Friday, April 29, 2011
Kyle and Chloe Stickland are heading for California when they find themselves on a mountain road in a bad snowstorm. That's when the unthinkable happens. Their car goes over the edge of the mountain. Devon McCallister is returning home when his headlights spot smoke and then he sees the tire tracks go over the edge of the mountain. When he gets to the vehicle he understands how bad it really is. He checks Kyle first and it really doesn't look like he's going to make it but Devon tries to be encouraging. Kyle pleads with Devon to take care of his wife for him. Makes Devon promise and Devon accepts as Kyle breathes his last. When they take Chloe to the hospital she begs Devon to go with her and not to leave her alone. As he tries to fulfill his promise to Kyle he begins to have feelings for Chloe. Feelings he's unfamiliar with. Chloe is having a hard time letting go of Kyle but she does have feelings for Devon. Devon knows he's found the right woman but will Chloe accept a second chance at love?
I really enjoyed this story. It kept me turning to pages to find out the outcome, although in all honesty, I guessed how it would end. But all the in-between stuff was great. Chloe was a good lead although she was rather stubborn. To the point I wanted to shake some sense into her. Devon was a gem. He so quietly cared for Chloe and really tried to be what she needed at a personal cost to him. There were several spots where I found myself wiping tears from my eyes. I know it's a good story when that happens.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Mariah Aubrey is sent away by her father to her aunts estate to live. She takes with her a tainted reputation and a secret. She sets up residents in the gatehouse and is supporting herself and her companion, Dixon, by secretly writing novels using a pen name instead of her real name. Captain Matthew Bryant has never had the approval of his father or the father of Isabella, the woman he loves. He leases Windrush hoping to not only impress his father but also Isabella. But he is drawn to the lovely girl in the gatehouse. There is much he doesn't know about Mariah. When he finds out the truth will he turn away from her or will love conquer all?
This was very good tale from Julie Klassen. The way this author writes made everything come to life in my minds-eye so it was much like watching a movie. There is lots of characters to get to know and several sub-plots but it was well done so as not to feel overwhelming. I will admit that there were parts that were a little slow for my taste but the last third of the book kept me turning pages. Lots of twists and turns throughout and a totally satisfying ending. I enjoyed learning that lots of writers published anonymously in that era and most especially women. I also liked the way the author sprinkled little bits of the mystery surrounding the Prin-Hallsey family. It was fun trying to put all the pieces together. There was an underlying theme of faith and forgiveness that seemed natural to the story. When you read the book be sure to catch the authors note. She had some interesting things to say. A thank you goes to Bethany House for providing this complementary copy for my review.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Professor Cassie Larson is on a trip with her students when she purchases an very unusual brooch. Then while out on a boat excursion the brooch falls into the North Sea. While trying to retrieve it Cassie falls in after it. Alarik is a viking who is accused of a murder he didn't commit? Or maybe he did! If he could only remember. While on the run he finds a woman floating in the water. He retrieves her and takes care of her. Ragnar (Alarik's cousin) is a believer in God and has turned from his peoples pagan beliefs. Because of that he has been shunned by many. But he is determined to prove his cousin is innocent of murder. Cassie stirs Ragnar's emotions with her beauty and her unusual words. He knows that someone like Cassie would never be interested in him. Or could she? But evil lurks right around the corner. How will all come out???
