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March 18 2013 2 18 /03 /March /2013 23:06

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"To Honor and Trust" by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller was given to me by Bethany House publishers on the condition that I honestly review this book.  All opinions are my own.

Callie Deboyer is a governess who travels to Bridal Veil Island to work for the Bridgeport family over the winter.  She helps the family greatly with the children's studies as well as hiring a new nanny.

 Wes Townsend moves with his family to Bridal Veil Island, where they continue to pester him about finding a wife as well as working for the family business.  Wes desires to do neither, and especially doesn't want to attend the welcoming party being held in his family's honor. 

Callie, as well, is expected to attend this party, even though she would rather send the new nanny and stay at home with the children.  But when her employer and the children's nanny tell her to go, what will she do? Will Wes have decided to attend as well? Will they meet each other and what will happen between them?

With deceit and plot twists, pulling of the heart and calling of God, this made for a fairly good book.  This book was pretty slow moving at the start, but then I became more interested in the plot as well as the characters, and continued reading.  It made for a nice read, overall.

As I said before, thank you to Bethany House publishers for letting me read and review this book. 

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March 13 2013 4 13 /03 /March /2013 15:21

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"Undeniably Yours" by Becky Wade

I had high expectations for this book because I had absolutely loved Becky Wade's first book, "My Stubborn Heart". This book met and exceeded my expectations, but in a different way than I was expecting.

This book is set in modern-day Texas, where Meg Cole has recently inherited her father's multi-million dollar oil business. She doesn't know how or look forward to running this, and in her first couple of weeks she fires several people. However, there is one man who refuses to be fired.

Bo Porter runs a Thoroughbred farm, and refuses to close it when his boss, Meg Cole, insists he shut it down. He is a cowboy through and through and decides to do whatever he can to change Meg's mind.

In addition to this crisis, a woman hurt by Meg's ex-husband comes into Meg's life, and Meg reconsiders everything she is using her father's money for, to find her true purpose in life.

Once Meg and Bo finally have some understanding between them, and even a little attraction, will an evil force from Meg's past tear them and their trust of each other apart?

Thank you so much to Bethany House and Net Galley for letting me read and review this book! I thoroughly enjoyed it because the plot was so intense and unpredictable!

 

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March 5 2013 3 05 /03 /March /2013 15:50

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"The Tutor's Daughter" by Julie Klassen is an excellent book! I have read several of Julie Klassen's books before and had high expectations on this book. These expectations were exceeded! A book of fine quality and obvious research, this book was accurate, historically, as far as I could tell, and had an interesting plot that will hook you from the start.

Emma Smallwood and her father run a small, private school. When all their students have left, and Emma senses her father getting somewhat depressed, she contacts the father of two of her previous students, knowing he has two more sons, and asking whether or not he is interested in having them attend the Smallwood school. She receives a letter back inviting the Smallwoods to his (the Weston) estate, and Emma and her father pack their bags.

Phillip and Henry Weston remember their childhood teacher and his daughter, and are pleased, for the most part, to see the Smallwoods again. Both find that they think of Emma fondly.

Not only does Emma have to deal with seeing the elder Weston sons again, one whom she was great friends with and the other who always played practical jokes on her, but there are several mysterious noises at the Weston estate. She senses that the Westons are hiding things from her, and is suspicious. Beyond that, Emma keeps hearing someone in her bedroom at night. Will she figure out what is going on, as well as which brother to trust with her heart?

Thank you so much to Net Galley and Bethany House publishers for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. This was one of the best books I have read in a while, because of not only the mystery but the depth of the characters and the plot.

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February 28 2013 5 28 /02 /February /2013 00:13

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***"Rush to the Altar" by Jamie Carie is, at the time of this post, only $4.99 at the Kindle Store. Clicking on the picture above will redirect you there.***

 

I have pretty much read all of Mrs. Carie's works, and they have been ok, but sometimes a bit 'intense' in some cases. This book was over-the-top in these areas. Let me explain the characters, and then I will get to the pros and cons.

 

Maddie Goode is a single-mom with a two-year-old son named Max. Her husband, Brandon, was killed in a car accident six months before. She is out of work. Maddie's friend Sasha wins a radio contest that gets them tickets to the next basketball game in town. Maddie isn't a huge basketball fan, but her friend convinces her to take the night out. (Maddie and her son are currently living with her parents.) Through a series of extremely unlikely events, Maddie lands a high-position job for the basketball team. The whole events leading up to her landing this job were so unrealistic it was comical. Suffice it to say, she gets the job and runs into the "hot" basketball players on the team.

