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.