Thursday, September 27, 2012

THE BRIDGE by Karen Kingsbury

Molly Allen and Ryan Kelly came from very different backgrounds but for two years while in school, they were inseparable. Encouraging each other to follow their dreams. One of their favorite hangouts was The Bridge. A local bookstore that was a warm and friendly place to be. A misunderstanding sends them in different directions and though they haven't spoken in five years, their connection still remains very strong. Charlie and Donna Barton are the owners of The Bridge. They love providing a place for folks to come and have some coffee, talk with people and find great books. Then tragedy strikes. The hundred year flood comes through and ruins the books in the store. The insurance isn't enough to cover the damage and the owner wants to sell the property. Charlie hits the depth of despair and feels like God isn't listening. Then suddenly in a moment of time everything changes. Is there really such a thing as miracles and second chances?

When I saw the gorgeous cover of this book and found out it was about a bookstore, I knew I had to read it. I'm so glad I did. It was a heartwarming story that follows the lives of four people. One thing I really appreciated about the story was the idea, that you really don't understand the impact a small act of kindness can have on a persons life. Sometimes we get discouraged, thinking it means nothing, but as we see in the story it can make a real difference. I loved watching how the whole story unfolded. The characters were very likeable and realistic. They make mistakes, think the unthinkable, and make wrong assumptions. You don't get any more real than that. Once you step inside the story you won't want leave until the very end, because you become so involved in the lives of these folks. The Bridge will not only pull at your heartstrings but encourage you in your faith. It makes a wonderful Christmas read.
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Howard Books (October 23, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1451647018
ISBN-13: 978-1451647013

*This complimentary copy was provided by Howard Books through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A CUP OF JOY by Anna Dynowski

Kasia Jacubek looks like she has it all together. She's smart, has good friends and is the owner of her own restaurant. Or at least one of them. She does have a silent partner but doesn't know who he is nor has he shown any interest in the place. That is until he shows up one day and wants to take over. Why does he seem irritated with her and why does he seem so familiar. She's never met him before, right? And why does Cupid Cat always seem to be around, when she and Brodie are together, with that matchmaking gleam in his eye?

Cupid Cat once again has his work cut out for him in A Cup of Joy. And it won't be easy to convince his, I mean clients, they belong together. I really liked Kasia although there were times I just didn't understand her. But as a reader I was seeing the whole picture and so it's easy to judge. However, I think I would have handled her situation a bit differently. Brodie was really a wonderful guy but had so much anger and resentment built up that he hadn't dealt with, though you can understand why. This is not necessarily an 'easy' read. It's filled with the emotions of two hurting people that dealt with the hurt in very different ways. I appreciated how the author made very clear that Christians aren't promised an easy life or a trouble free existence, but in those troubled times the Lord is right there with us. The author also points out, that true joy comes when we keep our eyes on the Lord, who is unchanging, and that we can have joy even through the difficulties. Great reminders for all of us. Along with the emotion, there are splashes of humor along the way. Which I always like. A Cup of Joy is the last book in the series and you get to see all the ones you've come to know from the previous stories. Harmony Village is a place I've enjoyed visiting with its quaint places and very likeable people. Do watch out for Cupid Cat though, because as you know, he always gets his match!
File Size: 460 KB
Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Write Words, Inc (August 20, 2012)

*This complimentary copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Esther Carlisle owns a little antique shop in New Orleans. Something she's continued to keep going after her father's death. Her life is very predictable and quiet until Cullen Murphy shows up at her shop one evening right before closing. Cullen claims to have known her father and is convinced that he knew where the famous chocolate diamond was. Esther isn't sure if she can trust him but before she has time to think she finds herself being protected by Cullen when two men break into the shop. As the two fight to stay alive while looking for the treasured diamond, will they find out what a true treasure really is?

