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.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Helpful Advice most of the Time

The Passion Principle: Celebrating Sexual Freedom in Marriage
Shannon Ethridge

Book Summary: Move beyond the mechanics of sex to a rich and rewarding connection!
God’s desire is for couples to enjoy vibrant sexual relationships without inhibition, awkwardness, fear, resentment, guilt, or shame. With honesty and frankness, life coach and best-selling author Shannon Ethridge opens the minds of both husbands and wives to embrace a lifestyle of passion and pleasure. Divided into four sections, The Passion Principles helps couples celebrate the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical dimensions of sexuality. Questions include:
• What was God thinking when He created sex?
• Why do humans think about sex so much?
• Will there be sex in heaven?
• How did we get such different ideas about sex and love?
• How can I get past his or her sexual past?
• How can I help my spouse heal from the sexual abuses he or she suffered?
• What if my heart is telling me I married the wrong person?
• How can we balance mismatched sex drives?
Some chapters end with questions for personal contemplation or for couples to use as conversation starters, and other chapters end with prayers that foster a deeper spiritual and emotional connection, making this book a perfect guide to a more passionate love life.

Book Review: It was an interesting read. Good things about the book: it was an honest, straight forwards information about marital relations. There were numerous topics addressed and information about them in detail provided. She provides great comfort to many people who are seeking information and no one to turn to. When young people with or without experience sincerely seek information this book can provide them a place to turn. She is faithful to sex being between married couples. Her responses are direct and do hold to the sanctity of marriage. She is respectful to her husband and men as head of their households. Things I disagreed with: At times the Bible is not consulted. This began with due to Ms. Ethridge’s declaring that the Bible is silent on marital sex. I agree the mechanics are not touched. I hate to say this but sex is not the glue that holds a marriage together. In this sex drenched society it is easy to miss that sex is not everything. Love is a choice. To disregard what the Bible says about marriage is the heart of the problem. When a topic is ‘What if my heart is telling me that I married the wrong person?’ - regardless of the answer is trouble. This exposes the heart of how people think about marriage. It is not a commitment for the long haul, it is a consumer demand of what I want.
While Ms. Ethridge does not negate that marriage is important. She has great love for her husband. Freedom to enjoy sex seems to be the overarching theme. Generally not a problem yet if this is all that one pursues eventually you will feel let down. I am glad that Ms. Ethridge and her husband have a giving relationship. That is what should have been discussed because that is the basis for her freedom.
I would like to thank BookLook Bloggers 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.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Fast Paced Mystery!

Terri Blackstock

Book Summary: When Juliet Cole's husband of fifteen years is gunned down in a dark parking lot before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning. When she's finally allowed to return home to break the news to her boys, she hears a voicemail that takes the situation from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack. 'Mrs. Cole, we know you have access to the supply and the money. If you don't turn fifty million over to us and give us the codes, then you'll be burying more family members.' Suddenly, Juliet realizes that she and her children could be in danger. She teams up with her sisters and PI Michael Hogan to dig into the sham Bob has been living for years. The more she learns, the worse the betrayal. A drug trafficking history, a fortune in cash, and a secret family all emerge to turn Juliet's belief system on its head, and threaten the things she loves. Are she and her sisters skilled enough as sleuths to get to the truth?

Review: This was a great suspense filled book that kept me at the edge of my seat. It was well crafted and exciting! I can not wait for the next book in the series. Juliet was fantastic. To find out what Bob did and all the secrets. It was very realistic as the story progressed. It was great that Cathy, Michael, Jay & Holly were back. Each character has grown. Holly has continued on with more growth from the last story to this one. Cathy and Michael are exploring their new relationship. They have added a few peripheral characters that have added to the mix well. Some are bad and some are good. The past creeps back up, with Leonard Miller. Leonard Miller comes with some bad people and that adds to the suspense. It was exciting to the end! This is why I always want to read a Terri Blackstock mystery!
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, March 4, 2014

A Royal Finale!

March Bride
Rachel Hauck

Book Summary: In this sweet romance by award-winning author Rachel Hauck, royal wedding plans are in the air, but the bride is being asked to give up so much for her new life that her groom-to-be is worried she may not return from her most recent visit home. A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed. Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can't help but wonder if it's a sign that their love is not meant to be. Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She'll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, Susanna's heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God's plan for her. Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own-right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon's Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won't return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.

Book Revie: I have not had the privilege of reading Once Upon A Prince yet but this book is enough of a stand alone that it is not necessary to read the other to understand what is going on. Ms. Hauck does a great job of linking this novella to her book. It was woven well into the fabric without sounding like a commercial for the full length novel. I really got into the story line and felt like I was part of the storyline. Royal watching from the public things and a friend for all the turmoil of Susanna giving up her American citizenship. I look forward to many more books by Ms. Hauck.
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.