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.