Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Without Warning - A Review

Published - August 2016, Revell Books
Series - Elite Guardians Book 2
Author - Lynette Eason
Title - Without Warning
Format - ebook, paper
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Summary (from Amazon):
Katie Singleton, a partner with the Elite Guardians Protection Agency, stumbles upon her next assignment quite by accident. Spotting blue lights at a familiar restaurant, she stops to investigate, only to discover that owner Daniel Matthews has become the target of someone who will go to any lengths to put him out of business. Daniel might be concerned, but he's not convinced that a bodyguard--and a female one at that--is necessary. A new attack and his niece's urgings are enough to make him reconsider. He and Katie must figure out who's behind the intimidation and threats--before a would-be killer strikes again.

My Thoughts:
This was one of those books that I couldn't put down! I had brought it with me to work to read over my lunch breaks, but soon found that I didn't want my break to end because the book was THAT good. 

We meet Katie in the first book where she is one of the bodyguards assigned to the case. But this time, it's her story. We get to know more about Katie and what makes her who she is. I loved her relationship with Daniel as well. He really understood her. And she understood him. 

I can't wait to read the third one in the series. 

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

Recommended to fans of Lynette Eason, Irene Hannon, Dani Pettrey, romantic suspense

Rating - 5 stars

To Follow Her Heart - A Review

Published - July 2016, Revell Books
Series - Southold Chronicles Book 3
Author - Rebecca DeMarino
Title - To Follow Her Heart
Format - ebook, paper
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Summary (from Amazon):
It is 1664 and Patience Terry is devastated to learn that Captain Jeremy Horton's ship has been shipwrecked off the coast of Barbados, with no survivors. She had hoped that Jeremy would someday give up the sea and settle down with her in Southold, Long Island. Unaware his memorial service is being planned, Jeremy is rescued and aboard a British Naval Gunship with secret orders to attack New Amsterdam and claim it for the British Crown. When he makes his surprise return to Southold--and to an overjoyed Patience--it's not the happily-ever-after his beloved had hoped for. 

My Thoughts:
I wanted to read this one only to find out how the series ended. I honestly wasn't impressed with the first two books, so I had very low expectations for this one. Like the first two, this one didn't really hold my attention. Also like the first two, it is rich in detail. 

I didn't care for Patience from the first book. But I'll admit that she grew on me, and by this book, I actually liked her. I did love Jeremy though. He made the first two books bearable. And this was his story. 

I found that this one was much more adventurous than the first two. It also seemed that the characters had developed more. Did I enjoy it? Somewhat. Was I glad to read it to finish the series? Yes.

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

Recommended to fans of historical fiction

Rating - 3.5 stars

The Artisan's Wife - A Review

Published - August 2016, Bethany House
Series - Refined By Love Book 3
Author - Judith Miller
Title - The Artisan's Wife
Format - ebook, paper
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Summary (from Amazon):
Ainslee McKay's world is shaken when she discovers her twin sister has not only eloped with a man she barely knows but now Ainslee must fulfill their obligation at a tile works in Weston, West Virginia. Ainslee must learn the ropes and, if she can keep the tile works profitable, her brother will help her sell the business. When Levi Judson arrives and shows Ainslee his designs for new tiles, she's impressed by his skill and passion for the business. But he's hiding his true reason for coming to Weston. And Ainslee knows he'd be crushed to learn his plans for a long career at McKay Tile Works are in vain since she intends to sell. Can the growing feelings between them survive if the truth comes to light--or is a future together as untenable as the future of the tile works itself?

My Thoughts:
I've enjoyed each of the books in this series that I've read. While it is a series, each stands alone, and can be read out of order. One of the things that I've really enjoyed about this series is the detail that is shown whether it is making pottery or making tiles. 

I loved how Ainslee had to figure out who she is without her twin sister around. I also loved how compassionate she is. Her relationship with Levi was fun to watch as well. His secrets weren't really all that of a surprise, honestly. I expected it.

But overall, seeing the McKay family again was fun. And seeing how they come full circle was also nice.

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

Recommended to fans of historical fiction, Tracie Peterson, Janette Oke, Elizabeth Camden

Rating - 4 stars

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