Monday, December 19, 2011
Tessa Conway is a political watch dog who plans to spend Christmas in White, Arizona on her grandparents ranch. She loves the town and all the traditions. Chad Fletcher has lived in the public eye and had a very public break-up with his fiance. He decides to go spend Christmas with his Aunt Nell in White, Arizona. Tessa and Chad hit it off right away. As they spend time together they seem to be of like-mindedness but then Chad decides to align himself with a company that has a questionable reputation. Tessa's not sure Chad is the man she thought he was and decides to end their relationship. Will Chad choose to do the right thing no matter the cost?
I must say I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to White, Arizona. I got caught up in their 12 days of Christmas celebration which was really neat. It made me want to go and live there and be a part. Chad and Tessa are both very likeable characters as well as all their families. The story has a easy pace to it. No major conflicts, just a nice, curl-up-on-the-couch-with-a-cup-of-cocoa kind of read. I recommend you enjoy a White Christmas! (no shoveling required)!
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 195 KB
Publisher: Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing) (November 29, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Aleni Callan lost her faith when she lost her husband in Afghanistan. All she concentrates on now is her nursing job at the hospital, raising her son Ty and missing her husband. Brice Taylor was a soldier in Afghanistan who came home and wrote a bestselling book about his war story. He meets Aleni when he participates in the Polar Bear Plunge and suffers from hypothermia and a concussion. Aleni can't understand why someone would deliberately put their life in jeopardy like that. She is bitter and closed-hearted but the Lord has a way of using people and circumstances. Could He possibly be using her son, Ty and her sweet mother-in-law to help her see her need to love again especially when she begins to see that Brice is really not who she thought he was.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Polar Bear Plunge. The cover intrigued me as well as the story line. I LOVED the characters in this story. I found myself laughing, sighing and smiling. Ty will win your heart for sure and the dogs are so much fun. The dialog was snappy and the issues dealt with were very realistic. You could easily relate to Aleni. She judged Brice, I'm sure, much the way we would have. Brice is a total gem. He was a swoon-worthy hero!!!! Megan, Aleni's mother-in-law, is an absolute sweetheart. There is no way you can walk away from this story with hypothermia because it definitely warms you heart!!! I appreciated the reminder that God knows just what we need and when we need it and sometimes delivers it where and when we least expect it. So don't be left out in the cold, take the Polar Bear Plunge, it's guaranteed to warm you up!!!
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 193 KB
Publisher: Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing) (November 29, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Friday, December 16, 2011
Savanna Holt returns to the ski lodge where she once worked when she drives a friends daughter there to be with her grandparents over Christmas. Seeing the lodge reminds her not only of one special Christmas but it also reminds her of the biggest mistake she's ever made, leaving Luke Nelson. She's surprised to find he's not only still there but is now the manager of the lodge. When a blizzard delays her departure she sees it as God giving her an opportunity to clear the air and show Luke how much she's changed. Luke, however, isn't really interested in a relationship with a woman who once put her career ahead of her love for him. But the pull of love can be strong. Luke begins to see how Savanna has changed. So what will happen when Savanna gets the job opportunity she's been waiting for?
What a GREAT little story! You will fall in love with the characters and the Evergreen Ridge Resort. The story has such an easy flow and yet has the depth of a longer story. Very heart-warming. I thought that for such a small story the characters were larger than life. The conflict between Luke and Savanna was handled in a realistic way and their reactions were so true to life. You'll also love the toe-curling kisses. I really appreciated the lodge's Christmas tradition. I thought it was really neat. You'll just have to read the story to find out what it is. If you're looking for a good Christmas read with lots of depth and a great message then I recommend Savanna's Gift.
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 167 KB
Publisher: Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing) (November 29, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Samantha Sowerman is a missionary who's returned home until she gets her paperwork ready to go to Brazil. One day in the mail she receives a letter addressed to someone who used to live there but the postmark is over 60 years old. She feels compelled to find it's rightful owner. She steams open the inside to see if there is any helpful information. She finds a tender and heartfelt message from a soldier to his sweetheart. She decides the best place to start would be the military base. Sergeant Ty Lars is a soldier sent home from the war because of an injury that caused him to now work behind a desk. He is lonely and bitter, not really having a purpose in life anymore. When Samantha enlists Ty's help in the finding the owner of the card they know they will need a Christmas miracle to do that. Could it be that they just might find their own Christmas miracle along the way?
What an enjoyable story! I've not read anything by this author before but the storyline sounded very intriguing. Boy I'm sure glad I gave it try. It's a story that's very easy to read and keeps you turning pages to find out how it all turns out. It reads very much like a Christmas movie you might find on Hallmark this time of year. Though it was a short story (about 77 pages) it felt liked a full-length one to me. It didn't seem hurried at all. I really liked the lead couple. Samantha was an upbeat gal whose faith made a difference in the life of a brooding soldier named Ty. It just made me reflect that we have an impact on people and we need to always be conscience of that in light of how we behave. Some of the parts in this story were so touching to me I found myself getting the Kleenex. If you're looking for a good holiday read, I would recommend you pick up The Last Christmas Card. I'm sure glad I did!
