Sunday, December 27, 2015

Rising Darkness Rose Slowly for Me!

Rising Darkness
Nancy Mehl

Book Summary: Sophie Wittenbauer left her strict Mennonite hometown under a cloud of shame and regret. Certain she's left her past far behind her, she's now focused on her job at a newspaper and is shocked when she stumbles upon the name of someone she knew in her old life. But when she learns the man--a prisoner--claims a suspect from a decades-old unsolved crime is hiding out in the small town of Sanctuary, Missouri, she can't resist following the lead in hopes of furthering her career. Almost immediately upon her arrival, Sophie's confronted with a face from her past and fears her intention of using a false identity to investigate is doomed. But with the help of Sanctuary's charismatic young pastor, Sophie knows she's getting close. Will she be able to conceal the truth of her own past long enough to find the suspect before someone puts a stop--fatal or otherwise--to her investigation?

Review: I usually love Nancy Mehl’s books. I found myself reading this very slow. I struggled to get into the story and the details as I worked my way through it. It did get better after the first half. I usually sail right through these books. I loved the first 2 in the series. It had the added bonus of being a foot in the Sanctuary Series and the Kingdom Series. This should have endeared me to it, I did not mind that Sophie was not a Christian at the start and her life in Kingdom was awful, I just found her telling blatant lies a little hard to take. I do understand the reporter in her wanted to investigate under cover, but to smear the name of a dead woman seemed a little over the top. That was part of my problem. At the story unfolded Sophie grew on me. I think by than it was a little late for me to really love this book, however I did grow to like it.
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. 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, December 8, 2015

Deadlock is Now Broken!

DiAnn Mills

Book Summary: Two murders have rocked the city of Houston. Are they the work of a serial killer, or is a copycat trying to get away with murder? That is the question facing Special Agent Bethany Sanchez, who is eager for her new assignment in violent crimes but anxious about meeting her new partner. Special Agent Thatcher Graves once arrested her brother, and he has a reputation for being a maverick. Plus, their investigative styles couldn’t be more opposite: he operates on instinct, while she goes by the book. When hot leads soon fizzle out, their differences threaten to leave them deadlocked. But an attempt on their lives turns up the heat and brings them closer together, and a third victim might yield the clue that will help them zero in on a killer. This could be the case of their careers . . . if they can survive long enough to solve it.

Review: This was a great book. I was at the edge of my seat!! I liked the characters. There whole mystery ended up being so complex and yet so simple. The ending was a little too simple. Not like the blow outs endings that Ms. Mills has written in the previous books in this series. It was worth it. So many things resolved in such a short chapter it was head spinning. The serial killer was a bit of surprise and yet I was able to follow the twists and turns as they occurred. I had my suspicion about who the serial killer was and despite that there were some twists. It was great to have some of the background characters were welcomed since they survived their own mystery. I can’t wait for the next series or a continuation of this series.

I would like to thank Edelweiss (Above the Treeline) and Tyndale House Publishing, Inc. 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.

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.

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.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Flow of the Psalms just Flows into My Soul

The Flow of the Psalms
O. Palmer Roberston

Book Summary: For centuries the book of Psalms has been read as a random collection of poems with no intentional arrangement. But is this a correct understanding? O. Palmer Robertson equips us to see a clear redemptive-historical progression that develops across the five books of Psalms. With the aid of charts in full color, he demonstrates how an intentional structure is indicated by elements such as the placement of acrostic psalms, strategic couplings of Messianic psalms with Torah psalms, and the grouping of psalms by topics. If you love the psalms, Robertson will give you a better grasp of the whole Psalter and a deeper appreciation of each individual poem.

Review: I loved this book. Much of it was over my head at times and yet O. Palmer has a gift at bringing so much to a chapter and paragraph that there is something for everyone. He lays out the books within the Psalms. He masterfully weaves the entire Bible through the Psalms that it is another breathtaking view of Who Redeems the lost. I thrill at a book that brings scripture to scripture. He explains the Psalms in such a way that I am thrilled when other parts of the Bible intertwine in a book. This was a refreshing book.
I would like to thank Net Galley and P & R 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.

