Sunday, September 26, 2010

APPOINTMENT WITH DESTINY by Anna Dynowski




Tessa Kramer grew up without much love from her parents. When she met Karl he swept her off her feet. But not too long after being married he devastates her with the truth that she was adopted. He proceeds to tell her she is not worthy of him and the next day serves her with divorce papers. She decides that day that she would find her real family and that she would never trust a man again. Her journey takes her to a Dude Ranch in Bandera, Texas where her mother and brother live. She promises not to disrupt their lives, she only wants to get to know who they are. That's when she comes face-to-face with C.J. Tremaine, owner of the Dude Ranch. He was so affected by the death of his mother he had promised himself never to give his heart completely. The attraction is immediate between Tessa & C.J. But he is a 'ladies man' and she is an 'ice cube'. Slowly as they get to know each other the facades begin fade. What will happen when the truth about Tessa becomes known? Will they trust that the Lord knows the plans he has for them, plans to prosper them and not harm them, plans to give them hope and a future?

This was a story I could not put down. This author knows how to write with such human emotions that your heart grows weak. She is not afraid to put her characters through very difficult and emotional situations. You could feel Tessa's pain when Karl spoke the cruel and hurtful words to her. You could understand why she had the 'ice cube' reputation. She didn't want to be hurt again. C.J. Tremaine was such a great hero. He had his moments that weren't so great but his love and character shined through as he let God grow him. One thing that I really appreciate about Anna's work is the way she weaves Scripture throughout her stories. That's not to say that her characters aren't realistic. They are. They struggle with the same issues we do but she always brings it around to the message that we must Trust the Lord because of who He is. If you enjoy cowboy stories that are packed with emotion and a good spiritual message I highly recommend Appointment with Destiny. Great Job Anna!

Friday, September 24, 2010

THE WAY HOME (DVD)




The Simpkins are about to leave on vacation. Christal is a little frustrated with her husband, Randy, because he is distracted by work. Christal asks Randy to put their two-year-old son, Joe, in his car seat while she closed up the house. Randy knowing that Joe would be cooped up in the car for along time decides to let him continue to ride his bike around while he grabbed the last minute items. While in the house he gets distracted by checking emails. When Randy and Christal finally return to the car, little Joe is no where to be found. How far can a two-year-old get anyway? After an exhaustive search themselves, they call on friends and relatives and finally Randy makes the dreaded 911 call. How will this family make it through this crisis?

I thought the movie was great! Dean Cain and Lori Beth Edgeman do a fine job in their lead roles. What an inspiring true story. One thing I really appreciated about this DVD was the "special features" portion. I loved hearing Randy and Christal tell their story in their own words. As well as the others who were involved. It was an inspiration to hear how God used that event to change hearts, especially Randy's. It was awesome to see how the community banded together to find Joe and give support to the family. Praying them through it. I think the message in this movie is a very timely one. I would highly recommend The Way Home. A thank you goes to Booksneeze for providing me with this complimentary DVD for my review!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

REVELATION by Allison Grant




This was a quick and easy read. I would classify it as a cozy mystery with a touch of romance. Greer lost her boyfriend and her job. Now her roommate is missing. Mysterious phone calls and a picture of her roommate with her ex-boyfriend all add up to trouble. Salvador, the handsome son of the apartment's super, decides to keep Greer safe and help her figure out the mystery. But will they figure it out in time?

The story was filled with lots of twists and turns. Just when you think you may have it all figured out, you realize you don't. I would have liked more of a relationship between Greer and Salvador. The chemistry was there it just needed a little further development. Salvador was a very sweet guy as he helped Greer through this whole situation. All-in-all it was an enjoyable story.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

LOVE'S FIRST BLOOM by Delia Parr




Ruth Livingstone's father (who's a Reverend) was accused of murder and wasn't sure if he would be acquitted. So he gives Ruth a new identity, thrusts a child in her arms and sends her away. He tells her she's the only one he trusts to care for the child and that she must maintain her new identity no matter what. Then she meets Jake Spencer. A handsome man who is recovering from an injury and wanting a quiet place to do it. (or so he leads Ruth to believe). In reality he is trying to win his brothers favor by finding and writing an article for their newspaper on Ruth Livingstone. As they get to know each other they find a great attraction between them. But what about all the lies they've told to each other? Will Jake betray the girl he's come to love for the sake of his career? And can Ruth forgive Jake for his deceit?

