Showing posts with label Christian Romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian Romance. Show all posts

Monday, July 23, 2012

Misc Monday - The Beginners Goodbye


The Beginner's GoodbyeThe Beginner's Goodbye

By: Anne Tyler
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 2 stars

Summary:
Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron spent his childhood fending off a mother and a sister who want to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, self-dependent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace.

My Thoughts:
I have read Anne Tyler before, I liked Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant but this book that I read wasn't written by a Pulitzer Prize winner. I didn't really like Aaron or Dorothy or really anyone else. I thought Aaron was unnecessarily harsh with everyone around him. There were parts of the novel where I wanted to smack him upside the head and shout "no you idiot, get over yourself and give some attention to someone besides yourself!" And Dorothy's visits...they seemed to really have no explanation or point. He talks about how other people saw her too but only in passing, I was waiting for an incident to go into further detail. And I didn't really feel like Aaron grew at all. He seemed to be the same all the way through until magically a couple of years after the fact he **spoiler**(highlight to see it) has married Peggy and has a little girl who he loves to play with at the park**spoiler done** really makes no sense to me. Also, he sounded 60 not the 36 he is supposed to be, the whole cast felt like a retirement community not like contemporaries. 

Overall, I would stick with Anne Tyler's older works and pass on this one. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Misc Monday - Uneasy Fortunes

Uneasy FortunesUneasy Fortunes
By: Mandi Ellsworth
Genre: Christian Romance
Rating: 3.5 stars


Summary from Goodreads:
Battered by his past, Pete knows he has no business falling for anyone. But when time can’t heal a wound, love steps in to make it right. Based on a true story of the post–Civil War South, this gentle rustic romance will pull you in from the first page and leave you with a renewed hope in the power of real love.


My  Thoughts:
I found this to be a very sweet novel.  All of the characters were more real than what is generally found in romance novels. There wasn't some bolt of lightning romance, as the characters grew their relationships grew with them.  Everyone was facing challenges and figuring out how to deal with them in the best way they could. It's less a story about love and more a story about growing up and learning to live life after tragedy. 


It was a perfect "de-stressor" and something that I read a chapter or two of before going to bed to help calm down after finals. If there was one thing I would change it would be the going back and forth in dialect. Sometimes the characters were speaking "southern" and sometimes "yankee" I wouldn't really care which one was picked, I just wanted the author to choose.


Many Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this book for review.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fluffy Friday - Secrets on the Wind


Secrets on the WindSecrets on the Wind

by: Stephanie Grace Whitson
Genre: Historical, Christian Romance
Rating: 3.5

Summary:
After two people experience things which no person should have to endure one woman brings them together and helps set them on the path to healing. Laina, who was saved from certain death, struggles to overcome what has happened to her and the resulting nightmares. Sargent Nathan Boone still fights to get past the death of his wife. Granny Max helps to guide them to inner peace.

My Thoughts:
Before we seriously begin, I'd like to state that I have no idea where the title came from. It still confuses me. Now on to the real review. 

I have already read a Whitson novel, and find this one to be much less confusing than the other.  It is nice to read about a hero and a heroine who have had pasts that aren't something to be proud of. Too often the knight in shining armor is perfect...and while perfect is nice, for me personally that would be a little daunting. 
I loved Laina. Her inner conflict was fun to watch and see how she grew up and past what she was into the best version of who she could be. 
Also, this book thankfully didn't take the path of least resistance. the characters who I marked as ending up together never did, I like it when that happens. Too often I find things to be too predictable and I get bored.

I would recommend this for people who love historical christian romance.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Historical Thursday - Sixteen Brides


Sixteen BridesSixteen Brides

by: Stephanie Grace Whitson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 stars

Summary:
When 16 women go west searching for land they realize that they have been tricked and are instead being taken west as prospective brides. Well, six women of that group won't settle for that and they decide to go off and start up a claim of their own.

My thoughts:
One point of view is good, Three is difficult but manageable, anything more than that is ridiculous. I almost had to make a chart determining which woman came from where and which man was interested in them. It was so confusing that I spent a lot of the first half just figuring out characters names. Once that all got sorted out however I loved what I was reading.
Each one of these women were very strong characters in her own right and were a joy to read. I like how Whitson was able to create so many variations of womanhood. From a southern belle, a northern woman and her mama and a spitfire red-head all different kinds were shown. 
The men in the novel were all nice as well but it was the women of the novel who really made it for me.

