Thursday, August 11, 2016

"Scent to Kill," by Chrystle Fiedler

"Scent to Kill," by Chrystle Fiedler

When naturopathic doctor and shop owner Willow McQuade’s ex-boyfriend Simon Lewis invites her to a party for the cast and crew of a new television show at Long Island’s scenic Bixby Estate, she’s most excited to visit the property’s exclusive lavender farm. But a whole field of her favorite stress-reducing herb can’t provide enough soothing support to calm the effects of a murder!

Even the show’s psychic star didn’t predict the demise of Roger Bixby, the estate’s owner and estranged husband of Simon’s new girlfriend. Now Simon, who’s been collared by police, needs Willow’s help to remedy the situation. As Willow snoops about the mansion, offering natural cures to ease the mounting tension, a strange energy—and the discovery of an eerily similar unsolved murder decades earlier—makes her wonder whether the alternative source of the crime might actually be . . . supernatural. Can she find harmony between mind, body, and possibly even spirits before somebody else goes up in smoke?


This book was a mix of enjoying it and being confused with it.  I don't claim to know anything about naturopathic medicine, so was looking forward to learning about it.  At the beginning of each chapter "Dr. McQuade" gave you tips about healthy living and what to take for various ailments.  I ended up being very confused with all the tips and don't feel as though I learned anything.

The story was written in first person, and for some reason I found that annoying.  Plus there was far too much information.  Do I really need to know that Willow was changing the bed sheets when it had absolutely nothing to do with the story.  In this case less information would have been better.

The story itself was interesting and I never did figure out "who did it," so that was a good thing.  

Stars out of 5 : 3 I had hoped I would like this book better than I did.  I would read more in this series as the whole premise of this series is my kind of story.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

"No Way Up," by Mary Connealy

"No Way Up," by Mary Connealy

The Fight for the Cimarron Ranch Has Just Begun!
When Cimarron Ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, only the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Before leaving by train to receive treatment to save his leg--and possibly his life--Chance demands that Heath read the patriarch's will and see its conditions enforced immediately. If Chance's three bickering adult children, Justin, Sadie, and Cole, don't live and work at the ranch for an entire year, ownership of the ranch will pass to a despised distant relative. 

Before long, however, Heath discovers that the avalanche may have been intentionally set--and that more danger lurks ominously. Finding his own future--and a desired future with Sadie--locked up in saving the Cimarron Ranch, Heath and the Boden siblings must work together against outside forces that threaten them all.


I happen to be a big fan of Mary Connealy's books and this one didn't disappoint.  This is the first book in the Cimarron Legacy series and the way this book ended you are going to want to read the next book in the series Long Time Gone, which will not be released until March of 2017.

If you love books set in the late 1800's, cowboys, mysteries and a love story thrown in for good measure this book is for you.  I liked how she finished this book with part of the story done, but leaving you hanging with the mystery part, that you know you have to read the next book to see what happens next.  This book has plenty of action in it, that you had to turn the page to see what was going to happen next.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 Very good, leaves you wanting more, which too my mind is the sign of a good author and gets you very involved with the story and the characters, so much so you are cheering them all on from the side lines.  Well worth the read!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".

"What Matters Most," by Kellie Coates Gilbert

"What Matters Most," by Kellie Coates Gilbert
Finding her dream job went right out the window when Leta Breckenridge had to quit school to help care for her mother suffering from dementia. When a delinquent account may force her mother into a less desirable facility, Leta is thrilled to land a high-paying job at an Austin public relations firm. But her seemingly ideal job turns into a nightmare when she learns the firm is a front for a political opposition organization--and that the research she's been collecting will be used against Nathan Emerson, the handsome senator she's swiftly falling in love with.

Nathan is a rising political star being pressured to run a bid to unseat the current governor of Texas. He's already in a relationship with a woman much better suited to be a politician's wife, but he's never met anyone like Leta. Could this feisty woman hold the key to his heart--and his future?


I thought this book was appropriate delving into the political in and outs, with what is going on in the United States at the moment.  All the back room dealing and wheeling was interesting to say the least.  I am quite sure there are things that were mentioned in this book that is probably happening in the "real world," now.  It must be very hard to maintain a high standard of ethics when in politics?

The other part of the story with the dementia aspect hits on a couple of points which is also relevant in today's times.  Trying to find a GOOD home for a dementia sufferer is extremely hard, especially if you don't have endless funds to pay for it like Leta.  Leta had to work two or three jobs to help pay for her mother's care.

This book is part of the Texas Gold series.  I have not read any of the others in the series and from what I could see you don't have too, one book does not follow the other.

Stars out of 5 : 4  It was an enjoyable book, covering a couple of interesting subjects.  Then add the love story into it and although not too taxing on the brain, it's one of those books to read over a couple of afternoons.  Will I remember in a couple of months time; no.  Still, it's well worth the read.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Thursday, July 7, 2016

"From This Moment," by Elizabeth Camden

"From This Moment," by Elizabeth Camden


Stella West's artistic talent made her the toast of London, but when her beloved sister dies under mysterious circumstances she abandons everything and heads for Boston. With single-minded determination she fights to pierce the ring of secrecy surrounding her sister's death. Upon meeting Romulus White, a publisher with connections into every important power circle in the city, she quickly realizes he could be a valuable ally in navigating Boston society.