My Amish Childhood was Enjoyable

My Amish Childhood
Jerry S. Eicher

Book Summary: Bestselling fiction author Jerry S. Eicher (nearly half a million books sold) turns his pen to a moving memoir of his life growing up Amish. Jerry's mother was nineteen years old and nine months married when he was born. She had received Grandfather Stoll's permission for the wedding because she agreed to help out on the farm the following year. However, with Jerry on the way, those plans failed. Jerry recounts his first two years of school in the Amish community of Aylmer, Ontario and his parents' decision to move to Honduras. Life in that beautiful Central American country is seen through an Amish boy's eyes―and then the dark days when the community failed and the family returned to America, much to young Jerry's regret. Jerry also tells of his struggle as a stutterer and his eventual conversion to Christ and the reasons for his departure from the childhood faith he knew. Here is a must-read for not just Jerry's fiction fans, but also for readers curious about Amish life.

Review: I will admit this is my first Jerry Eicher book. I loved his writing style and his ability to weave a perfect story around his growing up years. He has a way of making the mundane sound so interesting. It is like I am sitting in his living room telling these stories. He truly had an exciting childhood. His time in Central America was so very interesting in how they set up this community and the fun he and his family had. I love how he weaves in how the very things in his childhood led him away from the Amish life. It sounded mostly due to the stricter orders than the one his family was part of in Central America. To me it sounded like an ideal lifestyle of working together, family, and faith. The life in Central America could be a mirror to the Amish life, except for their worship styles. I think anytime someone can write an autobiography or biography and make it seem like a casual visit to that home is a winner.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Harvest 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.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Get Fluffy is Worth Getting (and Desperate Housedogs too)

Desperate Housedogs/Get Fluffy
Sparkle Abbey

Book Summary: In DESPERATE HOUSEDOGS, pet therapist Caro finds her client (the human one) dead. What did his two German Shepherds witness and how can Caro track down the killer? In GET FLUFFY, Caro's cousin, Melinda, the owner of a fancy pet boutique and spa, feuds with one of the snarkiest divas in town: Mona, whose pampered pup lives the life of a canine princess. When Mona is found dead, Mel is a prime suspect. Can she clear her name or will her career go to the dogs? Book 3: Kitty Kitty Bang Bang. "A mystery worth barking about." - Linda O. Johnson, author of THE MORE THE TERRIER, Berkley Prime Crime Yes, Melinda was feuding with the queen of Laguna Beach dog-loving divas, Mona. But Mel never expected Mona to end up dead. I stumbled through the doorway into a mini-palace fit for a movie star. Fluffy's palace. A white sheepskin rug in front of her personal fireplace, a king-sized sleigh bed and a dressing screen (why a dog needed a dressing screen was beyond me). Fresh, filtered water dripped into her Wedgewood doggie bowl. It was also a disaster. Fluffy's wardrobe was strewn throughout the room, draped precariously on the bed, and hanging out of open drawers. While Mona had an obscene amount of photos, Fluffy had her own slew of trophies and ribbons. All of them haphazardly tossed about. The room looked like it had been ransacked.Fluffy disappeared behind the disheveled bed. Her tail stopped wagging and she whined softly. Mona was sprawled on the floor as if posing for a men's magazine. It was almost picture-perfect, except for the blood matting her five-hundred-dollar haircut and the gold statue stuck in her head. I hesitantly moved closer. Fluffy nuzzled Mona's cheek. When she didn't move, Fluffy pawed her shoulder, still whining. "I don't think she's getting up, girl," I said softly. Mona was deader than a stuffed poodle.