If you have the patience to figure out which woman is which I would highly recommend this novel! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Misc. Monday - 60 Acres and a Bride

Sixty Acres and a Bride60 Acres and a Bride
By: Regina Jennings
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 3.5 Stars


Summary from GR:
With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to Texas and the family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have only three months to pay. Though facing eviction, Rosa can't keep herself from falling in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. Learning the American customs is not easy, however, and this beautiful young widow can't help but catch wandering eyes. Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, to what lengths will Rosa go to save her future.


My Thoughts:
I had a lot of fun reading this...though I probably should have been writing papers for school at the time. (I can't wait for summer to come!) Rosa was a sweet character who showed the culture clash between America and Mexico in Texas at this time. The fact that this is a debut novel makes me happy because I believe that as she grows and matures as an author, Jennings will be one of the better historical writers. 


Her characters were warm and likable. Weston was the perfect combination of fortitude and protectiveness without seeming to be overbearing. This of course is enough to make the females reading this swoon. Rosa was a good counterpart to him with her genuine goodness and innocence. With both of them struggling to adjust to the curve balls life has thrown at them it is fun to see how they come grow into their new selves. 

Many thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me with a book for review!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Historical Thursday - The Guardian Duke

The Guardian Duke: A Forgotten Castles NovelThe Guardian Duke
By: Jamie Carie
Genre: Christian Romance
Rating: 3.5 Stars


Summary From Goodreads:

The Guardian Duke is award-winning novelist Jamie Carie’s most exciting story yet, a uniquely arranged Regency-era romantic adventure where hero and heroine know each other through written letters but have yet to meet.
Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, is ordered by the King to take guardianship over Lady Alexandria Featherstone whose parents are presumed dead after failing to return from a high profile treasure hunt. But Alexandria ignores this royal reassignment, believing her parents are still alive and duly following clues that may lead to their whereabouts. Gabriel, pressured by what are actually the King’s ulterior motives, pursues her across windswept England and the rolling green hills of Ireland but is always one step behind.
My Thoughts:

Well this ending was the very definition of cliff-hanger. I just finished the book and was saddened to see how long of a wait it is until the next one. I loved Alex as a heroine. She is the headstrong, idiotic young adult who forgets that everything doesn't go according to plan and gets into some fun scrapes because of this. 

Now that is not to say that the book is perfect. There is one aspect of it which I find so confusing and which I am praying will be better explained - the Dukes odd and sudden deafness. (you find that out right away so no worries on spoilers). Also I was a little unconvinced that this Duke could fall in love after a few letters (Hey it's Christian Romance, it's supposed to happen so once again, no worries, I'm not really giving anything away.)
I loved the secondary characters, each one had a loving and lovable personality and I think this series will (once it is resolved, and not until then!) be a very good one.


Thank you to B&H Publishing Group for giving me a copy for review.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

YA Wednesday - The Healer's Apprentice


The Healer's ApprenticeThe Healer's Apprentice
By: Melanie Dickerson
Genre: Christian Romance, YA
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
Two Hearts. One Hope.Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her---a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.


My Thoughts:


This is my second Dickerson novel and I must say I enjoyed this one a lot more than the last one. I liked all of the characters, not just the main ones. I also thoroughly enjoyed the idea of retelling the story of Sleeping Beauty. It is one that I feel is over looked. 
I really liked Rose and her constant struggle to do what was right. Rather then just go along with what would be most beneficial for her in the long run, she stuck to her standards and did so in an admirable way not an over-zealous kind of way. I also loved her dog, everyone needs a good guard dog in their life.
From a literary standpoint, I really liked how she played with foreshadowing. It was done in such a way that it wasn't too obvious but if you know your literary devices you know that it's there.
I liked the way that the romance chose to develop rather than suddenly be there (too many authors just have love-at-first-sight types of things, and there really is no such thing as that in my opinion) it added more reality to the story as a whole.
I think this is a wonderfully done debut novel and hope that in her next ones her talents will strengthen rather than diminish.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Historical Thursday - Pirate of My Heart

Pirate of My Heart: A NovelPirate of My Heart
By: Jamie Carie
Genre: Christian Romance
Rating 3.5 stars


Summary from Goodreads:
When her doting father dies, Lady Kendra Townsend is given a choice: marry the horrid man of her cold, money-grubbing uncle's choosing or leave England to risk a new life in America with unknown relatives. Armed with the faith that God has a plan for her, Kendra boards a cargo ship and meets American sea captain Dorian Colburn. But the captain has been wounded by a woman before and guards his independent life. A swashbuckling man doesn't need an English heiress to make him slow down, feel again, or be challenged with questions about his faith-or so he thinks. It is not until Dorian must save Kendra from the dark forces surrounding her that he decides she may be worth the risk.


