Saturday, July 08, 2017

Review of Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge

Nutshell: Have you read Sense and Sensibility? Well, modernize that to present day and you have this great book! Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves in a bit of a pickle due to their father's choices at work. Their last name has been tainted, and while their father flies off to another country to continue his life, these sisters are now the guardian's of their youngest sister and need to find a course of action and fast! They decide to open a tea shop...how hard can that be? After years of success and making a promising name for themselves, the building is handed over to new management and they find themselves on a new adventure, heading for Texas where a cousin lives. Floundering in their personal relationships, Jane with her new boyfriend and Celia with her broken heart, these sisters learn what it really means to be a family and put family above all else when hearts are broken. Between cousins, new boyfriends, and a man who loves Jane, but she is off-limits, follow this story of the Woodward family to find out how their lives become better than a cup of tea.

Pro's: An exceptionally light and easy read that makes you feel all sorts of goodness inside by the time you are done. Lodge did a fantastic job spinning this classic in to modern day-ness. With a light-hearted plot that keeps you engaged all the way through, this book will be one you will want to keep on your shelf and re-read down the road. Also, the recipes at the end of each chapter!! I will be making some of these...I'm a sucker for recipes!

Con's: Not many! There wasn't a whole lot of characters to keep straightened out and the plot was light and simple. Jane's jump from one guy to another was a bit abrupt, but so goes classics and the time-era this story was originally set in. :)

Recommendation: A definite yes! I'll be pulling out the original to read too as this was such a fun story! If you enjoy Jane Austin, you will enjoy this! WaterBrookMultnomah sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Review of Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh

Nutshell: Lane Kelley is on a new path she has formed for herself. Far away from her family in the sleepy town of Harbor Pointe, Michigan. She is now on a new journey in the bustling city of Chicago working for a fast-paced interior designer firm and she's about to land the promotion she's worked countless hours for. Then one phone call changes her life and she finds herself back in sleepy Harbor Pointe at the bedside of one of her brother's who is clinging to life. She is torn in two between being there for him when he wakes up from his coma and being back in Chicago - so she can flee from home. But then long-time family friend, Ryan Brooks re-inserts himself in her life and she is beyond confused as to what is most important in life. In the end, which path will her life head down?

Pro's: Loved that the book was set in Michigan, my home state! The story was a great reminder that no matter how quirky family is, they are still your family. And that forgiveness can go a long way in healing old wounds and re-awaken new friendships, even among family. I enjoyed the intertwining story lines of the lives of the two main characters. Great story line and a great book overall!

Con's: Very few! There was a lot of family to navigate through and remember who was who and who belonged to who, but the reader gets the hang of it as the book continues.

Recommendation: If you're looking for a book to read on a chilly, rainy day, or while sitting soaking up the rays at the beach and don't want anything heavy, you will enjoy this one! Tyndale Publishers sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review of Dark Deception by Nancy Mehl

Nutshell: Kate O'Brien and her sister were brutally attacked one evening and her sister ended up dying. The images of that night haunt Kate. After her court date where she testified against her killer, mayhem erupts in the courtroom and even more people are killed. Kate enters in to the witness protection program and begins a new life in a new town and tries to move forward. But then years later, she is ordered to come and re-testify, drawing back up the memories from long ago. The man who was thought to be her sister's killer has new evidence proving he wasn't the infamous serial killer who took her sister's and many others' lives. One man is there to walk through it all with her. Deputy Marshall Tony DeLuca. He helped her through the original trial and now is back to help her through this walk down a horrific memory lane. Is her killer guilty of all these crimes or is there someone else hiding out there waiting to take her down?

Pro's: A gripping story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you enjoy suspense mystery, this is book is for you! It's book 2 in the Defenders of Justice series, but it reads like it's own story, which is extremely helpful. Twists and turns keep the reader flipping page after page in wondering what is going to happen.

Con's: If you have a weak stomach, this is not the book to read, especially at night when the house is quiet and dark. :) It is graphic in nature, even from the start. But if that doesn't bother you, you'll enjoy this book!

Recommendation: A suspense/thriller mystery that has you sucked in from the beginning. Hard to put down. This is not a light, fluffy book, so if you rather read a light-hearted books, this one is not for you. If you enjoy the thrill of mystery that keeps you in suspense, this is for you!

Bethany House Publishers sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Review of Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson

Nutshell: WWII. Best friends Daniel and Brigitte run for their lives to escape the Gestapo who invaded their houses one sunny day. Finally making it to England the 13 and 10 year old become separated. Daniel had promised Brigitte he would always care for her and decades later, he still held on to that promise. Knowing that his life is coming to a close, and needing to know Brigitte is still alive and well, Daniel taps his lawyer Lucas Hough to convince up and coming American journalist Quenby Vaughn to find Brigitte.  Quenby's journey in finding Brigitte becomes personal and her heart travels on a path that intertwines with the past and her present.