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 428 KB
Print Length: 77 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Rachel Dunne is a healer like her mother. But then she's accused of murder when a child dies while in her care. Because of the scandal she is forced to leave Ireland and her beloved family. She vows never be in charge of someone sick again. She no longer trusts her ability to heal and her faith in God is shattered. Her cousin secures her a position in London with Dr. James Edmunds. Having seen too many deaths and having his own faith crisis he commits to giving up his practice and moving to the country. When a cholera epidemic sweeps through London and visits the doctor's house, both Rachel and James will be challenged to face their greatest fears and perhaps learn what true faith really means.
This was a wonderful story and very easy to read. It really pulls you in from the beginning and holds your attention to the very end. I felt the characters were very well drawn and the author's description of the time period made me feel as if I was right there. The relationship between Rachel and James seemed very natural and you could definitely feel the spark. Rachel was a pretty amazing character. So full of inner strength yet she felt so lacking. I thoroughly enjoyed Mrs. Mainprice and how her faith was so natural. The way she encouraged Rachel was inspiring to me. You get a picture of how devastating cholera was whether rich or poor and even doctors were brought down by the dreaded disease. It makes me thankful I didn't have live in that time. Those who like Julie Klassen are sure to enjoy The Irish Healer. I sure did! A thank you goes to Worthly Publishing for providing this ARC through Netgalley for my review.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Worthy Publishing (April 3, 2012)
Monday, November 28, 2011
Kory Wagner is a former combat medic who survived three tours in Iraq. Now she's home for good and wondering what her future holds. Right now that future includes trying to stay alive. Someone killed her sister and the PI she hired to investigate her sisters death. She's next on the list and comes very close to taking a bullet. Sheriff Sean Harding is called in from vacation when the body of a PI is found dead in a warehouse that's owned by Kory. She manages to escape the Sheriff's whole search party. Sean finds her backpack and a scrapbook that gives him a little more insight into who Kory really is. Kory has a hard time trusting but her gut tells her Sean is a good man. Can they find the killer before he gets his target?
Kill Shot is an excellent start to the Wounded Heroes Series and I for one can't wait for the next installment! Anne once again works her magic in blending just the right amount of humor, suspense and romance to keep you glued to the end. The characters were very well drawn and full of life. As always Anne gives us a strong, capable yet sensitive heroine. Kory is very easy to like! Anne also keeps you guessing until the end who's responsible for the killings. Sean is the perfect kind of hero. Confident and strong enough to handle a strong female. I loved the secondary characters! One of which was Kory's dog, Zinger and the other was her best friend, Digger, from the Army. I actually liked her whole Army unit. You could easily see why they were close knit. The subject of PTSD was realistically addressed as well as the roll faith has in a persons life. You realize how much of an impact having a loving church family can have on a persons life. It's a great reminder that as believers we are God's hands and arms to those who struggle. Anne Patrick is one of my favorite authors. If you haven't read one of her books I highly recommend you pick one up. If you are an Anne Patrick fan, Kill Shot is one you won't want to miss!! A thank you goes to the author for this complimentary copy for my review.
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Claire Laurent loves to paint but she doesn't like doing what her father and uncle insist she do. Paint forgeries of famous paintings. When a robbery occurs at her father's gallery her uncle sends her to Nashville. Then fleeing some unwelcome advances from the man her uncle sent her to, she finds herself sleeping in a church. Claire overhears a couple of women talking about a job opportunity. When the women leave she thinks she's alone until Sutton Monroe makes himself known. A very handsome and intimidating attorney. She interviews at Belmont Mansion for the job as Mrs. Acklen's personal liaison but soon realizes that Sutton Monroe is her personal attorney and close friend. Sutton has his own problems going on with his family's land and his father's reputation. Claire is both challenged and inspired by Sutton as well as Mrs. Acklen. Sutton is intrigued by Claire's sweet yet feisty personality. Claire knows that at some point she must be honest about her past but when she does it may cost her everything she holds dear!
A Lasting Impression was a charming tale loaded with lots of great characters that were well drawn and had lots of depth to them. You hit the ground running in the beginning of the story but I must admit that toward the middle it seemed a little slow. The last half of the book however was WONDERFUL! I have to say that Sutton and Claire will remain some of my favorite characters. There was a chemistry between them that was tangible. Mrs. Acklen was a wise woman. One thing she said to Claire was so good. She said, "Oftentimes, through the years, Miss Laurent...I've pondered how much is provided for us by God's goodness. So many sources of enjoyment, and how thankful we should be. We should not expect to have all the blessings of life and none of it's trials. It would make this world too delightful a dwelling place, and I fear we would nerve care to leave it." That's good advice for each of us. The story had a nice blend of humorous moments, serious moments, touching moments and tense moments. I was pretty sure that I knew how it would end but the journey in getting there was very rewarding. Tamera Alexander is known for her wonderful rugged western stories but I must say I'm confident she'll make A Lasting Impression with her Belmont Mansion Novel. I'm looking forward to the next installment!!! A thank you goes to Bethany House and LibraryThing for providing this complimentary copy for my review!