I really enjoyed Love's First Bloom. I must say the cover is what drew me to want to read the book, it's beautiful. The story was a "easy" paced story. The topic of taking former prostitutes and helping them begin a new life with a family who was willing to take them in was very interesting. You'll find as you're reading along many questions pop up, but the author answers them all and brings everything to a wonderful and satisfying conclusion. I would consider this a light romance with some very touching moments. One line in the book that I really liked a lot was "There are no real coincidences in life for those with faith strong enough to recognize coincidences for what they really are: intricate pieces of the providential design God created for each of our lives." Be sure to read the note at the end about the Seashell. A thank you goes to Bethany House for providing me with this complimentary copy for my review.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS By Karen Witemeyer




Adelaide Proctor longs for romance and a hero to call her own. When she follows a fellow she thinks will fit that bill she is surprised to learn that he is married. Stuck in a new town with no job and very little money prompts her to apply for a governess position caring for the daughter of handsome rancher, Gideon Westcott. She gets the job when he sees how very good she is with his 'silent' Isabella. As Adelaide slowly draws Bella out of her shell with her playful and endearing ways she also slowly starts winning the heart of Gideon. But Bella's uncle wants her inheritance and will stop at nothing to get it. Maybe even murder!

This was the first book I've read by this author but I can tell you it won't be my last. The story was a well balanced mix of romance and suspense with splashes humor and touching moments along the way. Filled with great characters and lots of snappy dialog it held my attention from beginning to end. Adelaide was the type of heroine I love reading about. She was sweet yet feisty and her playful manner made me want to be like her. Gideon was a wonderful hero. He was strong yet sensitive and tender. Isabella is at the center of the story and is so cute you'll want to adopt her as your own. One thing I really appreciated about the story was that it reminds us that just because bad things happen to us doesn't mean God's not taking care of us. It was also clever how the author used an old testament story to guide our heroine. This was just an all around GREAT story that I would highly recommend. Great job, Karen! A thank you goes to LibraryThing Early Reviewers for this complimentary review copy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

THE PRICE OF TRUST by Amanda Stephan




Carly Richards is on the run and on her own. She is dodging her ex-fiance, Ian, who is abusive, possessive and rich. His money allows him to find her every time. When her car conks out in a small town in Montana she's sure he won't find her there. She is given a job at the hardware store and allowed to live in the small apartment above the store. She makes some friends but doesn't want to get to settled because she's sure she'll be leaving soon. That is until she meets Joe Baird, the handsome farmer she could easily fall in love with. Joe's been burned by one fiance, can he trust Carly not to run??? Will Carly find the faith and courage to stay and let God take care of the rest???

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. There were many elements that caught my attention. One was the zippy dialog and it was chuck-full! Another was the banter between the brothers (as well as Carly & Kelly). I LOVED that! It was fun and made me want to join in. I liked how there was an underlying message about dependence on the Lord to provide and meet out needs. Carly had all the traits I like in a heroine. She was spunky, sassy and yet had an inner strength to be admired. Joe was a very romantic hero. You can see why Carly would fall for him. There were a couple of places in the story where I felt how Joe reacted or the actions he "didn't" take seemed a bit out of character to me. I think Joe's brother, Todd, and his girlfriend, Kelly were a wonderful addition to the story. I also enjoyed the whole suspense surrounding "if" and "when" Ian would come for Carly. Overall I thought this was a great story and I would definitely recommend it. I am looking forward to future works from this author!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A POCKETFUL OF HOPE by Anna Dynowski




Kerry Heaton is done being a nun. She's not sure what to do but decides to return to her family. On her way, she gets a flat tire near the town of Harmony Village. Janek Koznaski owns a towing business in Harmony. He sees Kerry and offers to tow her car and order a replacement tire. They're is an immediate attraction. But Kerry doesn't really understand the feelings she having toward him. Janek knows because of his past, he can never have a normal relationship with a women. But...when God and Cupid Cat go to work, you never know what might happen.

