Monday, May 25, 2015

Twisted Innocence was Fantastic

Twisted Innocence
Terri Blackstock




Book Summary: When Holly's secrets backfire, is the mess too big to unravel? Holly Cramer has worked hard to keep the identity of her daughter's father a secret, shamed and embarrassed by the one-night stand. But when the police knock on her door searching for Creed Kershaw, she realizes his identity isn't as hidden as she thought. The fact that Creed is a person of interest in a recent drug-related murder only increases her humiliation. When Holly's and Creed's paths cross, Holly is unsure whether to be terrified of him or trust him. His tenderness with their daughter makes her want to believe his story that he had nothing to do with the murder. Then she discovers that Creed has a connection to Leonard Miller-who killed both her sister's fiancé and her brother-in-law, and kidnapped her nephews-and things only become more complicated. Will Creed lead them to the man who has plagued her family, or become another of his victims?


Review: I love Terri Blackstock books and this was no exception. It did take me a couple pages to get into it. But most of it was due to this was the last book of the series and I was going to miss reading about these wonderful characters. The emotion and regret that Holly and Creed had was very realistic and appropriately placed in the story. I liked the honesty that was written into this story. I loved how Creed came from a good home and that he still went his own way. All of the characters had a great and believable depth. That is one of the things that makes reading Terri Blackstock’s books so enjoyable there is no simple answer or resolution. For me this was another winner.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan Fiction for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Taken was less than Stellar

Taken
Dee Henderson




Book Summary: An investigator who knows tragic loss firsthand, and his new client, missing far too long… Abducted at the age of sixteen and coerced into assisting the Jacoby crime family, Shannon Bliss has finally found a way out. She desperately wants to resume some semblance of normal life, but she also knows she has some unfinished business to attend to. She might have enough evidence to put her captors behind bars for a very long time. When Shannon contacts private investigator Matthew Dane, a former cop, to help her navigate her reentry into society, he quickly discovers that gaining her freedom doesn't mean her troubles are over. If the Jacoby family learns she is still alive, they'll stop at nothing to silence her. If justice is to be done, and if Shannon's life is ever to get on track again, Matthew will need to discover exactly what happened to her--even if it means stirring up a hornet's nest of secrets.

Review: It was an easy read overall. The characters were likable and previous ones became more likable through this book. I found the romance lacking. There really was no chemistry between the two. I really liked Matthew and Shannon. They were strong capable and helpful people. The mystery was fun but over blown in my opinion. I enjoyed the secret hideaways the Jacoby family kept and the paranoia the family had was realistic. The trauma and events related to her kidnapping were realistic and yet the fear Shannon had were not equal to the description on the back of the book. I know that back of the books can be misleading sometimes but this one was lacking. The hornets nest of secrets and why she was taken was very vaguely answered and everything was wrapped up so neatly it felt false to me. This book is no way equal to the Mallory series that I loved. I found this book to be fair overall and am sad because Dee Henderson has such a talent for weaving a story. I keep hoping that some big twist or turn will reignite the spark for me.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

After a Fashion is the Start of an Enjoyable Series!!

After a Fashion
Jen Turano




Book Summary: Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income. Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner. Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can't make her fashionable. She'll never truly fit into Oliver's world, but just as she's ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.

Review: I throughly enjoyed this book. I was hesitant to start this book because I truly loved Ms. Turano’s previous series and was worried that this one was so different that I was foolishly hesitant. I loved it!! Harriet was so fantastic. She went with her feelings especially when it was concerning other people! The best think to get bent out of shape at is for other people who either can’t or don’t know they need to defend themselves. Oliver was a man with weaknesses and someone willing to do the right thing many times. He was a realistic character one you love, get mad at and one you don’t know what to do with. The mystery was woven in with a subtle touch which made it more suspenseful. The suspense for how everything was going to work out was enjoyable. Aunt Jane was a dastardly character and with Silas goading her on seemed unstoppable. There was too much too enjoy and that is what will make this series a hit for me. I can’t wait for Millie’s story next! The biggest twist on this series is these women are average ordinary women or so it seems….
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sabotaged was Thrilling!!!

Sabotaged

Dani Pettrey




Book Summary: Finally Returned Home, Reef McKenna Finds His Beloved Alaska Facing Its Greatest Threat Growing up, goody-two-shoes Kirra Jacobs and troublemaker Reef McKenna were always at odds. Now, working together as search-and-rescue for Alaska's arduous Iditarod race, a growing attraction seems to be forcing aside old arguments. Then Reef catches Kirra sneaking from camp in the middle of the night. Kirra's uncle, a musher in the race, has disappeared. Kirra and Reef quickly track the man, but what they discover is harrowing: Frank's daughter has been kidnapped. Kirra and Reef, along with the entire McKenna family, are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who is not only threatening a girl's life--but appears willing to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen.