My Thoughts:

I liked this book. It fits in the mold of its genre perfectly as a wonderfully, almost predictable Christian Romance. Placed in both England and America close after the American Revolution it was a nice setting for it. 


Kendra was good, strong and not entirely prone to fainting. She does what she can to save herself when the need arises but also is willing to accept the help of others. Her faith seemed sincere not constrained which is always a plus.
Dorian was a pretty standard hero with a tragic past and wonderful family. I loved the descriptions of his family and all of their interactions; they seemed exactly what a family ought to be and were a wonderful addition to the plot.


I do wish that there had been some follow up with the antagonists of the story. They seemed to just sort of fade to the background. They were a couple of loose ends that I would have liked to see tied up. 
Overall I liked the plot, the setting and the characters. It was a very fun read. Many thanks to B&H Publishing for letting me read this book for review.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Historical Thrusday - Lone Star Trail

Lone Star Trail (The Texas Trail Series)Lone Star Trail
by: Darlene Franklin
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Rating: 3 stars


Summary From Goodreads:
Judson (Jud) Morgan's father died for Texas freedom during the war for independence. So when the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas (the Verein) attempts to colonize a New Germany in his country, he takes a stand against them. 

After Wande Fleischer's fiance marries someone else, the young fraulein determines to make new life for herself in Texas. With the help of Jud's sister Marion, Wande learns English and becomes a trusted friend to the entire Morgan family. As much as Jud dislikes the German invasion, he can't help admiring Wande. She is sweet and cheerful as she serves the Lord and all those around her. 

I like reading about new parts of history, I had no idea that the Germans started immigrating to Texas and it was fun to learn about that and the new German words as well, I have been developing an interest in that language and so this was really fun to read. 

I liked Jud, I could understand why he angry about the Germans coming in and seemingly taking over what he deemed to be his his land, I also liked how he was hard working and down to earth. 
Wande, (I still don't entirely know how to pronounce that name) was wonderful, though somewhat one dimensional. She was strong happy and seemed to learn english at an alarming rate.
Overall I thought it was a cute fresh setting on an old plot. It was a wonderful way to relax and get away from the terrors that are finals.  


Thanks to Moody Publishing for letting me read this book for review.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

YA Wed - The Merchant's Daughter

The Merchant's Daughter
by: Melanie Dickerson


Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 3 stars


Summary from Goodreads:
Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff---a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.


I really liked the premise for this novel. It was a nice take on the Beauty and the Beast story which happens to be my favorite fairy tale. I also liked the setting with the feudal system in place and the middle class it provided. Yet I feel like it felt short of what it could have been.



I did like Annabel. She managed to be pious without being overbearing, that is a delicate balance which Christian writers everywhere struggle and Dickerson, I feel, did a good job with her. Not so for Ranulf however. He was too dramatic for my taste. And Annabel's family was completely one dimensional - and it was a dimension that I didn't like at all. All characters should have some depth to them I believe and her family was entirely flat.  


Many thanks to  Zondervan for giving me a book for reviewing purposes.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Misc. Monday - Pearl in the Sand

Pearl in the Sand: A Novel Pearl in the Sand
by Tessa Afshar
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 stars


Summary from Goodreads:
Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel' Shockingly, the Bible's answer is yes.   Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab's untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well-walls of fear, rejection, unworthiness. A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith - of pride; a marriage only God would conceive!  Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another's worth and find healing in God.


I really liked this one. I thought it was well researched, well written and covered some difficult issues with aplomb. While fictional, I would like to think that this was Rahab's back story. Also I have been reading a lot of books that just end at the wedding. I like that this went beyond that to show that marriage is hard. The wedding isn't the goal, making the marriage work despite what obstacles come your way. 