This was an excellent story! I truly could not put down the book and was totally living in Harmony Village the whole time I was reading. This author tackled some very difficult subjects such as child molestation, anger, revenge, disillusionment and forgiveness. She also brought out the need for total reliance on God. Those subjects were all wrapped up in a story that was fun, romantic and truly inspiring. I especially loved "Cupid Cat". What a fun element in the story. Janek was a wonderfully flawed hero. I truly felt his pain and struggles. Kerry was a fun heroine. I loved her sense of humor and how she was such a free spirited girl. I enjoyed meeting the folks in Harmony and though this was Book 3 in the series I didn't feel lost at all. It did however, make me want to go back and read the first two books (and everything else by this author)! A Pocketful of Hope comes highly recommended by this reader! By the sounds of it I think we'll be seeing a Book 4 in the future. (I hope so)!!! A thank you goes to the author for sending me this complimentary copy for my review.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

SURRENDER THE HEART by MaryLu Tyndall




Marianne Denton needs her inheritance to pay for the medicine her mother needs. But in order to receive that inheritance she must marry Noah Brenin. Noah has always lived with the disapproval of his father and with their shipping business in trouble his father insists on the marriage to Marianne for her inheritance. So Noah decides to walk out on their engagement party and sail the cargo to England where he will make enough money not to have to marry at all and gain the approval of his father as well. Marianne, feeling humiliated, follows Noah to the Docks and boards the ship. When Noah finds out she's aboard they are too far out to sea to return her home. Then they are confronted by a British ship where Noah, Marianne and several crew members are impressed into the British Navy. They soon meet others on the ship who were impressed as well. One is a young boy named Daniel. So full of faith and hope. He helps Marianne and continues to remind her that the Lord is with them. As the situation grows more grave will they find the strength to believe God is with them or will they accept the fate that's been dealt them???

MaryLu Tyndall treats us to another high-seas adventure in Surrender the Heart. I could not turn pages fast enough to find out the fate our hero and heroine. Marianne was such a real character to me. Her feelings of being plain and ordinary to the point of feeling unworthy of someone as handsome as Noah was totally relateable. I liked how Noah, even when he was angry at her, still tried to understand Marianne's actions. One secondary character I found quite interesting was Luke. Noah's first mate. I hope to see more of him. MaryLu's latest tale is one you won't want to miss. I highly recommend it! A thank you goes to the author and publisher for this complimentary copy for my review!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

AMY INSPIRED by Bethany Pierce




Amy Gallagher is working as an English Professor but dreams of being a writer. Those dreams seem to be slowly fading away with each rejection letter. Her love life seems to be following suit as her boyfriend, Adam, breaks things off. Just as Amy is feeling her lowest, her quirky roommate, Zoe, invites a friend to come stay with them. Eli is intriguing and draws Amy's attention but he's off limits. Or is he?? When secrets come to light and misunderstandings abound, Amy must decide what's important in her life.

This was my first book by this author. It was an interesting tale. The characters were very quirky and different. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about them but about half way through they do kinda grow on you. They were all interesting in that they were all very different. I did like the chemistry between Amy and Eli but it bothered me too because she was supposed to be a Christian and he really didn't have any interest in spiritual things. As Christians we are not to be unequally yoked. As a reader, I would have liked a little more of a defined conclusion. Overall it was a enjoyable story. Thanks goes to LibraryThing Early Reviews and Bethany House for this complimentary review copy.

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