Friday, April 18, 2014

A Classic Story!

A Change of Fortune
Jen Turano

Book Summary: Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. After losing her family, her fiance, and her faith, the disappearance of her fortune is the last straw. Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess-at-large, she's determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London. Much to Mr. Hamilton Beckett's chagrin, all the eyes of New York society--all the female ones, at least--are on him. Unfortunately for all the matchmaking mothers and eligible daughters, he has no plans to marry again, especially with his hands full keeping his business afloat and raising his two children alone. When Eliza's hapless attempts to regain her fortune put her right in Hamilton's path, sparks instantly begin to fly. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces, but with all their plans falling by the wayside and their enemies getting the better of them, it will take a riot of complications for Hamilton and Eliza to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.

Review: This was a great book! I loved Hamilton and Eliza. There were many great secondary characters in this well paced story. From page 5 I was hooked. I read almost half in a couple of hours. The suspense was tempered right along with the witty dialogue. Agatha was fantastic! I can not wait to read her story. There was so much happening that it made for a fast and easy read where I did not want it to end. The children Piper and Ben were realistic and likable. I wonder why I have not devoured the rest of this series. I do believe that Ms. Turano is a very gifted writer who was able to keep my attention, have a number of characters that were dear and enjoyable without loosing the central focus of her story while being believable. I am so thrilled this is part of a series.
I would like to thank LibraryThing 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, April 14, 2014

A Pleasant Twist in Hickory Hollow

The Last Bride
Beverly Lewis

Book Summary: Of her Old Order parents' five daughters, Tessie Miller is the last to marry. She has her heart set on Amishman Marcus King, but Tessie's father opposes the match. Impetuously, Tessie and Marcus elope to the English world, then return to Hickory Hollow to live as singles, trusting they'll convince the Millers to give their love a chance over time. But when the unthinkable happens, Tessie faces the almost-certain censure of the People. Will she find a reason for hope in spite of her desperate plight?

Review: I loved this book. I was reserved in thinking this was just another Beverly Lewis story, but I could not have been more ignorant of what she had up her sleeve!!! I loved this book! It was Beverly Lewis’ best to date. I was so sad when events turned so horrible wrong and there stood Tessie having to cope with the outcome of her marriage. I cried and than things grew and changed. I mourned right along with Tessie and was as surprised as she was how life changed and turned around again. Than there was the secondary story of Mandy and her husband. This book had more inside its 336 pages than I could have ever thought possible. I want another book in this series! Going back to Hickory Hollow, PA was so very worth it. New or old time reader of Beverly Lewis will not be disappointed in this poignant story.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked for a favorable review.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Roller Coaster Ride to the End!!

Murder Simply Brewed (An Amish Village Mystery)
Vanetta Chapman

Book Summary: When the coffee shop manager is murdered in Middlebury’s Amish Artisan Village, two women from different walks of life must join together to solve the mystery. Spring has arrived in Middlebury, Indiana, and Amber Wright is optimistic about the growing profit from her collection of Amish shops---until she receives a call that Ethan Gray is dead. Hurrying over to A Simple Blend, she finds a solitary hole in the front window and the store manager lying next to the espresso machine, dead from an apparent heart attack. All the money is still in his register. When Amber hires a young Amish woman, Hannah Troyer, to take over the shop’s duties, the two women become fast friends---as well as amateur sleuths. The police believe Gray’s death is a by-product of vandalism, but Amber and Hannah aren't convinced. Clues that don't add up, a neighbor who is pulled into the midst of the investigation, a town with secrets to hide, and a blossoming romance---all will combine to push Amber and Hannah into unfamiliar roles in order to reveal answers to the mysteries around them.
Book Review: This is going to be a fantastic series!!! This book was awesome. I was at the edge of my seat waiting for the other shoe to drop and when it did it was a wild roller coaster ride. There were thrills throughout. The wild ride in Amber’s car and the chilling suspects were all around at time. They seemed to know when and how to pop up. I could hardly make it to the end without screaming out loud. Unfortunately there is not way to read with your eyes closed so I had to take a deep breath and ride this thrill ride to the satisfying end. The end so heart felt it made the entire book a rich lesson in love. Not just the romantic kind. Well done Ms. Chapman if I wasn’t hooked before I would be now!
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.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

May Bride

A May Bride (A Year of Weddings Novella)

Meg Mosely

Book Summary: Ellie has prepared for her wedding all her life . . . but she has forgotten the most important part. Ellie Martin, a country girl living in Atlanta, has dreamed of a traditional wedding all her life---a wedding just like the one her younger sister is planning back home. Even though Ellie is realizing her dreams in the big city as an up-and-coming real-estate agent, she’s missing a key ingredient to her plans for the future: a groom. Then Ellie meets Gray Whitby---at a wedding of all places. Gray is handsome and fun, and he sweeps her away in a whirlwind romance. In a matter of months, Ellie knows Gray is 'the one,' but her mother isn't so sure, judging Gray to be the freewheeling type, like Ellie's runaway father. When Ellie jeopardizes her own future for the sake of her sister, Gray feels like he'll always be second to Ellie's family. Can Ellie and Gray find their own way together amidst the demands and perceptions of others or will their romance end before it has truly begun?

