Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Book Review: Heart on the Line

Heart on the Line
Karen Witemeyer
Bethany House Publishers

Grace is in trouble Hiding from the very people who killed her father, she has something that they want. She just out to figure out where it is. Amos Bledsoe has been communicating with Grace over the wire for some time. When he realizes she is in trouble, he travels to Harper's Station to help. Can the two of them solve the mystery before trouble shows up to town?

If I'm terribly honest, the first time I started this book I wasn't sure. It didn't hook my attention the way Karen's books normally do. I'm used to spunky, quick witted heroines and dashing, tough heroes so I put it on hold after a few chapters when the main characters weren't up to my "expectations". I ended up setting a reminder to pick it up another day when I could give it the chance it needed. A few days turned into a few weeks, and then I panicked when I realized I still had it on my to-do list and hadn't finished it. So I picked it back up.

AND IT WAS DIFFERENT THIS TIME. Knowing that the characters were different than what I was expecting, I found myself enjoying the story! Especially when a set of secondary characters showed up later in the book. In my opinion, they were the real reason I got hooked. I could have read an entire book about them! And Grace and Amos did end up becoming the heroine and hero that I needed them to be-they just did it in their own way, not the way that I expected them to. Karen did a great job of growing her characters, not evolving them. Because you shouldn't have to change who you are to overcome hard times. You can grow through hard times. And I think that's what Karen did with Amos and Grace. Their characters experienced growth, not change. And that growth ended up resulting in a sweet story line mixed with all the adventure I have come to expect from a Witemeyer novel.

Sorry my review is longer than normal, but I think that this book was important to me as a reader. Heart on the Line was not what I expected. But I think that Karen used this book to teach me a valuable lesson. I can't change characters into who I expect them to be. But that doesn't mean I can't still enjoy their story.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Book Review: Long Time Gone

Long Time GoneMary Connealy
Bethany House Publishers

The Bodens are back and the danger that found them in the first book of the Cimmaron Legacy has only escalated. Justin is the Boden sibling who is the most comfortable on behind the attacks on his family. Angie DuPree is new to town. Ironically, while Angie left home to seek shelter, she ended up finding herself in the middle of the the ranch. He desperately wants to figure out who is danger surrounding Justin and his family.

Angie wants control. Justin wants control. In the end, will these two be able trust each other?

This is the second book of the series, and I liked how the mystery has continued through each book. The author does a great job of pacing the story and keeping readers guessing as to who is behind all of the mayhem targeting the Boden family. What I wasn't quite expecting was how much more serious this series was compared to Connealy's other books. However, while Justin and Angie aren't my favorite "Connealy couple", it didn't keep me from enjoying the story as a whole. I look forward to the next book most of all!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Book Review: An Elegant Facade

An Elegant Facade
Kristi Ann Hunter
Bethany House Publishers

Georgia needs to find a husband.

To be exact, Georgia needs to find a titled husband that will allow her to live a comfortable life with the protection that a well established man can give to her. Plagued by flaws that the rest of the world can’t see, she knows that only the best match will keep her reputation intact. Colin is a shrewd businessman who owes his own success to his hard work. He may find himself surrounded by people with titles, but he is merely a gentleman with his own insecurities. Both Colin and Georgia have their own fears to conquer. As their friendship deepens, will these fears keep them from realizing they may be the best match for each other after all?

I have to admit something. It took me a long time to read this book. I LOVED the first book, A Noble Masquerade, and I thought I would love this book as quickly as I loved the last. However, Georgia annoyed me a little at first. I couldn’t figure out why she had such a need to be perfect. So….I stopped reading. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to give Georgia another chance.

A great storyteller entrances their audience by creating a powerful story with captivating characters and storylines. However, an excellent storyteller knows how to shock their audience. When I realized WHY Georgia acted the way she did, it all fell into place. And I felt shocked. So much so, that it made me realize how much the author truly developed the character so that you almost had to dislike her at first so that you could truly understand the depth of her facade.

So, long story short, I would definitely recommend this book. I look forward to the next book in this series, and I know you will, too!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Book Review: From This Moment

From This Moment
Elizabeth Camden
Bethany House Publishers

Romulus White is the publisher of a well known scientific magazine and the only thing that would make his magazine even better is the artistic skill of Stella West, a famous artist living in England. Despite his many offers, Stella hasn’t had a reason to come to the United States to work for him. However, when her sister dies under mysterious circumstances, she finds herself in the same city as Romulus hoping to prove that her sister was murdered.

I was very amused by both Stella’s and Romulus’ personalities as they are both stubborn, ambitious, and proud. What have easily been annoying traits were obviously written by a talented author who knew how to develop well rounded characters. Even though they thought they were strong on their own, Stella and Romulus needed each other to break down their pride and open themselves up to grow. The issue of pride was a major theme throughout the book, and we saw this not only with our two main characters, but also with Evelyn and Clyde (who are the stars of their own novella, Summer of Dreams. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone wanting an amusing, historical novel with a touch of mystery. Well done, Elizabeth Camden!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.

School's Here! Celebrate with Reading

Well, for a majority of the United States, school is starting back again! It's an exciting time for teachers, kids, and parents. Back to early mornings, forming friendships, learning, and (my favorite part) more reading!

If you haven't already, I would highly recommend running to your nearest bookstore or library to get your kids a back to school book. Reading is such a vital part of a child's development, and my hope is that your kids will come back from the first day of school and be ready to dive back into a regular reading schedule.

Whether it's five minutes, one chapter, or one picture book per night, reading will positively impact your child's life and will create lasting memories!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Book Review: Her One and Only

Her One and Only
Becky Wade
Bethany House Publishers

When Dru Porter is assigned as protection agent for NFL player Gray Fowler, she knows that she will have her hands full. Dru is determined to move beyond her past mistakes, but that might prove tricky with this particular assignment. Gray is self assured, infuriating, and not too worried about the threats that he has been getting lately, which means he is not too happy that his agent is a spunky, headstrong woman who is determined to control his every movement. Dru just wants to keep her assignment safe. Gray just wants to play football and move on. But they might just find that protecting Gray will change both of their lives forever.

This is the fourth book in the Porter family saga and did not disappoint! I especially loved the themes that resonated throughout the book. The most impactful theme that I noticed in this book was forgiveness and moving beyond your past. Both Dru and Gray had issues from their past that shaped their characters and both had to come to a point of surrender in order to move forward. This truth just seemed to resonate throughout the book, and it was really interesting to see these characters evolve. Another bonus of this novel is that I loved that readers will also get an opportunity to catch up with the characters from Wade’s other Porter novels!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Summer Reading Programs!

SUMMER is the best. It really is. It's a break from the normal. We have more energy (mostly because it doesn't get dark at 3:00 in the afternoon anymore) and it always seems like there is more time in the day during summer. That being said, there is definitely one thing that you should do for your kids: sign them up for a local summer reading program. 

I mean seriously, there's no reason not to. Your kids get an opportunity to keep working on their reading skills AND there are usually prizes. I mean, who doesn't love getting free prizes??

So, look up a local library and sign your kids up. It's summer. And in my opinion, books always make summer 10 times more fun!