Sunday, July 31, 2011

RESTLESS in CAROLINA by Tamara Leigh

This is book 3 in this series and I didn't read book two, but did like this story better than book one. I would recommend though reading them in order because you get to know the characters in the other stories so much more and understand the dynamics of the Pickwick family. This story is about Bridget Picwick-Buchanan. She is a widow, a landscaper and a lady on a mission to save her Uncle Obe's family estate and surrounding acres of unspoiled land by making sure J.C. Dirk buys it (he is an eco-friendly developer). How she goes about meeting J.C. Dirk and what happens after that is what makes the story interesting. I enjoyed the way Bridget kept thinking to herself and also enjoyed "the family" more in book 3. Throughout the story you find both Bridget and J.C. Dirk battling with issues in their lives (one being their attration to each other). I think J.C. summed up both their problems with these questions, . . "Do you know how hard it is to be right with God when you aren't right with people? When you can't forgive as you should? When you're holding the past tighter than it's holding you? When you think you're better at being God than God Himself?". . These were tough questions that both main characters had to answer and this author dealt with these questions in a good but very enjoyable way. I appreciated the subtle humor throughout the story and the whole Pickwick family, as odd as some of them were. This was a good ending to this series.

I almost forgot to say that I was sent this book by LibraryThing Early Reviewers to read and review. And I was happy I read it and glad to review it!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


This was an enjoyable read about a quirky and somewhat disfunctional family, the Pickwicks, and discovering "you can take the girl out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the girl". It was not a page turner story for me, one that I just couldn't put down until I finished. But it did have its moments.

Piper Wick (whose name is really Pickwick but she shortened it when she left town), is being called back to Pickwick, North Carolina. This is a town she hoped to never have any more association with because of the way she and her Mom were treated by "the family" as a young girl. But the family needs her expertise as a public relations consultant to get Uncle Obe to not change his will, and start revealing family mishaps and mistakes, one of them being one of Piper's secrets. She arrives in town ready to do business and get out, but finds herself once again in the midst of family disputes. But time has passed and people have changed and with God's help, even Piper finds herself changing. Then there is the gardener, Axel Smith, who has a way of getting under Piper's skin.

I enjoyed getting to know the family members and to see that people can change and forgiveness is possible. I also liked how Uncle Obe felt the need for making things right and how his life was changed when he sought a relationship with His Lord. He is quite the character!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

MILAGRO for MIRANDA by Bonnie Blythe

I have never been disappointed reading a story by Bonnie Blythe and this book was another winner. It had a very unique beginning to it and from there it just kept getting more complicated and interesting. Miranda Adams finds herself in a dilemma and needs a miracle (milagro) to help her out of the many situations she finds herself in. And Spencer Meyers in the last person she is expecting to help her. They set off to Mexico City to find Miranda's half-sister which she has just discovered she has. Spencer and Miranda need alot of help in the "get along" department, but they eventually work out their differences and come to understand each other. I enjoyed their interaction throughout the story. There was action, adventure and romance in this story and also a good lesson on the love and forgiveness one will find when they lay their burdens down at the foot of the cross. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

LEARNING by Karen Kingsbury

This is book 2 in the Bailey Flanigan series and it picks up right where book 1 leaves off. It has been several months since I read book one, but it didn't take me any time at all to remember the characters and the story line. It is like reading about a family that you feel you could meet someday, because they seem so real. I have to remind myself that they aren't. Karen Kingsbury does such a good job of making her stories very personal, down to earth and real. She also does a great job of sharing what makes her main characters the people that they are and that is because of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a joy to see these people share their faith by just being themselves and the testimony they can and do have towards others. These people struggle, have hardships and disappointments, but they also have a strong faith which helps them through it all.