 

Jake Hart is one of those players. He runs into Maddie holding his underwear for a job interview (don't ask). That is pretty much how they meet, and seeing how this is a romance novel, you can probably guess the rest of the story. However, there are several huge plots twists that come along, so don't just take my review for it.

 

Now, for the pros and cons:

 

Pros:

 

This was a cute story.

 

Cons:

 

Swear words were used twice throughout the book. And not just "So-and-so swore under his breath"; no, the actual word was printed in the book.

 

Drinking heavily to the point of insulting Maddie was in the book, but only once. However, characters are shown-er, written- as drinking several different alcoholic drinks for different reasons through the book. (I.e. in anger, at a party, in celebration, etc.)

 

Kissing was heavy in this book and made it appear less "sacred" than I believe it to be. Sometimes things got a bit too passionate for my taste.

 

Sex was shown as something done just, well, because so-and-so was a couple, even when they weren't married. Now, I realize that some people may not share my same opinions on this, and how far is "too far", but for this to have been written by a self-proclaimed Christian, this was too much, a stumbling block, if you will. (Note: the actual act is not written about, just referred to)

 

SPOILER: Maddie and Jake get married on a whim without consulting or even telling their parents (or Max).

 

SPOILER: Maddie's first husband had a mistress.........while he was married to Maddie.

 

In addition to those "personal" cons, there were also several noticeable grammatical errors, and more than just "a few" mistakes.

 

As for character development, I personally didn't think it was all that great. Only the two main characters were really focused on, leaving you to wonder what was happening with the others, including Maddie's son.

 

All in all, I realize this was Mrs. Carie's first try at something other than historical romance, but I really didn't like it. It's not one I would read again or recommend.   However, this book is marketed for general contemporary romance, not inspiration/Christian romance.  This apparently changes the standards of the content. 

 

Thank you so much to Mrs. Carie for providing me with a copy of "Rush to the Altar" to review.

 

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February 13 2013 4 13 /02 /February /2013 17:02

 

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Catch a Falling Star is written by Beth Vogt and published by Howard Books. Beth Vogt wrote one of my favorite books, "Wish You Were Here", so I had high expectations for this book.

And boy oh boy, did it ever measure up! This is a sweet romance book that has some unexpected mystery in it. Dr. Kendall Haynes is family doctor in her thirties, unmarried, and still holding out for "Mr. Right". She does not think that she will get married, judging by how all her fellow girlfriends are engaged or already married, as well as her own younger sister, who is engaged. However, Kendall keeps a smile on her face and devotes herself to helping kids with asthma and allergies.

Griffin Walker is an ex-pilot in the Air Force, due to a case of vertigo that he can't rid himself of. When his parents die, they put him in charge of his adopted younger brother Ian, who is sixteen. Ian has severe allergies that Griffin does know about.

Heath Parker takes up an interest in Kendall, and is quite flattering to her. Kendall thinks she's finally found the man of her dreams. But after her dates with him, her heart fills her head with thoughts of another. Add to that the pressure that Kendall's sister is adding to her about wanting a family heirloom, and Kendall is a wreck. Who will her heart choose, and will it be God's will for her life?

Thank you so much to Net Galley and Howard publishers for letting me read and review this book. I have really enjoyed this author's works in the past, and this one was no different. I would totally recommend this!

 

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February 13 2013 4 13 /02 /February /2013 16:59

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"Forsaken Dreams" is the first book in a new series by Mary Lu Tyndall, "Escape to Paradise". What a true title; these books will sweep you off your feet into a world of romance, God, spiritual warfare, and the high seas!

This story is set post-Civil War, when a widowed wife of a Yankee soldier, Eliza Crawford, boards a ship to Brazil, looking to leave her past and scorn from her southern peers behind. Colonel Grant Wallace also wants to leave his past behind. He barely manages to escape his past long enough to board his own ship, before it attempts to catch up with him.

Several people aboard this boat are looking to start a new life in Brazil, and also are the main characters in later books in this series. For now, though, we just have to focus on Widow Eliza Crawford and the Colonel/Captain of the ship, Grant Wallace.