Review: When I first started reading this book (these books) I struggled to get into them. Than like a lighting bolt I was into it. I had the same thing happen during the second book. Now I NEED TO READ all of the them!!!! The language is salty at times. They are rather tame in comparison to most mainstream mysteries and the stories are just fantastic!! The Laguna Beach lifestyle is not for me, however it is fun to read about the people. The pampered pet & dog children is a bit over the top and yet it is funny. I love my pets but do not take them everywhere. The characters are rich in personality and the authors show repeatedly not to judge a book by it’s cover when it comes to preconceived ideas about who people are. The background on the characters is the best. I love that now (not when I started mind you) that the stories go from Caro to Mel and back again. That keeps things fresh and fun. Especially Grandma’s broach. All around the mystery is not the only exciting thing in these books.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Bell Bridge Books or 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, September 8, 2015

Not Much Found in 'Found in Him'

Found in Him
Elyse Fitzpatrick

Book Summary: Believers’ union with Christ stands at the heart of the gospel. Thankfully, this neglected doctrine is garnering renewed interest among academics and lay people alike. Writing with everyday readers in mind, Elyse Fitzpatrick embarks on a journey of discovery and joy as she explores the wonder of the Incarnation and the glory of the Christian’s unbreakable connection to Christ. Fitzpatrick looks at the Bible’s use of marriage as a metaphor for the relationship that Christians enjoy with their Savior, examining its significance for understanding key doctrines such as Jesus’s death, resurrection, and ascension. Directing Christians to the core of their salvation, this devotional book will stir readers’ affections for God and renew their confidence as beloved children “in Christ.”

Review: I found this book difficult to read at times. I struggled the most at the beginning with some of Ms. Fitzpatrick’s statements like Jesus was made in man’s image and before the next chapter, if that long later, closed she reversed that statement. There were many statements that she and I do not agree on along that vein. I do not want to go into all of them for fearing to sound like I am picking on her. I think the greatest thing this book did for me was prove I can defend my position with scripture and find the scripture that refutes things written in this book. I also disagree with some of her ideas about what Peter stated at the Transfiguration, since they were based on Ms. Fitzpatrick’s ideas and not on scripture I won’t argue about being right or wrong. I will say that she is wrong about the Jews not being able to kill another Jew. Stephen is a perfect example of that along with Paul. I believe maybe she meant that they could kill him to the point where He was a cursed, the only way to do that is by hanging him on a tree. For the Bible say ‘cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree’ they did intend to kill him in His own home town by picking up stones to stone Him with. The only one to live through a stoning in the Bible is Paul. That is not because of him but God.
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.

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.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor the Riches of Storytelling

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor: A Novel
Melanie Dobson

Book Summary: When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder. Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death. Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history. Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways. Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.

Review: This is another home run for me. I was glued to the book and was not disappointed. The characters were solid and the story was well written. I did not want the experience to end. Going back and forth between the present and past drove the story and helped to understand and root for even the characters I might not agree with yet so believable it made me want to go find the Ladenbrooke Manor. From beginning to end time stood still and these people were so real that I forgot I was reading a fiction book. I wanted to know all the people and by the end no one can say that for a little while these characters were real. The mistakes that take on a fantastic beauty of forgiveness, love and tragedy. That these characters were so real and had a depth of character that I am richer just for having read this. Ms. Dobson took the failings of these people and wove beautiful story of redemption. The richness of this story and the previous book are a benefit to every reader who wants to experience life’s complexities even if it is only vicarious. The world is more vivid and people are a mystery worth interacting with just to uncover the longings of an individual and sharing these triumphs that sometimes seem so tragic at the start.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Howard 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, June 2, 2015

