Friday, October 28, 2011

LONELY HEARTS by Amanda Stephan

"One lonely mother. Two matchmaking kids. Three eligible bachelors. What could possibly go wrong? ~*~
This is one of the descriptions given to this book and it is so "right on"!

This story was a delight to read and one I had a hard time putting down until I finished it. This is the second book by Amanda Stephan that I have read and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

Becky Callis is a widow who has just arrived in town with her 2 children and are seeking to make a home for themselves in this small town. She finds new friends and old friends and eventually finds herself taking on a housekeeping/nanny type position at Pierce Morgan’s ranch. You can feel the attraction they both have for each other, but neither one comes out and really tells the other how they feel. There was a point in this story when I wanted to pull my hair out waiting for Pierce to “get his act together” when it comes to the decisions he was making.

I loved the way these two main characters “danced around” each other and couldn’t read fast enough to see how the author was going to finally bring them together. I also enjoyed the sensitivity of her two children and the wise old ranch hand, Curly. This was a quick read, filled with enjoyable characters. A fast moving story filled with romance and I had a really good time reading it. I want to thank the author, Amanda Stephan for sending me this story to review. It was a pleasure to read!

LONESTAR ANGEL by Colleen Coble

I read on the cover of this book that Colleen Coble is a "master storyteller" and I would wholeheartedly agree. This story grabbed my attention from the very first scene in the book, where Eden is approached by what she thought was her divorced husband of 5 years, Clay, at a restaurant, where she is in the middle of a proposal of marriage by her new boyfriend. She suddenly discovers 1) that her divorse was never finalized and 2) the child they had that had been kidnapped and killed over 5 years ago is really alive!. Quite a way to start a book, and let me tell you, it doesn't slow down much after that.
Eden and Clay set out for Buelbird, Texas to work at a youth ranch and try to figure out which little girl is theirs at the ranch and who has contacted them about their girl being at this ranch.

There are very few books that I have read that I have not been able to figure out the ending fairly quickly, but in this story I was never totally sure of who the "bad guys" were in this story until the very end. There was alot of mystery, intrigue, suspense, and danger in this story. But there was also alot of learning to love and trust going on between Eden and Clay. Eden had to learn that life is hard for everyone and everyone has different challenges. She needed to let those hardships strengthen her faith and to rely on God's grace through her trials. As one of the characters in this story so adequately stated, "We can choose to trust and let His love shine out of us, or we can let bitterness and disappointment steal our joy. It's your choice." Eden had a hard time with the trust issue, something we at one time or another all deal with, which makes her someone we can all relate to.

You will learn to love all the little girls at this ranch and love the way Clay and Eden responded to them all, and the way they learn to respond to each other. I really had a good time reading this story and had a hard time putting it down until I was finished. I want to thank BookSneeze for sending me this Thomas Nelson book to review. This story, as well as the 3 other Lonestar stories in this series, will be well worth the time you take to read them.

Monday, October 24, 2011


This was a fast paced journey with alot of history and romance throughout the story. This story was made even more special and dear to me because I personally know the author and I have also seen the "camelback trunk" that this story was written around, and I know that many of the things in this story actually took place. One of the aspects of a good book is when you want to keep reading the story so you can see what happens next. I found myself experiencing that in this story.

Maggie Mae Flynn and her good friend Lilly find themselves joining a wagon train headed to Oregon, along with several other single ladies, who have men waiting to hopefully marry them when they arrive, sight unseen. But the journey is long and Maggie finds that she is falling in love with the wagon scout Everett Hickok, who has some secrets of his own. There are obstacles to overcome and a destination to reach and along the way you will get to know all these single ladies and their stories and discover things about each one. At first it was hard to keep track of all the people I was meeting, but as you read you begin to know and keep track of everyone. There is danger, hardships and alot of secrets, but through it all true love will prevail. This is one of this author's best stories!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This was an interesting romantic read set in the 1600s here in America. Constance is a "feisty redhead" who finds herself being forced into a situation where she is on her way to America from England as a "tobacco bride". Drew O'Conner wants a maid to take care of his place and someone to care for his young sister. When he ends up marrying Constance straight off the ship, he gets far more than he bargained for. Constance goes from "hands off" to "please love me" and Drew also vacillates between wanting her and not wanting her. The author did a good job of making you feel how it was to be there in the colonies at this time in history. There was very good dialogue and alot of twists and turns in this story and it made for very interesting reading. I found that the more I read, the more I enjoyed the story. I look forward to reading more by this author.

Friday, October 14, 2011


A heartfelt story of learning to trust God through tragedy. This story was one of hope for two families who were both affected by a tragic shooting and how everyone in the family deals with the sorrow in different ways. I felt the author did a great job of getting inside Noelle and Eli (the husband and wife) and helping you feel their pain and how they started to grow apart. A good message on keeping communication open and letting your partner in on what you are going through.

The beginning line in the book described Noelle so well. "Noelle longed for the redemption that came with a fresh snow." She is struggling with the death of her daughter and a failing marriage. Then she finds herself in an accident and she has lost her memory of the last 25 years. Eli, her husband is also struggling with their marriage when he finds himself having to help his wife recover her memory and getting a chance to start all over again. I liked the way the author brought out the fact that, "faith wasn't about trusting God when it was easy. Faith appeared when God seemed farthest away." There were others affected by this tragedy, it was not just centered on Noelle and Eli and I fully appreciated the way each person was portrayed. I felt their pain and rejoiced in their healing. The ending, which ties in the title of this book, was also well done. It didn't have to have everything wrapped up and all the loose ends put together, but left you with the feeling that all things would work out for good. This was a story that will stick with you long after you read it. Good job Susan May Warren!

Thanks to Tyndale Publishing via NetGalley for sending me this book to review.

