Tuesday, May 9, 2017

REVIEW: A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd

About the Book

Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley? 

In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question. 

Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love. 

As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.

My Review

Through out reading this series I've had mixed feelings about it. The first book was fantastic, the second book was good but not as great as the first. And this book was a great conclusion to this beautiful regency series. Filled to the brim with mystery, romance, and beautiful descriptions. Although I was not suprised at how good this series was. Sarah's previous regency series is even better than this one so I highly recommend that series as well as this one. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

REVIEW: The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton

About the Book

When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did in life.

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags's ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.

Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid Sheetrock dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.

Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed Mags’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.

When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

My Review

The Hideaway is a sweetly charming debut novel by Lauren K. Denton.

The Hideaway is set in the deep South and begins with Sara going back to her grandmother's estate in Alabama called The Hideaway. Sara planned to return to her shop in New Orleans but that soon changes when she finds her grandmother has left The Hideaway to her in her will and wants Sara to renovate it.

During renovations Sara discovers a box in attic from what seems her grandmother Mag's previous life. Sara is then thrust into putting the puzzle pieces of her grandmother's mysterious life together. 

I ended up really enjoying this novel. Generational stories, romance, mystery, and southern charm. 

Note to Christian readers::: While this novel was published by Thomas Nelson I wouldn't consider it Christian fiction, but rather General fiction. Also adultry is a major theme in this story.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings and based on Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

The Girl Who Could See
by Kara Swanson
(June 1, 2017)

Right Where We Belong
by Various
(May 1, 2017)

All This Time
by Melissa Tagg
(August 2017)

by Melanie Fishbane
(April 25, 2017)

Any Dream Will Do
by Debbie Macomber
(August 8, 2017)

The Color Project
by Sierra Abrams
(July 18, 2017)

Lies Jane Austen Told Me
by Julie Wright
(November 7, 2017)

Lady Jayne Disappears
by Joanna Davidson Politano
(October 3, 2017)

The One That Got Away
by Melissa Pimentel
(July 18, 2017)

The Cottingley Secret
by Hazel Gaynor
(August 1, 2017)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

REVIEW: Let's Be Real by Natasha Bure

About the Book 

From singer and social media celebrity Natasha Bure, the daughter of Candace Cameron Bure, comes a real, honest conversational book that doesn’t hold back. Everywhere she goes and every video she posts has one basic message: this is real, this is life, and we all go through it. Whether it’s acne, boyfriends, faith, stress, or having fun, Natasha’s view is to simply be honest, simply be real, no matter what you face. Natasha’s real and relatable tone paired with personal notes and stories will help readers see that living a “real” life is the best life.

My Review 

Natasha Bure's first book Let's Be Real touches upon many real life subjects. I found it to be written in a very conversational way. It felt like she was talking to me instead of talking at me which I find in many books like this one. I recommend this book to teen girls ages 12 and up.

Friday, March 31, 2017

REVIEW: Stone of Asylum by Hilarey Johnson

About the Book

While war divides a young nation, Argonauts flood burgeoning territories in the west. Some seek wealth; others seek a magic garnet hidden deep in Idaho caves. Those who to guard the stone’s abilities of eternal life and shapeshifting are called Watchers. There are only two left, and they’ve been separated.

An epileptic seizure wrenches fourteen-year-old Eldora from her father and dooms her to an underground insane asylum. When she comes into contact with the star garnet something awakens inside, but she does not yet know how it can free her.

With the stone’s power unprotected, counterfeit shifters exploit it to enslave the country. To reunite the Watchers, Eldora must discover her buried power, and learn to trust it in a world of betrayal and obligation.

My Review

Stone of Asylum is part 1 of Hilarey Johnson's, author of Soveriegn Ground, new Fantasy series, Dance of the Crane. It's the story of fourteen year old Endora (This name totally gives me Bewitched vibes) whom after experiencing an epilepctic seizure is pulled from her father and sent to an underground insane asylum. She soon enough discovers the powerful garnet stone. And Endora must discover her own power to help bring together the Watchers to protect the garnet stone from the wrong hands.

Stone of Asylum, part 1 of the Dance of the Crane Fantasy series, is an exciting, adventurous, and fast paced story. It is filled with complex characters, excellent story building, and hidden power. I also loved how Hilarey weaved Idaho history into a Fantasy setting. I'm also happy to know that this will be a trilogy which makes me feel better with how this story ended with no conclusion. This will be a story perfect for all Fantasy lovers.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

REVIEW: The Memory of You by Catherine West

About the Book

Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.

And Natalie never says no to her father.

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.

But finding freedom from the past means facing it.

My Review

I have to say I was quite impressed with this novel. I was on the fence at first, but I thought why not? The Memory of You is the story of Natalie who lost her twin sister thirteen years ago and has to return to her family owned winery in Sonoma, California after her grandfather suffers a heart attack. Except after she returns her father wants her to shut down the struggling winery. And then there's Tanner, who is trying to salvage the business and help Natalie come back to life.

As I said earlier I was impressed. And this cover...it beautiful. This story actually reminded me a lot of a Hallmark movie I saw a few years ago, but I felt this story was a little more complicated. There is also something here that was so well done and usually hard to find in today's literature...secondary characters. They were just as real as the main characters. All in all I recommend this novel to Contemporary readers.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

REVIEW: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God by Eric Metaxas

About the Book

We all have questions about God. But very few of us get the answers we’re looking for–if those answers even exist! Do they? Where (in heaven’s name) do you go to find out?

Eric Metaxas understands. That’s why he’s written this refreshingly down-to-earth take on the big questions everyone asks (but not always out loud).

Finally a book that takes questions about God seriously enough to get silly (where appropriate). Wonderfully conversational and often very funny, this book joins you in wondering:
·How can a good God create a world that has evil and suffering? 
·Is God anti-sex? 
·Doesn’t science make God obsolete? 
·What’s the real story on miracles? 
·If God is everywhere, why go to church? 
·Don’t we already have God within us? 
·Isn’t God too busy running the universe to care about the details of my day? 
·What does the Bible say about things like UFOs, ESP, and the afterlife–and what about Bigfoot?
These questions (and many more like them) get straight answers that don’t hide behind dull and confusing theological language. So get the lowdown on the big questions everyone asks–but please try not to laugh (because it’s a very serious topic).

My Review

I really like Eric Metaxas as a speaker and was excited to see this book was available for review. I really enjoy books regarding Apologetics and I really loved my Apologetics course in Bible college. So I decided to give this book a whirl. I loved Eric's personal writing style, it felt like I was having a conversation with him and not just reading his words. I also enjoyed his humorous and fun writing style. He made the subject fun but while still taking the subject of apologetics seriously. The Q&A parts of the chapters were great too. Overall I enjoyed this book and will be on the lookout for more book by Metaxas, especially his biographies.