The Inn at Ocean's Edge was Realistic

The Inn at Ocean’s Edge
Colleen Coble

Book Summary: Claire’s visit to a luxury hotel in Maine awakens repressed memories, threatening all she holds dear. In 1989, Claire Dellamare disappeared from her own fourth birthday party at the Hotel Tourmaline on the island of Folly Shoals, Maine. She showed up a year later at the same hotel, with a note pinned to her dress but no explanation. Nobody knows where Claire spent that year—and until now, Claire didn’t even know she had ever been missing. But when Claire returns to the Hotel Tourmaline for a business meeting with her CEO father, disturbing memories begin to surface . . . despite her parents’ best efforts to keep them forgotten. Luke Rocco lost his mother under equally mysterious circumstances—at the same time Claire disappeared. After a chance encounter reveals the unlikely link between them, Claire and Luke set out together to uncover the truth about what happened that fateful year. With flashbacks swimming just beneath her consciousness and a murderer threatening her safety, Claire’s very life depends on unscrambling her past . . . even if her family refuses to acknowledge it. Someone—maybe everyone—is hiding something from Claire Dellamare, and it will cost her everything to drag the truth out into the light.

Review: This was such a unique storyline. I liked the characters and they were so multi facetted. It was hard to figure out what the truth was in light of all the years of lies. Claire’s Grandmother start to give clues that all things set before Claire and the reader that all was not as it was presented. That sets the book into high gear. It was a series of revelations and surprises with a climatic ending that was exciting. There were times that the murder was able to act without anyone knowing or seeing him. I found the book well written. The main and secondary characters were well written. The secondary characters were so realistic. Everyone kept the secret and several had light and dark sides to their character. That was the most realistic for me.

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.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Twisted Innocence was Fantastic

Twisted Innocence
Terri Blackstock

Book Summary: When Holly's secrets backfire, is the mess too big to unravel? Holly Cramer has worked hard to keep the identity of her daughter's father a secret, shamed and embarrassed by the one-night stand. But when the police knock on her door searching for Creed Kershaw, she realizes his identity isn't as hidden as she thought. The fact that Creed is a person of interest in a recent drug-related murder only increases her humiliation. When Holly's and Creed's paths cross, Holly is unsure whether to be terrified of him or trust him. His tenderness with their daughter makes her want to believe his story that he had nothing to do with the murder. Then she discovers that Creed has a connection to Leonard Miller-who killed both her sister's fiancé and her brother-in-law, and kidnapped her nephews-and things only become more complicated. Will Creed lead them to the man who has plagued her family, or become another of his victims?

Review: I love Terri Blackstock books and this was no exception. It did take me a couple pages to get into it. But most of it was due to this was the last book of the series and I was going to miss reading about these wonderful characters. The emotion and regret that Holly and Creed had was very realistic and appropriately placed in the story. I liked the honesty that was written into this story. I loved how Creed came from a good home and that he still went his own way. All of the characters had a great and believable depth. That is one of the things that makes reading Terri Blackstock’s books so enjoyable there is no simple answer or resolution. For me this was another winner.

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.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Taken was less than Stellar

Dee Henderson

Book Summary: An investigator who knows tragic loss firsthand, and his new client, missing far too long… Abducted at the age of sixteen and coerced into assisting the Jacoby crime family, Shannon Bliss has finally found a way out. She desperately wants to resume some semblance of normal life, but she also knows she has some unfinished business to attend to. She might have enough evidence to put her captors behind bars for a very long time. When Shannon contacts private investigator Matthew Dane, a former cop, to help her navigate her reentry into society, he quickly discovers that gaining her freedom doesn't mean her troubles are over. If the Jacoby family learns she is still alive, they'll stop at nothing to silence her. If justice is to be done, and if Shannon's life is ever to get on track again, Matthew will need to discover exactly what happened to her--even if it means stirring up a hornet's nest of secrets.

Review: It was an easy read overall. The characters were likable and previous ones became more likable through this book. I found the romance lacking. There really was no chemistry between the two. I really liked Matthew and Shannon. They were strong capable and helpful people. The mystery was fun but over blown in my opinion. I enjoyed the secret hideaways the Jacoby family kept and the paranoia the family had was realistic. The trauma and events related to her kidnapping were realistic and yet the fear Shannon had were not equal to the description on the back of the book. I know that back of the books can be misleading sometimes but this one was lacking. The hornets nest of secrets and why she was taken was very vaguely answered and everything was wrapped up so neatly it felt false to me. This book is no way equal to the Mallory series that I loved. I found this book to be fair overall and am sad because Dee Henderson has such a talent for weaving a story. I keep hoping that some big twist or turn will reignite the spark for me.

