Saturday, April 20, 2013

"A Place to Belong," by Lauraine Snelling

"A Place to Belong," by Lauraine Snelling


The Exciting Conclusion to Lauraine Snelling's WILD WEST WIND series

As winter settles over the Engstrom ranch, Cassie Lockwood has a lot on her mind. The way Lucas Engstrom smiles at her should set her heart to tripping. But it doesn't. Shouldn't there be some attraction to him if they are going to be married? His vow to make her love him doesn’t seem to be working, no matter how considerate and charming he is. And then there's the look she caught him sending Betsy Hudson at church one Sunday. Are she and Lucas drifting apart?

During a short trip away, Cassie realizes she must make other plans for her future. But what will the Engstroms say when she announces plans to leave the ranch and join a Wild West show?

I just loved this book, couldn't put it down and had to know what was going to happen next.  The story made you feel warm inside and I loved the way a lot of it was related around the kitchen and loved the descriptions of what meals were made.  Will say they did an awful lot of cooking in those days.  

The synopsis above and on the back of the book is good as it doesn't give the plot away, as there are a few twists and turns in this book that keeps things interesting.

Stars out of 5 : 5 You are sucked up into the story right away.  It's a great book to end the Wild West Wind series and honestly I think there is a lot more stories to be told about the Engstrom family.  You should read the first two books as well Valley of Dreams and Whisper's in the Wind, you will not be disappointed.



"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".

Friday, April 19, 2013

"Rules of Civility," by Amor Towles

"Rules of Civility," by Amor Towles
Set in New York City in 1938, Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising twenty-five-year-old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.

The story opens on New Year’s Eve in a Greenwich Village jazz bar, where Katey and her boardinghouse roommate Eve happen to meet Tinker Grey, a handsome banker with royal blue eyes and a ready smile. This chance encounter and its startling consequences cast Katey off her current course, but end up providing her unexpected access to the rarified offices of Conde Nast and a glittering new social circle. Befriended in turn by a shy, principled multimillionaire, an Upper East Side ne’er-do-well, and a single-minded widow who is ahead of her times, Katey has the chance to experience first hand the poise secured by wealth and station, but also the aspirations, envy, disloyalty, and desires that reside just below the surface. Even as she waits for circumstances to bring Tinker back into her orbit, she will learn how individual choices become the means by which life crystallizes loss.

I "won" this book from an online competition, but can't remember from where, as I have had it for a while.  I decided as I was sick I would catch up with some reading and this was one of the books on my list to read.  It wasn't my usual choice of book, but it made a change.  I never clicked about what exactly was going on underneath the story, but it all made sense when revealed.

It was a bit too wordy for me this book, and it did take a while to get into it, but once you got into it, it was interesting and you needed to know what happened next.  I do know one thing though Katey's life seemed to be very active, but I guess when you're in your 20's a busy life is a good thing.

This book also points out it's not what you know, but who you know, that helps you get breaks in your life!!!!

Stars out of 5 : 3 Glad I read the book, but probably won't read any more of is books in the future.  Well worth looking for in the library though, it you're looking for a change of pace and are interested in the late 30's early 40's of New York.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"To Honor and Trust," by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

"To Honor and Trust," by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller


Come home to magnificent Bridal Veil Island resort!

Bridal Veil Island, Georgia 1913

Callie Deboyer arrives at Bridal Veil Island to spend the winter working as a governess for the Bridgeport family. However, she finds she can't fully enjoy the beautiful resort because questions about her future weigh heavily on her mind: Should she continue in this job she enjoys, or is God calling her to join her parents in their missionary work?

When she enrolls young Thomas Bridgeport in golf lessons, Callie meets instructor Wesley Townsend, who urges Callie to take lessons, as well. During their time together, Callie comes to care for Wes--until she discovers that he's been hiding something very important from her.

Then expensive pieces go missing from various homes around the island, and suspicion is aimed in Callie's direction. Callie wonders if this is a sign she should leave it all behind and join her parents in Africa. Considering Wesley's deceit, will he ever be a man Callie can honor and trust for the rest of her life?

