Monday, December 1, 2014

The Secret of Pembrook Park was Captivating!

The Secret of Pembrooke Park
Julie Klassen




Book Summary: Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister. Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play… The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor's past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure. This catches Abigail's attention. Hoping to restore her family's finances--and her dowry--Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn't the only one secretly searching the house. Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past. As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?

Review: This was a long book to read and yet I could not put it down. I read it until 1 AM and than finished is quickly in the next day. I loved all the characters. Even the one who was causing the mayhem was great. I do not like to give away secrets but the were many twists and turns that I was waiting for them at the edge of my seat for them to be revealed. I loved Abigail mostly because her growth and wisdom were sincerely well written and believable all in one. No matter what I would want Abigail to be my friend. She was kind and forgiving. The secret room was the hook that held me until the end. Sometimes I just wanted to climb in the story and search every room till I found it. Who cares about a treasure of goods, a secret room is worth it weight in gold alone. Secret passages too, although this story did not have secret passages. The men in Abigail’s life were great. All of them. They ebbed and grew in many ways that provided a dynamic storyline and kept me going while the mystery stewed in the background. The time flew and the story was well written. I will definitely read this story again someday.
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, November 26, 2014

Good News for Weary Women was Unique

Good News for Weary Women
Elyse Fitzpatrick




Book Summary: Are you exhausted? Women today really do feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Every morning we are greeted with a long list of to-dos: get the kids up and out the door on time, have a meaningful quiet time, put in a full day at the office, spend an hour at the gym, prepare a healthy and delicious meal (organic and locally grown, of course), and make sure the sink sparkles before you go to bed. Oh, and don’t forget to look great and smile while you’re doing it. These are all good things to do, of course. But the bigger problem occurs when we start to feel as if our worth is measured by our to-do lists. And the messages we receive at church, on Facebook, and from the media only perpetuate these unrealistic expectations, creating a relentless cycle of exhaustion. As Elyse Fitzpatrick has traveled this country, she has seen increasing evidence of this weariness epidemic invading our churches and communities. And she has good news for women everywhere: there is hope! God doesn’t judge us by our to-do lists. Instead, He calls us to faith. Free yourself today from the endless stream of bad advice and discover the true rest God offers.

Review: Over all it was an easy read. I liked the reminder of not working for salvation. My favorite examples were the personal ones. I think that many of the examples were all the same complaint and therefore sometimes repeating things. The part I think that gets forgotten is that there is to be a changed life after Christ came into my life. That the Christian life is more challenging than prior to my conversion. There is no getting around that because while not looking to win more favor I am running a race to finish the Christian life by striving to see Christ more, that can not be done if my thoughts and heart are tied to this world. There is a tension that can not be overcome except by prayer and leaning on Christ
I would like to thank Net Galley and Tyndale 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.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Love at Mistletoe Inn was Warm & Cozy

Love at Mistletoe Inn
Cindy Kirk




Book Summary: They've helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection. Hope Prentiss didn’t go to the Harmony High School senior prom. Instead, she and John Burke drove to Boise and got married. At eighteen. But when Hope panicked after saying “I do,” the mail-order preacher assured her he just wouldn’t send in the paperwork. No forms, no marriage, no problem. Right? Well . . .Now, ten years later, Hope discovers that her prom-night wedding counted—and, as fate would have it, the jilted John Burke has just ridden back into town. And he’s staying with her Aunt Verna at the inn where she and Hope host weddings. Though Hope thinks she wants an annulment, a little time with John makes her think twice . . . and emotions between the more-or-less Mr. and Mrs. Burke reach a boiling point a soon as they get a moment alone. With annulment out the window, Hope finds herself staring in the face of a divorce. But after spending some time with John and helping plan a Christmas wedding for a mystery couple, Hope begins to wonder if she really wants a divorce … or a real wedding of her own.


Review: This story was primarily about a couple that eloped during the senior prom and broke up due to the brides fear of poverty. A very real possibility when you are 18 and married. The sweet part was that through being young they thought they were not married. Yet they were. Thus begins the adventure of this story. I liked John a lot. He was a steady and loyal guy who loved Hope despite herself. Hope had a rough childhood of parents fighting over money. While this drove how she worked and saved it, she was not written as a penny pincher. I liked the story line and found it to be an enjoyable read. I did not find it to be a Christmas novella. I found it to be a winter story. There was a lot of snow and fire places since this was Idaho. Vera was the best of the characters and many times a secondary character holds the story together. So altogether this was a pretty enjoyable story.
I would like to thank BookLook Blogger 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.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hidden a Spine Tingling Suspense Thriller!!

Hidden
Vannetta Chapman




Book Summary: Home is where our story begins ... DANA JACOBS would rather forget the night of tragedy and violence that marred her childhood. She is now supervisor in charge of the Department of Homeland Security in Taos, New Mexico. Her team is prepared to handle any threat—biological, chemical, conventional, cyber, even nuclear. BENJAMIN MARSHALL is newly assigned to Dana’s office. Straight from a six year military deployment, he is not what Dana wants or needs. Ben knows God has a reason for putting him in this place at this time—to help Dana. When a local school is threatened, they open a case which leads them on a chase through the Enchanted Circle and Carson National Forest, pursuing a man filled with a bitterness Dana can understand. But her anger is different. It’s justified, it remains hidden inside, and it hurts no one. Can Dana face her own mortality? And when she does, can she truly understand what it means to forgive and to be forgiven?


Review: This was a pulse pounding no stopping action adventure story. I actually had to take breaks to catch my breathe. I loved Ben and Dana. They were well suited and written flawlessly. I think too much was made over him being a year younger and that seemed to be a stumbling issue for a small section of the story. The mystery and the ever present danger was spine tingling and exhausting. I absolutely loved t

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Promise to Protect was Pulse Pounding!