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Bethany House (November 1, 2011)
Friday, November 11, 2011
Georgie Gail is a switchboard operator in the little town of Brenham. She loves her job, being independent and most especially birds. She's perfectly happy. That is until they send a new troubleman to her station. Luke Palmer is a Texas Ranger who is trying to bring Frank Comer and his gang to justice. When a train robbery occurs in Brenham, Luke is sent there undercover as the new troubleman. Georgie is very distracted by the handsome Luke Palmer and Luke finds Georgie is much more than he bargained for. The attraction between is definitely strong! But trouble is brewing and Luke knows that Georgie could end up in the middle of it. Will he be able to catch the Comer Gang and protect Georgie or will one come at the expense of the other?
I thoroughly enjoyed this story! I don't think I've read anything before on the subject of a switchboard operator so that was quite interesting. Even the job of a troubleman. I thought the story was well paced except I must say it waned just a little for me with all the 'bird parts' on the hats and the Audubon stuff but after that it was great! There was a real chemistry between Luke and Georgie and lots of good toe curling kisses! Luke is tough as nails on the outside but tenderhearted on the inside and Georgie is full of sass and grit. Together they make this a really fun story. I must say too that you'll want to be sure and read the authors note at the end. To me it made the story even better. If you're looking for a fun story with a bit of a sizzle then I recommend you try Love on the Line! A thank goes to Bethany House for providing this complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Rick Gray is an undercover cop. Maintaining his cover has meant allowing the woman he loves to think the worst of him, then allowing her to walk away for her own protection. Ginny Bryson has a hard time with trust. She takes a job working as a PR person for her uncle. Rick hires on with Ginny's uncle to gather evidence against him because he was responsible for setting the fire that killed his partner and friend. Imagine Ginny's surprise when she shows up on the job site and sees Rick. Only now he's Duke. Rick finally convinces her that he's there for a fresh start but things continue to come up that make her think Rick hasn't really changed at all. Will he be able to protect Ginny, take down her uncle and tell her who he really is before it's too late?
This was a story that I enjoyed and certainly kept me turning pages. It had a some unexpected twists and turns which is always fun. Rick was a really great hero. Your heart really went out to him. It caused me to think about the real-life undercover cops who probably deal with the same type issues. It's gotta be tough. Ginny kinda bugged me a little bit with her attitude. I suppose that in her position I might feel the same way but it just seemed she always thought the worst of Rick even though 'what she thought he was' and 'how he behaved' were polar opposites. There were times when it was hard for me to understand why Rick would want to be with someone who thought so little of him. But that makes for good drama. I really liked the supporting characters, Kim and Zach. They added an extra spark to the story. Sandra Orchard is a new author to me but I look forward to reading her future works. Deep Cover is book one in the Undercover Cops Series. A thank you goes to Harlequin who provided this complimentary copy for my review through Netgalley.
Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired (September 6, 2011)
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Special Agent Kami Reynolds has never really felt like part of a loving family. Her partner Jordan Reiley and his wife Aurora and the whole Reiley clan have changed that. Daniel Jenkins and his partner Jd not only work with Aurora but are like brothers to her. When a past enemy rears his ugly head, Kami becomes his ultimate focus. Daniel Jenkins has strong feelings for Kami but thinks he doesn't stand a chance because of her Christian beliefs and ones he doesn't hold. Daniel was disillusioned by someone he looked up to who claimed to be a believer but committed the ultimate betrayal. When Daniel has a close call with his motorcycle and Kami is almost killed it begs him to reconsider how he feels about spiritual things. Just when they think things are improving the unthinkable happens. As the family converges to help stop the killer they will need every ounce of faith and skill to see them through.
Another great installment to the Shadow Series. I have grown so fond of the Reiley family and love how they operate. It is SO fun to watch. I love all the interaction and verbal play that goes on between them. They love and look out for each other just as a family should! I also like how the author continues to keep all the family members active in the story. To me that's what makes it not only good but also endearing. I like that the story had a satisfying conclusion but also left the door wide open for further stories. Which I am personally looking forward to. There is a such a good mix of action, suspense, and romance that it makes you want to keep turning pages. If you like a good romantic suspense you'll like Shadows of Pain. You could read this as a stand alone but I highly recommend you read them in order. (Shadows from the Past, Shadows of Suspicion then Shadows of Pain) It really helps in understanding the family dynamics. A thank you goes to the author for this complimentary copy for my review.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Today I'm interviewing Eva Morgan, temptress, from Amanda Stephan's upcoming release, Lonely Hearts. Beauty may only be skin deep but villainy goes to the bone!
Eva, what is the most interesting thing about you?
I would have to say the most interesting things about me are that I'm a model and I've acted in several different TV shows and movies.
What things are important to you?
Keeping slim and having the best looking boyfriend is what it's all about. If you don't have those things, you're sunk!
What are you most afraid of?
Afraid? Me? Please. I don't think I'm afraid of anything. Except, maybe someone else having a hotter date than me. That's probably the worst thing that could happen, but other than that, I'd probably say getting older and losing my looks. Faces like mine aren't cheap, you know!
