Friday, November 17, 2017

The Austen Escape

The Austen Escape
Katherine Reay
Mary likes her life all wrapped up neatly and orderly. She works for an amazing engineering firm, although recently work hasn't been great. She has a good relationship with her dad and loves helping him with his business. But when he puts pressure on her to accept a trip from her estranged child hood friend, she isn't feeling very grateful. Once on the trip, life takes some turns that Mary never expected. She learns to open up and let go, things that haven't been a part of her in the past.

This novel has 3 main characters that play a huge part in the story. But the secondary characters are just as strong and really add to the depth. This was what I'd call a thinking book. It has a great plot that didn't go where I expected it, and some amazing lines. The characters were authentic and deep. But the best part for me was the emotional and mental changes the author took the character Mary through in her journey back in time as she experienced the trip with her friend. While the romance isn't strong and it took me a while to get the chemistry between both couples, it really wasn't a huge part of the story for me, so I wasn't disappointed. I finished the book liking it way more than when I was about half way through. There is something captivating about it that I just can't put into words. If you are a fan of Austen or love contemporary stories with unusual plots than you'll love this book.

I received a copy of this book. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

30 Days to Peace

30 Days to Peace
A One-Month Creative Journal
Take a step back and relax with this inspirational journal. Each day begins with an inspiring quote. Quite a few are from scripture, but the editor also added ones from well known people, such as Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa. On the next page is a prompt for either something to journal, draw or contemplate. The pages have faint designs, but the main part of the page is left blank. There are no wrong answers or ways to use the book. The designs can be colored or left as is. The prompts are only suggestions. The point of the book is to spend some quiet time gaining peace and relaxation.

I love the concept. The layout is well done and fosters creativity. The book is smaller and hardback so would fit perfectly in a bookbag or purse for use when you have a few spare moments or need a second of calm. The prompts are clear enough to give some ideas, and not so vague that the reader is left with no concrete thoughts. I'm going to use the journal myself, but also think it would make an excellent gift, especially the advent season.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

My Fair Lord

My Fair Lord#1
Once Upon a Bride
Wilma Counts
Henrietta has turned down quite a few proposals. She knows the men are in love with her wealth and not her. Because of this, she assumes she'll never marry. When her stepsister goads her in to accepting a dare, she heads to the docks to choose a man that she can change into a gentleman to win the bet. If she loses, she'll lose her beloved horse. But she doesn't realize that Jake is not an ordinary dock worker. He's undercover for his country and now must play the part of a low born dock worker when in his natural environment. It just might be the act of a lifetime.

This was such a fun and entertaining story. The characters fit well with each other. There were some slightly suspenseful moments, humor, and sweet romance. There are a couple of "bedroom scenes", but the book is mainly about the interactions of the main female character and her family and the man she's training to be a gentleman. The story ended well, but left an opening for the next book in the series. I thought the author wrote a great romance and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Dangerous Illusions

Dangerous Illusions
Code of Honor #1
Irene Hannon
Trish is overwhelmed with the deaths of her father and husband and helping her mother who is now disabled from the accident that killed their spouses. She's starting to forget some of the simplest things. But when a death is attributed to her forgetfulness, she will need the help of Detective Colin Flynn to sort out the strange occurrences that are happening all around her. 

This story was intriguing from the very beginning. The chemistry between the couples was sweet and clean. I enjoyed how the author portrayed friendships and loyalty. The book was full of suspense and twists. There was one that, despite clues, I didn't see coming. I'm going to have to go back and read the book now that I know what to look for. The Christian element wasn't strong in this book. It was more of an implied thought than a theme. The romance also took a back burner to the mystery and suspense. If you've read any of the author's other books than you'll know what I mean when I say this one followed her typical formula. But that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy the book. I enjoyed it immensely and read it all in one evening. If you enjoy suspense and mystery with a touch of faith and romance thrown in, than you'll enjoy another book by this great author.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Mail-Order Christmas Baby

Mail-Order Christmas Baby
Montana Courtships #1
Sherri Shackleford
Sterling, a rancher, is at the train depot to pick up some sheep that he ordered. But there is another package waiting for him. It's addressed to him and a single young lady in town. But who in the world would deliver a baby by train? Especially considering the baby doesn't belong to him or Miss Heather. And too bad that a crowd of people see the note attached to the darling little baby and assume it's Miss Heather's since they share the same beautiful red hair.

This book was so fun to read. It was set historically in a small won in the west and followed all of the things that great stories do - there was marriage, adorable children, a "bad" guy out to ruin them, faith, and family. The author really brought out the strengths in the two main characters while showing that they were flawed and in need of a savior. The story was tied up nicely at the end, and yet left an opening for the next book in the series. I look forward to reading it and many more books by this author.

I received a copy of this book. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Women of the Bible

The Most Important Women of the Bible
Arron and Elaina Sharp
The Bible is full of stories about women who changed the lives around them in profound ways. The authors has chosen 31 women that have amazing stories filled with love and faith. Each chapter begins with a quote that will tie in with the subject. The authors share the scriptures that they pulled the story from. Then they give a brief biography about the lady. The chapter ends with two sections - By the Numbers and Things We Wondered. The numbers section shares information such as how many children the leading lady had, how many miles to cities mentioned, how old she was, or other pertinent information. The last section is unanswered questions that reading about this lady brought to the author's minds.

I really enjoyed this book. It was well laid out, full of information, and well written. The writing flowed well and wasn't bogged down with the tiny details, since these were shared at the end. I loved the concept of pulling important women from the Bible and showcasing their role in history. This book would work well for a women's small group as well as for personal devotions.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Too Far Down

Too Far Down
The Cimarron Legacy #3
Mary Connealy
Cole returned to his father's ranch because of the stipulations in his will. But he's more at home running a business, so he focuses on the gold mine. But when an explosion that is obviously planned ends in murder, Cole accepts the help of Melanie, a woman from a neighboring ranch.  He'd thought the troubles at the ranch were all in the past, but clearly they haven't weeded out the true culprit or they wouldn't be fighting to save their ranch.

I really enjoy this author. She writes descriptive plots that include humor, faith, romance, and mystery. I enjoyed the conclusion to this series, but was also slightly sad to come to the end.The mystery at the mine was my favorite of the three stories. I also loved the relationship between the two main characters. And I won't spoil the plot, but there is a super sweet part with a little boy that I just love. I am kinda hoping the author writes a story about his mother next. Overall, I really enjoyed the conclusion to the series and look forward to the next book she writes.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House. All thoughts expressed are my own.