The Diamond Secret is a really fun read. It had action, suspense and of course, romance. When I picture Cullen I see Remington Steel. Very suave, good-looking and definitely a charmer. I loved his romantic ways with Esther and they were sprinkled throughout the story which was a real treat! I liked Esther because although she didn't really trust Cullen, she tried to understand him. She was a reasonable heroin which I always appreciate. The story was fast-paced and I enjoyed figuring out the letters and clues along with Cullen and Esther. I think it causes the reader to think about what treasure it is they are seeking. I thoroughly enjoyed the ending and how things turned out. If you're looking for a quick read that keeps you entertained I recommend you try The Diamond Secret. 
Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired (August 7, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0373445008
ISBN-13: 978-0373445004

*This complimentary copy was provided by Harlequin through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Cheyenne Jones finds herself pregnant and alone in Las Vegas. She's scared and doesn't really know what she's going to do, when she runs into Reese Cooper. Reese is about to leave for a tour of duty in Afghanistan and decides he would help her out by marrying her, giving her money and insurance and after the baby is born, they would have the marriage annulled. But Reese returns sooner than expected, to Cooper Creek, no longer the cowboy he once was. Then Cheyenne shows up to check on Reese. There is a definite connection there but after all, they did had an agreement. But what Reese and Cheyenne need to figure out is that somethings agreements are made to be broken!

The Rancher's Secret Wife was a sweet and romantic story that I just couldn't put down. From the very beginning the characters completely captivated me. They were full of life and just a joy to spend time with. After reading this story I was looking up to see if there were other books available with the Cooper Family because I definitely want to read more about them. They are so connected that it just feels good to be around them. I loved it! Reese was exactly the type of hero that just makes you sigh. The perfect combination of tough and gentle. Cheyenne was a great leading lady. She was someone you could picture as a good friend. I loved all the little moments of seeing them together. Watching them tip-toe around there feelings. Very touching. This author did a great job of showing how God puts people in our lives when we need them the most. We just have to trust Him and allow Him to work. I smiled at the way Cheyenne described God as being like the voice on the GPS, urging us to turn around at the earliest convenience, to get back on the right path. A simple but practical way of thinking. I am looking forward to returning to Dawson, Oklahoma very soon to check in on the happenings at Cooper Creek! If you enjoy a good romantic story with some wonderful family dynamics then head on out to the Ranch! Maybe I'll see ya there!
Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired (July 24, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0373877609
ISBN-13: 978-0373877607

*This complimentary copy was provided by Harlequin through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A TEXAN'S CHOICE by Shelley Gray

Rosemarie Cousins has lived most of her life feeling unwanted, unworthy and unloved because her family blamed her for the death of her brother. When her father dies and her mother and sister leave her behind to fend for herself she's not surprised, though it cuts deep. Scout Proffitt has lived a rough life and knows he will never be the kind of honorable man his brother Clayton is. But Scout is hoping to at least live out a peaceful existence which is why he's looking forward to claiming the Circle C Ranch he won in a card game. What he didn't count on was Rosemarie Cousins. Watching them bury her father and seeing her mother and sister leave her behind, stirred something inside him he didn't count on. Rose knows who Scout is but she treats him with respect and though having him there is a bit scary, it's not as scary as being totally alone! Can a throw-away daughter and a notorious outlaw see that God just might have a plan for them?

This is book three in The Heart of a Hero Series and one I've been waiting to read. Scout Proffitt has intrigued me right from the start. In A Texan's Honor (book 2) you got a good look at this unusual hero and realized there was more to the man than being a gunslinger. In A Texan's Choice, you see more of his background and how things play out for Scout. Rosemarie was a character that I didn't like, at first. But as I kept reading and seeing her interact with Scout, I ended up really liking her. They were good for each other and I loved how they interacted together. Talk about romance! I truly appreciated the message, that no one is beyond redemption if they turn to the Lord. He's the only one who can change your heart and life. I enjoyed seeing Clayton again and catching up with Miles but I was hoping to see a few of the others as well. There were tender moments, tense moments and moments that just made me smile. And although it had an ending that I really liked, as a reader I would have loved an epilogue. I just felt like I wanted it to be carried a little further than it was. Can you read this as a stand alone? Technically yes, but I would highly recommend you read this series in order, to get the full impact. I have loved all the books in The Heart of a Hero Series and you can bet they're on my keeper shelf!