I would like to thank Net Galley 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.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

After a Fashion is the Start of an Enjoyable Series!!

After a Fashion
Jen Turano

Book Summary: Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income. Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner. Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can't make her fashionable. She'll never truly fit into Oliver's world, but just as she's ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.

Review: I throughly enjoyed this book. I was hesitant to start this book because I truly loved Ms. Turano’s previous series and was worried that this one was so different that I was foolishly hesitant. I loved it!! Harriet was so fantastic. She went with her feelings especially when it was concerning other people! The best think to get bent out of shape at is for other people who either can’t or don’t know they need to defend themselves. Oliver was a man with weaknesses and someone willing to do the right thing many times. He was a realistic character one you love, get mad at and one you don’t know what to do with. The mystery was woven in with a subtle touch which made it more suspenseful. The suspense for how everything was going to work out was enjoyable. Aunt Jane was a dastardly character and with Silas goading her on seemed unstoppable. There was too much too enjoy and that is what will make this series a hit for me. I can’t wait for Millie’s story next! The biggest twist on this series is these women are average ordinary women or so it seems….
I would like to thank Net Galley 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, March 23, 2015

Sabotaged was Thrilling!!!


Dani Pettrey

Book Summary: Finally Returned Home, Reef McKenna Finds His Beloved Alaska Facing Its Greatest Threat Growing up, goody-two-shoes Kirra Jacobs and troublemaker Reef McKenna were always at odds. Now, working together as search-and-rescue for Alaska's arduous Iditarod race, a growing attraction seems to be forcing aside old arguments. Then Reef catches Kirra sneaking from camp in the middle of the night. Kirra's uncle, a musher in the race, has disappeared. Kirra and Reef quickly track the man, but what they discover is harrowing: Frank's daughter has been kidnapped. Kirra and Reef, along with the entire McKenna family, are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who is not only threatening a girl's life--but appears willing to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen.

Review: Great Storyline. The McKenna family is fun and it was great to read the final in the series. Everyone made an appearance. With the Iditarod as the backdrop for the suspense was fantastic. It seemed at times that the bad guys had eyes everywhere and that may it more intense. Kirra was very well written and demonstrated a growth throughout the book that made it enjoyable. Loved Reef, he was easy going and likable from his original appearance in previous books. The story lined challenged ‘the how far would you go’ questioned with the buffer of in faith we are in Christ, that we must pray and look to Him for our way in this fallen world. Not preachy but very thought provoking.

I would like to thank 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.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Authentic Amish Cookbook is a New Favorite

The Authentic Amish Cookbook
Norman and Marlena Miller, Compilers

Book Summary: Now you can enjoy genuine Amish recipes from the Amish themselves. From the members of the Evart, Michigan, Amish community comes this collection of 450 family favorites, including… salads and dressings (24-Hour Potato Salad, Italian Macaroni Salad)meats and main dishes (Honey-Mustard Baked Chicken, No-Fuss Lasagna, Taco Quiche)desserts (Apple Cream Cheese Pie, Rhubarb Torte, Raspberry Swirl) Several miscellaneous recipes (jerky, play dough, finger paint…) and large-quantity recipes (for wedding receptions and other large events) are followed by many healthy recipes for folks who are watching their diet. A generous collection of tips and hints provides extra help in making your duties in the kitchen and throughout your home flow smoothly. With popular Amish hymns and inspirational thoughts sprinkled throughout, The Authentic Amish Cookbook provides everything you need to enjoy your meal preparation and to bless your family and friends with table times they’ll never forget.