The writing style was nice, nothing brilliant, it was the content that made this book for me. This one was more overtly religious than what I have been reading recently, but as it is an actual retelling of a bible story, I see no real fault in that. 

This is one that I would pass on to my friends if I had a hard copy of the book rather than an e-book.

Many thanks to Moody Publishers for giving me a copy for review!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fluffy friday: To Win Her Heart

To Win Her HeartTo Win Her Heart
by: Karen Witemeyer
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 Stars

Summary From Goodreads:

Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets...
Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.
Karen Witemeyer is one of my favorite authors and once again she comes through. She is perhaps one of the most balanced Christian novelists I have come across, she has neither too much Christian stuff in there that I feel like I am being preached at, but there is enough for it to definitely be a Christian read. Levi is one of my favorite romantic heroes, with bulging biceps and a massive vocabulary what's there not to love...oh that's right...his murderous past. This has many great ties to the parable of the Prodigal Son and I couldn't put it down.
I really liked Eden, she was spunky, confident, not worried about Prince Charming, and she had her own library - what is there not to like? Not only did she start out great, but she also was allowed to grow throughout the story.
This was wonderfully written, the story woven very nicely, I found the conflict plausible (in historical romances that has been a very rare thing for me) and both leads well rounded and I liked the secondary characters as well. One that I might buy to have for my collection


Monday, October 17, 2011

Misc. Monday - The Blue Enchantress

The Blue Enchantress
By: M. L. Tyndall

Genre: Christian Romance
Rating: 3 stars

Summary:
After sacrificing everything to follow what she thought was love, Hope finds her freedom and life in jeopardy with Nathaniel Mason as her last resort.

Nathaniel Mason wants nothing to do with the girl who had scorned him and yet finds himself selling his ship in order to save the girl that he begrudgingly loves.

Now all that is left to do is get home in one piece...and with hurricanes, pirates and a bitter lord in their way that is far easier said than done.

I have really been into the escapism lately and this works ok in that department. It follows the rules of the chick-lit genre to the letter along with obeying the rules of Christian Romance. There is the "I-can't-love-them" followed with "we're-in-love" followed by "tragic miscommunication." Truth be told I probably won't remember this one in a few months. Don't get me wrong it works perfectly for it's genre. It just isn't that memorable.

The side characters held more appeal to me than did the leads so if you do read this, read it for the supporting actors not the leading lady.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just For Fun Friday - Wings of a Dream

Wings of a Dream
by: Anne Mateer


Genre:Historical Christian Romance
Rating: 4 Stars


Summary from Goodreads:

Rebekah Hendricks dreams of a life far beyond her family's farm in Oklahoma, and when dashing aviator Arthur Samson promised adventure in the big city, she is quick to believe he's the man she's meant to marry. While she waits for the Great War to end and Arthur to return to her so they can pursue all their plans, her mother's sister falls ill. Rebekah seizes the opportunity to travel to Texas to care for Aunt Adabelle, seeing this chance to be closer to Arthur's training camp as God's approval of her plans.
But the Spanish flue epidemic changes everything. Faced with her aunt's death, Arthur's indecisiveness, and four children who have no one else to care for them, Rebeka is torn between the desire to escape the type of life she's always led and the unexpected love that just might change the dream of her heart.

This is by far my favorite Christian fiction that I read this school year. If I am going to like the book I am going to really have to like the leading lady and Rebekah is likable. She is hard working and willing to go out and get what she wants instead of sitting at home complaining that life isn't going her way.  She has a smart head on her shoulders and a strong and tender spirit to match it. She was well rounded and developed nicely throughout the book instead of the sudden change at the end which generally isn't entirely believable

This book didn't really focus on the romantic aspect so much as how much love Rebekah has for the children who she looks after. I believe that's what set this book apart from all of the others of this kind that I read this year.  The pace was gentle - I wasn't racing along but it didn't plod either, and it was a new era. The Spanish Flu is something that can be overshadowed by WWI and so it was nice to get an idea of how people might have lived with it.

Only 1 problem with it, and I may just be too picky but I feel like the editors should have caught this. The Great War wasn't called World War I until much later...until after WWII. So that phrase should never have been in there. That's pretty much the only thing that bothered me when I was reading.