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
Nothing. I'm pretty much perfect as I am. I could understand your question if I had faults, but frankly, I just don't see any. I know most people, women especially, have a difficult time dealing with me or being my friend, but that's because they're jealous.
What do you do for fun?
I never stay home if I can help it. I love to shop, but only at the expensive stores, (just bought a new Prada bag today), I workout when I'm not shopping, (you do know I'm a model, right?), and it's rare when I don't go out in the evenings.
What is the most daring thing you've ever done?
The most daring? Well, once I ran out of money and I needed a place to stay because my jerk of a boyfriend broke up with me and kicked me out of his apartment. I went back to my ex-husband's place. I knew he wouldn't turn me out, especially if I told him I wanted to get to know our daughter. (Whom I haven't seen in years,) and what do you know? He had a girlfriend! And she was way too mousy for him. (Because even with all his faults and being rather boring, he was a hottie.) Technically, she wasn't his girlfriend, but I could tell she really liked him, so I broke them up. It was one of the best things I've ever done, so I guess you could say I was pretty daring to do that.
Book Launching Party:
Amanda is having a Lonely Hearts Book Launching Party and you're invited...
WHEN: Tuesday, November 2, 2011
TIME: 24 HOURS
RECEIVE: Free e-gifts with purchase on launch day ONLY
DETAILS FOUND AT: www.booksbyamanda.com
While you're there checking out the details don't forget to read the 2 chapter excerpt of this sweet Christian romance!
Lonely Hearts, a story of second chances, choices, and yummy apple pie will be released through TreasureLine Publishing. Exclusive Apple Pie recipe included!
About the author:Amanda Stephan is just a normal, everyday country girl. She resides near Columbia, TN with her husband and children, three cats, one dog, and multiple roosters that love to roost under their bedroom windows. She loves to laugh and have a good time, and loves to read a good book.
Out of love for her family and love for God, she finds writing to be an opportunity to share God's love for others in a fun and entertaining way. Her first novel, The Price of Trust, was published in May of 2010, and her Slade series was just picked up by TreasureLine Publishing.
If you were to ask her to share one thing about herself that most people don't know, she'd have so many to choose from that she'd probably hesitate for a moment. Not quite a recluse, she's rather camera shy, doesn't like to be in the spotlight, and absolutely LOVES to have her feet tickled. But she would say her most interesting accomplishment is that she laughs like Scooby Doo.
her Facebook author page http://www.facebook.com/creativehomemomma
her website http://www.booksbyamanda.com or http://www.thepriceoftrust.com
or her personal blog http://authoramanda.blogspot.com
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Carly Edwards loves being an police officer but doesn't like serving in juvenile (where they placed her after she was involved in an officer-involved shooting). When the mayor is murdered and they arrest a troubled youth named Londy Atkins she is called to the scene. Carly interviews Londy hoping to gain a confession and be moved back to patrol where she really wants to be. Londy swears his innocence and as Carly talks with him she's inclined to believe him. Carly's ex-husband Nick is also an officer and feels Londy is telling the truth. Nick lost Carly because of a stupid mistake. He's since given his heart to the Lord and wants very much to prove to Carly that he's a changed man and win her back. But Carly isn't sure she wants to trust him again. As she continues to look into Londy's case she suspects things are not as they appear. But where can she turn and who can she trust?
Accused is an excellent, well-written, seat-gripping and soul-wrenching tale. I have not read anything by this author so didn't know what to expect but the cover really intrigued me. I promise you that once you pick up this book you will have a hard time putting in down. There were places in this story that actually caused me to gasp out-loud because it caught me by surprise. I also reached for the Kleenex as well. That's great writing that can do that. It felt in many ways like watching a movie because I could so clearly see in my mind how things played out. All the characters were very well developed and felt flesh and blood real. Their reactions and responses were true to life. You can tell this author used her vast experience as a police officer to give the story a real authenticity. I really appreciated how the spiritual message of hope was grafted so naturally into the story. It didn't feel forced or thrown-in and wasn't over-powering but it was powerful. You'll want to be sure an read the author interview at the end. If you like Dee Henderson and Anne Patrick then I would definitely recommend you pick up Accused! Be ready for some very fast page-flipping!!! Great job Janice!!! This is book 1 in the Pacific Coast Justice series. I am anxiously looking forward to the next installment!! A thank you goes to Tyndale for this complimentary ARC through Netgalley for my review.
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 1, 2012)
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Becky Callis is a lonely widow with two kids that she's been raising on her own. The kids know their mom is lonely and try to match her up with some worthy candidates. After moving to a new town she first meets Scott Boone whose easy-going manner and handsome looks make him easy to like. Then when Becky and the kids visit a new church in town they find out Jack is the pastor. Becky has known Jack all her life and they have an easy rapport together. Then there's Pearce Morgan. The handsome, stand-offish rancher who is raising a daughter on his own after his wife divorced him. His shy daughter, Emily, seems to have taken to Becky and her kids. Only one will win her heart but which one will it be?
