Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"A Heart Most Certain," by Melissa Jagears

"A Heart Most Certain," by Melissa Jagears


Lydia King knows what it's like to be in need, so she joins the Teaville Moral Society hoping to help the town's poor. But with her father's debts increasing by the day and her mother growing sicker by the week, she wonders how long it will be until she ends up in the poorhouse herself. Her best chance at a financially secure future is to impress the politician courting her, and it certainly doesn't hurt that his mother is the moral society's president. Lydia's first task as a moral society member--to obtain a donation from Nicholas Lowe, the wealthiest man in town--seems easy . . . until the man flat-out refuses.

Despite appearances, Nicholas wants to help others but prefers to do it his own way, keeping his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, though Nicholas has a few surprises up his sleeve. Neither foresees the harrowing complications that will arise from working together, and when town secrets are brought to light, this unlikely pair must decide where their beliefs--and hearts--truly align.


When I think back to when I read this book my first thought about Nicholas is "never judge a book by it's cover."  Also the saying "practice what you preach" comes to mind about the Teaville Moral Society.  For the historical point of view this was very interesting especially what "working women" had to go through in the late 1800's, and how these women's children suffered.

Also it brought to mind another saying, "but by the Grace of God, we could be in that position, about the character Lydia and her mother.  There were other valuable lessons weaved into this book, that we could all use and were a good reminder.

The characters were easy to love and the story easy to follow.  This book is the first book in the "Teaville Moral Society," series.

Stars out of 5 : 4 Good book, plenty to keep you interested and not overly taxing on the brain.  Looking forward to reading her next book in the series.

"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
".

"The Artisan's Wife," by Judith Miller

"The Artisan's Wife," by Judith Miller


Ainslee McKay's world is upended when her twin sister secretly elopes and leaves Ainslee alone to move to Weston, West Virginia, to fulfill their obligation at the McKay family's new tile works. While her brother, Ewan, agrees to travel with her and help her learn the ropes, she still intends to sell this business she no longer wants if a buyer can be found.

When the talented Levi Judson arrives to show Ainslee his designs for new tiles, she's impressed at his skill and passion for the business but feels she must keep her true plans for the business a secret from him. And though Levi hopes for a long, successful career at McKay Tile Works, he's hiding his true reason for coming to Weston. Can the growing feelings between them survive if the truth comes to light--or is a future together as untenable as the future of the tile works itself?


This is the third book in the "Refined By Love," series and I have read them all.  They are good as stand alone books as well as reading them in order of the series.  The characters do flow from one book to another and each have a theme and are set in West Virginia.  I enjoyed the historical facts/references to mental institutions and how the author included details of why some people we put into the Asylum.  Many by the way for very petty reasons.

The mystery about Levi, wasn't really a mystery to my mind.  The love story between Ainslee and Levi, was pretty straight forward and the book itself was an easy read.  I am glad I read them all and it is well worth either buying them or borrowing them from the library.

Stars out of 5 : 4 This is one of my shopping list books.  One where I can read this and think of other things at the same time.  It's a good relaxing book to read over a couple of afternoons.  I am personally a fan of Judith Miller's book.

"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 Tapestry of Secrets," by Sarah Loudin Thomas

"A Tapestry of Secrets," by Sarah Loudin Thomas
For decades, Perla Phillips has hidden the truth of a decision that still fills her with guilt. But now, seeing her granddaughter, Ella, struggle in a similar way, she's prepared to finally open the past to her family, no matter the consequences. But when the opportunity is snatched from her in a most unexpected manner, will she have waited too long?

Spanning generations, this moving family drama weaves together the interlocking stories of two women as they navigate relationships, family, faith, and the choices that will shape their lives. Heartwarming and nostalgic, the story explores the courage to share the wounds of the past and celebrates the legacy a family passes from one generation to the next. 


My first thought about this book was " you never know what is around the corner."  This book explains this oh so well, when Perla is taken ill.  Also keeping secrets may at the time seem like a good idea, but it will come back and bite you in the butt later down the line.

This book was a nice read, but I can honestly say I had forgotten I had read it.  I read it at the end of last month and hadn't gotten around to posting a review, so had to really think back to remember what this book was all about. 

I thought Ella was such a strong person with strong convictions, who needed to be around her family to grow.  The bond between her and her grandmother was so special, and one I hope to have with my granddaughters.  

Stars out of 5 : 4 I read it over a couple of days and I enjoyed it, but it's not a book I will remember down the road.  If you like books about family bonding this is one for you.

"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
".

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
".