Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I have long been a big fan of Grace Livingston Hill.  Although her books were written years ago, they are classics to me, with a message for any generation.  She always weaves the gospel into her stories and I just appreciate the way she is not ashamed of the gospel.

In this story Christobel Kershaw finds herself coming home for her stepmother's funeral.  She really doesn't view it as "home" as her stepmother had her and her younger brother shipped off to boarding schools early on in life.  Now her and her brother, Randall, have a chance to get to know and begin to build a relationship with their father once again.  But Randall suddenly gets kidnapped and the search is on to find him.  Although there is some romance in this story, it is mainly about restoring a families relationship with each other.

Monday, October 29, 2012

This was a fast paced romantic adventure that captures your attention on the first pages and keeps you entertained until the end.  Although I would not label this a "Christian Romance", which is what I mostly read, it is a "clean" romance story.  It has alot of suspense and some danger in it, but I felt it was a fun story to read because the main character, Eliie, is such an easy person to love and enjoy reading about.  She is a character who talks alot when she is nervous or scared and since she was scared alot, she tended to talk alot and it was really fun to watch how Slade handled it all.

Ellie is on Bella Isla as a governess to a very important man on Bella Isla.  She overhears something she shouldn't about a revolution and finds herself fleeing her employer.  She runs into an Amercian, Slade, at a cafe and uses her charms to get                                   him to take her to his lodging and away from the men following her.  When the revolution begins Slade thinks the bad guys are after him and since Ellie fears if she tells him the truth he will "ditch her", she lets him think the worst as he tries to get himself and Ellie out of the country.  I loved Ellie's take on Slade throughout the story and the attraction they both have for each other.  This is a good romantic adventure movie begging to be made.

This is another great story by Dee Henderson.  It took you into the world of the Special Agents we have working for us and made you feel a part of the team.  I especially liked how the author mentioned and tied into this story her  "O'Malley Series".  There was a mystery to this story that ran all the way through the book and never got closure till the very end.  It had me guessing the whole way through, which I enjoyed.

Ann Silver is a homicide investigator who drops some new leads on a "cold case" into special agent Paul Falcon's lap.  It is the best lead they have had on a serial killer murder case and the agents in charge take off with it and the story just builds from there.  The relationship between Paul and Ann also takes off, but this isn't your typical romance relationship.  It is a tightrope Paul must walk to win Ann over.

All in all, this was a great read.  I didn't know how it was going to end, I enjoyed getting to know Paul and Ann and watch their relationship grow and I really enjoyed both Paul and Ann's relationship with "Lovely".  Read the book and find out who "Lovely" is; you won't be disappointed!

A thank you goes to LibraryThing for sending me this Advanced Reader Copy for me to review!

Paperback: 473 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; 1 edition (October 2, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0764210890
ISBN-13: 978-0764210891
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 17 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

Thursday, October 25, 2012

This was an enjoyable story to read.  It is about a Sheriff, Carl Wall and a lady, Barbara Strong and her two kids she is raising.  Her ex-husband is in jail and Sheriff Wall needs to keep an eye on her to make sure she isn't involved in any of her ex-husbands “jobs”.  The scenarios with the Sheriff and Barbara’s 2 small children were just funny and adorable.  He doesn't have a clue how to deal with them and some of the things he says and their reaction had me smiling and sometimes laughing out loud.

There is a lady, Mrs Hargrove, that shows up in each of these Dry Creek stories and I just love this lady and the way she works her magic in getting folks involved in church.  She is a great lady and very discerning.  Wish we had more ladies like her in churches everywhere; although  I must say we are blessed to have a “Mrs. Hargrove” in our church, she just goes by a different name.  This was just a light hearted romance, with a little bit of mystery and suspense mixed in.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A SHORT NOTE THAT DOES NOT RELATE TO A BOOK I HAVE READ - but about a day I would like to share and express my thankfulness!

