Thursday, January 31, 2013

Shattered - A Review

Piper McKenna loves her brother. So when he shows up on her doorstep covered in blood, she firmly believes he's innocent. Convincing Deputy Landon Grainger of that is something else entirely. Landon's trying to do his job, despite the fact that his boss is pushing for a quick conviction and that the evidence all points to Reef McKenna, brother of the woman Landon loves. When Piper launches her own investigation, Landon realizes that he has to keep her safe from herself. Yet someone is determined to pin the murder on Reef and will stop at anything to see that justice isn't served. Will Landon and Piper be able to get to the truth before something else happens? And when will they admit their feelings?

I read the first book in this series, Submerged and loved it. The McKennas remind me of Dee Henderson's O'Malley family. Like those in the O'Malley series, this book stands alone. It is helpful to read the first in the series, but not necessary. Romance, suspense, and adventure all abound in this book. I loved that the characters are believable and they obviously love their family. There were very few things that I didn't enjoy about the book, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I'm hoping it will be about either Gage or Kayden.

I read this book for pure pleasure. My thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Recommended to fans of romanitc suspense, Dee Henderson, Irene Hannon, O'Malley Series

Rating - 4 stars

Friday, January 25, 2013

Giveaway Winner

Using, the winner of No Safe Harbor is...


Congratulations. I've just emailed you for your address.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Giveaway - No Safe Harbor

I'm going to give away No Safe Harbor this month. This is set around the turn of the Century in New York.

To enter, leave a comment telling me your favorite time period of history.

Second entry - follow my blog and tell me how you do so.

Additional entries - leave a comment on any of my book reviews from either December 2012 or January 2013.

A valid email address must be included in order for me to contact the winner.

This will end Friday January 25th at 9pm CST. I can only ship US. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow - A Review

Charlotte Farrow has been serving as a maid in the wealthy Banning household for over a year now. During that time, she's managed to keep her infant son a secret from all but Lucy Banning who helped her find a place to board the baby. When the woman who has been caring for the baby is called away on an emergency and brings the baby back to Charlotte, she's at a loss as to what to do. The household assumes that the child has been left for Lucy, who is currently away on her honeymoon. As plans to find the child a home build among Charlotte's employers, she must either admit that she's his mother or watch him be placed away from her. Will she claim her child at the risk of her position or will she see her son go to another? And what about the coachman who has been showering his attentions on her?

I am awfully glad that I read the first book, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, before I started this one. Because if I hadn't, I'd have been a bit lost.  I must say that the author did an excellent job of capturing Charlotte's emotions when she faced the decision she had to make regarding her son. I found myself hoping that she would make the right choice. I also thought it fascinating that the domestic staff had very little rights and that they were reprimanded for daring to dream of a better life. I am looking forward to more books in this series.

I received this book for free from the publisher, Revell Books, for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of  Amanda Cabot, Julie Klassen Tracie Peterson, Elizabeth Camden, Siri Mitchell

Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Rating - 4 stars

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Choices of the Heart - A Review

Esther Cherrett was trained to be a midwife by her mother, who was trained by her mother, and so on. Denying her calling and hoping to save her family from a shameful scandal, Esther accepts a job as a teacher in the rural mountains of western Virginia. She had no way of knowing that she'd land right into the middle of a family feud and find two young men on opposite sides wishing to court her. As trouble arrives and emotions intensify, Esther finds herself wanting to run again. Especially since she feels unworthy of the man who has won her heart. Will there be peace on the mountain between the two families? Will Esther learn that she can't outrun God?

This is the third book in the Midwives series and it also stands alone. There were times when I wanted to shake Esther because she seemed unwilling to let God work in her life. She seemed pretty insistent that what she had done, even God couldn't forgive her. Both of the two young men, Zach and Griff, were fun. At times I wanted her to end up with Zach and at other times it was Griff. Though one of the two did end up stealing my heart as well. I remember reading Christy by Catherine Marshall and watching the series on TV. While reading this book, I felt that I was revisiting Cutter's Gap from Christy again with the way the mountain folk lived, talked, and took care of their own.

I received this book from the publisher, Revell Books, for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Catherine Marshall's Christy, Julie Klassen, Tracie Peterson, Jody Hedlund, Robin Lee Hatcher, Kathleen Morgan, historical fiction, and Christian romance.

Rating - 4 stars

Available in January, 2013 at your local bookstore from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Whispers in the Wind - A Review

Summary from Amazon:
Book Two in Lauraine Snelling's Exciting Wild West Wind Series

After fleeing North Dakota and the now defunct Wild West Show, Cassie Lockwood and her companions have finally found the hidden valley in South Dakota where her father had dreamed of putting down roots. But to her dismay, she discovers a ranch already built on her land.

Cassie's arrival surprises Mavis Engstrom and forces her to reveal secrets she's kept hidden for years. Her son Ransom is suspicious of Cassie and questions the validity of her claim to the valley. But Lucas Engstrom decides from the start that he is in love with her and wants to marry her.

Will Cassie be able to build a home on the Bar E Ranch and fulfill her father's dream of raising horses, or will she be forced to return to the itinerant life of her past?

My thoughts:
I've read several Lauraine Snelling books over the years and have enjoyed them. I really wanted to like this book. I couldn't connect with the characters or the story. While I didn't read the first book in this series, I had been given enough background to understand what was going on. I didn't feel that this book moved Cassie's character forward. I felt it was rather stagnant. There were several times that I'd be reading it and be very very easily distracted by something else (another book, my cat, the television, etc). I won't go so far as to say I will never read another Lauraine Snelling book again, I just won't read this particular series again.