I LOVED this story. From beginning to end it kept me totally enthralled and wondering how it would all work out. Loaded with zippy dialog and great characters made for a fun and very satisfying tale. I really enjoyed Becky. She was a very relateable character. I liked the way she handled the situations that arose and found myself thinking I wish I was more like her in some ways. You will enjoy getting to know all the bachelors as you wonder, like her kids, who is the best fit for their mom. The kids will win your heart as they do their best to see their mom is happy. I must say I loved Curly. He's a wise old ranch hand you'll get to know as well. This story took me through a gamut of emotions. I felt happy, sad, excited, angry, and frustrated. You know a story is good when it has that effect. The theme running though our story is 'things may not always be as they appear'. It's a great reminder that man looks on the outside but God looks on the heart. If you enjoy an easy-to-read, fun and entertaining story with a great message I highly recommend Lonely Hearts. It really would make a great Hallmark movie. Looking forward to more by Amanda Stephan. A thank you goes to the author for providing this complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Be sure to stop by here on Wednesday, October 26, when I will interview one of the characters from the story. Who will it be?? Come by and find out!
You'll also want to stop by Amanda's website and get all the details of the Lonely Hearts Launch Party November 1st. as well as read the two chapter excerpt from the book! So go and check it out!
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Faith Conrad is no stranger to responsibility. She practically raised her sisters, Hope and Charity, after her father left and her mother got sick. In fact she had to quit high school to maintain the jobs needed to pay the bills. She now works for a man whose more like a father than a boss and doing what she loves most, photography. While hiking alone to gain some great photos she falls and gets her foot stuck. Shane Zadopec is her rescuer. A very handsome Bureau of Land Management ranger who's hobby also happens to be photography. Shane is attracted to Faith and Faith to Shane but Shane always seems to bring out her worst. Will the two ever seem to find a common ground?
I have always enjoyed Bonnie Blythe's work and Rock and a Hard Place is no exception. I will admit though that Faith had an attitude that somewhat grated on me in the beginning but if I were in Faith's shoes and went through the things she did I'm not so sure I would be any different. We all have our issues. Despite that, you can't help but like her. Shane was a great hero. You could see what Faith saw in him and why she felt inadequate. I do wish a little more of Shane's past would have been brought out. I really liked what Shane said to Faith at one point in the story, "I eventually came to understand I didn't have to depend of my feelings. Even if I didn't feel God's nearness, I always know He is near, because He says so in the Bible. And His word is solid, like a rock." I loved that statement and noted it in my Kindle. The story was well paced and just about the time you needed something to happen, it did. You'll enjoy the tense moments as well as the tender moments while taking in the Oregon mountain scenery along the way. This is book one in the Cascade Brides Series and the ending left me wanting the next installment. I recommend you pick up Rock and a Hard Place. Great job Bonnie!
Monday, October 10, 2011
Eden and Clay Larson's lives were devastated when their baby Bianna was stolen. When trying to deliver the ransom money there was an accident that killed the kidnapper and Brianna. Clay and Eden blamed themselves and each other which resulted in Eden leaving and filing for divorce. Now five years later Eden is trying to move on with her life. She's found faith in God and has been dating a very sweet fella named Kent who she thinks she's going to marry. That is until Clay shows up in the restaurant where she and Kent are having dinner and announces they are still married and that Brianna is still alive. Five girls are currently at Bluebird Ranch and to find out which of the girls is theirs they must hire on as counselors specifically a married couple. As they work together to find out which girl is theirs they slowly rediscover their love for each other. But they also stir up a beehive of trouble. Will things end before they even have a chance to begin?
WOW!!! This is Colleen Coble's best yet! A story I absolutely could not put down. From beginning to end I was glued to the pages 'til my eyes crossed and I had to get some sleep. I found myself hiding out just to be able to read a few more pages. I must say the chemistry ran strong between Eden and Clay, which I love! And one thing I appreciated very much was all the interaction between them. They didn't spend the whole book fighting like in some stories. I also enjoyed seeing the couples from the other Lonestar stories play a role in this tale as well. This was most certainly a story filled with mystery, suspense and action that kept me wondering until the end who was responsible. I like trying to figure it out! I think the message that it's our choice whether or not we trust God even when we don't understand things was well played out. That's a great message because there are lots of things that happen that we don't understand but God does. This could be read as a stand alone and you wouldn't feel lost but I think reading the other stories (Lonestar Sanctuary, Lonestar Secrets, Lonestar Homecoming) make for a much richer reading experience. If you've read the others (or even if you haven't) I highly recommend you pick up Lonestar Angel and stop by the Bluebird Ranch to meet Clay and Eden for yourself! Be prepare to stay awhile! A thank you goes to Thomas Nelson for this complimentary ARC for my review through Netgalley.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 8, 2011)
Friday, October 7, 2011
Kate Winslow is founder and operator of the Beacon of Hope School. A school that girls from the street can call home and be safe. When Rose (one of Kate's girls) goes missing Texas Ranger Wyatt Sheridan is sent to help find her. As Kate and Wyatt work together to find Rose they also find their feelings for one another beginning to grow. Frustrations mount though when every time they think they have a lead it turns out to be a dead-end. All clues point to a human trafficking ring but finding the leader is proving to be difficult. Then Kate is kidnapped. Wyatt will have to draw on every ounce of faith and investigative skills he has to find her.