WOW! What an adventure! I was enthralled from beginning to end. It was a great balance of action, suspense, romance and realism. I loved all the nuggets of truth and word pictures that were tucked between the pages. I wish I could give some examples but it would present spoilers so I will say read the story and find them. There were several heart stopping moments and a few BIG gasps but along with those were splashes of humor where I found myself laughing out loud. The author painted a very real picture of the harshness of life in that century. You almost can't imagine living in it. I really liked Alarik. He was a good man. I loved the dialog between him and Cassie. Ragnar was an awesome hero. The way he lived out his faith was inspiring. Cassie was the perfect leading lady. Her stubborn ways sometimes found her in trouble but she displayed an inner strength and a soft heart that were admirable. I have never been a big fan of time-travel stories but Michelle Griep stories are a MUST READ! This was one of those stories that stays with you long after you close the book. I highly recommend this tale. Well done Michelle! A thank you goes to the author for providing me with the complimentary copy for my review.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Kylie Matthews has felt inferior her whole life. With her beauty queen mom and her beautiful actress sister always pointing out her flaws it was hard not to feel that way. On a dare she makes an appointment with Solomon's Gate. On the way there she has a fender bender with an exceptionally handsome guy named Rick Dale. Destiny (owner of Solomon's Gate) has a feeling that Rick and Kylie should meet. (not realizing they already had). When they finally do have their 'agency' date they have a wonderful time. Rick is everything Kylie could ever want in a man and Rick is very drawn to Kylie. He wants Kylie to help him with his Ranch where women who have facial disfigurements can go for therapy. But Kylie has a bad reaction when she sees any kind of facial disfigurement. How will she ever be able to help Rick with her phobia and then there is Rick's sweet daughter who has scaring on her face from being in a fire. Kylie just knows that a relationship with Rick is impossible or will she learn that with God all things are possible?
I thoroughly enjoyed Kylie's Kiss, the second installment of the Solomon's Gate Series. I really liked getting to know our lead couple and loved that we got to see Destiny, Clay, Julie and CJ again as well. This story had a such a nice flow to it and was very romantic. There was a history of conflict between Kylie and her sister, Shay, but when Shay returned home I appreciated the way she handled Kylie and stood up for her. Rick was a great hero! The way he was not only with Kylie but also his sweet daughter just made my heart beat a little faster. I really felt for Kylie. She was such a sweet woman but had such a poor self image. It really makes you realize how powerful our words can be and how careful we should be with the things we say. Some parts of the story were very touching and some gave me a good chuckle. Like the name of the doctor that treats Kylie after her accident. You'll have to read the story to find out what it is! You could read this as a stand alone but reading the first book really brings it together nicely. If you've already read Destiny's Dream then you will definitely want to read Kylie's Kiss. It's my favorite of the two. Looking forward to Gypsy's Game. A thank you goes to the author for providing me with this complimentary copy for my review.
Monday, April 11, 2011
While Destiny May is attending her mother's funeral, Clay Gallagher sits down beside her. Destiny wonders who he is because she doesn't recognize him. When she finally figures out that he's at the wrong funeral she asks him to help her escape from all the family greetings that go on after a funeral. Clay whisks her away and makes her laugh and it doesn't hurt that he's handsome as all get-out! Clay finds Destiny very attractive and interesting. He's never met anyone quite like her. She is determined to open a Christian dating service which seems like a big waste of time and money to Clay. But when Destiny receives a threatening phone call Clay steps in to be her personal guard and keep her safe. The question is can he guard his heart?
The was an enjoyable story. I liked that it was really like having two stories in one. Destiny was an interesting character. It seemed like she and Clay fit together well. I had kind of a hard time liking Destiny's sister though. She seemed a bit harsh to me. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding who was threatening Destiny and you don't find out until very near the end who it was. I really enjoyed CJ (Clay's brother). He was a neat character. The whole Christian Dating Service idea was an interesting concept. I thought this author did a great job with the ending.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Erin Shanley is a hospice nurse who loves hearth and home. She also loves her neighbor, Tyler Shaw. Tyler Shaw has been in love with his neighbor Erin Shanley since school days. Once upon a time they dated but when Erin witnessed all the heartache her mother went through because of her unfaithful father she broke it off with Ty and she and her mother moved away. Ty is happy when she finally returns to live in the house next door with her two younger sisters. Ty and Erin are good friends but Erin knows it can never go any further with him because he is too much like her father. Ty is out to prove that he is nothing like her father. When some psychics move into the neighborhood, life on BOring street becomes anything but boring! When the jewelry of one of Erin's patients comes up missing and then several terminally ill patients sign over their inheritance to the psychics, Erin gets involved in trying to gain information that would tie them to those incidents. Erin just might be in danger of not only losing her heart but her life!