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1414334834
ISBN-13: 978-1414334837
Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1 inches

RESTORATIONS by Bonnie Blythe

This was another fun romantic read. I am a big fan of Bonnie Blythe and her romantic reads and this was another story that didn’t disappoint. Sara Anderson finds herself back in Buell Creek, Oregon, a “sleepy hamlet nestled in the Cascade Mountains”. She is back for her Grandfather’s funeral and staying with Aunt Hattie. She has inherited her Grandfather’s property and discovers that the person who is renting the the smaller house on Grandpa’s property is Brian Farris, a man Sara once thought she loved when she was a college student. Brian then was someone she “ thought about constantly and wasn’t content unless they were touching. Looking back, she wondered if she’d been more obsessed than in love.” Sara later realized that she had turned her back on God to be with Brian. After overhearing a conversation Brian had with his roommate about her, she left him a note and walked away from Brian. Now years later Brian wants to show Sara he is a changed man, someone who has found the Lord and now wants to win Sara back. He ends up helping her turn the old house into a bed and breakfast. At first Sara doesn’t want his attention, then discovers that he really has changed and then gets frustrated that Brian isn’t showing her enough attention. Brian never stopped loving Sara and now his hope was that they could restore their relationship God’s way. I liked the way these two people grew to love each other all over again, this way the proper way. Another well written romance.

BLIND DATES by Hunter, Coble, Huston, & Billerbeck

This was a good romantic Novella. I liked many aspects of these 4 stories. 1)I liked the beginning Prologue, which set the tone and theme of all four stories; of a Grandma who sets out to find a mate for each of her 4 granddaughters. 2) I liked how each author had different yet good message on the plan of God and how even with our best laid plans, we need to leave the final outcome up to the One who knows best. 3) Yes the outcomes in each of these stories is one you will instantly know, but it sure is fun watching how it all comes out and since I love a good romance, these stories fit my idea of a good story. 4) In most novellas there might be one or two stories that aren’t as good, but in this Novella, I enjoyed each story equally and would have a hard time picking which one I liked best. I just thought this was a Novella well worth your reading, especially if you are a romantic at heart.

In story one you will see the need to not be too hasty in reacting to a blind date that doesn’t show up. Chelsea sends the blind date a rather hurtful e-mail telling her blind date what she thinks of him, finds out that the nice guy fixing up her apartment building was the blind date. It gets interesting from there on out. In story two Grandma tries to get her successful interior designer, Callie, hooked up with a architect. In story three Melissa finds herself trying to drive off her latest blind date when she realizes that he wasn’t really a blind date, but just the new youth pastor coming to call. Story four is about Matttie who is set up by Grandma to renew a relationship with Jeff, “the one who got away” years ago.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

WAGERED HEART by Robin Lee Hatcher

I just enjoyed reading this story. It had a little bit of everything in it and the story kept moving and kept my attention. Bethany Silverton and her parents arrive in Sweetwater, Montana, leaving the "easy" life of Philadelphia behind them. Bethany wagers a good friend that she can get a certain cowboy to attend her father's new church within a month. Hawk Chandler is the cowboy, but he doesn't think he could ever be worthy of Bethany's attention. The admitting of their love for each other is a long time coming with alot of joy and sorrows along the way. Honesty and openess is always important in a relationship and this story proves this to be soooo true! There is alot going on in this story, which kept me turning the pages. I just had a good time reading this book and appreciated the way the author incorporated the importance of relying upon the Lord in all situations. Bethany and Hawk were both good characters you will learn to appreciate and enjoy.

Monday, October 3, 2011

APRIL IN BLOOM by Annie Jones

This was the third book in this series and I enjoyed reading it. This story is about April Shelnutt, the oldest sister in the family. She is described in the beginning of the book very well. "April spent her weekdays running the Weed' Em and Reap Garden Supply and Nursery.. .. She'd set aside a couple of evenings a week for dinner with her sisters and their families, school plays,. . . And trying to keep one step ahead of her darling daddy was one of those on-call 24/7 deals.. . . .And today, she had built up enough steam, courtesy of a certain impossible-to-pin-down sheriff, to run the town's power plant for a week." When 90 year old Miss Cora injures herself at Sheriff Mulldoon's place, April finds herself caring for Miss Cora and both April and the Sheriff try to stay clear of each other, but only find themselves spending more and more time together. Love is definitely in the air.

It was a fun to read story, with alot of fun parts and also alot of lessons to be learned in the lives of these folks. The author does a good job of communicating a message in her stories of a serious nature, but makes you enjoy yourself while doing it. Although you can read this as a stand alone, it would help you understand April's family and the town much better if you read the other books, especially book one, although book two was my favorite.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

MOM OVER MIAMI by Annie Jones

This was an enjoyable story to read, filled with one "mishap" or "adventure" after another in the life of Hannah Bartlett. Hannah and her doctor husband, Payt, have recently moved to Ohio, where Hannah finds herself with a problem we all face sometimes; feeling like we can't say no to anyone, and therefore getting to involved with everything. We think we can handle it all ourselves, because we want people to think we have it all together even when we don't. So . .. Hannah finds herself raising an 8 year old foster "son", adjusting to a new baby only 6 months old while tackling a "project" at the church, helping out hubby at work and being a soccer Mom whose home is known as "Nacho Momma's House". You will laugh at her "mishaps", feel good about the love the family has for each other and enjoy reading her daily columns in her small town newspaper back home (did I forget to mention that little "side job" she handles also?) This was an enjoyable read, with a message that threads its way throughout the story and finds a happy ending.

This is book 2 in a series and you can easily read this as a stand alone, but if you read book one first you will definately understand more about Hannah's two sisters and her father, who are mentioned in this story quite a bit.