Saving Hope is a well written, multi-layered, realistic story that tackled the very difficult subject of child trafficking. It stirs your anger that people could actually be that evil. This tale definitely kept me turning pages as I experienced tragedy and triumph with Kate and Wyatt. I felt like the characters were well drawn and had realistic reactions and responses to the situations they faced. The story had enough of a romance to please romance fans but I think this would also appeal to non-romance fans because the romance didn't overshadow the story. I believe the emotions and the thought process of teens (especially girls) was spot on. It showed how easily they can be deceived and how important it is as a parent to be involved with your kids. I liked the way things were handled. There was a spiritual thread running through the story but it was unobtrusive and felt very natural. I loved the twist at the end that I didn't see coming. To me that's a big plus. If you enjoy a good romantic suspense then try Saving Hope. This is book one in Men of the Texas Rangers series. Looking forward to the next installment. A thank you goes to Abingdon Press for providing this ARC for my review through Netgalley.
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press (March 2012)
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Annie Barrett's husband was a soldier killed in Iraq. He was the love of her life and she's having a hard time getting past the grief even though it's been three years. One evening while volunteering at the USO in the airport she meets Lee McCord. He's a soldier who's been in Afghanistan but will soon be discharged. He and Annie talk over coffee and find they get along great. Annie's not sure how to deal with her feelings for Lee. Will Annie allow Lee to help her put to rest the memory of her husband and perhaps have a future with him or will she continue to grieve for the man who owned her heart?
This was an enjoyable clean short story. I have not read anything by this author so I had no idea what the book would be like. I felt there was a little something missing but I can't really pin-point what it was except that maybe the dialog between Annie and Lee seemed a little stiff. I liked both characters though and I actually liked the way the story concluded. The Soldier's Widow is okay if you're looking for a quick and light read.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Finley Sinclair is trying to deal with the death of her brother while also trying to compose an ending to her audition piece she's to play at the Manhattan music conservatory called "Will's Song". She decides to study in Ireland and walk in her brothers footsteps using his travel journal. Maybe then she'll feel close to God, find peace and the ending for Will's Song. On the plane she meets Beckett Rush who is a well known actor on his way to Ireland to film his latest movie. Beckett is quite taken with Finley because it seems she's not impressed by who he is. He agrees to take her around Ireland if she agrees to be his assistant. She's also assigned an 'adopted grandmother' in a nursing home whom she's suppose to care for. But crotchety Mrs. Sweeney presents Finley with some really big challenges. There's also a few kids at school who are not real pleased with her relationship with Beckett and cause all kinds of trouble. And what exactly is hers and Beckett's relationship? As these stresses begin to pile up Finley begins to melt down. Will she be able to find an ending to her audition piece? More importantly will she find the inner peace that has seemed so far away or will she find it was closer than she thought?
This is one of those stories that will be floating around in mind for a long time to come. I absolutely LOVED this story for all that it was. It was so real. Finley was so relateable. Don't we all have times of doubt and question whether God is really there? I liked seeing how all the different people the Lord brought into Finley's life made an impact that changed her forever. Doesn't the Lord do that for us as well. Finley didn't see it that way though and I think that is totally with us too. Those difficult things we deal with (like Mrs. Sweeney) are tough but they change us in ways that living a smooth life wouldn't. I also loved Beckett and how he related to Finley. Even though his life was complicated he took time with her and gave some great advice. It was also fun to watch how the Lord used Finley in Beckett's life as well.
One thing that really drew me into the story was the humor. There was so many things that Finley said that just cracked me up. They were real things that you and I could have said or thought. But along with the humor there was a great amount of emotion and seriousness to this story. At some point we've all struggled with finding peace. I must say that even though this is billed as fiction for young adults I could easily relate the issues to my own life and found there was a lot of wisdom within these pages. This is the first book I've read from this author but I guarantee it will not be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed "There You'll Find Me" and highly recommend you take a trip to Ireland with Finley. You never know what you might find! A thank you goes to Thomas Nelson for this complimentary copy for my review through Netgalley.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 4, 2011)
Friday, September 23, 2011
Jenny Holloway is a widow who's running a 1200-acre ranch and raising her son Zach on her own. She likes being busy but she could really use some help. Her foreman, Buddy, suggests she hire his son Gil Montgomery who has recently returned home from his military duty. After meeting Gil, Jenny readily agrees to hire him on. She knows she could never find the kind of love she had with her husband, so why does her stomach do flip-flops whenever he's near. Gil Montgomery has ranching in his blood. Though his outward scars from the war have healed he knows this job is just want he needs for his inward healing. Jenny causes his heart to stir in ways it hasn't before but he knows that since her husbands death she's placed big walls around her heart. The more they work together the more he knows that Jenny and Zach are the future he's looking for but will he ever be able to convince Jenny?