Book Review: I really liked Ellie. She was great. Very realistic and fun to read. It is the only reason I continued to read. I did not like Gray. I kept waiting for him to get better but he only became more tolerable. The differences between families was realistic and Ellie’s mother was a bit of a bore but that made her more realistic. Alexis and Eric were fun secondary characters and their relationship and situation was realistic. I loved the mention of Publix and subs. The life Ellie lived was very real and comfortable. The idea of her gardening was fun and Pastor Mike made it sweet. Overall a worthy read, despite my discomfort with Gray.

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.

A Fun and Fantastic Christmas

The Dawn of Christmas
Cindy Woodsmall

Book Summary: Sadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists it's time to come home and settle down. Levi, a bachelor who distrusts women after a family heartbreak, also has no desire for romance. To keep their families from meddling in their lives, Sadie and Levi devise a plan-but soon discover that the walls around their hearts are breaking down. Can they let go of their prejudices, learn to trust each other, and embrace a future together?

Review: I loved Sadie and Levi. It was great to see all the previous Christmas Novella characters back. The story line was great and fun to read with great dialog going between Sadie and Levi. Like every Cindy Woodsmall book it has some teary eyed moments that were quite worth it. I can’t wait for the next book!. I enjoyed the off beat traits that Sadie had and Levi was a great companion to her. It is a rare gem of a story and look forward to visiting them in the future.
I would like to thank Waterbrook Press and Blogging for Books 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, April 1, 2014

April Bride

An April Bride
Lenora Worth

Book Summary: A charming wedding novella set in the spring. What will happen when love and wedding plans come together this April? War changes everything . . . even their love. Bride-to-be Stella Carson can't wait to marry her longtime sweetheart Marshall Henderson. But Marshall has been away serving his country and has suffered a head wound. After being diagnosed with post-traumatic disorder, he has distanced himself from Stella, asking her not to visit him in the Washington, D.C. hospital. Marshall returns to Louisiana just four weeks before the wedding, but as the big day draws near, Stella wonders if the man she's loved for most of her life has become someone else. Can true love conquer all for Stella and Marshall? Even the tragedy of war? A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.

Book Review: I found this to be a good book overall. For me it was sweet and interesting. I liked Stella and Marshall, they were believable and it was easy to empathize with their predicament. The background characters were fun and easy to enjoy them. I enjoyed the overall story line, although the ending was a little too easy. I did not find this to be as fast of a read as the previous but well worth the effort to finish. Really was looking forward to an elaborate ending and it seemed to be much more simple than that. I believe that was my expectation and not in any way something that the author set up.
The tension built as the story was drawing to the end and I wanted fireworks. Sometimes simple and sweet last longer.

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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Thrilling Mystery!

Butterfly Palace
Colleen Coble

Book Summary:Elegance and wealth. Privilege and politics. The extravagance of the Butterfly Palace overwhelmed Lily’s senses and nearly smothered her painful memories. She pushed away her misgivings . . . She was perfectly safe in this huge house. Austin, Texas—1904: Abandoned by the love of her life and still mourning the loss of her mother, Lily Donaldson has turned her back on the pain and come to Austin for a fresh start, working for the Marshall family as a kitchen maid in their luxurious mansion, the Butterfly Palace. The tasks before her are legion, and her mistress less than pleasant, but at least Lily’s new life will be, if nothing else, distracting. But one night, while serving at a dinner party, Lily recognizes the man who abandoned her, Andy, her liaison from the livery stable, the blacksmith’s son . . . sitting among the distinguished guests. Though he recognizes her, Andy does not acknowledge her aloud, and Lily is left reeling, flabbergasted, and irate. But before she can get an explanation, the path of the Servant Girl Killer swerves very close to the Butterfly Palace, sowing terror among the maids. Having come to Austin to start anew, Lily suddenly feels trapped in a spider web. How can she know who to trust in a house where lies come dressed in fine suits and deceit in silk gowns the colors of butterfly wings?

Review: This was a thrilling read!! I loved the premise and all the characters. They were well written and enjoyable. Lily was a great hero. She cared about everyone. Belle who had started off with a heart but arrogance due to her class turned into a great woman. Drew exciting and dashing. I loved that the secret passage in the house. It was sad when victims were killed and well written. It was the last 20 pages when the events intensified that I slowed down. So much was happening so fast in 20 pages it made it difficult to keep going. I just loved the entire story. The position of Lily as a maid was the gem in this story. Someone with so little power, yet she was able to be helpful and a sleuth.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson -ficton 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.