Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Clutter Free with Interesting Insight

Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps to Simplifying Your Space

Kathi Lipp




Book Summary: If you’ve ever wished you could clear out your clutter, simplify your space, and take back your life, Kathi Lipp’s new book has just the solutions you need. Building off the success of her The Get Yourself Organized Project, this book will provide even more ideas for getting your life and your stuff under control. Do any of these descriptions apply to you? You bought a box of cereal at the store, and then discovered you have several boxes at home that are already past the “best by” date. You bought a book and put it on your nightstand (right on top of ten others you’ve bought recently), but you have yet to open it. You keep hundreds of DVDs around even though you watch everything online now and aren’t really sure where the remote for the DVD player is. You spend valuable time moving your piles around the house, but you can never find that piece of paper when you need it. Your house makes you depressed the moment you step into it.

Review: This was an interesting take on clutter. Unlike previous books I have read this one took on the reason for collecting. I liked the approach of compare and contrasting done between the Author and her friend. This was a readable approach. While some of the ideas may be the same the reasoning behind it is fresh and made me thing through things differently. The last time I decluttered there were things that had a place and was still loved but it was discarded due to a more streamline way of thinking. I now hold a little tighter to things because I had not read this book.

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.

Hope Harbor is the Place to Meet Old Friends!!

Hope Harbor
Irene Hannon




Book Summary: Tracy Campbell never wanted to leave Hope Harbor, Oregon, or the idyllic three-generation cranberry farm where she grew up. But life--and love--altered her plans. When tragedy strikes and changes her plans yet again, she finds herself back in her hometown with a floundering farm to run and a heartbreaking secret. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter's. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help save a struggling charitable organization, the winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives--including their own. Fan favorite Irene Hannon brings a whole new cast of characters to life in a charming Oregon seaside village. Emotional and heartwarming, this story invites readers to come home to Hope Harbor, where love and hope bloom--and hearts heal.


Review: I love the flow and writing of Irene Hannon. This book is no different. While the story line was not my typical type, I still find myself captive to the book. I liked the variety of stories going on all at once and the flow from one group of characters to the next. I did find the overall story line between Tracy and Michael to be fine and what their secrets were, for me they were alluded to before they told the each other the story. I really liked the story of Anna. That was my favorite story. The novel was very gripping and the characters were varied and plentiful. It was truly a slice of life that seems caught in time with great interaction between characters. For those who love Irene Hannon or new to her writing this is a great example of her skill in storytelling.
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.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Brush with Love was Original

A Brush with Love
Rachel Hauck




Book Summary: Ginger Winters is a gifted hairstylist with scars no one can see. The last thing she expects from the New Year is a new chance at love. Overcoming a childhood tragedy, Ginger emerges from the pain and trauma with a gift for bringing out the beauty in others. From the top big city salons to traveling the world as personal stylist to a country music sensation, success was almost enough to make Ginger forget she would never be one of the beautiful people, that girl, forever on the outside looking in. But she needs her confidence this weekend. She’s the acclaimed “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade. When high-school crush Tom Wells Jr. also returns to town and shows up at her shop looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her locked away from love, Despite Tom’s best efforts, Ginger can’t forget how he disappeared on her twelve years ago and broke her heart. Can she ever trust him again?


Review: Interesting story over all. It was a little slow for me. I liked Ginger and felt a lot of empathy for the childhood trauma. I have heard that it is hard to overcome small town roles, but she was away for a long time and it seemed odd that she would move back to her hometown given they way she was treated. The story was fast paced at points. Ginger and her mother moved into a better relationship, while she was torn between liking Tom and not wanting to be around him. Predictable over all but definitely not your run of the mill heroine.
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.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Double Cross was Fast Paced

Double Cross
DiAnn Mills





Book Summary: FBI Agent Laurel Evertson’s investigation into a scam targeting the elderly takes an unexpected twist when key evidence leads her to Morton Wilmington, a felon she arrested five years ago on her first undercover assignment. That case has haunted her since, and though she’s vowed to forget Wilmington―and what she sacrificed to put him away―he is now her best lead. Houston Police Officer Daniel Hilton fears his grandparents may be the scammer’s next targets, and he’ll do anything to protect his family―even force interagency cooperation. But he’s quickly drawn to Laurel’s empathy and zeal and agrees to follow her lead . . . even if it means teaming up with a felon. As the unlikely trio uncovers evidence suggesting the scam is more extensive and deadly than they imagined, both Laurel and Daniel find themselves in the crosshairs of a killer. Together they must decide if they can trust Wilmington’s claims of redemption, or if he’s leading them straight into a double cross.

Review: Unlike my usual method I bought this as an audiobook and found the person reading the story to be so real that I forgot this along the way. This was a past paced mystery with so much going on that I really liked the pace. Many times my heart was beating so fast due to all the events going on. I really liked Lauren, Daniel and Morton. I too was flipping a coin page by page as to whether Morton was sincere or was he acting. That kept the pressure on throughout the story. I wanted Morton to have changed so bad. The ending was a bang! Literally although not so surprising. I thought like the first story that the end would have a twist, but it is hard to pull that twice in a row. While a full stand alone the first book in the series was competition and this story paced the first one decently. I did find this story to be a little unrealistic, although it does seem like today life is imitating art way too much. This is one book that was unabashedly Christian and not preachy just was always present. I really liked that a lot. Some books are becoming less Christ centered. Which is not a sole requirement. But this was refreshing to read.