I knew when I saw the totally awesome cover of Renegade Hearts that I absolutely had to find out the tale within. I was immediately drawn in by the gentle prose of this story. It truly matched the cover with an easy ebb and flow that I just loved! Though it was not an edge-of-your-seat type story I found myself glued to the pages because I became so involved with its true-to-life well-drawn characters. You will fall in love with each one them. Gil was an excellent leading man. I just loved the way he was with Jenny and Zach. (Big sigh!) Jenny is someone to admire. She was strong and independent but reasonable and tender. Zach will steal your heart hands down! He is such a great little man! And Buddy, Gil's Dad, was a total gem! Now don't get me wrong, this did have a mystery to it and as typical with Anne Patrick's stories, you don't find out the whole truth until the end. She always keeps you guessing. I just LOVED Renegade Hearts! It's an easy, feel-good, up-lifting tale you won't want to miss. A thank you goes to the author for providing this complimentary copy for my review.
Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc (September 13, 2011)
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Jude McCord is all about baseball. When he receives a shoulder injury he's forced to return home to recuperate and not sure if he'll be ready when spring training comes. While home, he purchases the neighboring ranch and begins working on another dream. A baseball camp to help young men gain skills as well as find a love for the game. Isabelle Winters is having some family problems and decides to pay a visit to her grandparents. She doesn't know that her Nannas had a stroke or that her Pops has sold the land to Jude. Jude feels Isabelle would have known if she had bothered to call them in the last decade. Nanna and Pops are like grandparents to Jude but Isabelle thinks he's taking advantage of them. Can a very skeptical Isabelle and a very protective Jude ever come to terms?
Carie Lawson hits another home run with Beyond Baseball! WOW! I LOVED this story! It had it all. I found myself laughing (you will love the scene with Isabelle 'cooking' in the kitchen), crying, sighing and just plain loving ever minute of the story. In the other three stories we have gotten glimpses of the fun and playful Jude but this story allows you to see the whole man. And Ladies let me tell you...he's worth seein'! It was so much fun hanging out with all the McCords. They are such a neat family. You just want to be a part of them. I especially loved all the verbal sparring. Zane and Carly's girls are an absolute riot and will getcha right in the heart! Jude and Isabelle are a great match for each other. The romantic tension ran wild! It was fun watching to see what they would do next. The message of reliance upon the Lord ran strong through the story and caused me to ponder whether I was really doing that myself. Each of the four stories in the Twisted Roots Series can be read as stand alone but I would highly recommend that you start at the beginning. (Beyond Africa, Beyond Summer, Beyond Ever After and Beyond Baseball) It really is a journey of the McCord Family and you won't want to miss a single moment with them. Trust me. As much as I loved Beyond Baseball it was hard to say farewell to this family. I am really going to miss them but at least they're only a bookshelf away. Great job Carie! A thank goes to the author for providing this complimentary copy for my review.
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc (August 30, 2011)
Release Date: September 1, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Anesia Naltsiine is a strong woman who has been raising her daughter, Zoya, on her own. She owns a kennel where she breeds champion racing dogs that people from all over come to purchase. So why is loneliness nagging her heart along feelings of unworthiness. Zoya misses a dad she never knew and wonders why God took him away. But she will make her dad and his name proud by being the best sprint dog racer. Then Zoya is witness to a murder which throws her and her family into danger but also reeks havoc on her emotions. Is God really there? That's when Sean Connelly shows up looking for a new start. Anesia and Sean are drawn to each other. As the danger escalates Sean finds himself wanting to protect mother and daughter but he's also finding his feeling for them growing. When Zoya takes off alone trying to protect her mother, Sean and Anesia find themselves in a Race Against Time to save not only her daughter but themselves as well.
The dynamic duo writing team of mother and daughter have once again produced a gripping-nail-biting-page-turning-staying-up-late-into-the-night story that you don't want to miss. Race Against Time is a great sequel to No Safe Haven. I loved that Cole, Jenna and Andie (from No Safe Haven) were very much a part of this story as well. And Sean is one guy you'll want to get to know!!!! You get a panoramic view of the beauty of Alaska, its culture and her people. You learn about sled dog racing, what it takes to care for the dogs and the harshness of the beautiful terrain. The authors tackle many tough subjects like PTSD, anger, forgiveness, and doubting God. You truly feel like you walked the journey with these families. The way the story was laid out, with person, place and time in each section, really enhanced the reading experience. If you enjoy a great romantic suspense that keeps you hooked 'til the end, then I definitely recommend Race Against Time. You could read this as a stand alone but I recommend you read No Safe Haven first. Great job Kimberley and Kayla Woodhouse! A thank you goes to B&H publishing as well as the authors for providing this complimentary copy for my review.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: B&H Books (November 1, 2011)
Monday, September 12, 2011
Savannah Matthews is a wildlife photographer who needs to get pictures of a particular bird to keep her job. On her way to the Island the engine of the boat she rented quits. She tries to use the oar but it seems hopeless. The drift is too strong. She prays for the Lord's intervention and winds up on the private island of the one known as the 'beast'. Grant Duncan's past has scarred him, both emotionally and physically, and isolation seems his only way to survive. Rumors of a treasure on the island along with the 'beast' folklore draw people to his private paradise. They are usually frightened away when they see him with his long spear in hand. But Savannah seems to be different. She is not easily intimidated by him and is even a little sassy. She's penetrated the imaginary walls of his island can she penetrate the walls of his heart as well?
