Friday, August 31, 2012

NEXT DOOR DADDY by Debra Clopton

I loved the ending message of this story! It is a story that shows that it is possible after having truly loved someone once, to fall in love again, and to still pay tribute to how one's first love will never be forgotten.

Pollyanna McDonald and her 8 year old son move to Mule Hollow to start over after having lost her husband through a car accident. She finds herself neighbors to Nate Talbert, a reclusive cowboy who has lost his wife. They both have loved and lost someone very special, someone they cannot forget. But this story so beautifully shows a friendship, based on a mutual understanding of each other, and how that grows into a love for each other, without ever taking away from the love they have lost. This was very well done by this author and moved me to tears near the end. It is one of my favorites of this Mule Hollow series.

I also appreciated the author's letter to the reader at the end of the book (something you should always take the time to read). She states, "I pray each of you knows how wonderful and gracious God is. His love is everlasting. He is with us in the best of times, but more importantly, He is with us in the worst of times. When we are weak, He is strong." This is the kind and tenderhearted way that this author writes and I appreciate the way she handled this story. It had a fun and enjoyable feel to it, with a very good love story that will stick with me long after having read it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Okay, I must say that this story in the Mule Hollow Matchmakers series drove me crazy! I liked the story line, but I just couldn't wrap myself around why Haley Bell Thornton was so mad and unable to forgiven and to stop blaming Will Sutton for the way her life turned out. You see, 10 years ago Haley left Will standing at the altar and since then she has left 2 other men standing at the altar (kind of like the movie, "Runaway Bride". She has now run home to her Grandpa Applegate in Mule Hollow. The folks in Mule Hollow have plans to see Haley and Will married by Christmas, but both of them have to learn to communicate and not "blow up" every time they start to talk. Will starts to see how he might have been at fault for not understanding Haley 10 years ago, but Haley doesn't seem to want to take any responsibility for walking out on their marriage; which is something I just couldn't understand.

I will continue on in my Mule Hollow saga, but this story for me just wasn't as good as the first 5 in this series. The folks of Mule Hollow though have grown on me so I am off to see who will fall in love next!

Monday, August 27, 2012

MEETING HER MATCH by Debra Clopton

Debra Clopton is fast becoming one of my favorite "Love Inspired" authors. Her Mule Hollow series has just been fun and enjoyable, and very romantic!

This story revolves around Sheri Marsh, who is best friends with Lacy Brown, who started the whole series rolling by painting the town of Mule Hollow and getting the whole matchmaking idea rolling. Sheri's mantra is that she has to much fun dating men to actually settle down and marry one. But she didn't count on crossing paths with Pace Gentry, a cowboy "rough around the edges, but whoe heart is true". The author summarized it well in her letter at the end, "And Pace was just the man to help Sheri face her fears and become the woman God intended her to be. And in doing so, he became the man God had set him on the journey to become. They completed each other." That pretty much sums it up for me. Except for saying how much fun it was to watch the romance grow.

I am having a good time reading this series on Mule Hollow and can't wait to see who will be next to find true love in the town of Mule Hollow. As you read this series you will also stay in touch with other characters from previous stories and I like reading about them and seeing how they are doing and getting along.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Another fun and delightful story taking place in Mule Hollow, a matchmaking haven for the romantic at heart. This story centers around the reporter, Molly Popp who writes an article on the "marraige-worthiness" of a local rancher, Bob Jacobs. He is not exactly thrilled with the article Molly wrote, nor the overwhelming responses he is getting, via mail and in person. When trouble strikes and Bob gets hurt, Molly, who feels guilty for what happened, steps in and helps Bob out. You know what is going to happen next don't you!

This was fun to watch Bob and Molly try to get along with each other, without falling in love with each other, when they both know it won't work out for them. I liked the way the author very naturally writes into her story lessons to learn and truths to trust in as a Christian. Very well done each and every time. This book is in a series, this being #4, and so far they have all been enjoyable, fun and easy to read. I recommend you begin with #1 ("The Trouble with Lacy Brown") and get to know the town of Mule Hollow and the people who live there

Monday, August 20, 2012

NO PLACE LIKE HOME by Debra Clopton

I am growing to love the folks in Mule Hollow. It would be great if such a town existed, where folks really care for one another, they have a love for the Lord, even when things go wrong sometimes, and where love and romance always seem to be in the air. Debra Clopton does such a good job of developing her characters and writing a good romance story.

Dottie Hart was on a mission, but when she picked up Cassie as a hitch-hiker along the road, she felt it her duty to drive her to where she wanted to go; to Mule Hollow to find herself a husband. Now Dottie is stuck in Mule Hollow with an RV that won't run and a town that seems destined to match her up with the local sheriff, Brady Cannon. Dottie and Brady both have obstacles to overcome, but trust me, the folks of Mule Hollow see the possibilities and Dottie and Brady don't stand a chance. This is just another fun, quick, romantic get-away to the adorable town of Mule Hollow.