Bailey Flanigan finds herself on Broadway, fulfilling her dream, but it doesn't come easy and she must constantly battle with her feelings as the cast members don't exactly make her feel welcome. But Hollywood star Brandon Paul is always showing up and helping her laugh, feel good and letting her know how important she is to him. I liked his spontaneity when it came to surprising Bailey. Then there is Cody Coleman and his new job as a high school football coach and trying to take a team with a losing record, to just a group of boys who believe they are truly a team. He also must decide where his relationship is going with Cheyenne, who is fighting to recover from a near fatal car accident.

Although this story line didn't go the way I thought it would, I must say I enjoyed the story very much and look forward to seeing where the next story in this series goes with these characters. There is still alot of unresolved issues between two people who must, I believe, come to terms with each other sooner or later. Looking forward to book 3!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

SIERRA by Shari MacDonald

This was a story of Celia Randall; a lady who has lost loved ones and feels that God is playing a cruel game with her. She travels to Calinfornia with her dog Hank for a photography assignment and finds herself in a like/hate relationship with her new boss Marcus Stratton. She refuses to accept a close relationship with anyone so she won't ever be hurt again. And the rest of the story you can pretty well figure out.

I must admit there were parts in this story that did not hold my attention, but then I would come across another section that had me smiling and enjoying myself. I appreciated the insights that Celia's "friends" had regarding her misplaced thoughts on God. The author did a good job of answering some of Celia's questions about how she viewed God and for that reason alone I would encourage people to read this story. It was a quick read for me and although it had its slow moments, overall it was an enjoyable story.

The PASTOR'S WIFE by Jennifer Allee

This was an interesting story line for me and at times difficult to believe. Maura Sullivan finds herself back in Granger for a quick visit and then "get out of town" before someone sees me. What she wasn't expecting was to find her husband at the reading of a will that she hasn't seen or spoken to for 6 years. Nick Shepherd is the pastor in this small community and has been for 6 years. Although both their hearts were broken 6 years ago, they find themselves thrown together again by the reading of this will. And I think you all know how this story will end.

I guess there are married couples who drift apart because one is so focused on their job and the other can't speak up and say what the problem is, but I find it hard to believe that for 6 years neither party tried to fix this problem if they loved each other as it was obvious they truly did. I enjoyed watching them get to know one another all over again, except this time they both listened, talked and became aware of their mates thoughts and feelings. I enjoyed reading the story, I just had a hard time wrapping my mind around some of the things that took place; but that is why it is called "fiction"!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The PROMISE of PEACE by Carol Umberger

This book was #4 in the Scottish Crown Series and also the last book in this series. I was not disappointed at all with this series, in fact I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading these stories! Carol Umberger has done a terrific job of making the history of Scotland in the 1300's come alive. Robert the Bruce has long fought for independence from England for his Scotsmen and in this story there seems to be some hope for peace.

Keifer McNab has not had an easy childhood, having to live with a foster family until he is old enough to claim his position as "laird" of his clan. You follow him as he grows up and goes on to train and become a knight, as he has no thoughts of ever marrying, but only of fighting for Scotland. The family that he finds himself living with has a young daughter, Nola, who is full of energy, love and a thirst to see more of the world. As you watch them both grow up into adulthood, you see how Nola has given her heart to Keifer, but he is determined to never marry. I enjoyed seeing them both struggle with their feelings and learning the meaning of unconditional love.

This story spans many years and although I thought at first is was a little slow, it quickly picked up and finished very well. There were alot of characters from the first three stories in this story which helped to tie them all together. I would recommend you read these in order to get the most out of the stories, especially for this last story. I can't say enough good about this series and although I considered not reading them at one time, I am so glad I didn't listen to myself. I thoroughly enjoyed every book!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The MARK of SALVATION by Carol Umberger

This is book 3 in the Scottish Crown Series and so far I have enjoyed them all and have not grown tired of reading this series. There is one more book to read in this series and I am looking forward to reading it. Carol Umberger, the author, does a superb job of taking the Scottish history in the early 1300’s, when Scotland was trying to break free from England, and creating a story line that is full of war and adventure, but also of love and loyalty.