I'm not really a big fan of short stories because I don't feel there's time to develop both characters and plot but I have to say that Stranded was nice little surprise. It carries all the elements of a longer story which made it a great read. Even though it's only 40 pages there was mystery, danger, humor and a spiritual message as well. You felt like you got to know the characters. It definitely made me wish the story was longer but when the end came I felt satisfied and not lacking, as with some short stories. I always enjoy this authors work and this is no exception. If you like a short story that feels complete then I suggest you try Stranded.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Mariah Bell has experienced a great loss and is now in need of a husband to keep her land and continue to run Bell's Inn. Knowing she must act fairly quickly she decides to pursue the man whose property borders hers until she meets Tiller McRae. Tiller McRae is tired of the outlaw life. After the gang goes after a nice old man he decides to split from them for awhile. He ends up at Bells Inn. Mariah and Tiller are instantly drawn to each other. He decides to stay on and help out with handyman jobs around the place. He and Mariah have an easy way with each other and things seem to be looking brighter. But both harbor secrets. What will happen when those secrets come to light?
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It had a wonderful mix of romance, danger, suspense and humor. The characters were very well drawn and the dialog was very enjoyable. I especially fell in love with the playfulness of Tiller. There were two other characters that were really fun. Otis (the old man the gang went after) and Mariah's Uncle Joe. One line from the book that just made me laugh was when Joe said to Tiller "The mind of a woman is a deep river. I try not to fish there." It's that type of humor you'll find in this story and I just loved it. The underlying theme was really about forgiveness and I thought this author did a wonderful job in seeing that through. We all can relate to that subject. If you enjoy a good historical then I would definitely recommend Bandit's Hope. It's book 2 in the Backwoods Brides Series. A thank you goes to Barbour Publishing through Netgalley for this complimentary copy for my review.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books (October 1, 2011)
Monday, September 5, 2011
Patricia Talbert is a wealthy New York City girl. When her uncle wills her his ranch in Texas she makes a trip down there with the idea of selling it quickly and getting back to New York. That's when she comes face to face with Talon Carlson, foreman of the Circle Bar Ranch. He's a no-nonsense bull rider whose experienced a lot of loss in his life but still retains a deep abiding faith in the Lord. Patricia is drawn to Talon but is not falling for a good-looking, sweet-talking man ever again. Talon is attracted to Patricia but is frustrated by the fact that she wants to sell what has always been his home. Then Patricia finds a box of letters from her uncle that cause her to ponder her decision. She also has a chance to see Talon's deep faith in action. Wanting a little more time to decide what she really wants to do, she asks Talon to teach her to ride bulls. They both learn a lot more than they bargained for.
This was a great story. One I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. This author was new to me so I wasn't sure what to expect but I knew by the cover I wanted to find out what was tucked inside. The author has an easy writing style that makes reading a pleasure. Her characters were larger than life and I enjoyed getting to know them all. There was a secondary story going on with Talon's 'brother' Chance and Patricia's best friend Marie which was extremely enjoyable. Both Talon and Chance were wonderful heroes and very romantic. I loved all the interaction between all the characters. The description of the bull riding scenes were so good I felt like I was watching a movie. This story contained some great little spiritual nuggets you gather along the way which I really liked. I would love to see another installment. If you enjoy an easy-to-read contemporary western with lots of great characters then I suggest you try Give the Lady A Ride. I will be looking forward to other offerings by Linda Yezak.
Friday, September 2, 2011
When Lady Anne Stone's father dies, her uncle David Stone is in line to inherit the estate. The problem is he's gone missing. Last word from him came from St. Louis, Missouri. Anne is determined to find her uncle so she won't be left penniless. Anne and her lady's maid, Elise Finster, leave England and set off for America. Once there, they hear he set out west for Oregon to open a store. Elise and Anne secure a position in the next wagon train. Eb Bentley is a scout for the wagon train and doesn't think these two high-society ladies are going to be able to cut it on the trail. They begin to prove him wrong as they handle whatever needs come up and his doubt turns to admiration for these ladies...most especially one of the ladies. The trail west is a difficult journey and dangers lurk around every corner or perhaps in your own train.
This was an interesting story. It certainly painted a picture of how difficult traveling the Oregon Trail would have been. The author does well with describing the journey. I definitely tasted the dust and felt the heat on my skin. I enjoyed getting to know all the characters. There is also a secondary story going on with Anne and several potential suitors. I enjoyed the whole mystery surrounding David Stone. Although it wasn't a page turner, overall I enjoyed the story. The Lady's Maid is book one in the Prairie Dreams Series. A thank you goes to Barbour for this complimentary copy for my review through Netgalley.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books (October 1, 2011)