A Promise to Protect
Patricia Bradley




Book Summary: Acting Sheriff Ben Logan hasn't heard from Leigh Somerall in a very long time, but it doesn't mean he can get her--or their whirlwind romance of ten years ago--out of his head. When she calls out of the blue, it is with a strange request to protect her brother, Tony. When Tony dies just days later, Ben is charged with a different task--protecting Leigh and her nine-year-old son, TJ, from the killers. But how can Ben keep an eye on Leigh if she's doing everything in her power to avoid him? And could the secret that Leigh is keeping change Ben's life forever? Suspense, intrigue, and a touch of romance make A Promise to Protect perfect for readers who like their stories with a hearty dose of mystery.

Review: The story was electric with the who did it! I liked Ben from the first book. There were times when I did not care for Leigh or Ben. Thankfully as the book progressed they grew on me. I think the mystery was exciting a good standalone book if someone has not read the first in the series. It is not necessary to have read the first book to become engrossed in the story. T.J. is a cut kid and more flexible at times than Leigh. She is determined to keep her secret while bigger intrigue is swirling about them. The who did it kept me on my toes. One person is disclosed early on but the brains behind who murdered Tony is the real suspense. There are many things going on or wrong for Ben but that is the thrill of the suspense. The ending was quick and the book was definitely worth the read! Loved the first book and enjoyed the second in the series. I will definitely be waiting for a third!
I would like to thank Net Galley and Revell 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, November 12, 2014

Snowfall a Fantastic Novella about Christmas!!

Snowfall
Shelley Shepard Gray




Book Summary: Twenty-year old Ruth Stutzman is a wonderful caregiver—but she has no experience with kinner. Laid off from her job at a retirement home due to budget cuts, she’s relieved to find work—even if it means temporarily watching widower Martin Rodes’ brood of six! Martin has done the best he can since his wife’s passing, but he and the children need help. Their house, once full of laughter and light, has been darkened by sadness. Soon after Ruth arrives, the children are drawn to her warmth and gentleness, and so is Martin, even though he feels it’s wrong. But the harder he tries to ignore her, the deeper he begins to care for this attractive young woman who has brought joy back into his children’s lives . . . and his own. Each passing day brings the Rodes closer to Ruth . . . and closer to Christmas, when she will have to say goodbye. Ruth, too, cannot deny the bond she feels with the children—and with Martin. When her old job becomes available again, Ruth finds herself torn. How can she stay with the Rodes? Yet how can she go?


Review: I loved all the children. The storyline while part of a series is easy to jump into even if you have not read the other books. Ms. Gray even saved some secrets for when I go back and read the other books. I love the Christmas theme. Christmas is the best time of year. I can read about it any time of the year. Ruth was very special, someone who had heartache and now was getting to turn heartache for others into great joy. That is a theme I enjoy reading about. The Keim family was great to visit and read about people from previous books. It was interesting to read a book about the New Order Amish. I like simplicity of the Amish and their tremendous relationships that are highly valued. It was an enjoyable experience throughout the book. This will be a story I will revisit in the future.
I would like to thank Edelweiss Above the Treeline and Avon Inspire 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.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

An Amish Second Christmas was Fun!

An Amish Second Christmas
Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, Kathleen Fuller & Tricia Goyer




Book Summary:Celebrate Second Christmas, a treasured, lighthearted time of community, with four Amish romances.
“When Christmas Comes Again” by Beth Wiseman
Katherine knows the first Christmas without Elias will be hard for her and the children. But when a mysterious Englischer appears with photographs of her late husband, Katherine begins to wonder what other blessings Christmas could have in store.
“Her Christmas Pen Pal” by Ruth Reid
Joy was expecting a wedding proposal from Henry; what she got instead was news of another woman. But when her heartfelt letter to a cousin ends up in the hands of a young cabinetmaker, an unexpected correspondence between two strangers gets interesting fast.
“A Gift for Anne Marie” by Kathleen Fuller
Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were kids. Now things are evolving . . . in ways everyone else predicted long ago. But when her mother suddenly decides to remarry in another state, Anne Marie’s new chapter with Nathaniel looks doomed to end before it begins.
“The Christmas Aprons” by Tricia Goyer
Vanilla crumb pie has been Esther’s mem’s calling card for decades. But when Esther finally gets her hands on the secret recipe, she discovers that vanilla crumb pie is more than just dessert . . . it’s bachelor bait.


Review: I loved the cover! It was such a striking contrast of white and red. I enjoyed the entire book. out of the 4 I found only one of the stories slow to get into. I liked the characters in each book. For the most part they were fast reads and enjoyable. It was enjoyable to visit each story for Christmas and the fun of the season was present.
I think that I liked ‘When Christmas Comes Again’ the best it was a moving story of family and mending broken relationships. It was not romantic in the man to woman relationship but it was full of love in restoring broken people.
‘Her Christmas pen pal’ was fun and I found Joy & Noah to be perfectly suited for each other throughout. Sadly poor Henry was not even that sympathetic to Joy’s needs or loss.
‘A Gift for Anne Marie’ was a nice sweet story with a few bumps in the road. The sweetest part was her mother finding new love after loosing her husband earlier in life. I liked the honesty of Nathaniel when it came to his changing feelings. A perfect life changing situation of friends becoming husband and wife.
‘The Christmas Aprons’ was sweet. I found Esther & Ammon to be generous people. Although Esther was a bit of a wallflower she improved in this as the story progressed


I would like to thank BookLook, Net Galley and Thomas Nelson 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.