This can be read as a stand alone, but it is so much better to read them in order so you get to know the people of Mule Hollow. Once you arrive you will definately want to stay!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

AND BABY MAKES FIVE by Debra Clopton

This is another adorable story in the Mule Hollow series. The back of the book says it well, "Two stubborn humans, his dog, her donkey . . and a brand-new baby". Who would ever guess that a donkey named Samantha would be such fun to read about. She had me laughing out loud. And what fun to watch two stubborn people try to hold back their feelings for each other and just be "neighbors". Cort Wells just wants to left alone and Lilly Tipps grew up by her grannies thinking all men are no good, so it will take the donkey to bring them together. A lovely and fun romance!

Although these books I am reading are all a part of the Mule Hollow Series you can read them as a stand alone without any trouble, although they do mention the town and characters from the stories before this one. And they have all been good stories, so start at the beginning and grow to love the folks of Mule Hollow!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I like to read 'Love Inspired" books every now and then because they are quick and easy and generally have a good story line to them. This is the first book in the "Mule Hollow Matchmakers" series and I like the way it is starting off.

Lacy Brown believes the town of Mule Hollow is where the Lord is calling her. The reason she feels called there is kind of cute and humorous. She is going to help the town from dying out by opening a hair salon. You see the town of Mule Hollow has put out an ad for 'women wanted' for all the cowboys in town with no mates. Lacy is there to spruce up the town and the women as they arrive in Mule Hollow. She is a little spitfire who is always on the go. When she literally runs into Clint Matlock she is not prepared for the sparks that fly.

Yes, you know exactly how this is going to end, but it sure is fun reading and watching how it all takes place! Now I am on to another story in the Mule Hollow saga.
For those of you who don't read the author's letter sometimes at the end of a book (you really should if you don't) I felt Debra hit the nail on the head by her description of this story. Speaking about Lacy Brown, "Her zeal for God made me want to draw closer to the Lord in my daily walk and to seek His will with all my heart. She made me want to let my hair down, too, and have some fun. She made me laugh-and that was a very good thing for me at a time when I really needed to smile. I pray you had as much fun as I did and that God blessed you in a special way as you read Lacy's story." Thanks Debra, your story did exactly that for me.


I am a lady who LOVES to read, especially Christian fiction! BUT I also like to always be reading a good devotional book (reading through the Bible every year is just a given). This book took me a long time to read, but it was worth every minute!

I like the description of this book fhat Amazon has posted: "Few who occasionally read the Bible are aware of the awe-inspiring and worship-provoking grandeur of the divine character. That God is great in wisdom, wondrous in power, yet full of mercy is assumed by many as common knowledge. But to entertain anything approaching an adequate conception of His being, nature, and attributes, as revealed in the Scripture, is something which very few people in these degenerate times have done. God is solitary in His excellency. "Who is like unto Thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like Thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?" (Ex. 15:11).

This is a book that makes you stop and think as you read each sentence, paragraph and page. It is not an "easy read", but well worth the time it takes to ponder what the author has written about our great God. It is all about knowing Him, His holiness, power, faithfulness goodness patience love, etc., etc.. I can't say I agreed with everything 100%, but for the most part I was captivated by his thoughts on God.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


This is an author that knows how to write a story that takes you on a real adventure, where you never know what will befall the characters next! This is my second book by Erin Rainwater and I couldn't read the story fast enough. I will definately be looking out for more of this author's work to read!

This is a story of Mandy and Dakota, two people from very different backgrounds, who find themselves thrown together and must find confidence in God's workmanship in their lives, whether they can recognize it at times in their life or not. They will become secure in their relationship and will "need not fear any terror by night, nor arrow that flieth by day".

Mandy is on her way home to Colorado when her stagecoach stops at a waystation. Things happen, she gets "captured" by Indians and this is where she meeets Dakota. He is a "half-breed" who falls in love with Mandy and seeks to get her home to her family. But WOW, stuff happens and I couldn't believe all the things taking place in this couples life. Through it all though is this love for one another that could not be broken. There are not many stories that have me stopping in the middle of my day to read, but this one had me hooked. A great historical, action packed adventure with a truly special love story.

Monday, August 13, 2012

TRUE COLORS by Erin Rainwater

This is my first book by this author and I must say I am very impressed with her style of writing and looking forward to reading more of her work. I was truly so taken with the story line that is was hard to put down, and when I wasn't reading, I was wondering what was going to happen next. She also did such a good job of making one of her characters so despicable that I had to remind myself, "he is not real, don't get so upset". There were twists and turns I didn't see coming which always makes for a good story. It was also a historical novel, which makes you feel as if you are learning as you read. All in all a very good book and I am looking foward to reading "The Arrow that Flieth by Day" next, as it tells the story of one of the characters that are mentioned briefly in this story.

Cassie and Michael are two people caught up the the tragedies of the Civil War. They fall in love quickly, decide to get married in secret and then their life is torn apart in ways I wasn't even expecting. Can their love and marriage survive all that is happening to them? Secrets, war, lies and deceit are happening all around them, but real love is a bond that cannot be broken.

Be prepared to fall in love with "Sassy Cassie" and Michael, a true hero, who will eventually show his "true colors".

