Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Christmas Joy Ride was Joyful!!!

Christmas Joy Ride
Melody Carlson

Book Summary: Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that's exactly what she's getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix--in the dead of winter, no less--the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off with Joy toward Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride--one that could derail the whole venture. No one captures the heartwarming fun of the Christmas season quite like Melody Carlson. Fasten your seat belt, because it's going to be an exciting ride!

Review: This was a fantastic Christmas story. I really liked the Route 66 ride. That is a classic old fashioned route paired with Christmas. When I think of Christmas I want an old fashioned one, what a great way to start a new tradition riding Route 66. Joy was fantastic!! She was a spunky character and along with Miranda this was a fantastic book about helping others and driving in a RV! Oh what a fun ride. I would like to join them. The sweetness of people getting their wishes for a great Christmas was enjoyable. I really liked each of the places they stopped and doing great things to help those in need of holiday cheer. As the end nears, I was so happy with the outcome and move this book to a holiday classic.
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. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Murder at the Courthouse was Conflicting

Murder at the Courthouse
A.H. Gabhart

Book Summary: Michael Keane's stressful days as a Columbus police officer are done. He's ready to relax into his new position as deputy sheriff in his sleepy hometown. Nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky--and that's just fine with Michael. Nothing, that is, until a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps. As Michael works to solve the case, it seems that every nosy resident in town has a theory. When the sheriff insists Michael check out one of these harebrained theories, his surprising discovery sends him on a bewildering search for a mysterious killer that has him questioning everything he has ever believed about life in Hidden Springs. Bringing with her a knack for creating settings you want to visit and an uncanny ability to bring characters to life, A. H. Gabhart pens a whodunit that will keep you guessing.

Review: I was very conflicted by this book. I really liked the characters and guessed who did it from the beginning. The pieces were easy to put together. The beginning was slow, for me very slow. I like the fast pace or suspense of a mystery too. The second incident was more startling. That is when the storyline began to come together and the entire story improved tremendously. I liked the story being told with Michael as the main character. The history of the storyline was tragic and intriguing. I can honestly say if the pace was as fast as the middle to end were I would be hooked for a second installment. I may consider reading another story now that the town and townspeople are known it may make for a more cozy mystery.

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. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Woman's Wisdom:How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything is a Proper Teaching in Time

A Woman’s Wisdom
Lydia Brownback

Book Summary: Advice books are no short-lived trend, even though much of the advice parading as “wisdom” proves shallow in the long run. What we need is biblical wisdom, and even more than that we need hearts set on the One who governs all our practicalities. The book of Proverbs unlocks the key to both, helping us to face very real challenges such as:
• handling our freedom, independence, and material resources wisely
• keeping ourselves sexually pure
• practicing biblical femininity in a world that scorns us for it
• sustaining God-glorifying marriages
• elevating biblical priorities ahead of day-to-day pressures
Exploring the timeless counsel in the book of Proverbs, A Woman’s Wisdom teaches us to know the very Author of wisdom and to apply his relevant, how-to riches.
Review: I liked this book. Although it was not exhaustive it was Biblical. I liked that every time she sought to make a point she used scripture. Than would elaborate on it with examples, especially how she struggles. It was never preachy, yet she did make good use of her points and examples. She laid out some very thought provoking concepts about becoming desensitized to our sin. She also worked through the ideas of growing in discipleship. I liked how the overall book was set up and the use of Proverbs. It is a tough piece of scripture to elaborate on yet she does a wonderful job. One of my favorite points was about fear. I think her ideas were a representation of the Scripture. She does a great job of pulling from other scripture while using Proverbs.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Crossway 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. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Imposter was Fulfilling!

The Imposter
Suzanne Woods Fisher

Book Summary: A heart once deceived should not be easily fooled again . . . Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. But as her plans crumble before her eyes, she struggles to face an uncertain future. When a widow asks for help starting a new business, Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose. What she doesn't need is attention from Andy Miller, a farmhand who arrives at the widow's farm just when help is most needed--and who always seems to say the right thing and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy for real or too good to be true? She's been deceived once before, and she isn't planning on experiencing it again. Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Stoney Ridge for a tale of love, uncertainty, and trusting God to write your story.

Review: This book is so much more than about Katrina and Andy. There are many ‘main’ characters. David (Katrina’s father), Birdy, Thelma, and Jesse. They all have a hand in making this so much more than 2 people with a lot of secondary characters. I loved the other stories going on sometimes more than Katrina and Andy. It is what kept me going at times. I thought there were some slow places, which were to set up the series, I am sure. Yes these things are necessary, even if every book could be a stand alone. I like to have the comfort in a series of knowing of the other characters. I think that some things seem to be left less than complete, but a life being lived is never complete. A marriage is another starting point, birth of a child again a starting point. So, as I read more books I can live without some things being finalized. I think that these things will reappear in the series. Overall this book exceeded my expectation and for that it makes this book a winner.
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.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

All is Calm, All is Bright will Add a Bang to the Holidays!!

