Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen

Miss Rachel Ashford has seen a lot of changes in her life.  Since the death of her father she has been living as a guest at Ivy Cottage.  Her funds are dwindling and she feels that she must find a way to support herself.  With the help of her friends she is able to open a circulating library.  As book donations arrive, so do mysteries.  Will solving the mysteries bring her closer to the man she loves, or will they push them farther apart?

I enjoyed this book.  The characters were well developed and believable.  I enjoyed reading about the problems and joys that they have in their lives.  This is the second book in the series, and I haven't read the first one.  I was able to pick up on many things that happened in the first book, and wasn't confused about what was going on.  There were several sweet romances happening, and it was fun to read about.  I liked the way that the characters worked together to help each other out.  There was genuine friendship and love shown between the characters.  I was quickly drawn into the story and was sad to finish the book.  I look forward to reading more books in this series.  I would give it 4/5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House publishers.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano

I am always excited when I see a new book by Jen Turano.  Her books just make me smile.  I always know that there is going to be madcap adventures along with some sweet romance.  Out of the Ordinary was no different.  Miss Gertrude Cadwalader has had some hard things to deal with in life, but she has been able to make the best of her situation.  She is a paid companion to Mrs. Davenport who has some less than reputable habits.  When Gertrude is trying to rectify a sticky situation that Mrs. Davenport has created it threatens to destroy the budding romance that she has with Harrison Sinclair.

I enjoyed this book.  The characters were fun.  They were eccentric and hilarious.  They all had a zest for life that is portrayed nicely in the story.  I love watching Gertrude's journey.  She had a very rough childhood and she feels guilt for things that happened when she was very young.  I enjoyed her come to realize that she can't be held accountable for what others did.  I also enjoyed seeing her faith increase.  I was so happy to see her realize that God did love her.  There were many parts that were quite funny.  I didn't enjoy this book as much as I have enjoyed some of Ms. Turano's in the past, but it was an enjoyable read.  I would give it 3/5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Domino Effect by Davis Bunn

Esther Larsen is a risk analyst at one of the largest banks in the country.  She has been watching the market for years and understands how interconnect and fragile it has comes.  When she sees things heading to the brink can she help avert a disaster?

I had a hard time getting into this book.  There is a lot of talk about financial matters that I didn't completely understand.  Once I was into the book I did enjoy it.  There were some plot points that didn't make sense to me.  The relationship between Craig and Esther was not fully explained.  It felt like they met and instantly became a couple.  I wish that more time had been spent on developing this relationship.  I also found it hard to believe that Esther had been so distant with those around her for so long, and then suddenly lets everybody in.  I did enjoy the character of Esther.  I liked how decisive and intelligent she was.  I feel that the book is relevant to our time.  The beginning of the book took me a long time to read, but once the story started going I grabbed me more, and I was able to finish it much faster than I had started it.  Over all I would give this book 3/5 stars.  There were many plot points that I didn't find believable, but I did enjoy the characters and the overall story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in return for my review.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Where Hope Prevails by Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan

I have loved Janette Oke's books since I was a little girl.  I was so excited to get the chance to review one of her new books!  I also love Hallmark Channel's When Calls the Heart TV series.  I didn't get a chance to read the first two books in the series, but I felt like I already knew many of the characters because I have watched the TV series.   Elizabeth Thatcher is returning for her second year of teaching in Coal Valley.  She had an eventful summer and is excited to return to her familiar town.   When she arrives she discovers that everything has changed.  She has a new home, a new school, and many new faces in the town.  There is also a new teacher to share the teaching duties with.  I really like Elizabeth Thatcher.  She is trying so hard, but sometimes she makes mistakes.  Or sometimes, even when she knows that something is wrong she has a hard time changing her mind.  I could really relate to her.  She is very down to earth and is striving to follow God's will for her.  There are many bumps in the road, but eventually she is able to accept those around her, and see in them what God sees in them.  I found my opinion of  Robert Harris Hughes changing as Elizabeth comes to accept him and see the good in him.   I really enjoyed reading this book!  I would give it 3.5/5 stars.  I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for my review.

Monday, May 23, 2016

In Good Company by Jen Turano

Millie Longfellow is a good nanny, and she is determined to find a family that will actual value her skills.  She is unconventional in her methods and has been dismissed by one to many families.  Everett Mulberry is desperate to find a nanny that can actually outwit his charges.  When the both arrive at the employment agency at the same time they are given one last chance.  They must work together.

I really enjoyed this book.  I like that we get to see some of the same characters from a previous book.  I always enjoy Jen Turano's books.  The characters are strong, and fun.  Millie knows that she is right in her methods, and is tireless in making sure that the children in her charge get the love and attention that they need.  Everett is slow to notice how much he has withheld from the children, but Millie makes sure that he understands what they need.  I enjoyed watching the romance develop.  Caroline is completely inappropriate for Everett, and you are just hoping that he will notice before it is to late.  There is a lot of excitement along the way, and even a mystery to solve.  I would give this book a 4/5 stars.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Playing the Part by Jen Turano

Lucetta Plum has taken care of herself for years.  She finds herself if a situation where whe has to depend on others to protect her, and she has a hard time accepting their help.  She is one of the most sought after actresses in New York City.  When one of her admirers gets too determined to have her she has to hide until it blows over.  This leads her to the mysterious Ravenwood, and it's attractive owner, Bram Haverstein.  Will she be able to accept his help?

I really enjoyed this book.  I have read several books by Jen Turano, and they are always a fun read.  The characters are unique and quirky.  There is a good pace to the book, and you never know what is going to happen next.  Lucetta is an interesting character.  She is not perfect, and that makes you like her all the more.  Bram is also interesting.  It is fun to watch him as he learns that Lucetta is not the person that he assumed her to be, but then grows to love her even more for the person that she actually is.   There are several impossible situations that happen in the book, and it is always fun to see how they are going to get out of them.  I would give this book 4/5 stars.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker

I was really excited to read this book!  I love reading dystopian novels, and seeing the different ideas of our future.

Carrington Hale has spent her whole life preparing for her Choosing Ceremony.  She has done everything that was expected of her and excelled at it.  So how come she wasn't chosen? 

I found the world very interesting.  I like to see how the author had society rebuild itself.  It seems very plausible to me that the society could be based on a religion, and that the people in the city are required to live by the religion.  I found it sad that it was such a constricting religion and that it valued women so poorly.

The characters were interesting.  Some were creepy, and some were people that I could see myself being friends with.  I felt like the characters grew throughout the book.  It was interesting to see them come to understand themselves and their world.

I liked that the book talked about finding your own worth.  I think that this is an important thing that gets overlooked.  Our worth is not defined by what we have, or who we know.

Overall, I enjoyed this story.  The plot was a little predictable, but the characters and the world were interesting.  I would give this book 3/5 stars.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers.

A interesting Q&A with the author can be found here.