Friday, December 11, 2015

Book Review: The Painter's Daughter

Captain Stephen Overtree has been sent on a task to find and bring home his irresponsible older brother who once again has taken off to find inspiration for his paintings. When he arrives in Devonshire, however, he is surprised to learn that his brother has up and sailed for Italy leaving everything behind, including a heartbroken, beautiful young lady. Upon further investigation, Stephen learns that he has left the lady in a scandalous situation and for some weird reason, wanting to protect her reputation and his brothers, Stephen offers to marry her (in name only of course).
Sophie Dupont is crushed. Fully believing that Wesley Overtree loved and was planning to marry her, she realizes to late that his creative, impulsive ways were not to be trusted after all. But should she wait to see if he will realize his mistake and return to her, or elope with this stern Captain and save her reputation, hoping she will not live to regret it?

As usual, I was so excited to see another story for Klassen. I love the time period she writes about and how her stories usually have quite a few twists and turns than what they originally seem like they will have. Though I feel like she has used the "unmarried pregnant girl" a little too much, I still loved this story. I just love the small historical details that she includes that make her stories feel so much deeper and I also love that none of her characters are set up to look perfect... Anyway, all that to say if you enjoy stories from the regency period, Julie Klassen is the way to go :-)

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

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Book Review: The Shock of Night by Patrick W. Carr

Willet Dura, Reeve to the King of Bunard has once again been called on to investigate a murder, but this murder is not the what he typically sees in his line of work. First of all, a man has been brutally murdered with very strange cuts on his body, and the man he works for is a priest - who would want to harm a priest? While the priest has also been attacked there is still some life left in him when Dura arrives and his very last word - shouted a Dura in a foreign language - will change everything!
The more that Dura investigates this bizarre crime, the weirder things get because now when he touches people, he realizes that he can see into their thoughts. Dura soon learns that he has been passed a gift that most people do not even know exists but using it could make him a target of the same people who killed the priest.
Now, not only is Dura dealing with this new ability, but he is also trying to hunt the killers who it seems could not only place him in danger, but his city and even his world!

So this is totally not my normal genre of books to read, but I thought I would take a chance on it. Turns out, it was actually pretty good and I'm glad I gave it a shot. I will warn you, the first few chapters were a little rough and took me a while to get through. It was definitely not a read in one sitting type of book, but once I got into it a little bit, I was drawn into the story. By the time it ended I was excited to read the next installment which is always a good sign when you read something you normally wouldn't :-)

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

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Book Review: Love Everlasting by Tracie Peterson

Abrianna Cunningham has grown up in the care of her three "aunts" at a bridal finishing school in Seattle. You would think that under all that tutelage, she would be more than "finished" and ready to settle down in marriage. But even with her friend - kind, dependable, handsome, Wade Ackerman's interest in more than friendship, Abrianna is still not sure she is ready for all that marriage entails.
Now Priam Welby - rich, smooth and handsome - is also trying to court Abrianna and Wade is not having any of it. Abrianna needs to examine her heart and see what is really important to her because whatever decision she makes will change the course of her life.

This is the second book I've read by Tracie Peterson, and while I liked the first one, this one was just not up my alley. Granted, I have not read the first  two books in the "Brides of Seattle" series. Though I think she did a good job of letting you know that important details of the past books that you would need to know, I did feel like the story would maybe have been more enjoyable if I had read the others. However, I really found the main character pretty annoying, especially at the beginning. The story does pick up about half way through though, and I liked the second half much better than the first. It probably wouldn't go on my "read again" list, but if you like Peterson's writing and want to give it a go, I would definitely recommend starting from the beginning of the season.

Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a free copy of this book to enjoy and review.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Review: Hot Mama by Lipp and MacPhearson

From the back cover: It's easy for us moms to slip into the habit of letting the craziness of our days interfere with our relationships with our husbands. We simply don't have the energy or the ideas for a spicy, satisfying sex life...In this witty book, hot mammas Kathi Lipp and Ericn McPhearson share hilarious stories and creative ideas from moms everywhere to help you build a relationship with your spouse that's happy, healthy and fun...
So I kind of forgot that when I signed up to read this book I would have to right a public review of it (just a wee bit embarrassing). But part of the point of the book is that sex is so important in marriage and there is nothing embarrassing or wrong with having a healthy sex life, in fact, it is vital to a good marriage. Dealing with topics from a biblical view of sex to finding good ways to talk about it in your marriage, to just fun ideas for thinking outside the box, this book covers 12 "secrets" to a sizzling hot marriage.
Honestly, I thought it was ok. I don't really have the same sense of humor as the writers so I didn't really find their stories "hilarious" as the cover promised. Some of the tips were good and it had some good reminders of things I already knew but it just was not really my style of writing. Each chapter ends with a "pledge," some ideas from other ladies and a "bucket list" of things to try. There were some good tips in those sections. Over all though I'd just say it was "OK."