Review: Loved the bits of wisdom! That was what made it special. To hear about the little details of the Amish Life was fun. There were plenty of recipes and many of them were unique like making cottage cheese. These are the gems that make a cookbook worth having. I believe that it is similar to other Amish and Mennonite cookbooks. The reason that I try to buy them and use when I am looking for unique things. Truly glad that I got to read and have the recipes to go through. I love cookbooks because they are idea generators for meals and deserts.

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.

Murder Tightly Knit was Worth the Wait

Murder Tightly Knitted
Vannetta Chapman

Book Summary: When a local Amish man is found dead, the Middlebury Amish Artisan Village comes under suspicion. Two amateur sleuths—one Amish, one English—will have to work quickly to keep fear from dividing their community. As fall blankets the Pumpkinvine Trail with leaves of brown, gold, and orange, a local Amish man is found dead on the path. The only clues to the murderer’s identity point in two very different directions—toward the local survivalist group and toward the Amish Village—specifically the village’s knitting shop, The Cat’s Meow. The police call in a federal investigator, and he quickly puts everyone on the suspect list. Amber Bowman and Hannah Troyer know who isn’t guilty—they know this community down to the last buggy, but can find the guilty party before someone else is in danger? While Hannah helps Amber solve the mystery, she and Jesse Miller continue courting. But when Jesse’s prodigal brother returns to their farm, Jesse becomes distracted by family troubles. He and Hannah will have to overcome the tension in order to keep their relationship alive. And Amber and Hannah will need to work quickly to solve the murder mystery and bring harmony back to the Amish community.

Review: Fantastic sequel!! Love this series! Hannah, Jesse, Tate and Amber are great! Love the addition of Andrew and Mary. The mystery started out slow but picked up speed after a couple of chapters. The addition of Pam was fantastic. She is a great addition and sidekick for the English side of looking into things. It was so nice to see Preston becoming a steady trustworthy friend to everyone. While the mystery was startling it was not too difficult who it was that killed Owen. How it played out was the greatest suspense. That is what made the story exciting that waiting for the other shoe to drop. Can not wait to start the next book!

I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan 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.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

An August Bride had a Rocky Beginning

An August Bride
Debra Clopton

Book Summary: Kelsey Wilcox has had enough of cowboys. After the last one broke her heart, Kelsey traded in her boots for flip-flops, and the open range for a bistro on the beach.  Her life on Corpus Christi’s gorgeous beach might be a little lonely, but at least it’s heartbreak-free. At least until her cousin’s beachside wedding bucks Kelsey right back into the rodeo. When unlucky-in-love Brent Corbin packed his groomsman’s tux for his friend’s wedding, he brought his boots and belt buckle with him. Brent isn’t exactly looking for love, but when he sees what appears to be a mermaid in distress, he jumps right in to rescue her. So Kelsey finds herself plucked from the sea—and certain-drowning—by a gorgeous groomsman . . . in soaked cowboy boots. She’s quick to say thanks, but no thanks. Brent dedicates the weekend to pursuing Kelsey—and Kelsey spends the weekend trying to deny an obvious match. She’s as stubborn as a wild horse, but Brent’s determination may tame her yet. 

Review: I found the story to be readable although I had trouble getting into the storyline. It was slow going for me at the start If Kelsey was that distrustful of cowboys than she would have needed a lot more time to before she gave Brent a chance. I liked Kelsey but never really connected with the story. It was an interesting idea to match a now city girl with a cowboy, the very type of man that Kelsey dislikes. The secondary characters were the best part of the story Aunt Mae and her friends. They were a hoot! I liked the book better as it progressed. Kelsey started to unbend and her dislike of cowboys decreased. Really like this novella format.

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, February 18, 2015

Deadly Echoes has Great Twists and Turns!!