This is the third in the Bridal Veil Island series and it fits in well with the other two books.  Very easy read and entertaining, though it was a tad slow in places.  Callie and Wes are made for one another, but Wes has to win Callie's trust and with every love story there are ups and downs along the way.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 If you have read "To Love and Cherish," and "To Have and To Hold," you will enjoy this book also.  It is well worth reading the whole 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".

Sunday, April 14, 2013

"The Lesson," by Suzanne Woods Fisher



Sometimes love shows up when you least expect it.

Nineteen-year-old Mary Kate Lapp yearns for adventure, but all she seems to find is trouble. Her dreams of travel have taken a backseat to her assignment to teach school this year. And nothing ever seems to happen in her sleepy Amish community.

But when a sudden and unexplained death conveniently coincides with the arrival of a mysterious young man, M.K. is frustrated that no one takes it seriously. She’s determined to take matters into her own hands and get to the bottom of it. Will she find more than she bargained for?

Centered on one of bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher’s most loved characters, this is the Stoney Ridge story you have been waiting for. With a surprise at every turn, a gentle romance, and a shocking answer to an old family mystery, The Lesson is the dramatic conclusion to the Stoney Ridge Seasons series.

This book was really good, other than one thing, and that was the way it ended.  As it says above it's the last in the Stoney Ridge Series, but the way it ended there was still so much to say.  I do hope that Suzanne does indeed decide to write more, especially about Mary Kate, as she is a character, where I feel there is much more to tell.

This series of books are a must to read, and well worth reading.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 It would have been a 5 out of 5 but for the ending.  It's an easy read, a fun story with enough happening in it to make you want to turn the page to see what is going to happen next.

"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".


"The Gate," by Dann A. Stouten

"The Gate," by Dann A. Stouten


Every life is a story. Schuyler Hunt is about to come face-to-face with the author of his.

When a planned getaway with his wife turns into a shopping trip for the girls, Schuyler Hunt finds himself looking for something else to do. An ad for a vacation cottage catches his eye, and he sets off in search of a much-needed break. When he arrives, he finds something far different from the typical summer home experience. In fact, he may have found a little slice of heaven.

The proprietor-along with a number of unexpected and yet familiar guests-welcomes him with food, rest, and conversation, until what started out as an escape from everyday life turns into something much, much more . . .

“There is a real world all around us. We taste and feel it every day. There is also another world where God dwells and those who have gone before us live with Jesus. Dann Stouten helps us discover that these two places intersect more than we often notice. If we pay close attention, we just might see, smell, and learn to taste the goodness of a world beyond this one.”-Kevin Harney, author of Reckless Faith

I honestly don't know what to really say about this book, other than, I didn't "get" it.  The book was long and tedious to me and it's not a long book only 245 pages.  Even after reading it all I am still confused?  Was Schuyler dreaming or did what happens in the book really happen?  I have no idea.  Anyone who has read this book please feel free to enlighten me?

I think the quote from Kevin Harney, above, sort of explains it.

Stars out of 5 : 2 As I said I didn't get it, but you may.

"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".



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"Better than Chocolate," by Sheila Roberts

"Better than Chocolate," by Sheila Roberts


Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company has been in the Sterling family for generations, ever since Great-Grandma Rose literally dreamed up her first fabulous recipe. But now it looks as if they're about to lose Sweet Dreams to the bank—and that would be a disaster, not only for the family but for the town of Icicle Falls, Washington. Can Samantha, the oldest daughter and new head of the company, come up with a way to save it?

After Samantha does some brainstorming with her mother and sisters, inspiration strikes. They'll have a chocolate festival! Time's running out, but the Sterling women are determined and the town's behind them, so everything's bound to go smoothly….

Or not. Events seem to be conspiring against Samantha, and her mother's attempts to help aren't helping. To make matters worse, the fate of her company is in the hands of her archenemy, Blake Preston, the bank manager with the football-hero good looks. It's enough to drive her to chocolate. But Blake's also enough to convince her that (believe it or not) there's something even better than chocolate.