 In this day and age of everyone giving their critique of books, movies, restaurants  or hotels (and many times they list what they didn’t like about a certain hotel or restaurant) I would like to take the time to tell you of my experience with Delta airlines and the Detroit airport. 
Now the folks I will refer to will probably never read this, but it is worth sharing because at the time it meant a lot to me and my husband.  Here is the scenario:  My husband and I got on a plane this morning to visit our newest grandson in Pittsburgh, PA.  Now although I have learned to “endure” flying, which is a big improvement from my earlier years of being in panic mode when I had to get on a plane, the first “leg” of our journey found me not feeling so good (and I still don’t do restrooms on the plane – I stay in my seat with my seat-belt on!).  So by the time we landed in Detroit I was feeling miserable and needed to find a “ladies room” and quick!  The problem was we were a little late landing and getting off the plane, plus the next gate we needed to be at was quite a walk, then a tram, and then more walking/running to catch the next flight.  Needless to say I didn't make it all the way and found myself sick in the bathroom.  My husband made it to the boarding desk (it was a Delta flight) and they said we had one minute to board.  Since I was in the ladies room, this was not happening.  After explaining the situation to the ladies, they were very kind and considerate and told my husband that they would book us on the next flight out to Pittsburgh with no extra fees.  Then they proceeded to get me a Ginger Ale and a wheel chair to take me to our new gate.  These ladies could not have been more considerate or kind if they had tried and I would just say to Delta, “these ladies would make me pick Delta every time”.  (They also gave us great seats on that new flight, the best we have ever had, with lots of leg room).  Even the gentleman that wheeled me to our next gate was very kind and considerate.  I was just so thankful, but so sick!
 After sitting around for an hour, eating crackers and ginger ale we decided I should probably eat something, so we walked down to an Einstein Bakery store and I got some hot tea and a muffin.  The ladies that waited on us were very nice also (way to go Detroit) and when they asked me if I was having a good day and I said no, we missed our flight because I got sick, they looked genuinely concerned for me and wanted me to drink my tea and get better soon.  I just want to say to Delta and the Detroit airport, thank you so much for your “tender loving care” of me and my husband.  You took a terrible, very bad day and turned it into a kind and compassionate experience. 
We finally made it to our son’s home, my stomach is feeling much better, and we are enjoying quality time with our son, daughter-in-law and two precious grandchildren and thanking the Lord for how He has worked all things out for good.  There really are people out there who go above and beyond the call of duty and to those folks I want to just say THANK YOU!  You never know what a blessing you are.
We have 3 days to go and then it is back to the airport.  I am already praying for a much more uneventful flight home.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

This was a good series, well the your time to read.  Emmy's Equal is the third book in this series and you can read it as a stand alone, but you will miss alot of the background on the characters if you don't read them in the order they were written.  This is a western romance with a good Christian emphasis.  As you get near the end, hang on to your seats, because alot happens and happens fast.  This book took a turn at the end that I was not expecting, which is something I always enjoy.
Emmy Dane is trying to trust God with her life, but she does have a headstrong and stubborn personality that she is constantly trying to control.  She starts out in her home town, Humble, Texas, wanting to go visit her best friend in St. Louis, but ends up traveling with her parents to Carrizo Springs, Texas to check on some cattle.  She isn't a "happy camper" and when she first meets handsome Diego in Carrizo Springs it is a meeting neither one of them will quickly forget.  Their feelings for each other though strong, seem to have people and circumstances keeping them apart.  There are many interesting interactions and feelings going on between good friends and between parents and their grown-up children.  I liked the way the author brought them all together at the end.  You will experience stampedes, wildfires, and much more as you read this very well written story of a "strong-willed city girl" who meets her match in a "stubborn vaquero".  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

This was book two in the Texas Fortunes Trilogy and I liked it better than book one.  I liked how you stepped right into the story with the aftermath of a wedding that didn't happen.  This story picks up years later from book one, so you can easily read it as a stand alone, but I wouldn't because you miss alot of background in the lives of the two older ladies, Bertha and Magda.
Charity Bloom's fiance leaves her stranded at the alter and her best friend, Emily Dane, leaves the church with him.  Charity is trying to get over her humiliation when a handsome stranger, Buddy Pierce, comes to town and finds oil on her Mom's land.  He also finds Charity to be a woman he could easily fall in love with.  Hold on to your seats because the romance, deception, schemes and manipulation really start to  weave its way throughout this story.  It was an ending where I didn't want to close the book until the finish!  I am looking foward to reading book three in this series, "Emmy's Equal".   Just as a side note, the only thing I had a hard time wrapping my mind around was how the author had Bertha turning out in book two.  That is not the way I would have pictured her in her later years, a lttle rough around the edges.  Other than that I say, enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

This was a good story, filled with many interesting people.  It told a story of romance and mystery and was written in a time when not all people were accepted for who they were as a person, but by the color of their skin.  The author did a great job of bringing her characters to life, like you knew them personaly, so it was nice to know in the "author's letter" at the end of the book that she wrote about a real lady in history.

Bertha Biddle is a young lady in love with handsome Thad.  Thad is in love with Bertha.  The problem is Thad is leaving town soon for military school, and can't seem to get around to telling Bertha and doesn't feel like he can ask her to wait for him till he comes back.  It makes for a little tension in their relationship.  Then there is a new lady who comes to town who Bertha befriends.  Most folks in Jefferson, Texas would think she is an unsavory companion for Bertha to associate with, but she is also a hard lady to not like being around.  Then there is a murder, an almost hanging and a twist of fate at the end that will change two peoples lives in a big way.

This book had more than one story to tell and more than one lesson to learn.  I enjoyed reading this story, although I will say it started off a little slow for me.  It had a good Christian emphasis to it, where folks had to live what they believed.  But all folks struggle sometimes and these folks were no different in that area.  This is book one in the Texas Furtunes Trilogy and I look forward to book 2, Chasing Charity.