Great read if you want to catch something on WWI and the Spanish Flu epidemic without too much gushy stuff.


Thank you very much Bethany House Publishing for providing this book for review.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Misc. Monday - Hannah's Journey

Hannah's Journey
by Anna Schmidt


Genre: Christian Romance
Rating: 3 stars


Summary from Goodreads:
In 1928 a young fatherless Amish boy from Florida runs away with the circus. His mother, Hannah, meets the owner of the circus, Levi, and pleads with him to help her find her son. This leads to a journey with her father-in-law and sister-in-law on a train to Wisconsin. Will she find love again and will Levi's past become a part of his present?
This is a quick read. It is interesting to learn about how a circus traveled in the 1920's. The best theme of the novel is how Amish traditions of family and faith comforts and challenges people to do the right thing. 



If you can't tell, my summer was spent reading as much fluff as I could cram in. I spend my semesters working my way through Homer, Milton, Dante and Hume, so I feel like I should give my brain a bit of a rest from all of the heavy reading I am forcing upon it. (Currently it's Joyce and Plato with some other textbooks scattered in there as well.)  This one was just as fluffy as others. I promise that I am running out of the fluff and hopefully by this time next month I will just be reviewing materials with a little more substance. 


This was a plot line that required some serious emotional investment into the characters in order to enjoy the plot. Sadly the character who I liked the most was on of the sub-plot people who really didn't do anything throughout the story. The Amish plight put in here wasn't nearly as well done as in others I have read and well Hannah and Levi just weren't cutting it for me. 


I did like the circus aspect, not something I have read about for a very long time...if ever...now that I think about it this was my first circus read though there are plenty out there I am sure. That part intrigued me and is what helped save the story from being too straight-forward of a love story. Overall, you can pass on this one, there is better Amish fiction out there if that is what you are looking for.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Frightening Fluffy Friday: Love on a Dime

Love on a Dime
by Cara Lynn James


Genre: Christian Romance
Rating: 2 stars


Summary from Goodreads:
In age of elegance and excess, Lilly Westbrook longs for a love both true and eternal.Newport, Rhode Island, 1899, is a place of shimmering waves, sleek yachts, and ladies of leisure. Of opulent mansions that serve as summer cottages for the rich and famous. Home of railroad magnates and banking tycoons--dashing young men and the women who aspire to marry them.But it's not the place for lady novelists. Especially not those who pen disreputable dime novels. This poses a problem for Lilly Westbrook, because that's exactly what she does.No one in Lilly's social set knows she pens fiction under the nom de plume Fannie Cole. Not her family or the wealthy young man about to propose to her. And especially not Jackson Grail, the long-lost beau who just bought her publishing company...and who stirs her heart more than she cares to admit.But Lilly must put aside her feelings and follow the path that will maintain her family's social stature and provide the financial security that everyone is depending on.Now Lilly faces a double dilemma. Can she continue to protect her secret identity? And will she have the courage to choose the man who will risk it all just to win her heart?


I couldn't take this book seriously. I really found it so entertaining to read bits and pieces of it to my roommate in a dramatic voice causing her to laugh out loud at the effusive writing. It is like sugar, chocolate syrup and cotton candy mixed together it is that fluffy. The premise is good, there is the romance and intrigue (the local gossip columnist has found out her identity and is now blackmailing her) there really is the making of a decent novel in there. Sadly the execution failed.


Lilly is unable to make up her mind. She is too proud to ask for help even though it can come from many different sources, and  she makes too big of a deal out of everything, if she would simply relax and think for a moment she would know what to do. She and Jack really needed to make up their minds, communicate and the story would have been cut in half.


I could go on and on about the predictability  of the plot, the unlikable characters and the really juvenile and contrived writing but I have to go to class. Pass on this one good cover, bad writing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Historical Thursday

Courting Morrow Little
by Laura Frantz

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Summary found on Goodreads:
Morrow Mary Little has bad memories of the day her mother and baby sister are brutally murdered at the hands of the Shawnee warriors, and her brother, Jess, was taken captive. All that is left of her family is her pa and herself. And her pa won’t go into the side of the dogtrot cabin that the murder occurred. He leaves the door shut, the damage undisturbed. 