All is Calm, All is Bright
Colleen Coble

Book Summary: All Is Calm
It’s going to be an unexpectedly romantic Christmas at Bluebird Ranch. Brendan Waddell has always considered Bluebird Ranch a little piece of heaven: an idyllic ranch that pairs abused children with abused horses, run by one of his Marine buddies. Now, it seems just the place to spend Christmas recovering from an on-the-job injury. Lauren Everman first came to the ranch as a foster kid, but now knows it’s the perfect hideout. As the witness to a murder, Lauren needs somewhere to lie low. Her beauty immediately catches Brendan’s attention—but so does her secretive behavior. This Special Ops Intel man knows a woman on the run when he sees one. Can he trust her, or is she putting the ranch at risk? One thing is certain: he’s going to do everything he can to keep her safe so he can see what magic Christmas brings.

All Is Bright
A romantic Christmas wedding at Tidewater Inn gives Delilah’s unique gifts a chance to shine. But will her light be snuffed out before the bride and groom say “I do”? As manager of the Tidewater Inn, Delilah Carter has been planning a spectacular Christmas wedding for her friend, Elin Summerall. But when Delilah’s car is forced off the road and into the ocean, she finally has to admit that the strange phone calls she’s been receiving lately may be more than just pranks. Sheriff Tom Bourne has always had a soft spot for Delilah, and he’s determined to protect her. He hopes to win her heart by giving her the surprise gift of a lifetime . . . but first he has to make sure nothing happens to her before Christmas Day. It’s the season of miracles. But will both Elin and Delilah get the ones they need this holiday season?

Review: All is Calm - A great story about the Lonestar state. I thought originally it was going to be a historical book, but was pleasantly surprised it was modern day. I liked Lauren a lot. The added bonus of Carly and the animals was pleasant. The lead character in most novels have some friends so it was nice that Lauren did too. I was not as sold on Brendan as much. I liked him, but I was not over the moon for him, personally. I do not thing that there was anything in the story to make that so. I just found him to be too good. The mystery was a real thriller. I love a mystery that is involved. Between Lauren’s cousin and her wimpy husband I found that part to be fun. The unravelling of the mystery was the most suspenseful and how it was woven into more of the story than anticipated. A definite story to remember.

All is Bright - I like this story the best. It seems to me that some of these novellas put together get better and better or the 2nd story can’t beat the first. This time I read them in reverse order and loved the second best. Delilah was great. She had a lot of challenges and made no fuss over them. Tom was believable and wonderful all in one. I just loved the story and the stalker was a surprise. Not one I would have guessed. The clues were so small that reading the other books, which I did, should have helped me but I missed it.

Both stories were fantastic and fun to read. I am so glad I had the opportunity to do so. I would like to thank 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.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Vendetta was a Walk on the Edge!!

Lisa Harris

Book Summary: No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force. The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work. When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past. The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels this case has become personal, and she is not the hunter . . . but the hunted. With this explosive first book in The Nikki Boyd Files, award-winning author Lisa Harris takes you on a fast-paced pursuit of justice that will have you holding your breath until the heart-stopping finish.

Review: I really liked this first book in the Nikki Boyd series. The tension between Bridget missing and her own sister’s disappearance was fantastic. There was so much that happened in a short period of time. The entire book was edge of your seat thriller. There was just enough down time to catch your breath when something else would occur. The unravelling at the end was fantastic while it played out in a high tension setting. I love a mystery that keeps you going to the end. I can not wait for the next book. I am looking forward to reading more books by Lisa. I really liked all the characters in the book, they seemed real venerable and very sincere. Even the bad guy(s) were realistic!
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.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

November Brides Saving the Best for Last!!

November Bride
Beth K. Vogt

Book Summary: Can a decades-long friendship marred by two romantic missteps ever lead to happily ever after? Sadie McAllister’s clients know how lucky they are to have her: an ultra-fastidious personal chef who leaves behind a spotless kitchen and a week’s worth of mouth-watering meals. Erik Davis, her best friend since middle school, is content to enjoy Sadie’s culinary skills too while maintaining their “friends only” status. Most of his energy is focused on his just-launched freelance business and casual dates that never come close to a commitment. But when Sadie is offered a once-in-a-lifetime cooking job across country, Erik realizes maybe he’s taken his best friend for granted.  Even more, he’s about to lose his only chance for lasting love. How can Erik convince Sadie that the well-known adage “Marry your best friend” just might apply to them? With God’s help, can they both move past their assumptions about each other and their future? Should Sadie and Erik risk taking their relationship to the romantic point of no return? If they do, their decades-long friendship is as a good as done . . . unless it ends at the altar.  

Review: I did not start out liking this book. I continued on thinking ‘I will see where it goes’ and than like a bolt of lightning it did not go the way I thought it would. It has a solid Christian message of forgiveness that is not preachy and great life to the story overall. For a novella it packs a lot! I really found this to be a sparkling end to the series. I am going to say the last ones were the best. The thing that turned me off in the beginning was when Sadie asks Erik to marry her. I am not that kind of person. I do not like bossy woman characters and that seemed the way this story was going, when suddenly that was a minor history portion and the characters had depth and were broken people in a fallen world.
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.