Friday, October 12, 2012

THE BRIDGE by Karen Kingsbury

This was a story centered around "the best little bookstore in the world" which happens to be in Franklin, TN.  It is a story about the dear married couple who have run this bookstore all their married life, and also about two young people, Molly and Ryan, who met, became friends and went through college and thought they fell in love while studying at the bookstore.  It is a tender and sweet romance.  I loved the way the owners, Charlie and Donna, had such a deep and lasting love, in the midst of struggles and hard times.  And Molly and Ryan you knew had a real "heart connection" but through a twist of fate, they never took the opportunity to let each other know excatly how they felt.  This was  a story that starts in the present, and then has alot of flashbacks to show you how you got to the where you are now.  I loved getting to know these people that way.  I couldn't read this book fast enough, because I wanted to see how it was going to all turn out.  So I recommend you give yourself some time when you start this book, because you are not going to want to put ii down until you finish.  For the romantic at heart, this is a must read!
I want to thank Howard Books for giving me the chance to read this book and review it through NetGalley.  It was a pleasure to read and I felt the cover was also a good draw for people to pick up and read this story.
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Howard Books (October 23, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1451647018
ISBN-13: 978-1451647013

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Although the story line is a little hard to imagine (cowboys taking a ballet class), I have to say it was worth reading because it made me laugh out loud several times.  Just thinking about some of the scenes right now makes me smile!  Lizette Baker is coming to Dry Creek to open a dance (ballet) studio, but the folks of Dry Creek think she is coming to open a bakery.  There is confusion, laughter, romance and a Nutcracker performance like I am sure has never been done before.  Far-fetched, you bet, but laughter is good medicine, so you will feel better having read this story.

This book is part of the Dry Creek Series.  It could easily be read as a stand alone, although if you read the series in order it will help you get to know the characters of the town much better.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A "feel good" story that was easy and quick to read. It was fun watching Brad Parker try to figure out if cute little Millie Corwin could really be a thief and could she actually be stealing his "love-resistant" heart. Millie was just trying to do a good friend a dying wish and she was finding out this was no easy job. Not only are the main characters enjoyable to read about, but the whole town of Dry Creek has people in it that will make you smile. It was a pretty unbelievable story line, but this is fiction, and a romantic fiction at that, so just enjoy.

Friday, October 5, 2012

This is a story that took me by surprise.  The cover (you can't judge a book by its cover) looked old and outdated and I figured the story might be also.  But I was pleasantly surprised as I started reading, and found myself totally immersed in the story.  This story mainly takes place on a small island that just has the lighthouse and the lighthouse keeper living on it.  It takes place in the bitter cold Winter and you can feel yourself there.  The characters were people who didn't have an easy life, hadn't traveled far, but they knew what commitment meant, and were learning to love in the real sense of the word.  I took away from this story a sense of pride in these people.  We often feel love is a feeling, but love is a choice and when we choose to show love, the feelings will most likely follow.  Love doesn't quit during the hard times, but it endures.  The author did a great job and I would definately read more of her books!

Monday, October 1, 2012

It is not often I read a series and each book just gets better and better, but in this series I think this last book was the best! (And they were all good).  It was a very romantic western with a story line that I always enjoy, which is about a mail-order bride.  I like the way the author started the book and the depiction you get when you read about Walker McKay.  "He had it made: no interfering woman to tell him what to wear, when to eat, or whom to eat with.  His life was his own, and he had no intention of changing it." His philosophy was, "women were good for just two things: cooking and childbearing and not necessarily in that order."  He ran a ranch, led a good lifestyle, enjoyed hunting and fishing and had no interest in getting married.  But when a bull almost kills him, he realizes his need to get serious about marrying and having some children to carry on his name, so he orders a mail-order bride.

Sarah Livingston is the heiress to a wealthy railroad father and she wants nothing more than to get married and raise children, but her and her father cannot agree on who she should marry.  So Sarah decides to run away.  On the train she comes across a mail-order bride who doesn't want to go through with it and Sarah offers to take her place.  So Sarah shows up to finally get married and raise children with Walker McKay.  From here on out it is a challenge for Sarah to get Walker to love her, but a challenge she is very up to.  I loved her determination and the way they were made for each other.  But Walker is a hard man to let down his guard and when he finally does he will discover Sarah has lied to him.  Forgiveness is not one of Walker's better qualities and it will take a near death experience to get him to realize he really does love this woman.

I really enjoyed the chemistry between these two main characters.  It was one of the stories that it was hard for me to put down until I had read it all.  Did I know how it was going to end.  Yes.  But it sure was fun reading how it all comes together.  As the back of the book says, this was "a tender romance that shows how even a wounded past does not stand a chance when God's mercy, warm friendship, and true love come to reside in a lonely man's heart."  This would be a book I could easily read again.