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

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Book Review: The Lost Heiress

Brook Eden has always wondered about the family that she was truly born into.  Although loved by the people she calls family now, she always has this nagging feeling that she does not belong there. So when her best friend, Justin, discovers that she is really a missing heiress from England, she travels overseas to see if she can find her true home.
Not everyone in England is willing to believe she is who she claims to be, and she undergoes scrutiny and cold shoulders from more than one person.
Meanwhile Justin, being an heir to a dukedom is pulled away from Brook right when she needs him most and right when their feelings for each other are developing into something deeper than the friendship they have always known.
When Brook's life is threatened like her mother before her, will she and Justin be able to figure out the secret behind her mother's death in time to save Brook from the same fate?

I loved the idea of this book, and was really looking forward to reading it. It has a little "upstairs/downstairs" aspect to it which I always enjoy and has a good danger/mystery storyline threading throughout the lost heiress coming home part. Add in a little romance and you have the makings of a pretty good read :-)

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

Book Review: The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Franz

Sophie Menzies is on the verge of losing hope. Though the American Revolution is finally over, things do not seem to be getting any easier for her. Her loyalist Father has left her in the shadow of his shame, and her brother still has not returned from fighting. She is running out of money and out of options.
When General Seamus Ogilvy returns from the war, now a widower with a small daughter to take care of, he is so thankful for his neighbor Sophie's kind attentions and help with his little girl. Seeing a way to help them both, he proposes to Sophie, providing a home for her, and a mother for his child. Just as they are forming a sweet family bond, a woman from the past shows up to tear them all apart. Tall Acre is sent into a tail spin and it is up in the air as to who is the real mistress of Tall Acre.

I was so excited to get my hands on a new Laura Franz story. I loved reading her Ballentyne series and was looking forward to a new work by her. This was another winner! I really enjoy stories where it takes a while for the main characters to get to know each other and fall in love. There are plenty of page turning moments and I really enjoyed all the twists that occur as you get into the story! I love that happy ever afters don't come easily in Franz's books - she makes you work to get there :-)

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

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.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day Quiz 2015

It's time for the yearly Father's Day quiz. By yearly I mean we have done this a couple of times before (2014 , 2011). It's fun to see how grown up the kids are by their answers. Eoin even sat down and typed up all his own answers (I was under strict instructions to not change any of his formatting). Aidan did half of his before he got tired of typing :-) Without further ado, here is this year's quiz:

My daddy is  
(E) 33 (A)33 (M)60

My daddy works 
(E) by helping people with their money. (A) to help people with there money (M)Give people money

My daddy loves 

(E) us (Me, Molly, and Aidan).(A)every one. (M) me

My dad likes to wear 

(E) a belt and jeans. (A)his work suit (M) his present - white t-shirt

My dad is SO strong, he could lift 
(E) me. (A) a giant piece of wood (M) A huge book

My dad likes to eat 

(E) his veggies. (A)pizza (M) tacos

If my dad had time he would 

(E) play MINECRAFT (XBOX 360 EDITION) with me. (A) play baseball with me (M) play baseball

He is smart because 

(E) has finished college. (A)he is very big and he learned a lot (M) he went to work

If I could give my dad anything, it would be

 (E) a fathers day card. (A) a show of the Lord of the Rings (M)glasses

His favorite color is 

(E) blue. (A) blue (M)he doesn't know (let's just write down black)

His favorite game is 
(E) his video games for daddies (a man). (A) Lord of the Rings and MInecraft, (M)Lord of the Rings

What is something daddy always says to you?
(E) Obey (A) Get in bed  (M) I love you and "Ugga Mugga" (Daniel Tiger Reference)

What makes Dad happy? (E) Surprises (A) Love (M) A present

What makes Dad sad? (E) ? (A) When somebody hurts his feelings (M) When his finger is hurt

We love you so much Jonathan Harrison! You are an amazing Dad and we are so thankful for you! Happy Father's Day! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Book Review: Love's Rescue by Christine Johnson

Elizabeth Benjamin is living with so much guilt. All she can do to make up for her past mistakes is to become the perfect Southern Belle and marry well so that she can secure her family's future. When she arrives home from her training with her Aunt, after her mother passes away, she discovers this is not a difficult task. Running her family home is not easy with a resentful brother, and servants who do see her as a real authority. On top of that, how can she marry well for her family, when all she can think of is the handsome wrecking captain, Rourke O Malley - the absolute last person her family would approve of. When Elizabeth comes across her mother's diary, family secrets come to light that have stayed hidden for far too long and Elizabeth must choose the best way to handle them, and her heart!