Romulus has been pursuing Stella for years to create art for his magazine. Her luminous illustrations are the missing piece he needs to propel his magazine to the forefront of the industry, and he will stop at nothing to get her on board. 

Sparks fly the instant they join forces, but Romulus is unsettled by the unwelcome attraction he feels toward Stella, fearing she might be the one woman who could disrupt his hard-won independence. He may have finally met his match in Stella, but is helping her solve the mystery of her sister's death worth the risk to his publishing empire?


This book was interesting as I learned a little about Subway's.  The moral of this story I thought, was to listen to your "gut feelings," which is something I always do.  Stella was an interesting character with immense strength and convictions and it didn't matter who got in her way, she was going to solve her sisters death.  So Romulus as the leading male character was a perfect match for her.  

I found the little details in this book interesting and well thought out.  For example the way the author described the wooden floors Romulus has installed at the office.  May seem like a minor thing but was well thought out.  The "who dunit and why," of this story I didn't figure out until it was revealed, and then it was a "oh that's why that was included in the story."

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 Quite liked this book as it was a little different to other's I have read this month.  The little details made it more real.  Good book to read to fill in an afternoon or two.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".

"No Other Will Do," by Karen Witemeyer

"No Other Will Do," by Karen Witemeyer
Men are optional. That was the credo Emma Chandler's suffragette aunts taught her and why she established Harper's Station, a women's colony that offers a fresh start to females in need. But when a dangerous and shadowy assailant tries repeatedly to drive the women out, Emma is forced to admit they might need a man after all. One who can fight. And there is only one man she trusts enough to ask.

Malachi Shaw has finally earned the respect he's always craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma's telegram arrives, he rushes back to Texas to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she's not a girl any longer. She's a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn't deserve.

As the danger intensifies, Emma, Mal, and the ladies of Harper's Station must choose safety or whether to risk everything to fight for their future.


The moral of this story is that in a "man's world," a woman can succeed when she puts her mind to it.  However if danger looms and other's may suffer, ask for help and this is what Emma did in this novel.  I like the author's work and have read many of her books.  This book had it's ups and downs in the story; the whole women's colony was a bit far fetched for me.  It kept me interested without making me think too much.  I read it in a day and I enjoyed the book.

Stars out of 5:4 I will probably not remember this month by next month, but it was a pleasant read and by an author I enjoy.  Well worth picking up.


"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".

"A Haven on Orchard Lane," by Lawana Blackwell

"A Haven on Orchard Lane," by Lawana Blackwell


Famed actress Charlotte Ward stepped away from the Victorian London stage five years ago. Now in desperate circumstances, she tries to restart her career--only to experience a complete collapse. Against her better judgment, Charlotte's estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother's rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village where her mother can evade the gossip columnists, at least for a time. 

Charlotte is grateful to re-establish even tenuous family ties with Rosalind. As one with regrets over her own romantic past, she's happy to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it's time away from teaching, and now she must care for the mother who wasn't there for her. And what could possibly be more complicated than romance?

But there can be no permanent escape from the threats of recent months. As the privacy they seek is threatened, mother and daughter must make some difficult decisions--ones that jeopardize those they care about most.


I found the start of the book a little confusing in part because more and more character's were introduced.  Now later in the book you got how their lives were intertwined, but when they first appeared you wondered why?  The setting of this book in an English coastal village and the picture on the cover of the book, made for a pleasant setting where the pace of life was slower.  I enjoyed that.

I read the book in just over a day.  It doesn't over tax the brain and it's a perfect book to read by the pool or in front of a fire.  I have never read anything by this author before; but will look for her other books.  I did find the relationship between Rosalind and Charlotte forced, as they went from estrangement to reconciled practically overnight.  Not sure that would happen in real life?

Stars out of 5 : 4 I will not remember this book next month, but it was a nice way to spend a few hours.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".

"An Elegant Facade," by Kristi Ann Hunter

"An Elegant Facade," by Kristi Ann Hunter


Lady Georgina Hawthorne has always known she must marry well. After years of tirelessly planning every detail of her debut season, she is poised to be a smashing success and have her choice of eligible gentlemen. 

With money and powerful business connections but no title, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. He intends to marry someday, but when he does it will not be to a shallow woman like Lady Georgina, whose only concerns appear to be status and appearance.

But beneath her flawless exterior, Georgina's social aspirations stem from a shameful secret she is desperately trying to keep hidden--and that Colin is too close to discovering. Drawn to each other despite their mutual intent to avoid association, is the realization of their dreams worth the sacrifices they'll be forced to make?


This is the second book in the Hawthorne House series by this author.  It carries on from the first book but if you haven't read the first book all is not lost.  You will click what the "shameful secret," is but there are enough other things going on in the book to keep it interesting.  I read this book in a day.  It's neither too long, or a hard story to follow.  Will I remember this book in the months to come..........well I finally clicked I had read the first book in the series after a while, but couldn't remember the full story behind it; so I am guessing this will be the same.

Stars out of 5 : 4 A great book to read on a summer's day or on a cold winter's day.  Not too taxing on the brain and enough going on in the book to keep you interested.


"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".