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press (October 2012)
ISBN-10: 1426714653
ISBN-13: 978-1426714658

*This complimentary copy was provided by Abingdon Press through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Friday, September 14, 2012

FULL DISCLOSURE by Dee Henderson

Ann Silver is a woman who wears many hats. She's a cop, a Midwest Homicide Investigator (MHI), a pilot, a writer and even dabbles in oil painting. When an accident she investigates contains information that might be important to the FBI, she delivers the case to Paul Falcon. Paul Falcon is the FBI's finest and when Ann lays this case in his lap, he is totally intrigued by her. Never has he been so taken with a woman before. He's amazed by her group of friends which range from the VP to U.S. Marshals, military, spies, secret service. Some she knows are Paul's family and his closest friends. But she's very quiet about it. Trust comes hard for Ann and she harbors lots of secrets. As Ann and Paul work together, he begins to realize just how complex Ann really is. Ann begins to understand she just might be able to trust Paul completely. Can their relationship withstand the pressures of the job as well as some of Ann's secrets coming to light?

First let me start by saying it's good to have Dee Henderson back. This was a good story especially if you have read her O'Malley Series and the Uncommon Heroes Series. They are brought into this story and you have a chance to meet up with some of them again. I liked the aspect of Ann being the author of those stories. I don't think I've seen that done before. It was fun seeing how this story intertwines with both of those series. One thing this story was not, was an edge-of-the-seat type suspense. There was mystery and intrigue but it wasn't the typical cat and mouse routine. No one was in immediate danger. It was more of a police procedural type story that finds you walking through solving long-standing cold cases. I must admit in some parts, that became a bit too long for me. Throughout the story you witness the slow budding romance between Ann and Paul, although I felt like Paul did most of the giving. And who would not like Ann's dog Midnight? He totally won my heart! One part of the story that intrigued me was Ann's relationship with 'Lovely'. I loved how she described it. Who is Lovely? Read the story to find out. All I know is that that aspect of the story will stay with me for awhile. If you are a Dee Henderson fan you won't want to miss Full Disclosure.
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (October 2, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0764210890
ISBN-13: 978-0764210891

*I received this complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, September 3, 2012

MARY'S BLESSING by Lena Nelson Dooley

Mary Lenora Murray grew up knowing she was adopted. In fact, her mother said she was 'A blessing from God'. But she hasn't felt like a blessing since her mother passed away. Her father has become bitter and distant. He's left her with the responsibility of caring for the home and her siblings. Then Daniel Winthrop, a childhood friend, begins to court Mary. She's thrilled at the possibility of a future with him and all that he could provide. Daniel treats her very well. But a disagreement between him and Mary sends Daniel running and Mary is left to handle things on her own. Will Daniel figure out what the Lord wants for him and Mary? Will Mary welcome him back or shut him out forever?

Mary's Blessing was a really enjoyable story. This author has an easy writing style that makes reading her stories a pleasure. Her descriptions made me feel like I was at the Murray farm and experiencing all the hardships along with them. One thing I really liked was all the interaction between Daniel and Mary. Daniel was a really great character but boy was I mad at him when he up and left Mary! Mary was a complex character, full of emotion and spunk. You could easily understand and relate to her feelings, emotions and reactions. Her father was someone I didn't really like very much but it certainly showed how prolonged bitterness can affect you and those around you. I also appreciated the example of how much of an impact a church family can have, in the life of another member, by helping them in their time of need. This is book 2 in the McKenna's Daughters Series and one I would recommend to those who enjoy a good historical romance. I'm looking forward to Catherine's Pursuit!

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Realms (May 15, 201
ISBN-10: 1616386177
ISBN-13: 978-1616386177

*This complimentary copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Book I've Been Reading...

Sherry's bookshelf: read

Almost Like Being in Love
Wanted: Royal Princess Miracle Bride: Royal Hearts of Mondoverde Series, Vol. 3
Her Rancher Bodyguard
Traces of Guilt
The Stronghold
Close to You
Protecting Her Daughter
The Goodbye Bride
The Rancher's First Love
Reclaiming His Past
Keeper of the Stars
Cold Shot
Mermaid Moon
Thin Ice
Buried Secrets
Murder at Black Lake
Christmas With Miss Austen
Falling Like Snowflakes
Married 'til Monday
Second Chance Hero

Sherry's favorite books »