Now a grown woman, Morrow’s pa is ailing, and men are vying for her attention. Morrow is torn over who to wed. But even more troublesome are the Shawnee man and his son who keeps coming by the cabin. At first, Morrow tries to avoid them, but the son keeps seeking her out. 

Can Morrow betray the memory of her lost loved ones by even allowing a friendship with him? And which man should she marry? 



This one was just ok for me as far as historical romances go. I like that it was in a time period not particularly gone over-yes it's the American Revolution but it's in Kentucky...you don't hear much about Kentucky when you think American Revolution because it was just a territory at the time, not a potential state. 


However, the characters seemed flat, and somewhat one dimensional and the religious aspect seemed somewhat forced to me.


The hero of the story, the controversial Red-Shirt is everything a young woman drools for. Strong, sensitive to a fault, loving, tender and yet very, very masculine. Those are fun characters to come across when you want fluff and that's exactly what this is. Fluff.   


So if interested in some nice summer reading where you don't have to think too much and want the "warm-fuzzies" this would most definitely be the book to turn to.

Friday, June 3, 2011

An Unlikely Suitor

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Another historical romance from Nancy Moser. I have read several of hers and was excited when this one came in the mail. 

Goodreads summary: Lucy Scarpelli, an Italian dressmaker from New York, befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she's making her summer wardrobe. It's an unlikely friendship, but one that Rowena encourages by inviting Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Grateful for Lucy's skill in creating clothes that hide her physical injury, Rowena encourages Lucy to dream of a better future. One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what man will accept her family responsibilities? Rowena also deals with love as she faces a worrisome arranged marriage to a wealthy heir. And Lucy's teenage sister, Sofia, takes up with a man of dubious character. All three women struggle as their lives, and those of each unlikely suitor, become intertwined in a web of secrets and sacrifice.

I have always loved reading about the Gilded Age and the upper set of New York society and this novel didn't disappoint.  I also have always enjoyed reads where the main character is a seamstress of some kind and here I was satisfied again. I loved how Moser made a world where it was possible and plausible to see both sides of the the Gilded Age the wealth and the poverty co-mingling. Yet the Scarpellis kept their heads on straight, they weren't swept away in awe. That is a point which I genuinely love.

I enjoyed the reality of the characters I was reading. None were too perfect - all had just the right amount of flaws to make them believable and therefore likable. However I wasn't satisfied with some of the endings and the whole ***spoiler highlight to read***Bronwitter trying to rape Sophia part. He just came out of nowhere. I believe his plot line either should have been fleshed out more or eliminated. There is in my opinion enough drama in the story without him involved. ***spoiler done***

The writing was nothing to particularly swoon over though I did like her use of litotes, but it was a fun read and Moser has and will continue to be one of authors on my radar.

**The book was given to me by Bethany House Publishing**

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Daughters of Lancaster County

Image taken from Goodreads.com
Another set of Amish stories from Wanda E. Brunstetter, this series follows the Fisher and Weaver family in Lancaster County.

Starting with the story of Naomi Fisher who has taken over the care of her family after her mothers death, this series is centered on the tragedy that befalls her in a moment of distraction.

Continuing with the life of Abby Miller who seems to have the picture perfect life with her successful quilt shop and charming fiancĂ© in Ohio. Everything is shattered when she leaves to help her pregnant mother. She must figure out how to continue on when everything she cares about seems to be taken from her.

Finishing off with Leona Weaver, a school teacher who has lost her fiancĂ© in a horse accident. Life seems to become increasingly difficult with her father's accident and the growing attraction she is fighting to an Englishman.

Well, what to say...
Overall it was a sweet story, peppered with lots of Pennsylvanian Dutch and information about the Amish way of life. It is told from many different points of view which is something I generally like in a narrative if it is done well, and Brunstetter did a good job in the continuity and clarity of her narrative.

However, Christian Literature is something that is very difficult to write without coming across as preachy. And I felt while reading it that it crossed the line in a couple of points. Not only were there a lot of repetitive phrases but also the characters felt a little flat and too perfect in their dialogue - not real at all.

I would classify this as a fluff read. Fun to read once but I bet I will have forgotten it in a matter of weeks.

Shame Nation

Shame Nation Genre: Non-Fiction Rating: 4 Stars Summary My Thoughts: This is a book everyone needs to read. The title perfectly fits ...