Thursday, August 28, 2014

Unexpected By: Karen Tuft

Back of the Book

Eleven years ago, Ross McConnell was devastated by the betrayal of the woman of his dreams. Time does not heal all wounds, and after more than a decade, Ross is no closer to finding love. When his well-meaning family attempts to play match maker, he concedes by creating a list detailing his perfect mate: A member of the Church. Beauty-queen looks. College educated. Never married. Perhaps he'll give love another try, if such perfection exists. . . Natalie Forrester is no stranger to heartache. After two failed marriages, the beautiful single mother of three is determined to make it on her own. Without a college degree, she starts at the bottom: working as a housekeeper may not be glamorous, but it's her first exhilarating step toward independence. And Natalie's most recent cleaning job is ideal--the guy is always out of town, and the pay will go a long way toward supporting her missionary son. Maybe luck is finally on her side. And then Ross and Natalie meet . . . and meet again. And following a series of awkward encounters, Ross is shocked by his growing attraction for this woman. Natalie couldn't be further from his ideal woman, and she is firm in her determination to keep her heart closed to love. But as their tenuous friendship develops and deepens, will the unlikely pair have the courage to set aside the disappointments of the past to catch hold of a bright new future?

My Thoughts

Unexpected is exactly how the book is, I love this book more than I thought I would.  It was amazingly well written and while it did not have any dramatic twist and turns I could not put it down. Tuft has such a talent in writing characters that seem so real, and many of the senarios you find them in are natural, so you never have that 'ya right, like that would happen' feeling with her books.

I would totally recommend you put your life on hold and read this book, you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wildflowers from Winter By: Katie Ganshert

Back of the Book

Like the winter, grief has a season. Life returns with the spring.

A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built the life she dreamed of during her teen years in a trailer park.  An unexpected interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. 

Determined to pay her respects to her past while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of five hundred acres of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years.  When Bethany is left the land, Evan must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace that she’s not even sure exists?

My Thoughts

There is more to this book than you think.  Wildflowers from Winter is well written and addressed some difficult topics.  This book starts at a slow pace but then seems to skip months at a time, while I did check to make sure I did not miss a few pages, the transitions were smooth and had enough information I never felt like I missed important points of the plot.   Ganshert dealt with the subject of grief in an amazing fashion and showed how we all have a choice on our happiness.  

I would recommend this book.  It is clean, well written, and has great characters.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Last Lie By: Leann Harris

The Back of the Book

In this inspirational romantic suspense, when Catherine Lyons comes home from college at Christmas she discovers her family has disappeared, vanished, leaving her alone. 

Fifteen years later when Catherine is on vacation in France, she sees her father getting on a bus, but he's had a stroke. When she tries to talk to him the nurse taking care of him won't allow it. Cat shows up at the clinic the next day, but the people there claim to know nothing of the man. This time Cat isn't going to give up. She learns the name of the nurse she talked to and goes to her apartment and finds her dead. 

Colin Montrose is with MI-6 and doesn't know who this woman is who has stumbled into his operation, but he wants to know. He follows Cat and asks if she murdered the nurse. Before she can answer, they hear police sirens and flee. Together, Cat and Colin chase after Cat's father, trying to discover the truth behind her life and her parents' lives. 

My Thoughts

The Last Lie was an interesting read, it's listed as a suspense but I admit that it did not take long to figure out the plot.  This has a lot of characters and had little detail which made some sections confusing.  One of the best parts about the book was the fact that Catherine was upset and questioned Colin about every part of his cover story.  I wish there was more to say, this book was entertaining, clean but did not leave you with any kind of wow feeling.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

With Every Breath By: Elizabeth Camden

Back of the Book

In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston's respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she'd hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now. 

Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor's risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis. As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, his hidden depths fascinate her. However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait and Trevor's closely guarded secrets are darker than she ever suspected.

As revelations from the past threaten to destroy their careers, their dreams, and even their lives, Trevor and Kate find themselves in a painfully impossible situation. With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all.

My Thoughts

With Every Breath is a thought provoking and emotional journey into the struggles and risks taken to help cure tuberculosis.  I would not say this was a quick summer read, it took time to understand and contemplate the trials and tests that were developed to not only understand the disease but to help cure it.  I would recommend this book, it was a well researched, wonderfully developed plot. And while the book deals with many struggles, it does not leave you depressed in the end. 

I was given this Book free from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Evergreen: A Christiansen Winter Novella By: Susan May Warren

Back of the Book

An empty nest has Ingrid Christiansen dreading the upcoming holidays, but her husband, John, couldn't be more excited about this new season of life. He even has a surprise trip abroad planned. He's sure she'll love it. What's more romantic than Christmas in Paris?Before he can stop her, however, Ingrid agrees to spearhead a major church project. Then their faithful dog, Butterscotch, needs emergency surgery, draining their savings. And then--because disasters strike in threes--an unexpected guest arrives, dredging up old hurts.As a beautiful blanket of snow transforms the north woods into a winter wonderland, a deep chill settles over John and Ingrid's marriage. With the holidays fast approaching, their only hope of keeping their love evergreen depends on turning the page on the past and embracing a new chapter of their future.

My Thoughts

Evergreen is a beautifully written story about love, forgiveness and dealing with life's ups and downs.  I usually only read novels about the courtship of a couple and not the issues that come after they are established, I have enjoyed the Christiansen family novels in the past so I figured I would give it a try.  Many of the conflicts are common for a couple, they were easy to relate to, and true to Warrens past books.  The lesson that every relationship takes effort applys even after 30 years.  I am glad I took the time to read this book and loved continuing the Christiansen family novels.

I received this complimentary copy from Tyndale House Publishing for my honest review.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Becoming Lady Lockwood By: Jennifer Moore

Back of the Book

Amelia Beckett is delighted to be a widow. Married by proxy to a man she'd never met, Amelia recognizes that a fortuitous entry into widowhood frees her from meddlesome chaperones and matchmakers. Heiress to her mother's sugar plantation in Jamaica, she happily anticipates working in a man's world, with the additional credibility of her new title: Lady Lockwood. But with the arrival of Captain Sir William Drake, her plans quickly go awry...

William has traversed the Atlantic with one purpose. If he cannot prove that Amelia's marriage to his brother was a fraud, she will be entitled to a sizeable portion of his family's estate. He is determined to return this duplicitous "Lady" to London for an official hearing, and he carries with him a letter that will ensure her cooperation...

Left with no choice, Amelia joins the captain on his return voyage to England, and the two quickly find that ship life does not allow for evasion. Amelia and William are ceaselessly thrown together, and amidst fierce storms and ocean battles, what began as antipathy seems to be evolving quite unexpectedly. But as they draw ever closer to their destination, will the impossibility of their circumstances shatter any hope of a future together?

My thoughts

Wonderful summer read!  This book was hard to put down.  Amelia has such a determined, kind personality you fall in love with right from the start.  William has a kind heart that he works hard to hide, but comes out in the sweetest moment.  I have not read a lot of historical novels but Moore blends important information about the time period into the story that it feels accurate but you are not overwhelmed by it.