This was a really good book.  A feel good book, that is easy to read and a story where you want the lead character Samantha, to succeed.  The way the town of Icicle Falls is described makes you want to visit there yourself.  Also the way Sheila introduces other characters makes you want to learn more about them.  There are three books in the Icicle Falls series so far, you can see all three here, and I would hope there are more to come.

Stars out of 5: a solid 5 loved this book, enjoyed the way Sheila wrote and her type of writing.  She is an author I will be looking out to read more of.

This book was provided by Harlequin, but my opinions are my own.  Here is a link if you would like to be a member of the readers panel.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Love at Any Cost," by Julie Lessman

"Love at Any Cost," by Julie Lessman

He’s looking to take care of his family. She’s looking to take care of her heart. Trouble is . . . love’s looking to take care of them both.

Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Jilted by a fortune hunter, Cassidy travels west hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart. Can love prevail when Jamie discovers that Cassidy is poorer than he is? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man?

This was a super book.  Loved Cassidy she makes a perfect lead character and so relate able.  Jamie is someone with such a deep heart and cares so deeply for his family, that you can't help but love him.  They are perfect for one another, but love never runs smoothly and that's the case with this book.

This is Book One in the San Francisco series and I can't wait to read the next one.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 Took a couple of chapters to get me hooked but once I did it was great.  There is a twist in the book which is so good and totally unexpected which adds to the book.  Well worth the read by a great author.

"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".


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"Sweet Sanctuary," by Kim Vogel Sawyer

"Sweet Sanctuary," by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Lydia Eldredge longs to provide sanctuary for her young son, Nicky. But a constant threat comes from Nicky's drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get him.
Dr. Micah Hatcher faithfully serves the immigrant population of Queens, New York. But under cover of darkness, he has a secret mission that challenges everything he thought he wanted out of life.

When Lydia and Micah's paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other's callings. Together, they seek a refuge of safety--for Nicky, for themselves, and for the needy people God puts into their lives. Amid turmoil and discord, can hope and love prevail?

I am a fan of Kim Vogel Sawyer's books, but this one had something missing for me.  It was interesting and both Micah and Lydia were great lead characters; but both seemed a little too good to be true to me.  Micah's secret missions were well written and believable, however please read the author's note at the end about them.  The web link she provides is very informative and I learned a few things I didn't know about.  Sorry I can't be more specific without giving the story away.

Stars out of 5 : 3 the book is an easy read; you do get hooked right away, but it did have that certain something missing for me.  Would I recommend it; yes.


"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 Dance," by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

"The Dance," by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley


Love’s recovery starts with a single step . . .

After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn Anderson is tired of playing the role of perfect wife. Her husband Jim is a successful businessman who gives her everything she needs-a beautiful home in an upscale neighborhood, the financial freedom to be a stay-at-home mom, an enviable collection of stuff. Everything, that is, except what really matters: love.

After years of trying to connect with Jim, Marilyn has had enough. She longs to experience some measure of happiness before she’s too old to enjoy it. Needing some time to herself to sort things out, Marilyn leaves to start a new job and take dancing lessons-something she has wanted to do for as long as she can remember.

Shocked to find his wife gone, Jim Anderson must sort through the past to save his marriage. With a little help from an unexpected ally, he begins a campaign to win Marilyn back. What he doesn’t anticipate is how his actions will affect everyone around him-starting with himself.

This is one book which I think both men and women would benefit from reading, as it speaks to both sexes.  I was hooked very early on and had to know what was going to happen next.  There was a twist in it that I really liked and it had to do with the weather, totally unexpected but appropriate.

I was impressed how this book all came together and how it will apply to the modern day living in which we all experience.

Stars out of 5 : 5 a keeper and a book I think you should all read, as especially for folk who have been married for a while; you tend to not fully appreciate one another day in, day out.

"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".