In Good Company is the Best Place to Be!!!

In Good Company
Jen Turano




Book Summary: After growing up as an orphan, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen. Unfortunately, her playfulness and enthusiasm aren't always well-received and she finds herself dismissed from yet another position. Everett Mulberry has quite unexpectedly become guardian to three children that scare off every nanny he hires. About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he's desperate for competent childcare. At wit's end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance--with each other. As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges, Everett focuses on achieving the coveted societal status of the upper echelons. But as he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the children's parents, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?

Review: Great story line. Loved Millie she was witty, funny and her use of words incorrectly was fantastic. Everett was a bit of a snob at the start. It was great to read about a great set of characters like Abigail, Lucetta, The Mulberrys, the children, and all the servants. These things always make a storyline strong and worth the wait to the end. The mystery was limited in comparison previous books. Yet, it was a great read. There were some slow periods and Caroline was perfectly written as a spoiled brat. Loved the tennis match which was laugh out loud funny! Millie was so realistic and always having challenges come upon her due in part to some of the things she was working to accomplish. I can not wait for the next story! The storyline had some very real sorrow in relation to the loss of the children’s parents and Millie having no way to determine who her family was. It was a very heart warming 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 to write a favorable review by anyone.

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Worthy Pursuit was a Worthy Read!

A Worthy Pursuit
Karen Witemeyer




Book Summary: Historical Romance to Fall in Love With Stone Hammond is the best tracker in Texas. He never comes home empty-handed. So when a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, Stone eagerly accepts. Charlotte Atherton, former headmistress of Sullivan's Academy for Exceptional Youths, will do anything to keep her charges safe, especially the little girl entrusted to her care after her mother's death. Charlotte promised Lily's mother she'd keep the girl away from her unscrupulous grandfather, and nothing will stop Charlotte from fulfilling that pledge. Not even the handsome bounty hunter with surprisingly honest eyes who comes looking for them. When the teacher he's after produces documentation that shows she's the little girl's legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he's been led to believe. Is Miss Atherton villain or victim? She acts more like a loving mother than an abductress, and the children in her care clearly adore her. Should Stone break his perfect record? Then a new danger threatens, and Charlotte is forced to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone becomes determined to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he's ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte's heart.

Review: I really liked the story overall. There were some slow parts where I wanted to stop reading, but didn't because I really wanted to know all the details. The characters were interesting and complex. I liked Stone the most because he was a good solid and loyal man despite the odds ahead of him. Charlotte was good and likable although did not see the things in front of her sometimes. She was honest and caring. I loved Dobson, the Ashes, Lily, Stephen & John, Marietta and Dan. They contributed to much to the story - humor, balance, security and loyalty. It really helps a story along when the secondary characters are so well written. The mystery was mostly how would things be resolved and the secret Lily had about her grandfather. The villains were shifty and shady - perfect for creating a fear that they will do anything it takes to win. This is the first book I have read by Karen and I am certain it will not be my last.

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 to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lethal Beauty is Stark Reality

Lethal Beauty (A Mia Quinn Mystery)
Lis Wiehl




Book Summary: It should have been an open and shut murder case, but Mia Quinn finds out nothing about it is simple. After a young Chinese prostitute is stabbed to death by her rich American client, the tabloids dub Dandan Yee “Lethal Beauty”—despite the fact that she was the one who ended up dead. Yet even with double standards and naked prejudice working against her, Seattle prosecutor Mia Quinn is determined to get justice for Dandan Yee. But when a key witness goes missing and an unsavory juror shuts down deliberations without explanation, Mia fears the trial—and the law—are being tampered with. A constellation of fresh killings has Mia and homicide detective Charlie Carlson searching for a common source and puts Mia’s family in the crosshairs of a Chinese crime cabal. Meanwhile, Dandan Yee’s mother has opted to take matters into her own hands . . . and the stakes get more lethal overnight. In the midst of all this, Mia has to contend with a fifteen-year-old son who is growing up too fast for his own good, and the idea that Charlie might want to be more than just friends. Can Mia and Charlie stop the murders and still keep her family safe? Or is the very act of seeking justice enough to cost her everything—and everyone—she loves?


Review: The book was very interesting. I really liked to see the main characters return. The storyline was sad. It was very well written and realistic. I did find it easy to read overall. The theme of human trafficking is tragic and difficult to identify in real life. The sideline story of Gabe and steroids was understandable at the end, but not as believable for me. It seemed to deviate from Gabe’s character. Overall the book was worth the read and had a quick wrap up. I really liked how the finally concluded. For me it was the perfect way to wrap it up because I like a big final scene, this topic is very real for people and I was glad to see the ending being quick and final. The bad men seemed to have eyes and ears everywhere, without anything stopping them from silencing those that threatened their interests. Sometimes, evil seems to have the upper hand and this alone is scary. I liked the unravelling of this evil, which became disorganized and desperate. The main character seems disconnected at times from God, and the faith side of the story was limited. I hoped to see a growth in Mia Quinn in her faith. The previous books seemed to be drawing her closer to God, but that seemed to be sidelined in this story. That was my only disappointment with the story.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson 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.