Pro's: A fresh storyline that has you engrossed from the beginning. Two stories which become aligned throughout the plot. A fantastic read that will keep you up in to the late hours of the night wondering what is going to show up on the next page. Dobson weaves two lives, two different eras into one story line that captures the reader from beginning to end.

Con's: That the book had to end! There was nothing I would say needs changed in this book.

Recommendation: Definitely read this book. Twists and turns and an ending that you didn't see coming will have you enjoying this book all the way through.

Tyndale House Publishers sent me this complimentary copy for review. Opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Review of Life After by Katie Ganshert

Nutshell: Main character, Autumn Manning boarded a train heading home when minutes in to the ride, an explosion changed the course of her life forever. Being the only survivor of the purposeful blast, Autumn finds herself floundering through life, engrossed in the lives of those who died and spinning into a downward cycle that gets darker day after day. This is a story about a woman's survival and how one little motherless girl reaches out to Autumn and changes the trajectory they both are on.

Pro's: What an impactful, powerful story of seeing life beyond one's own nose and misery. How other's are affected in spite of tragedy. How tragedy can grow something beautiful. How stories can impact one person's life. A beautiful heart wrenching, agonizing story that blossoms in to hope. The words. The story line. Feeling like you are standing on the sidelines a part of these characters. Well written and one of the best books I have read.

Con's: Not really any! It was slightly difficult to grasp all of Autumn's family members. But other than that, a fantastic read!

Recommendation: I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a bit of a heavier read. It is not light and fluffy, but a pretty emotionally full book.

Blogging for Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Review of Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon

This is the 3rd book in the Hope Harbor Series by Irene Hannon. She has sculpted another soft, quaint, sea-side novel that is filled with hope. You can feel the sea breezes as you read about Lexie Graham and Adam Stone and the events that tie them together. Each helping the other, walls being broken down, pasts brought to the forefront with forgiveness as the tie that binds it together.

Mix in previous characters from other books, a taco truck vendor who bestows wisdom and has an uncanny look in to each person's trials and strengths, and a kid headed down the wrong path who becomes attached to the felon and you have the daily going-ons in this small, Oregon town.

I enjoyed how the author ties in previous characters, but they feel new to the reader. Her descriptive words and storytelling keep the reader engaged throughout the entire book. If you are looking for a story that keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat, this is not it. If you are looking for a book that is not too heavy and has a feel-good flow, you will enjoy this one.

There wasn't really anything I didn't enjoy about this book. If you need to know the stories of the secondary characters, then you'll enjoy her previous two books, which are constructed along the same lines as this one.

Reveal Books sent me a complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Review of Still Life by Dani Pettrey

This is book 2 in the Chesapeake Valor Series by Dani Pettrey. A suspense mystery novel that will keep you wondering what will happen next. Book two is about photographer, Avery Tate, and her quest to find out about her missing friend who posed in an art gallery photo where she appeared to be dead. Avery and her new friends are on a mission to find the photographer behind the chilling photo.

This book was suspenseful and kept you hanging with each turn of the page. A fast-paced action storyline where a few different plots kept you wondering how each one would turn out. I enjoyed the fact that there were a few smaller spotlights on other characters throughout the book. This helped peak the readers interest in the next book that may be coming in the series. These sub-plots were of a different nature than the main plot which kept the book moving along until the end.

I started reading this book and realized I had no idea who any of the characters were, but was reading it as if they had already been introduced elsewhere. I ended up purchasing and reading the first book, Cold Shot, then jumped in to the 2nd book. That helped an immense amount in understanding the characters and more of their backstory and how they all related to each other.

If you enjoy suspense mystery fiction, you will enjoy this book. Read the first book in the series though....it'll make the second book more enjoyable and understandable to read!

Bethany House Publishers sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Review of Murder Is No Accident by A.H. Gabhart

Sheriff Michael Keane find himself in the midst of another murder. How does the quaint little town he grew up in yet again become the news of murder? Travel with him through his findings to discovery who the culprit is!

A.H. Gabhart does it once again with her talent of spinning a murder tale entwined with a sleepy, cozy town to produce a story that keeps you reading along. Not suspenseful like other novels, Gabhart crafts a sweet story with a splash of mystery, throws in a bit of love and you have Murder is No Accident.

If you enjoy a not-so-heavy murder mystery full of suspense and violence, you will enjoy this book. My recommendation would be to read the first two books in this series. Not only because they are good, but it will help place the characters and their relationships that are already formed.

Revell Books sent me this complimentary book to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.