Review: Great Storyline. The McKenna family is fun and it was great to read the final in the series. Everyone made an appearance. With the Iditarod as the backdrop for the suspense was fantastic. It seemed at times that the bad guys had eyes everywhere and that may it more intense. Kirra was very well written and demonstrated a growth throughout the book that made it enjoyable. Loved Reef, he was easy going and likable from his original appearance in previous books. The story lined challenged ‘the how far would you go’ questioned with the buffer of in faith we are in Christ, that we must pray and look to Him for our way in this fallen world. Not preachy but very thought provoking.

I would like to thank Bethany House for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Authentic Amish Cookbook is a New Favorite

The Authentic Amish Cookbook
Norman and Marlena Miller, Compilers




Book Summary: Now you can enjoy genuine Amish recipes from the Amish themselves. From the members of the Evart, Michigan, Amish community comes this collection of 450 family favorites, including… salads and dressings (24-Hour Potato Salad, Italian Macaroni Salad)meats and main dishes (Honey-Mustard Baked Chicken, No-Fuss Lasagna, Taco Quiche)desserts (Apple Cream Cheese Pie, Rhubarb Torte, Raspberry Swirl) Several miscellaneous recipes (jerky, play dough, finger paint…) and large-quantity recipes (for wedding receptions and other large events) are followed by many healthy recipes for folks who are watching their diet. A generous collection of tips and hints provides extra help in making your duties in the kitchen and throughout your home flow smoothly. With popular Amish hymns and inspirational thoughts sprinkled throughout, The Authentic Amish Cookbook provides everything you need to enjoy your meal preparation and to bless your family and friends with table times they’ll never forget.


Review: Loved the bits of wisdom! That was what made it special. To hear about the little details of the Amish Life was fun. There were plenty of recipes and many of them were unique like making cottage cheese. These are the gems that make a cookbook worth having. I believe that it is similar to other Amish and Mennonite cookbooks. The reason that I try to buy them and use when I am looking for unique things. Truly glad that I got to read and have the recipes to go through. I love cookbooks because they are idea generators for meals and deserts.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Harvest House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Murder Tightly Knit was Worth the Wait

Murder Tightly Knitted
Vannetta Chapman




Book Summary: When a local Amish man is found dead, the Middlebury Amish Artisan Village comes under suspicion. Two amateur sleuths—one Amish, one English—will have to work quickly to keep fear from dividing their community. As fall blankets the Pumpkinvine Trail with leaves of brown, gold, and orange, a local Amish man is found dead on the path. The only clues to the murderer’s identity point in two very different directions—toward the local survivalist group and toward the Amish Village—specifically the village’s knitting shop, The Cat’s Meow. The police call in a federal investigator, and he quickly puts everyone on the suspect list. Amber Bowman and Hannah Troyer know who isn’t guilty—they know this community down to the last buggy, but can find the guilty party before someone else is in danger? While Hannah helps Amber solve the mystery, she and Jesse Miller continue courting. But when Jesse’s prodigal brother returns to their farm, Jesse becomes distracted by family troubles. He and Hannah will have to overcome the tension in order to keep their relationship alive. And Amber and Hannah will need to work quickly to solve the murder mystery and bring harmony back to the Amish community.

Review: Fantastic sequel!! Love this series! Hannah, Jesse, Tate and Amber are great! Love the addition of Andrew and Mary. The mystery started out slow but picked up speed after a couple of chapters. The addition of Pam was fantastic. She is a great addition and sidekick for the English side of looking into things. It was so nice to see Preston becoming a steady trustworthy friend to everyone. While the mystery was startling it was not too difficult who it was that killed Owen. How it played out was the greatest suspense. That is what made the story exciting that waiting for the other shoe to drop. Can not wait to start the next book!

I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

An August Bride had a Rocky Beginning

An August Bride
Debra Clopton




Book Summary: Kelsey Wilcox has had enough of cowboys. After the last one broke her heart, Kelsey traded in her boots for flip-flops, and the open range for a bistro on the beach.  Her life on Corpus Christi’s gorgeous beach might be a little lonely, but at least it’s heartbreak-free. At least until her cousin’s beachside wedding bucks Kelsey right back into the rodeo. When unlucky-in-love Brent Corbin packed his groomsman’s tux for his friend’s wedding, he brought his boots and belt buckle with him. Brent isn’t exactly looking for love, but when he sees what appears to be a mermaid in distress, he jumps right in to rescue her. So Kelsey finds herself plucked from the sea—and certain-drowning—by a gorgeous groomsman . . . in soaked cowboy boots. She’s quick to say thanks, but no thanks. Brent dedicates the weekend to pursuing Kelsey—and Kelsey spends the weekend trying to deny an obvious match. She’s as stubborn as a wild horse, but Brent’s determination may tame her yet. 

Review: I found the story to be readable although I had trouble getting into the storyline. It was slow going for me at the start If Kelsey was that distrustful of cowboys than she would have needed a lot more time to before she gave Brent a chance. I liked Kelsey but never really connected with the story. It was an interesting idea to match a now city girl with a cowboy, the very type of man that Kelsey dislikes. The secondary characters were the best part of the story Aunt Mae and her friends. They were a hoot! I liked the book better as it progressed. Kelsey started to unbend and her dislike of cowboys decreased. Really like this novella format.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan Fiction for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.