Monday, July 21, 2014

"Full Steam Ahead," by Karen Witemeyer

"Full Steam Ahead," by Karen Witemeyer

When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead?

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole's father has always focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father's rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole's plans.

After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family's legacy?


If you are looking for a book to read that is as light hearted as the cover picture, this book is for you.  From the sparks that fly between Nicole and Darius right from the beginning, you know it's not going to be a straight forward attraction/courtship. The ups and downs that they go through make the story all that more interesting.

I am a big fan of Karen Witemeyer and this book doesn't disappoint.  Make sure you do read the Note to the Reader at the end, as that confirms a few interesting points that were brought up in the book about steamships.  Again I am a fan of all things history so this appealed to me.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 A good book to pick up when you want a light hearted read.  You may not be a fan of mechanical things but this book was interesting without getting overly technical and boring you all.  I thought the cover portrayed the characters to a tee and the way that Karen writes her books she brings them to life.  If I had to explain the character Nicole in a couple of words I would say "Fire Cracker," and Darius, "Dark & Moody!!"

"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".

"Love Comes Home," by Ann H. Gabhart

"Love Comes Home," by Ann H. Gabhart

When the flush of victory fades, there remains a winding road to an uncertain future.
World War II is finally over and the people of Rosey Corner are joyfully welcoming the boys home. The Merritt sisters in particular are looking toward the future. Kate is eager to start a family and live out her dream of happily ever after with Jay. Evangeline craves a beautiful house and encourages Mike to pastor a big-town church. Victoria wants what can never be. And Lorena is growing up and wondering more and more about her birth family.

Each sister must learn to hold her plans with a loose hand, trusting that God will guide and strengthen them as they share the joys and sorrows of life in their little corner of the world.


I have this love/hate relationship with Ann Gabhart's novels.  I always find them so difficult to sink my teeth into, but as long as I persevere I am usually rewarded with a fulfilling book to read.  This one was no different from the rest, took a while to get hooked, but once hooked didn't want to put it down.

It is a book where you will need a tissue to wipe away a tear or two as you are sucked into the Merritt sister's lives.  I don't feel it is necessary to read Ann's prior books about Rosey Corner as you will be able to figure out what is going on.  I think of all the sister's it was Victoria's story that interested and captured me the most.

Stars out of 5 : 4 I just wish Ann's stories were easier to get involved with from the get go.  I find it hard work when I start reading a book by her and I'm not sure why.  I would be interested to see if anyone else has this issue?  I don't think the story of the Merritt sister's has ended I hope Ann will continue on with their lives in another book?

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

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

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Captured By Love," by Jody Hedlund

"Captured By Love," by Jody Hedlund

The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders.

Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who's grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley.

As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they'll risk for love.


This book was a bit of a slow start for me; it took a few chapters for me to get engrossed in the story.  When I did I thought it was a good book.  The tension between the main character's Pierre and Angelique was well written and you could envision the sparks flying between them.

I personally don't know much of the history between the British and the Americans in the early 1800's so that too was interesting to me.  One part of the book did confuse me and that was the character Lavinia.  She seemed a pointless part to the story and her taking Angelique under her wing didn't fit in with the story I thought.

Stars out of 5 : 3.5 It was an okay book, but a bit of a slow start.  I will say you must read the author's note at the end as that is very interesting.

"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, July 13, 2014

"The Chalk Girl," by Carol O'Connell

"The Chalk Girl," by Carol O'Connell


The eight-year-old girl appeared in New York’s Central Park one day: red-haired, blue-eyed, dirty-faced, smiling widely. She looked perfect, like a porcelain fairy—except for the blood on her shoulders. It fell from the sky, she told the police. It happened while she was looking for her Uncle Red, who had turned into a tree. Right, they thought, poor child. And then they found the body in the tree.

For Mallory, newly returned to the Special Crimes Unit after three months’ lost time, spent she will not say where, there is something about the girl that she understands. Mallory is damaged, they say, dangerously unstable, but she can tell a kindred spirit when she sees one. And this one will ultimately lead her to a story of extraordinary crimes, to murders stretching back fifteen years, to blackmail and complicity and a particular cruelty that perhaps only someone with Mallory’s history could fully recognize. In the next few weeks, she will deal with them all…in her own way.


This is the July pick for the new book club I have joined and what book.  It is one of those books you don't want to put down as you HAVE to know what is going to happen next.  I would describe this book like an onion as there are so many layers to it, and you have to peel one layer away to discover what is going to happen next.

Now as this is the first time I have read a book by this author I am not sure if I should have read her other books which include the Mallory character first to get a better understanding of her?  I am thinking not, but do feel I will read her other books as I like the way she writes.

It isn't a hard to figure out "who done it," type of book, but it is hard to narrow down the exact "why?"  I do hope I never come across this delightful cast of characters in real life though!!  I did learn something new, as prior to this book I had never heard of "Williams Syndrome."

Stars out of 5 : 4.5  You really need to concentrate when reading this book, especially at the start when the author starts introducing new "players" into the story.  Also at the beginning of each chapter there is a paragraph in italics by Ernest Nadler, pay attention to that, as that plays into the story.  It took me a while to click what that was all about and had went back to re-read those.  I would really recommend you all reading this book.

"A Woman of Fortune," by Kellie Coates Gilbert

"A Woman of Fortune," by Kellie Coates Gilbert

You never know what you're really made of until you lose everything.
Texas socialite Claire Massey is living the dream--designer clothes, luxury cars, stunning homes. But everything comes crashing down when her charming cattle broker husband is arrested for fraud. Suddenly she finds herself facing attorneys, a media frenzy, and a trail of broken hearts. Betrayed and humiliated, Claire must face incredible odds to save her family--and discover a life worth living.


I really enjoyed this book, it was one of those books where you had to see what happens next.  It was also a book where one minute life is going along at a great pace then all of a sudden it all comes to a stop and everything is taken away from you and you have to re-group and start afresh.

I loved the author's take on this "crisis" that affects all the family and we see it from the family of the fraudster's point of view.  We also see how fickle and devious people who surround them are and who their true friends are.

One of the things I found really interesting was the emotions that Claire went through regarding her marriage.  It made you think I wonder what I would do if that happened to me.  I would like to think I would make the same choice as Claire did.  It also questions how strong they were as a family unit;  as they say blood is thicker than water.

Stars out of 5 : 5 and a solid 5 at that.  This book is not only entertaining to read it also brings up the questions as to what would you do in the same situation.  It also brings up the point, never believe everything you read in the media.

"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".