Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday - Books on my to read list from before I started blogging

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke & the Bookish.

Today's topic is about books on our to read lists. Only these are ones that have been sitting on that list since before I started  blogging. I've been keeping up this blog for about 6 years now, so this should be interesting.

1. While We're Far Apart by Lynn Austin - I've read a lot of her books. This one still looks good.

2. Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden - Still haven't read this one.

3. Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson - I like his books. He's a good fantasy author. Still haven't gotten around to this one.

4. Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell - I've had this one on my list for ages. Someday.

5. Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist - I remember when this one came out that I wanted to read it. Still waiting to read it.

And there you have it. Not too many but just a few. I couldn't easily locate more. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books Set in a School

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & the Bookish.

I'm back this week for Top Ten Tuesday. I apologize for not having any over the past two weeks. I was on vacation and then ran out of time.

This week's topic is about books that are set ____. And we get to fill in the blank. So it's sort of a freebie. But more of a freebie with a specific topic in mind.

Today, I'm featuring the top ten books that are set at a school, be it boarding school or some other type of school.

1. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar - I have read this book multiple times. But all of the book deals with a separate student/teacher from the class on the 30th story of Wayside School. Most of the action takes place at the school as well.

2. Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling - Hogwarts is a boarding school, right? Most of this series takes place at Hogwarts.

3. The Kid Who Ran for Principal by Judy K. Morris- I remember reading this book AGES ago. I really enjoyed it because it showed that kids could do more than adults think they can.

4. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot - I'll admit it. I've never read the books, though I want to. The movies are some of my favorites though. But this series follows Princess Mia as she discovers she's a princess.

5. Avalon High by Meg Cabot - This book was pretty wonderful. It's loosely based on King Arthur lore, but I found it fascinating. I still have it on my shelf.

6. Third Eye by Lois Duncan - I think that I probably read almost all of her books when I was growing up. In this one, while most of it does not take place in school, the main character, Karen, is a high school senior.

7. Christy Miller Series by Robin Jones Gunn - This series follows Christy as she spends a summer in California, and then she and her family move from Wisconsin to California. It follows her ups and downs. Have I mentioned that this author is my all time favorite?

8. The Gifting by K.E. Ganshart - This first book in the trilogy, is set between Tess's home and her school. Well worth the read.

9. Nightmare Academy by Frank Peretti - I read this book years ago. I remember enjoying it. It's set at the school where the kids attend.

10. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer - This book is an obvious book for those set at school. Since most of the action takes place at Forks High School, it's a good one to include, even if I didn't really care for it all that much.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Captain Takes a Wife

Published - September 2015, Westbow Publishing
Series - Captain Chronicles Book 1
Author - Doris Durbin
Title - The Captain Takes a Wife
Format - ebook, paper
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Captain Harry Richardson is on his way to his new pastorate when a beautiful young woman ends up in his arms. He quickly learns that someone is after her, and he vows to see her safely to her destination. Sarah Franklin is running away from an arranged marriage when she lands in the captain's arms. When he impulsively kisses her, soon things spiral out of control. Harry quickly realizes that in order to keep Sarah safe, he must marry her. What began as a ruse, soon turns into an adventure of a lifetime for Harry, Sarah, and his well meaning friends. But can they keep Sarah safe?

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. It's better than I thought it would be. This is a new author to me, and I'm always a little leery of new authors. I never know what to expect. This time, I was pleasantly surprised.

Arranged marriages are always fun to read about. This one had humor and adventure. While I did think that parts of the story could have been better developed, overall, this book was a fast read.

I received the Kindle version of the book for free from BookLook Bloggers for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of historical fiction, Love Inspired

Rating - 4 stars

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dawn at Emberwilde - A Review