I felt like this book started off on some very exciting notes and I eagerly dove in, but after the first couple of chapters, things level off a bit and I wasn't as hooked as I was at the beginning. I thought the thoughts and themes of slavery and how people treated their servants was interesting and I enjoyed seeing Elizabeth's attitude change over time. While there is nothing that I did not like about the story in general, it didn't stand out to me as one I would reread over and over. It was good but not excellent.

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

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Book Review: Taken by Dee Henderson

Meeting Shannon Bliss was definitely not what Matthew Dane was expected when he signed up to speak at a conference. But when this girl is waiting for him after his presentation, he feels compelled to help her - after all he knows something about what she has been through and will be going through.
Missing for 11 years, Shannon has finally escaped her captors and handpicked Matthew Dane to help her transition back to normal life since his daughter also was taken when she was little and survived.
But to really get back to a normal life, Shannon will have to open up about her past and deal with the very real dangers in her life. Will Matthew have what it takes to walk through those dark days of Shannon's ordeal and bring her through unscathed on the other side?

I was a little disappointed in this story for a few reasons. While I understand that Henderson is not writing in the same suspense style as some of her former books, I felt that this story had such a great set up for a little more action and I felt let down when that really didn't happen as much as it could have. I really did enjoy Shannon's descriptions of how her faith remained strong and grew through her ordeal, but at the same time, she seemed almost too planned out and thorough for someone so young. If you really enjoy a more in depth look at characters with a little less story/action, then you will really enjoy this. But if you are looking for a great thriller (as I was kind of expecting by the title) then I think this will disapppoint. As long as you know Henderson's new style ahead of time though, you will be good. I would also recommend you read the two books that she wrote before this. Though they are not a series, per se, the characters from her old books are in this quite a bit and I wished I had read the second one so I could know them better before I started this one.

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Book Review: Together With You by Victoria Bylin

Ex social worker, Carly Mason, is taking a break. After getting to close too a client, Carly just can't go back to working in that area again. But while she is working at the mall, she finds a lost little girl, whom she quickly realizes suffers from fetal alcohol effects - which just happens to be her area of expertise. Though everything is Carly screams for her to run away from this situation, she can't help but feel drawn to help this little girl, and her handsome father.

Dr. Ryan Tremaine is fighting to keep his family together after a divorce. It would be a lot easier if he could hang on to a nanny for his special needs daughter, and when Carly finds Penny at the mall, it seems she might be the key to helping him accomplish his goals.

As Ryan and Carly team up to help Penny and the Tremaine family, they fight their attraction to one another, so they can be sure that the family comes first. But what if Carly is exactly what the family needs to stay together?

I don't normally choose modern romances unless it is a mystery of some sort, but the special needs child subject caught me attention so I thought I'd give it a go. It was a pretty good read and dealt with some good topics like dealing with past mistakes and accepting forgiveness and grace, as well as how broken homes affect children as well as the more obvious subject of fetal alcohol syndrome.
If you are a fan of modern romance fiction, I think you'd enjoy it. While it's probably not a re-read kind of book for me, I still found it interesting and engaging.

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

Friday, May 22, 2015

Book Review: As Love Blooms by Lorna Seilstad

Tessa Gregory is notorious for changing her mind. So it is no surprise that her sisters don't really take her seriously when she tells them her new dream for her life is to be a horticulturist, and they certainly will not believe her if they discover that she has been asked not to return to school in the fall. But Tessa is nothing if not determined and so she sets out to acquire a a job at the famous Como Park and she will do anything it takes to get it! When handsome gardener Reese King offers to help her, the pair work on a plan that is sure to help Tessa get everything she wants. Or will it?

The last book of the Gregory Sisters series is so lovely! I really appreciate that Seilstad manages to find little treasures from history that no one else writes about and brings them to life. I feel like I always learn something while be entertained at the same time. While I think you could probably read this book by itself, I highly recommend reading the series from the start so you can watch this family grow from the beginning. A truly lovely series!

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

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book Review: No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason

Jackie Sellers is in complete shock when she sees her childhood friend on tv in connection with terrorism. She knows there is no way that Ian Lockwood could possible be involved in anything criminal and so she rushed in head first to clear his name. That is not the easiest task in the world considering the FBI is looking for him as well as the real terrorists who would be more than happy to kill him and frame him for the awful deed they are about to commit. Jackie and Ian need to keep moving and stay alive long enough to prove that he is innocent and prevent a major disaster.

