Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Book Review: Laugh Out Loud Pocket Doodles for Boys by Rob Elliott

First thing: If you give anything "pocket sized" to boys, they WILL lose it. So while this book review
was due in June (gulp - two months late), I would like to take this moment to maturely point my finger at my children and blame them.
Ok, now that we have that cleared up...We have a few other joke books by Rob Elliott and while my boys loved them, for some reason, this one did not appeal to them as much. I thought it was weird because my oldest especially enjoys drawing and jokes, but did not seem especially interested in this. Some of the jokes were a little over their heads (they are 8 and 6) but not all of them.
Each page has a joke and then half a drawing that matches the joke and the kids can doodle and draw the other half of the picture.
I will say that I like the size because I can see this coming in handy at restaurants and other places I need a quiet activity for them to do. So while they cannot keep track of small things, it will fit perfectly into my purse and I'm sure they will be thankful for something fun to do during boring moments! So while I'm sad they didn't take to it right away, I'm sure they will appreciate it in the future!

Thank you to Revell Publishing for a free copy of this book to read and review.

Book Review: Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin

Mary Stirling works at the Boston Navy Yard and excels at her work. With an eye for detail she keeps things running ship-shape. But the last thing she wants is credit. She is happy to hide in the shadows and find contentment in a job well done instead of public accolade.
Ensign Jim Avery escorts convoys from Britain across the Atlantic and is both surprised and thrilled to meet Mary, an old school friend, at the Navy Yard so she could show him and his friends around the area. She is the perfect companion because she is quiet and brunette and he prefers bubbly blondes so there is no chance of a romantic connection with war looming on the horizon.

When evidence of sabotage is uncovered on the ship Jim is stationed on, Mary and Jim work together to discover who is behind the events before someone is killed, or worse, pushes America into a war they are not ready to join.

I always enjoy a good mystery where I can't figure out who the bad guy is right away or see what is coming before it happens and this was a good one.  With plenty of suspects and misdirection, it kept me guessing for quite a while! The romance was a bit "Sleepless in Seattle" (you know where they keep missing each other), but still pretty good. If you are a fan of war time fiction and romance, I'd recommend this one for you (and all of Sundin's books actually).

Thank you to Revell Publishers for a free copy of this book to read and review.

Book Review: Trial Run by Thomas Locke

This is not the normal kind of book I read, but I thought I would give it a try. It has a pretty complicated plot and so instead of me summarizing it, I thought I would just copy the inside flap on the dust cover :-)

"Dr. Gabriella Speciale has assembled an international team of elite scientists with one goal in mind - to create and control out-of-body experiences that transcend the limits of time and space. Reese Clawson's mind bending experiments aim to explode the boundaries of human consciousness - and annihilate the opposition in the process.
When a terrifying discovery and a string of failed tests threaten to dismantle both programs, the key to survival may reside in the mind of a gifted grad student whose unsettling dreams have thrust him into the center of a dangerous battle for control.
As the threads of perception and reality become tangled and time itself twists in unexpected directions, one warning remains clear: what you don't know can kill you."

Though, as I said, this is not the type of book I would usually pick up, I did enjoy it. It is slow moving and takes a while to get into. Usually I finish a story in one, maybe two days, but this one took a week or so for me to finish it. Partly because you really have to pay attention to the plot and not skim or you could miss an important detail. It is the fist book in the "Fault Lines" series, and I do plan on reading the next in the series when it comes out. Gotta love a good cliff hanger ;-)

Thank you to Revell Publishing for a free copy of this book to read and review.

Book Review: In Good Company by Jen Turano

Millie Longfellow loves children, and growing up as an orphan feels strongly that childhood should be a fun and magical time. Unfortunately, as a nanny for the upper class, her clients don't agree with her methods and just seem to want their children to be tidy and obedient. And so, Millie finds herself dismissed from yet another position.
Everett Mulberry finds himself the guardian of three unruly "brats" as he calls them after a friend he hasn't seen in years passes away suddenly. As they have driven away every nanny Everrett has hired, he has no choice but to hire Miss Longfellow to keep his demanding fiancé happy!
When Millie pushes Everett to look further into the circumstances surrounding the death of his friends, he discovers there to is more to it than just an accident and he will need to decide what is really important to him to see justice done.

I am a huge fan of Jen Turano's stories. They are just the right mix of funny, romantic and history that make for a great read. I have already read through this one twice and it will definitely go on my "keep" shelf. Although it is not marked as a series, I would advise you to read "After a Fashion" before you read this one as it deals with the same characters and you will have some more background to the story. If you don't, I think it would read fine as a stand alone but I just think it is so much better knowing what happened in the first book. I am so looking forward to reading the next installment :-)

Thank you so much to Bethany House Publishers for a free copy of this book to read and review.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book Review: Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund

Caroline Taylor has been running the lighthouse at Windmill Point since her father's death. Truth be told, she has been running it much longer than that. She takes pride in her excellent work, and even though there have been no complaints ever lodged against her, Michigan laws say that a single woman may not run a lighthouse alone. Since it's all she knows how to do, Caroline is worried that she will not be able to take care of her siblings if she is forced to leave.

Ryan Chambers is plagued by dreams, guilt, and the physical wounds of war. Turning to a bottle and pills to help him deal with the pain, he has had a difficult time holding down work and setting down roots. The lighthouse job will be perfect for him. A life where no one will ask about his wounds and he can live a quiet and peaceful life.

When their worlds collide, Caroline and Ryan agree to help each other out for a while until both can get settled on their feet. But there is danger, rules, and attraction to battle and things are just starting to get complicated.

This was a neat story. It is the second book in the series but I hadn't read the first and found it fine as a stand alone novel. I always like reading a story in a setting that I have not read before. It's interesting to learn about rules and ways of life from another time and a lighthouse was a great surrounding for this tale. The plot had some great twists that kept me reading and hoping til the very end. I liked that the problems the characters faced were deep and complicated and that they were not easy fixes. I'll probably re-read this on at least once in the future.

Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a free copy of this book to review.