Friday, August 10, 2012

TWILIGHT'S SERENADE by Tracie Peterson

Another gorgeous cover, another great story and a really good ending to this series. The back of the cover talks about the author - "Authentic historical detail, as well as adventure and romance, highlight her writing." I could not say it better! You get a feel for Sitka, Alaska in the early 1900s and come to love the Lundquist family and their children and their strong faith.

This story revolves around the youngest Lundquist child, Britta, who left Sitka six years ago, but has returned to see if she can free herself from the love of her life, Yuri Belikov. She left because Yuri got married and broke Britta's heart. Now she returns to find that Yuri is gone and his wife is about to deliver a child. Tragedy happens and Britta finds herself caring for Yuri's two children, waiting for him to be found or come home.

Yuri, who can't seem to get his life together finds himself drinking, gambling and no hope for a happy marriage. When an accident nearly takes his life, a young man helps him recover both physically and spiritually. Yuri returns home a different man, to find Britta caring for his children. He has never seen Britta as more than a "kid sister" almost, so is not ready for the love Britta has to give to him. Can Britta win Yuri's heart?

This story also dealt with other family members that you met in books one and two of this series. I highly recommend you read these books in the order they were writtin so that you can grow to know the whole family and their saga. You won't regret the time you spend in Sitka, Alaska!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

MORNING'S REFRAIN by Tracie Peterson

This was another historical, romantic adventure story set in the land of Sitka, Alaska. It is book two in the 'Song of Alaska Series' and does a great job of continuing the saga of the Gray-Lundquist family. I have always enjoyed stories set in Alaska and Tracie Peterson does a good job of giving you the chance to feel and read what life was like in Sitka in the late 1800's.

This story begins with Dalton Lundquist, now a grown up man who is beginning to question his family background and the dark family secrets. He has a close friend Yuri, a desire to begin his own boat building business and a special interest in the new young lady who has just moved to Sitka with her family, Phoebe Robbins.

Phoebe is not very excited about her family's move to Alaska but she is excited about her growing feelings for Dalton. But as in all good stories there are conflicts, heartaches and struggles to work through. I like the way this author beautifully weaves in throughout her stories the dependency and help we all need from God and His word.

I look forward to finishing this series by reading "Twilight's Serenade" next! Could these stories be read as stand alones? Yes. Would I recommend doing that? No.
I also really appreciate the care and attention given to each of the book covers in this series. They just draw you in and say, "read me".

Monday, August 6, 2012

DAWN'S PRELUDE by Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson is an author that writes with attention to historical detail and in this story you learn a little of life and the conflicts of the people in Sitka, Alaska in the late 1800's. It is a story full of romance, adventure and danger. I am a big fan of Tracie Peterson and this first book in the 'Song of Alaska' series is off to a good start.

Lydia Gray finds herself a widow when her husband (who married her for money after his 1st wife died), is in an accident and dies. She is relieved to be free of him as he was a cruel taskmaster to her. What she was not expecting was to become the sole recipient of her late husband's fortune. The grown stepchildren are furious that she gets "their" money and plan evil ways to get it. Lydia secretly leaves the life she was never happy with and flees to Alaska, where her aunt Zeralda lives. There she finds peace and contentment and learns, with the help of the Kjell Lindquist, the owner of the local sawmill, what true love really looks like. But when the "family" finally finds Lydia things go very wrong and it will take trust and faith in a God who can and will work all things out for good. Bad things do happen to good people and the author does a good job of dealing with the doubts and questions that arise in this story. I am looking foward to reading the rest of this series.
As a side note, the covers on the books in this series are really beautiful and draw you into wanting to read what is inside. It also taking place in Alaska is another draw for me as it is a part of the country I have always enjoyed reading about and would love to visit someday.

Friday, August 3, 2012

SHORT-STRAW BRIDE by Karen Witemeyer

This was a delightful story from start to finish, that will leave you smiling at the end. It is my first time reading anything by Karen Witemeyer and I am looking forward to reading more of her books. I don't often give out 5 stars, but this story I just found a pleasure to read all the way through. There was, of course, romance, but there was also laughter, danger, sacrifice and gallantry. I also really liked the cover of this book as it went so well with the story.

Meredith Hayes has overheard a plot that someone is going to burn down the Archer brothers ranch. The Archer brothers have grown up literally on their land, without venturing off, and someone is out to do them harm. Meredith must become the first female to trespass on to their land and warn them. She is pretty and feisty and not afraid to put herself in danger because she also has a tender heart. When trouble breaks out she finds herself stuck on the ranch with the 4 brothers, who must draw straws and one of them must marry her to keep her reputation from being ruined. Travis, the oldest, draws the short straw and from there it is just a matter of time before they both learn what the other is truly feeling about the marriage.

There was alot going on throughout the story and it was fast paced. I liked each of the brothers and the closeness they had with each other and it would make a great series to get to know what happens to each one of them. This story is similar to Mary Connealy writing style, so if you like her books, you are going to love this one. It is a warm-hearted story that will leave you with a smile on your face.

I would like to thank Bethany House for sending me a copy of this book for my honest review.