julie Lessman, I think you will really enjoy this one too.  I received a copy for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers and the opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review: To Capture Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

To Capture Her Heart

To Capture Her Heart is a rich historical story that explores the history of Long Island, New York, especially the turbulent time between the Dutch and English.  Heather Flower, our heroine, is an interesting character as she may have been a real person or just a legend according to the author’s notes.  However, in this story Heather Flower has just been through a horrible ordeal due to a rival Native American nation and was rescued by one of the heroes, a Dutchman by the name of Dirk Van Buren.  I say one of the heroes as this story does contain a love triangle.  The other gentleman is a lifelong English friend of Heather Flower by the name of Benjamin Horton.  This story does pick up from the first in the series and the Horton family plays a prominent role in this book.  I have not read the first one and I do not think you need to unless you want a much richer history of this family and town.  I enjoyed this story, it was a slower read for me but the details and the wildness of this untamed America held me in the pages of this book.  The cover of this book and its predecessor are beautiful.  I received a copy for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review: Gone Without a Trace by Patricia Bradley

Gone Without a Trace was a suspenseful story that had me guessing who the bad guy was till the end.  Reminding me of a horror flick, this was a creepy story line of waitresses disappearing at the hand of a very deranged individual.  Livy, a cop, has teamed up with Alex a PI, who was hired to find Samantha Jo a young woman who seems to have just disappeared.  However, to Livy this disappearance has too many similarities to what happened to her cousin, Robyn.  As Livy and Alex get closer to solving the case, both must overcome past problems and learn to forgive.  What I liked most about this story was the different viewpoints we are treated to and that Ms. Bradley satisfactorily concludes the story with all the questions answered.  I would not recommend reading this one at night.  I received a copy for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: In Good Company by Jen Turano

In Good Company by Jen Turano is an absolutely delightful book.  After reading the first book in this series I went and read all Jen Turano’s other books, because I enjoyed it so much.  All of her books were wonderfully humorous, and In Good Company was no exception.
Millie Longfellow has just been dismissed from yet another position.  Things are looking poor for this accident prone nanny.  Enter Everett Mulberry a rich young man who’s mischievous wards have driven away another nanny.  Everett doesn’t want to hire Millie due to her unfortunate knack of getting herself into trouble, but he’s desperate. Millie doesn’t want to work for Everett. She wouldn’t accept his offer of a position even if he offered her two thousand dollars, begged her on bended knee, and brought her flowers.  He has rebuffed her attempts to become the nanny of his wards- thus insulting her nanny abilities- one too many times, but she can’t just turn her back on the children.  So now Millie, Everett, and Everett’s three mischievous wards are off to spend the summer at Seaview Cottage, Everett’s summer cottage in Newport, where peacocks run rampant.  To make matters worse, Abigail Hart has also decided to join the party which can mean only one thing… let the match making begin!

I received a copy of this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Reviewed by Nicky Chapelway

Review: On Shifting Sand by Allison Pittman

On Shifting Sand is a story told through Nola’s point of view of her life as a mother and wife living through the years of the Dust Bowl.  This was a powerful story showing a woman’s courage and sacrifice while trying to keep her home and children as clean and as healthy as possible during the ravaging dust storms that so often did take the lives of those caught out in them.  Nola has an interesting relationship with her father, who she is not sure even cares for her and as well as abandonment issues in her marriage with her husband who is the pastor of their town’s church.  Trying to be the strong woman her husband insists she is and battling nature itself, Nola becomes a worn down shell of a woman she once was.  So she was easy pickings for the drifter friend of her husband’s to take advantage of and lead her into an adulterous relationship.  This is a story of a Christian who falls into sin and the effects of the sin on mind, body, and soul.  This is also a story of forgiveness and grace.   Thank you, Ms. Pittman, for writing such a different Christian novel.   I received a copy of this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Review: The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker

The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker was a compelling dystopian novel that really sucked me into its world. The story is about Carrington Hale, who isn’t chosen at her Choosing Ceremony and must go work as a Lint, where she struggles with issues of self-identity and a forbidden romance while a serial murderer stalks nearby. The story is complex and emotional, with a really, really creepy bad guy- maybe the creepiest I have ever read (did I mention that he was creepy?). I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who wants to explore a new world, enjoy a good story, and/or get really creeped out. And the ending definitely opens it up to a sequel…  I received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Reviewed by Jes Drew

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review: The Innocent by Ann H. Gabhart

The Innocent was a very good read featuring a young woman whose husband has been missing since the Civil War ended two years previous.  She finds herself in a most difficult situation trying to escape unscrupulous men and not wanting to go back to her tyrannical father.  The Shaker lifestyle appears to be her only hope of escape. Ms. Gabhart did her research and I learned more about the Shakers and their very strange beliefs than I had known before.  I really felt for our heroine Carlyn and her seemingly hopeless situation.  Not knowing whether her husband is dead or alive, she fights a growing attraction to the town sheriff who seems to understand her.  Not only a great history lesson but a story with a decidedly creepy vibe that kept me guessing on whom was to be the most feared.  I really enjoyed the words that Carlyn always remembered her mother saying, and that was “pray anyway” no matter what the circumstances or even if you don’t think God is listening.  ‘Pray anyway’ is a great take away life lesson.  I received a copy of this book for an honest review from Revell Publishing and the opinions are my own.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: By Your Side by Candace Calvert

By Your Side by Candace Calvert is the first book I have read by her and I really enjoyed it.  She skillfully showed the trials and the joys of working in a crisis team.  The crises team includes the cops, doctors, nurses, and the chaplains, all having very important roles to fulfill.  Throw in two characters, both with tragic pasts, just trying to survive everyday life and a crazy sniper who seems to be targeting them and you have a book that will keep you reading long into the night.  This is a story that shows family love and desperation and besides the thread of suspense, a growing love between a nurse and a cop.  I liked how real the characters seemed by trusting in themselves and going out into the world to do their best to save those they loved.  And as we all know, we can’t do these things on our own.  It is too heavy of a burden and our heroes will learn this as well.  I hope Ms. Calvert writes more in this series as there were a few side characters that I would like to see resolutions to their stories as well.  I received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Review: Your Core by Callie Grant


Your Core by Callie Grant is another very sturdy board book my son and I have enjoyed.  This time the pictures, done by another illustrator, have more of a cartoon look which was bright and fun to look at.  This book touches on cores within apples, the world, and balls all leading up to the truth that we all have a core inside of us as well.  Teaching the truth about our souls in a way any young child can understand.  I am really enjoying this specific line of books and the simple yet truthful messages they include. I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Review: To the Sea by Callie Grant

To the Sea is another delightful read and wonderfully illustrated book by Callie Grant.  Telling the story about a little boy’s day and visit to the beach and how he learns valuable lessons as he builds his sand castle home.  He first builds his home on the sand and the water washes it away.  Later he tries building on a rock, and this time it stands.  This is a delightful and beautifully illustrated board book holding nuggets of truth that my 5 year old son enjoyed.  I received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Review: I Have Seen God by Klaus-Dieter John

I Have Seen God by Klaus-Dieter John was an awe-inspiring read. It is the true story of two highly qualified doctors who are called by God to build a modern hospital in Peru even though they have no money or resources; just a little faith. But as God proves over and over throughout the story with miracle after miracle, just a little faith in the Almighty Creator God is all you need. The book is a powerful witness to Providence and I did cry a little. I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be encouraged by the evidence of a personal God.  I received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Reviewed by Jes Drew

My Thoughts on The Way Back by Heidi Chiavaroli

  About: Young love means everything . . . until it leaves you with nothing. The summer before her senior year of high school, Laney Jacobs...