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.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

October Bride was Like a Blast from the Past!

October Bride
Katie Ganshert

Book Summary: She wants to make her father's dream come true. She doesn't realize her own dream has been in front of her the whole time. Emma Tate isn't a risk taker, so everyone in her small Midwest town is surprised when she suddenly becomes engaged to lifelong friend Jake Sawyer. No one but Jake and Emma know the true reason they're getting married-so Emma's dying father can walk her down the aisle. While Jake and Emma plan an autumn wedding together, it becomes clear that their agreement has a few complications-the biggest being their true feelings for each other. In this novella by award-winning author Katie Ganshert, a young woman must reconcile her dying father's dreams with her own dreams for love and for her future.

Review: Sweet Story! It took me back to when I was in school and read teen books. This was such a sweet story and yet it is touched by a sorrow. Emma was great fun and she had such a sweetness to her, Jake was the ideal character - caring, manly and generous. How could you not want to have a happy ending. So much happened and yet it was such a short read. Lily was a great friend to help and yet not forget that this was not the way it should be for Emma. Liam was fun who seemed like a real big brother. The story earned some tears when reality comes crashing in and yet it was all put together so well. I am so glad I got to read this story.

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.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

September Bride was Predictable and Charming

September Bride
Kathryn Springer

Book Summary: Annie's always wanted a home and a family. But will pretending to be a bride get her closer to her dreams? All Annie Price has ever wanted is a place to call home. Growing up in the foster care system, that dream seemed far away, but now Annie's dream may be coming true. A friend she met in an online book group wants to retire and has offered Annie a fresh start managing her little bookstore. Believing the opportunity is an answer to prayer, Annie packs her suitcase and moves to Red Leaf, Wisconsin. The residents of Red Leaf welcome Annie into the fold . . . everyone except the bookstore owner's son, Jesse Kent. But Annie refuses to let the handsome deputy keep her from embracing her new home with open arms. She even volunteers to help the local historical society refurbish an old church and agrees to be the "bride" for a special reenactment celebrating the museum's open house. Jesse Kent can't believe his mother has handed the keys to her business over to a woman she met on the Internet. Annie's beautiful, of course, and smart as a whip, but what do they really know about her, anyway? What if she's come to their town just for his mother's money? The only way to see if his suspicions about Annie Price are true is to keep a close eye on her-even if it means he has to marry her! Planning their mock wedding will give him the chance to uncover Annie's motive for moving to town. But as the day of the wedding approaches and secrets come to light, Jesse must face the truth. He wants Annie to be his September bride . . . for real.

Review: Predictable and yet very charming. I loved Annie and Jesse. Whimsical characters that are delightful balanced out by some drama. It all made for a quick breezy read. I loved the amount of things that occurred in a short period of time and that at times Jesse was used to introduce us to all the characters. He lived in Red Leaf all his life and we got to learn of the changes and lives of everyone through great a well written novella. It was so well written I wanted to look Red Leaf up on the map and mover there myself.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondevan 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.

The Photograph is Magical!

The Photograph
Beverly Lewis

Book Summary: Eva Esch and her sisters are in a predicament. With the passing of their widowed mother, Eva's older brother Menno plans to move his growing family into the Eden Valley farmhouse where they all grew up, leaving little room for his three single sisters. Surely, Menno reasons, at least one of them will marry this coming wedding season. Eva does hope to marry, but she isn't sure she wants to give up her sweet shop for the life of a farmer's wife, and she has no other prospects. When younger sister, Lily, disappears in the night, leaving only a brief note, Eva fears she has been wooed away from the People by an outsider. And when Jed Stutzman, a young Amish buggy maker from Ohio, shows up in Lancaster with a photo of a Plain young woman, Eva's world begins to tilt. She feels powerfully drawn to the quietly charming stranger--but the woman in the forbidden photograph is no stranger at all. . . .

Review: I read Ms. Lewis’ newsletter where she made some comment about this was one of her personal favorites. I can honestly say that there is good reason for that. This story was riveting and I read it in one extended period of time. I found the characters to be so real I almost would expect to meet the if I were to go to the Lancaster area today. The time period was the 80’s and yet it could be today. I loved the main characters Eva and Jed while almost too perfect they were believable and lovable. The story was so seamlessly woven that I found I almost had to read it in a day to do the story justice. There was no long extended period of time occurring and things came together so effortlessly that I would have thought Ms. Lewis wrote it quickly, although from her newsletter it would seem the story was a long time coming. I am so glad that she was willing to share this story. It truly was ordinary and special all in one. The theme simple and magical. There is real tragedy all around both main characters and they do not down play the healing process, yet despite the tragedy this is not a story about weeping. There are many elements to the plot (loss of life, a wayward sister, uncertainty, and misunderstanding) and through it all I wanted the story to never end. I could go on and on but the best advice is dive in and see for yourself.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany 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.

Friday, September 11, 2015

No Place to Hide was Spine Tingling!

No Place to Hide
Lynette Eason

Book Summary: In the latest novel in her Hidden Identity series, Lynette Eason throws listeners right into the action from the very beginning, propelling them along a dangerous road and asking the provocative question of how far we'd be willing to go if we were up against a wall. It's not every day you see your childhood friend and one-time crush on national news. Jackie Sellers just wishes that it were under different circumstances. She can't believe that Ian Lockwood is wanted in connection with a terrorist plot, and she's determined to find him and help him clear his name. But she's not the only one looking. The FBI wants him captured. The bad guys want him dead. Ian just wants to stay alive long enough to save thousands of innocent lives.

Review: This is one heart pounding book. From the start it has my head spinning and my heart pounding. Is it questionable to try to save and old friend from a treason charge. False charges or real is the question. Jackie was convinced Ian was innocent. Loved seeing how they were hounded and in the midst of all this they have no idea how they were being tracked. Some of the timing seemed off, but the tension and mystery was pulse pounding. Lynette Eason books have taught me to expect anything. I think this book is no exception. I was sitting at the edge of my seat to the end. I will admit that I have put the book down just to take a breath!
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.