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

Rating - 2 stars

Sunday, January 13, 2013

No Safe Harbor - A Review

Cara Hamilton steps off of the boat from Ireland onto the soil of Ellis Island with one thought in her mind - find her brother. With no place to stay, she finds herself in a boarding house full of strangers and a job working in a candle shop. The faded words of her brother's note warn her not to trust anyone, but despite that warning, Cara finds herself trusting a man who has proven to be a friend to her - Rourke Walsh. Rourke has secrets he's hiding. When danger threatens Cara, Rourke must put aside his secrets to assist the woman he's come to love. Will danger end their love before it has a chance to grow?

This is the first book I've read by Elizabeth Ludwig. I'll admit that it moved rather slowly at times, though I did enjoy it. I thought at times that Cara was too trusting. I And at times it seemed too convenient for Rourke to be the dashing hero. Overall the book was good. I enjoyed the sense of mystery surrounding Cara, but I did feel things got tied up too nicely. I would be interested in reading the second book in this series when it comes out.

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommend to fans of Romantic suspense, Elizabeth Camden, Beverly Lewis

Rating -  3 stars (though it's really more of 3.5 stars)

Echoes - A Review

Lauren Phillips thought that she was happy. Happily engaged. Happily working at a steady job. When her fiance breaks the engagement, she's lost. Her brother introduces her to the wonderful world of the Internet and sets her up with a pen pal known as "KC." Over the months, emails fly back and forth between KC and "Wren." When Lauren is given a chance to meet KC in person, will she take it? Or will she hold back from what could be an everlasting love?

The third book in the Glenbrooke Series doesn't have to be read in order. While this one is not my favorite book, it is still a sweet story. I love how Lauren grows and changes through the book. I also love the beautiful new cover. I'd originally read this book for the first time when it was first published in 1999 and have reread it several times since. I personally love this cover much more than either the first cover or any of the other reprints that have come since. This is unlike any of Robin's other books in this series in that the romance takes place entirely via  email.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook/Multnomah's Blogging for Books Program for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommend to fans of Robin Jones Gunn, Denise Hunter, Deborah Raney, sweet romances

Rating - 4 stars

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Wedding Dress - A Review

Wedding consultant Charlotte Malone went off by herself to think about her life and her fiance. She never expected to end up at an estate auction let alone purchasing an old trunk that has been welded shut. When she is able to open the trunk she finds it contains a beautiful wedding dress that appears to have never been worn and a pair of dog tags. As she struggles with her personal life, she's intrigued by the mystery of the trunk and begins to uncover the story of the dress and the women who wore it - Emily in 1912, Mary Grace in 1939, and Hillary in 1968. Each woman has a story to tell and the unexpected bonus is that Charlotte discovers her heritage.

This is the first book I've read by Rachel Hauck and I loved it! It's told mainly from the point of views Charlotte and Emily. I loved how each bride had to come to terms with very important decisions and accept a chance of being redeemed. I'm not sure what it was about the book that gripped me like it did, but I was drawn into the story fast. So quickly that I started reading it one day and finished it the next. I will certainly be keeping this author's books on my radar and read them as I can.

I read this book for pure pleasure. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Kindle edition of the book is currently on sale and can be found here.

Recommend to fans of Denise Hunter, MaryLu Tyndall, Colleen Coble, Susan May Warren, Lynn Austin

Rating - 5 stars

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Vanished - A Review

Investigative reporter Moira Harrison is returning home on a very  rainy night when she is in an accident. A Good Samaritan offers her help but then she falls unconscious. When she awakes, she finds out that her Good Samaritan has disappeared and no help has come. Wanting answers, Moira enlists the help of Private Investigator Cal Burke. As the two search for answers more and more things don't add up. Will they figure it out before Moira's life in endangered?

The first book in the new Private Justice series literally starts out on a dark and stormy night. I have read several books by Irene Hannon before and each one has been good. This one was no different. The twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book. When the identity of the killer known fairly early, finding out the motivation behind the actions was intriguing. I also enjoyed the mention of characters from some of her previous books.

I received this book for free from the publisher, Revell books, for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock, Brandilynn Collins, romantic suspense.

Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Rating - 4 stars

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Secretly Smitten - A Review

Last year  the town of Smitten, Vermont was labeled as the romance capital after successfully capitalizing on the romantism of the town's name and appealing to the tourism industry. This year, romance is still strong. Only now there's a mystery to solve as well. When three sisters and their mother uncover a mystery involving dog tags, a man thought long dead, and their grandmother's past, they are determined to get to the bottom of it. What none of them expect is to be bitten by the love bug in the nation's romance capital. Follow Tess, Zoe, Anna, and Clare through the seasons as they get to the bottom of the mystery involving the dog tags and their grandmother's past.

I loved Smitten when I read it. This one introduces a new cast of characters, though the four friends from the last book do all make cameo appearances. Like Smitten, this collection of novellas is differnent than others I've read. Each story focuses on one of the sisters but still includes the overall storyline of the entire novel - in this case the mystery surrounding their grandmother. I'd have to say that though each piece was entertaining, I think I liked the one on Clare the best.

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson's booksneeze program for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Smitten, romantic comedies, romance, Colleen Coble, Kristen Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter, contemporary fiction.

Rating - 4 stars