Eliza Crawford married a Yankee against her family’s wishes, and paid a price when he died in the war, leaving her nothing but scorn from the people surrounding her. She boards this boat in hopes of a new life.

But adventure abounds, a new kind than that of previous Mary Lu Tyndall novels, at least to some extent: spiritual warfare is present, and very real. Of course, there is still the trademark sea battles, romance, and adventure expected of a Tyndall novel.

Thank you to Net Galley and Barbour Publishing for letting me read and review this novel. I really liked the excitement and suspense.

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January 15 2013 3 15 /01 /January /2013 22:48

Just like the actual book, "Unglued", this shortened, devotional form is EXCELLENT and very helpful. Lysa TerKeurst is a very honest and open writer; she will tell the reader of her experiences, thoughts, and reactions-which are not always pretty! She will help you take a look at your own life and understand yourself and your emotions better. Also, she explores why you feel what you feel when people say what they say, and how you can react better to mean comments. Lysa shows women that we do not have to be controlled by own emotions; that we can actually control them! What freedom this brings! What joy! Please, join me today on this path of redemption from your dictating emotions, even if you consider yourself "under control". This short, 60-day devotional will not take too much time out of your day, yet will help you make drastic changes toward being a better you. So start this New Year off right. Be in control of your own emotions and live up to the woman God wants you to be!

Even better, read the original book, "Unglued"!

Thank you so much to Book Sneeze and Zondervan for letting me read and review this book!

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January 15 2013 3 15 /01 /January /2013 22:34

"Grace, Gold, and Glory" is an amazing autobiography by the gold medalist gymnast Gabby Douglas herself! If you watched the London 2012 Olympics, you saw Gabby leap, soar, and flip her way to helping the American team win the gold medal and our hearts as well. If you read the newspaper and magazine articles, you may have read some of Gabby's journey to the Olympics. However, if you read her autobiography, you have her amazing story of talent, determination, hardship, and faith right in your hands. This book, at least the copy I received, was hardback and included a beautiful poster of Gabby herself on the flipside of the cover. The book also includes pictures of her childhood and competitions. If you enjoyed Shawn Johnson's book, you will love this one as well; both gymnasts have stuck to their beliefs, and God has thoroughly blessed them and their hard work. This will make a wonderful and inspiring addition to any shelf! You will enjoy and be inspired, I hope, by this beautiful young women’s talent, and how through the hard times and highs in her life she brought glory to God.

Thank you so much to Zondervan for letting me read and review this book; what an incredible story!

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December 5 2012 4 05 /12 /December /2012 19:49

    

Lily's Plight is the third book in the Harwood sisters trilogy. This is written by Dianna Crawford and Sally Laity, and is published by Barbour Publishing.

Here's the jist of the storyline: Lily and her sisters came to America from England. (This is explained in book 1, Mariah's Quest) Lily is a helper to a sweet family living pretty much just out in the country. Her mistress, Sarah, is very sick and Sarah's husband John is off at war so Lily helps take care of the farm and kids. Lily has secretly been in love with John for a while, and when Sarah dies, Lily is uncertain how to express her feelings for John so soon after his wife's passing.

Pros: There is more information on what became of the other sisters in the series.

As far as I could tell, it was historically accurate.

It was a sweet story.

Cons: Lily fell in love with a married man, which in my mind was a bit awkward.

John fell in love with Lily rather quickly after his wife's death, yet it still was a very slow story.

Overall, this was a sweet read and decent addition to the series.

Thank you to Net Galley and Barbour Publishers for letting me read and review this book!

 

 

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November 29 2012 5 29 /11 /November /2012 23:47

Camellia is the second book in the "Song of the River" series by Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver.  This series is published by Barbour Publishers.  The first book in the series is entitled, "Lily", and I have also reviewed it on my blog.

 

Camellia is the sister to Lily, whom the previous book in the series is about.  The story starts off with Camellia wanting to go to finishing school, while Lily and Blake disagree because of the war going on.  They are worried that the War Between the States will reach New Orleans, and she will be in harm's way.

 

Jonah Thorton's family is being kept in the dark.  He is secretly fighting for the Union! Jonah's beliefs cause him to betray his family and the women he grows to love.

 

Will Jonah's secrets keep him from having a future with Camellia?

Thank you so much to Net Galley and Barbour publishing for letting me read and review this book.  It was excellent.

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