This is the third installment of the Hidden Identity series and I thought it was pretty good. I think you could probably read it as a stand alone work and not be too confused - it's been a while since I read the first two and I couldn't remember every detail about the other people in the story and it didn't really matter too much. It was really exciting and I always enjoy when romances happen between people who have known each other for a while, and not just met and fall in love in a few days :-) There were some really good surprises thrown in there too and I always appreciate not knowing what's going to happen before it does!

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

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Book Review: The Creole Princess by Beth White

Lyse Lanier is different. Though she spends her time with her very British best friend, her skin, her comparative poverty and her french heritage are still very apparent. It hasn't mattered much before, but now that the year 1776 is upon them, everyone's loyalties to the crown will be put to the test.
Enter a young Spanish merchant, and the political intrigue just grows. There are spies everywhere, and it's hard to know who to trust. Especially once the girls hear the ideas of this new free country.

If you are a fan of history, you will appreciate Beth White's writings. There are lots of details about the politics of the times, which if you are not an American citizen (like me), it's a little trickier to follow. Still, I enjoyed it - I did wish there was a little more action at the end - I felt like it was building toward more than what happened so that was a little disappointing. Still a good read though, and highly recommended for American history buffs who like a little romance too :-)

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

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Book Review: After a Fashion by Jen Turano

Every year, Harriet Peabody prays for something special to happen on her birthday. But this year it seems that God has forgotten about that prayer. In fact, on top of not having anything special happen, Harriet has had one of the worst days ever.
After an unfortunate incident with a client pretty much guarantees that Harriet will lose her job at the millenary, it seems she has no choice but to accept the strangest offer for a new job.

Oliver Addleshaw just needed a pretty woman to help him impress a client, but when that idea seems to have blown up in his face, he quickly scrambles to come up with plan B, and plan B looks an awful lot like Harriet Peabody.

Can a hat girl really convince the elite of New York that she is part of the upper crust, and will Oliver and Harriet's fake relationship develop into something deeper?

Seriously, I LOVED this story. In fact, I've already read it twice. There is really nothing I did not like about it. I love the time period, the fashion, the humor, the characters - it was such a great read. I loved Harriet's background and how it just keeps surprising and all the hilarious and dangerous situations she manages to find herself in. I really hope that there are follow up books about her room mates because it does seem like Turano set it up so that would happen. Two thumbs up from me! It's definietly going on my "keep" shelf.

A big thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a free copy of this book to review.

Book Review: Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey

Reef McKenna is glad to back working with his family now that he has found peace and purpose in his life. He is also glad to be working along side Kirra Jacobs, though the always goody-two-shoes Kirra has a hard time believing that the wild womanizer, Reef McKenna has changes his ways.
When Kirra's uncle disappears in the middle of a sled race, she knows something is very wrong and takes off in the middle of the night to find him. But Reef catches her and will not let her track down her uncle alone.
Unfortunately, Kirra was right and something is very wrong and now Kirra, Reef and the rest of the McKenna family are working around the clock to rescue him before it's too late.

I have really enjoyed getting to know the McKenna family over this series of books. The hard thing for me is the unbelievable amount of dangerous situations one family can get into in such a short period of time. It would make me think twice about joining the family ;-)
Once you get past that, the story lines are interesting and the romance is not too in your face because there is a lot of danger involved. I also like that the people have past problems that are hard and believable that they have to deal with. It helped that it was snowy when I read this book - I was able to commiserate with the characters :-)

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for a free copy of the book to review.

Book Review: Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon

Small town police chief, Lisa Grant, is looking forward to spending the next few years in a calmer atmosphere than her previous job with the Chicago PD. But she will be needing all the skills she learned there when a human skeleton is uncovered by a construction crew. When she calls in to county for help, ex navy seal, Mac McGregor arrives and the two go to work solving what looks to be a very very cold case.
Though both detectives have been hoping for a quieter life, this case is certainly not that. Someone does not want any secrets from the past to be revealed and will go to any length to keep their secrets buried.

I always find it nice to open one of Hannon's stories and find a main character who is not in their twenties :-) There are not too many stories out there centered around anyone over 25 so it's nice to have people in their thirties for a change. The one thing that bothers me about Hannon's stories is the instant attraction "love at first sight" romance that happens. I think she writes good mysteries and I wish more time was spent on that than on the mushy side of things, but I'm sure that's others enjoy that - I just enjoy a good thriller and want to skip the mush to see what happens next :-)

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

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Book Review: Anna's Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Anna Konig is not the adventurous type. She is quite comfortable in her village with her grandparents and would be happy to spend the remainder of her life there. However, she is the only one in her Amish community that can speak English and they need her help to get to the New World where they can escape the coming persecution for their beliefs.
So leaving everything she loves behind, Anna sets out on the long voyage to seek a New Land for her people. Though the journey is hard and dangerous, Anna works hard to keep spirits up and help others where she can. That means she is often in the company of the handsome ship's carpenter, Bairn. The two form an unlikely friendship as they try to make the journey bearable for the passengers. But when a dangerous station arises and Bairn discovers a startling discovery about his past, they will have to make some tough decisions about the future!