This story is about Lady Orelia Radbourne who thinks her and her husband will soon claim a new estate from the spoils, when the English defeat the Scots in a final battle. But at the end of the day she will find her husband dead and she a prisoner in the hands of the Scots. Ceallach, a man you come to know in the previous books, is a warrior who struggles with all the suffering and and pain he has endured in his life. He must keep Lady Orelia at his new estate until she can be traded with the English. Ceallach finds himself taking on a job and responsibilities he has never thought he would like and in the process also finding himself caring for a woman as he never thought he would do. It is an endearing story as you learn so much about Ceallach and watch him change and learn to love. Lady Orelia has a heart for God and it is good to see how she maintains her walk with Him despite all she has gone through. They form a friendship that withstands the test of time, because tested they will both be.

THE PRICE OF FREEDOM by Carol Umberger

Carol Umberger has written another great story in the Scottish Crown Series! I didn’t think book 2 would be as good as book one, but this story was just as good, if not better.
This story is written in the early 1300’s when the Scots under Robert the Bruce are struggling to gain freedom from England. Now to some, like me, that may not sound like an era you would be interested in, but trust me, the story line is captivating.
Countess Kathryn de Lindsay has just lost her father and she desperately needs a protector from an English nobleman who wants her for her land. Although she thought he loved her, she soon discovers he is not the man she thought he was. Along comes what she thinks is her enemy, Bryan Mackintosh who takes over her home and village as they surrender to the Scots. Neither Bryan nor Kathryn want to admit the attraction each of them have for each other. There is mistrust, resentment and also longing, which makes for a great interaction between these two people. (There is also a great battle between England and the Scots throughout this story if you are into that too.)
I once again read this story quickly as it just captivated me and held my interest throughout the book. A lot of times when an author writes a series one or more books will be a little weaker than another. So far the first two books in this series have been equally beyond my expectations! Now I am on to book three!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

CIRCLE OF HONOR by Carol Umberger

I must admit that I have had this series of books sitting on my shelf for quite some time. I have always enjoyed the look of the book and its jagged pages. I put off reading them because I wasn't sure if I would enjoy the time period and location of these books (the highlands of medieval Scotland). But I want so say that after reading book one I am hooked and ready to begin book 2! Carol Umberger does a great job of catching and holding your interest and also giving you a history lesson of the times while you read.

Gwenyth Comyn is a young lady whose father has been killed by Robert the Burce and pledges revenage on those who killed him. Adam Mackintosh is her sworn enemy and soon to be the new laird of the land in Scotland. Gwenyth finds herself being "married" to this man, after being brutally used by another. "Did she dare to hope that love would grow out of loyalty and commitment as Adam believed? Could she trust him with her battered heart?" This is a story of "victory that belongs to those who do God's will. No matter how difficult the situations, you must trust God."

This was a hard book to put down for me and so I read it rather quickly. The character of Adam was someone anyone would admire and his way with Gwenyth was very refreshing and made you feel good about them both. This was time well spent and enjoyed and I hope the other 3 books in this series will be just as good. Time to go find out!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A SUITOR FOR JENNY by Margaret Brownley

This was book two in the Rocky Creek Romance Series. I had previously read book #1 and book #3. I am a big believer in reading a series in the order they were written in so you get to know and understand all the characters within the series. You can however read these books in any order and still enjoy them.

This story was about Jenny Higgins and her two sisters who arrive in Rocky Creek having read that it had the highest number of eligible bachelors. Jenny is looking for husbands for her two sisters that she has had to raise and she is going by the book, "The Complete and Authoritative Manual for Attracking and Procuring a Husband" book. She has her two sisters to contend with, who don't exactly like the method Jenny is using, the townsfolk who are on edge by her tactics and the town's US Marshal Rhett Armstrong, who is having a hard time keeping the peace in town now that they have arrived and in keeping his heart from falling in love with the headstrong and opiniated young lady, Jenny.

This was a fun and enjoyable story. It is lighthearted for the most part, but does deal with characters who have flaws and problems to work through. I think the whole series is well worth the time and enjoyment you will experience having read them.