Published - May 2016, Thomas Nelson
Series - Treasure of Surrey Book 2
Author - Sarah E. Ladd
Title - Dawn at Emberwilde
Format - ebook, paper
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Summary from Amazon:
Isabel Creston never dared to dream that love could be hers. Now, at the edge of a forest filled with dark secrets, she faces a fateful choice between love and duty. For as long as she can remember, beautiful and free-spirited Isabel has strained against the rules and rigidity of the Fellsworth School in the rolling English countryside. No longer a student, Isabel set her sights on a steady role as a teacher at the school, a safe yet stifling establishment that would enable her to care for her younger sister Lizzie, who was left in her care after her father’s death. The unexpected arrival of a stranger with news of unknown relatives turns Isabel’s small, predictable world upside down, sweeping her and her young charge into a labyrinth of intrigue and hidden motives. At her new family’s invitation, Isabel and Lizzie relocate to Emberwilde, a sprawling estate adjacent to a vast, mysterious wood rife with rumors and ominous folklore—along with whispers of something far more sinister. Perhaps even more startling, two handsome men begin pursuing Isabel, forcing her to learn the delicate dance between attraction, the intricate rules of courtship, and the hopes of her heart. At Emberwilde Isabel will discover that the key to unlocking the mystery of her past may also open the door to her future and security. But first she must find it—in the depths of Emberwilde Forest.
My Thoughts:
It's been a while since I read one of Sarah Ladd's books. I've forgotten how much I enjoyed them. 
While this is book 2 in the series, it stands alone, and one does not need to have read book 1 in order to enjoy this one. I was quickly drawn into the story, and I found myself intrigued by Isabel. 
As for the two men who vie for her attention and affection, there was one I liked more than the other. I was rooting for him the entire time. 
I also enjoyed the fact that this book had a touch of mystery in it that added to the richness of the story. 

I received this book for free from BookLook Bloggers for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
Recommended to fans of: Jane Austen, Julie Klassen, Jody Hedlund
Rating - 4 stars

Thursday, August 11, 2016

God Made You Just Right - A Review

Published - August 2016, Worthy Publishing
Author - Jill Roman Lord
Title - God Made You Just Right
Format - hardcover (board book)
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This brightly illustrated board book tells of how God made you. It's written in a sweet rhyme and will surely captivate children.

I love when I get to review children's books. This one is super sweet. I read it to my best friend's little ones, and they loved it. It has a catchy rhyme and the pictures captured their attention.

I recommend this book to parents of toddlers or young children. I also think that teachers would enjoy this book.

I received this book for free from Worthy Publishers as part of the First Look program. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating - 4 stars

Saturday, July 30, 2016

They Danced On - A Review

Published - July 2016, Tyndale Books
Series - The Darlings Book 3
Author - Carre Armstrong Gardner
Title - They Danced On
Format - ebook, paper
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Summary from Amazon:
Nothing is more important to Jane Darling than her family. She’s dedicated her life to raising her children, and they all appear to be doing well. She can finally relax and enjoy life. But when her husband becomes seriously ill, Jane finds herself taking on the most difficult role of her life.

Laura Darling moved away to escape the expectations of her family. Ever since she went through rehab, they watch her like a hawk. Now she has a good job, new friends, and no one to criticize her or comment on everything she’s doing. But when everything begins to unravel, Laura’s heart turns toward home.

Follow the Darling family through triumph and tragedy as they struggle with an uncertain future.
My Thoughts:
It is very rare for me to not finish a book. Especially review titles. This one dragged. I was on like chapter 5 and felt that I should be further along that I was. I had no connection with the characters or the plot. This particular book probably wasn't for me. There are several positive reviews online.

I received this book for free from Tyndale for the purpose of reviewing. I was not required to like the book, only give my honest opinion. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating - 1 star (did not finish)

What Matters Most - A Review

Published - July 2016, Revell Books
Series - Texas Gold Book 4
Author - Kellie Coates Gilbert
Title - What Matters Most
Format - ebook, paper
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Summary from Amazon:
Leta Breckenridge is forced to drop out of college to care for her dementia-ridden mother. After learning a severely delinquent account may force her mother into a less desirable facility, Leta steps out of her comfort zone and lands a high-paying job at an Austin public relations firm. But her dream job turns into a nightmare when she learns the firm is a front for a political opposition machine--and that the research she's been collecting will be used against her new love interest, Nathan Emerson.

Nathan is a rising political star being pressured to run a bid to unseat the current governor of Texas. He's already in a relationship with a woman much better suited to be a politician's wife, but he's never met anyone like Leta. Could this feisty, challenging woman hold the key to his heart?

My Thoughts:
This book was riveting. I found myself drawn in quickly and curious to see how it would unfold. I've read the others in this series, and this one may be the best. I'll admit that I don't usually read books that deal with topics that could have real world consequences, but this book was good. I loved how Leta researched beyond what her boss had asked her to do, and that she made her own decisions. While it is a part of a series, it stands alone. 

I received the Kindle version of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of women's fiction, contemporary fiction

Rating - 4 stars