Monday, July 6, 2015

In Good Company by Jen Turano

Jen Turano is a new author for me but she is going onto my favorite authors list immediately. This book was pure joy. Mix a madcap nanny, a very serious gentleman, some matchmaking older ladies, 3 adorable kids, a gaggle of interested servants, 3 puppies and a whole flock of peacocks and what could be more fun. Jumping from New York City to Newport, RI to Boston, there is plenty of action, a mystery to solve and love is in the air!

Be sure and block out enough time to read the whole book because I can guarantee you won't want to put it down. The characters are delightful. The plot is well planned and the goings on of all the characters are just plain fun!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review and I am so grateful this is the book I chose this month!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Blessing (#2 in Quaker Brides series) by Lyn Cote

This is about a Quaker widow, Blessing Brightman, who is an influential and wealthy part of the Cincinnati community in the mid-1800s. She is part of the Underground Railroad and is an avid Abolitionist and Women's Rights advocate. She meets Gerard Ramsey, a spoiled heir to a Boston family, when he comes to rescue his cousin from the clutches of her best friend.

This is a rich historical novel with many interesting things to learn about this whole time period and the people who populated it. Speakers that came to Cincinnati included Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass.

The book started out slow and for a chapter or two I thought it was going to be tough to get through but then it started to flow and I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish it.

I will now be looking for book 1 of this series and waiting for book 3 to appear. I will also be looking for other books by this author. I love finding a new author to add to my "favorites" list.

Tyndale gave me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you Tyndale for a great experience!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Now and Forever (Wild at Heart #2) by Mary Connealy

Shannon Wild is working her homestead and tending her sheep when she manages to knock mountain man Matthew Tucker off the side of a mountain into a raging river. Of course she falls in with him and the two embark on a wild and wooly journey for survival. We met Shannon in book one of this series along with her two sisters who were all masquerading as men so they could have a homestead. They had also fought in the civil war in the same way. Mary Connealy always tells the story in a very amusing way and there is no end of belly laughs and chuckles as you take a merry romp through her tales. I am always waiting (impatiently) for the next installment. Book number three will be the oldest sister, Bailey's story and it promises to be a rip-snorter! Can't wait! I absolutely adore all of Mary Connealy's books and even with my policy that there are too many great books out there to be rereading anything and it's better to pass them on to others, with this author I have made one of my rare exceptions and all her books are on my shelf as keepers.

Bethany House gave me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review, but quite honestly it was on my list to buy this month anyway so I would have gotten it one way or the other. I love Bethany House and all their authors so sometimes it's hard to choose what I want to review in a given month but this one was a no brainer.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Centralia by Mike Dellosso

This was an interesting suspense novel. It is about Peter / Jed whose reality is set on end when he realizes that there are things he doesn't understand about his past. He has been part of a secret government agency and has had his brain altered by them. He must dig through all the differing fragments of thoughts and memories running through his brain and fight off all the very real thugs that are chasing him to try to get him back into the program or destroy him.

The author uses the real "burning city" (underground) of Centralia, PA as the location of the secret facility and the blending of facts about that and the story are interesting.

This book was intense and required a lot of concentration to try to figure out what was going on but it was riveting and I had trouble putting it down to do other things. I loved how the little girl's faith was the key and when Peter / Jed remembered his faith and put it into action, God's protection became real to him.

I was given a copy of this book by Tyndale House in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Taken by Dee Henderson

Every time I think Dee Henderson has reached the mountaintop in her career she outdoes herself again. I loved this book! There is no immediate danger or violence in this book but the suspense is ongoing. The characters are intriguing and the plot is riveting.

Shannon Bliss was abducted at age 16 and eleven years later she resurfaces outside Matthew Dane's hotel room asking for his assistance in getting back to her life. Matthew's daughter Becky had been through a similar experience and Shannon had read about it in the newspaper and chose him to help her too.

I love the enduring faith of the characters that is just a part of their personalities and who they are. I love that they consulted God when the going got tough. I love that they relied on each other and a set of trusted friends (some were my old friend from previous Dee Henderson books). I love how laid back they were even in times of extreme stress and the simple things that they enjoyed about life. I would love to have friends like these.

This book brought new insight on the difficult transition for people who have been victims of horrible crimes like kidnapping. The PTSD that they deal with is as serious as that of our armed forces. All such victims should be treated with respect and given all the help they need to recover.

I highly recommend this book to all my reading friends.

I received this book from Bethany House in return for a fair and honest review. Confession time, I would have bought it regardless. I can't pass over a Dee Henderson book and wait anxiously for the next one to come down the pike.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Chance of Loving You (Romance Collection)

This is an anthology by
Author Terri Blackstock - view author info
Author Susan May Warren - view author info
Author Candace Calvert - view author info

Terri Blackstock and Candace Calvert are two of my favorite authors and I have also read Susan May Warren’s work in the past.

The first story, by Terri Blackstock, is about a couple who meet in a restaurant and end up sharing a winning sweepstakes ticket (10 million each). It was not Terri Blackstock’s normal fare and it felt contrived, as if she was trying to make something up to fit this spot in the book. The characters were not very likeable and the circumstances and reactions of the two were not very credible.

The second story, by Candace Calvert, is about a dietary aide in a hospital who falls in love with the CSI Photographer who is regularly visiting his grandmother in the hospital. This is typical Candace Calvert fare and I loved it!

The third story, by Susan May Warren, was hard to follow at first but it turned out to be a fun story. It’s about a couple who grew up together and went to the same college but misunderstanding had forced a wedge between them that neither wanted. A fishing tournament throws them together again and sparks fly.

All in all this was a fun book and I will recommend it to my friends that like these types of stories. This book was provided to me by Tyndale House in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist

This is the most fun book I've read this year. I always love Deanne Gist's books but this one is extraordinary!

Flossie is a "New Woman" in the 1890s. She wants to strike out on her own as a single woman and artist. She accepts a job for Mr. Tiffany (of Tiffany stained glass fame) when he hires women to replace the men from his factory that are on strike. Against her parents' wishes, she moves out and takes up residence in a boarding house. Being an only child, she is hungry for family and embraces the other residents of the boarding house as her new family. One of the residents is a writer, Reeve Wilder, a man who also wants a family in the worst way but handles the acquiring of one from a whole different perspective. This novel take place in New York City and also in Chicago at the World's Fair. The author has done extensive research and I almost feel like I have visited that World's Fair and also have learned much about the culture of the time. There are so many fascinating aspects of our ancestors' lives that I have learned through Ms. Gist's work and I can't wait to find out what she will teach me next.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. However, if I had not I would have bought it at the first opportunity anyway because I would not have wanted to miss this one! These characters are engaging, likable and "fun to watch." Once I dove into this book I didn't want to come up for air. I am now adrift at the end of the story and wishing I was still experiencing it. I think this will be one of those rare books that I will actually visit again. There are so many books to read out there that I hardly ever read one again but I may have to make an exception for this one. Of course, I'm sure Ms. Gist is working on her next masterpiece so perhaps I will just wait and see. Delicious!