Once again Suzanne Woods Fisher has written a charming tale about the Amish people. While her books are usually set in the present day, I love that this book sheds some light on the beginnings of this people and their coming to America. The characters are wonderful and I loved getting to know them. I read this entire book in one sitting and I really hope that we will get to visit this group of families again!

Thank you so much to Revell Publishers for a free copy of this book to review.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review: The Trouble with Patience by Maggie Brendan

Since all Patience's hopes for love are dead, she has decided to make it on her own. Since she has inherited her grandmother's boarding house, she plans to put her all into making it a thriving business. She has no time for anything that would stand in the way of that goal.
But it seems that the town's sheriff is always finding ways of being part of her life. He needs her help with food for his posse and prisoners, and like it or not, she needs help fixing up her boarding house.
As they get to know each other, they can't doubt the attractions, but will secrets from their past drive them apart or bring them together?

I enjoyed this cute historical romance. It was a quick read and even though it was slightly predictable, I still thought it was pretty good. Stories like this always make me hungry - seems someone is always making fried chicken and biscuits back in that time period :-) I really enjoyed reading about Patience and her relationship with her mother. Sometimes, I prefer those even more than the romance itself. I also really like when authors include some true facts from their story's time period at the end of the book - it really helps the historical part come to life for me and I appreciated that Brendan does that.

Thank you so much to Revell Publishing for a free copy of this book to review.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Booke Review: Hidden Agenda by Lisa Harris

Michael Hunt only needs one more week. One more week and then he will be able to take down the organization he has been working undercover with for eight months. Finally he will be able to go see his family and friends who thought he died.
He is so close, but now it appears his cover has been blown and there is no way out. There is a hit out on his life and there is corruption within the police department so he doesn't know who to trust. The only person he can turn to is Olivia Hamilton, but that seems strange seeing as how she is the daughter of the man trying to kill him.

This is the third book in the Southern Crimes Series by Harris and it ties up the series nicely. At the end of book two we were left with just a quick glimpse at the fact that Michael was not dead and so I was really looking forward to finding out what really happened. The tough part about family series' to me is that it seems that an awful lot happens within the same family in such short periods of time which seems a bit unrealistic to me, and also that each person has some sort of romantic entanglement during that same short time is also a bit of a stretch to me. Besides that, I enjoyed the story - there was lots of action and surprises along the way and I tore through it pretty quickly :-)

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

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pembrooke Park Extras

I just wanted to share these two videos relating to the last book review I posted.
The first is the trailer for the book (which to be honest always makes me want them to turn the book into a movie ;-) and the second is a look around the manor that was inspiration for the manor in the book - so cool!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review: The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen

Another awesome story by Julie Klassen has just been published and you will want to get your hands on it as soon as possible!
Abigail Foster is the practical daughter in the Foster household. Sensible and organized, she is looking forward to spending her well planned life with the man she thought loved her. But it is not to be, as he seems to have noticed  Abigail's younger and prettier sister.
When their family falls in to hard financial difficulty and she has to give up her home, her dowry and it seems the future she had been looking forward to, practical Abigail does not sit around moping but puts herself to work settling her family into their new situation.
A distant relative has reached out just in time to the Foster family and has kindly agreed to let them live in the large house at Pembrooke Park provided they can make it habitable after being suddenly abandoned 18 years ago.
As Abigail sets to work putting the house to rights, she comes across secrets and mystery at every turn. Could there be a secret room filled with treasure? Did something horrendous happen there so many years ago? And will they be entirely safe staying there?
As Abigail forms friendships with her neighbors and maybe even more with the park's handsome curate, she will rely on their help and knowledge of the past as she confronts the dark secrets of Pembrooke Park.

Once again, I tore through this longest novel yet of Julie Klassen. The only bad part was that I just moved into a 100 year old house, so reading about creepy noises and footsteps was a bit scary ;-)! This book didn't seem to have as much of a historical niche as some of her past stories (like focusing on governess roles, dancing master etc...) but it was an excellent story none-the-less. I would highly recommend any Klassen story, including this one to any Jane Austen fan - you are sure to love them!