Deadly Echoes
Nancy Mehl

Book Summary: After a youth filled with tragedy and upheaval, Sarah Miller's life is finally settled with all echoes of the past silent at last. She happily calls Sanctuary her home and spends her days teaching at the local school. Sarah's joy at her recent reunion with her sister, Hannah, and meeting the niece she didn't know she had is too soon interrupted when Deputy Sheriff Paul Gleason informs Sarah her sister has been killed. As she learns more about Hannah's death, the circumstances are eerily similar to their parents' murder. Sarah enlists Paul's help in digging deeper into the murders the police are dismissing as burglaries gone wrong. Paul's concern encourages Sarah's growing feelings for him, but as their investigation peels back the layers of lies almost twenty years old, they get close to uncovering the truth one person will do anything to hide--even if that means coming after the last remaining members of the Miller family.

Review: Great sequel!! I loved the sense of community that Nancy Mehl creates in her stories. I loved Janet, Paul and Cicely. They mad the story line. I think that Sarah started out weak. It was great to see the character grow. I was hooked from the start. The murder of Hannah and how this murder was linked to the girls past. There were some surprises that I did not see coming and that made this story unique. I liked that most of all. It was a dawning of realizing and tying together the letter that Hannah sent Sarah and the unraveling of this mystery. Thanks Nancy Mehl for another great suspense novel.

I would like to thank NetGalley 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, February 16, 2015

Forbidden Ground was Disappointing

Forbidden Ground
Karen Harper

Book Summary: Let the dead stay dead… Despite a traumatic childhood in Cold Creek, Ohio, the Lockwood sisters have reunited there for the wedding of youngest sister Tess to the town's sheriff. Maid of honor Kate Lockwood is determined to break through best man Grant Mason's defences. An anthropologist, Kate makes her living studying the dead. She is particularly interested in the prehistoric Adena civilization that once called the area home. A large burial mound sits on Mason family land, and Kate wants permission to excavate. But Grant refuses and tells Kate to stay away from the mound. Kate respects Grant's desire to honor his grandfather's belief that the dead should not be disturbed. However, the more she researches the more it becomes clear that Grant is hiding something. When one of Grant's friends is killed—and the sheriff is away on his honeymoon—the couple joins forces to assist the deputy in the investigation. When Kate comes under attack she is certain it is connected to the burial mound. Grant seems concerned for Kate's safety, but despite their explosive attraction she can't help but be suspicious of his motives. Can Kate trust the man she's come to love, or will the wrong decision be her final act?

Review: I was looking forward to reading this book. I wanted to like it from the start although I really found it difficult to get into the storyline and Kate. She was not so smart at times. I tried repeatedly to enjoy this book and yet it was more of a chore to get through this book. It had a good set up - a murder and weird events going on surrounding the mound in Grant’s backyard. The tree that had his childhood treehouse in it was cut down, people were trying to frighten Kate but none of that change things for me. I feel really bad that I could not connect with this book.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Harlequin MIRA 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, January 14, 2015

Dark Road Home Has a Light at the End!

Dark Road Home (Edge of Freedom)
Elizabeth Ludwig

Book Summary: Ana Kavanagh's only memories of home are of fire and pain. As a girl she was the only survivor of a terrible blaze, and years later she still struggles with her anger at God for letting it happen. At a nearby parish she meets and finds a kindred spirit in Eoghan Hamilton, who is struggling with his own anger--his sister, Cara, betrayed him by falling in love with one of his enemies. Cast aside by everyone, Eoghan longs to rejoin the Fenians, a shadowy organization pushing for change back in Ireland. But gaining their trust requires doing some favors--all of which seem to lead back to Ana. Who is she and who is searching for her? As dark secrets from Ana's past begin to come to light, Eoghan must choose which road to follow--and where to finally place his trust.

Review: I really enjoyed this book. The story line was enjoyable and the suspense was plentiful. I liked Ana and Eoghan they were not perfect which made them very realistic. I liked the tension between Eoghan and his family. It was realistically written and fun to see played out throughout the story. Having Carah and her husband in the story added to the suspense who was after both Ana and Eoghan. Since many characters were from the first book it made it easier to follow. I think that it would be a good stand alone book, although I have read the first one. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

I would like to thank 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.