Souls on BOring Street was the third book in the Denim Blues Series and was Tyler Shaw's story. We met Tyler in Love is Blind. He's Orlando's partner. I fell in love with Tyler! He was so quiet in book 2 that I wasn't sure about him but he really comes to life in this story. His quiet strength, gentle ways and sweet words were captivating. I loved the way he handled Erin. He was so patient with her. I liked Erin but got a bit weary of her reason for not accepting Ty's love. Especially when he had really proved over and over again that he wasn't anything like her father. I thought it was so neat that Erin loved to cook and be at home. She was a very loving and caring woman. I enjoyed watching Sylvia and Keeya seek out friendship with her. It made me want to be in the group! Yes, there is a story behind the street name but you have to read the story to find out what it is! The mystery doesn't really develop until about half-way through the story but it keeps you guessing. There is an unexpected turn at the end that was really good! I thoroughly enjoyed this whole series and am looking forward to the Red Velvet Series where we will revisit Den & Sylvia, Orlando & Keeya and Tyler & Erin once again with some new mysteries to solve. I can't wait! A thank you goes to the author for providing me with this complimentary copy for my review.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Love is Blind and It Don't Pay the Bills Either is Orlando Bateman's story. We met him in Retired and On the Rocks. Orlando doesn't know how he'll ever get past the love of his life choosing to marry another man until he meets the beautiful Keeya Nilsen. Keeya is visually impaired from a plane crash that killed her family. Her best friend Blair also survived the crash but her face is badly marred. Blair takes care of Keeya's visual needs. After the man Keeya's been dating disappears and she finds her bank account empty and a chest of hand written songs by her famous Blues artist grandfather missing, she seeks the help of the police. As Orlando searches for answers his feelings for Keeya are quickly becoming stronger. Men have always used Keeya for their own personal gain but somehow she senses safety with Orlando. Will they find the chest of priceless music? Will they each find the kind of love they have sought for so long?
This story had a lot going on. We got to know Orlando much more closely in this this story and what a great guy he was. I really liked how he described to Keeya what love was and then quoted 1 Cor. 13. (Sigh)! I appreciated that Orlando never compromised his belief that a physical relationship was reserved for marriage. (Not that the desire wasn't there). He lived out what he said he believed. That's important! Keeya was a sweet character. I liked watching her grow and gain courage she didn't know she had. Orlando was very supportive and made a difference in her life because of it. I fell in love with Orlando's family too! This is an inspirational read but deals with mature subject matters and so I would call it 'edgy'. There are a few 'words' in the story but I felt they were true to the characters who were saying them. I would have liked to see a little more of Den and Sylvia but they did make some cameo appearances. You could read this as a stand alone but you get a much better understanding of the storyline if you read Retired and On the Rocks first. Another great page-turner. Looking forward to Souls on BOring Street. A thank you goes to the author for providing me with this complimentary copy for my review.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Sylvia Price and Denim McHart own a private investigating business together. When an investigation goes bad and Den ends up with a bullet in his leg it causes him to really think about what he's doing and how he endangered the life of his beautiful partner Sylvia (whom he loves). He tells her he is retiring early and she can run the business. To Sylvia Den is much more than just a partner. She loves him. She knows him well enough to know that he won't be happy with retirement. So, when the mayor's ex-fiance comes in asking if she can hire them to find her missing engagement ring Sylvia agrees to take the case. She instantly calls Den knowing that he can't resist solving a mystery. He agrees to work with Syl to find the ring all the while praying that she will open up to him about the secrets that she's keeping. Her former partner and best friend Orlando also loves her and wants to be more than friends. Who will win her heart and will they ever find the missing ring?
This was a great tale. It had all the things I like in a story. Great dialog, a mystery that I couldn't figure out and a great leading couple. As I was reading the story what came to mind was the TV show Hart to Hart. This story sorta had that feel to it except the lead couple are not married. I really liked how the author held the mystery a mystery until the end and then it's all laid out. I thoroughly enjoyed Denim and Sylvia. Although I was a little frustrated with Sylvia at times for not trusting Denim. Orlando was a great guy too. One thing I appreciated was the way that Denim and Orlando reacted to each other. Though they both had feelings for Sylvia they behaved like grown men. This is a story that kept me turning pages and was difficult to put down. If you enjoy a clean romantic read with a great mystery then I recommend Retired and On the Rocks. Looking forward to Love is Blind...and it Don't Pay the Bills Either. A thank you goes to the author for providing me with this complimentary copy for my review.