Saturday, September 13, 2014

“Tried and True” by Mary Connealy

About the Book
Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters! 

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister--and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It's a risk--they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as "boys"--but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future? 

Buy "Tried and True" at Amazon
Buy "Tried and True" at Barnes & Noble

This book was released in September 2014.
This is a well love library book that was reviewed

My Review
“Tried and True” by Mary Connealy is the first book of her 'Wild at Heart' series, and what a kick start to a series, I might add. I had to wait a few weeks to be able to finally get my hands on this book, and I sure wasn't disappointed. I was captured by the story from the first chapter right up to the last chapter, to where it was nearly impossible to put the book down. 

This story was very predictable to Ms. Connealy's writing style, which frankly means there was no predictability what so ever, other than the hero and heroine were going to get together at some point in the story. The turns that were taken in this book were a complete shock for I didn't think of those possibilities happening. Just when I thought I had things figured out, bam, something else happened that showed that things were not as they seemed.  I couldn’t let me guard down at all while reading this book for things changed quickly but not to the point where things seemed as if they were being pulled out of the blue sky for no reason. 

We are introduced to Kylie Wilde first but slowly the rest of the Wilde family is introduced, each of them having their own distinct personality, to where a person either likes them or they don't. Once the family is fully understood, so to speak, it becomes clear the reason why some past choices were made. Each family member has their strength's pointed out as a way to help prepare, I am sure, for their own future books. 

Kylie is a woman who doesn't see herself as good as others, and frankly doesn't want to always be like others around her either. She has plans and is determined to see those plans come true. Kylie is a woman who is smart and knows how to get things done using her mind instead of skills she doesn't want. She is not a lazy heroine, not by a long shot, but she is certainly unique to this story. She is a woman who has learned a lot over the years and some of that is what helps her keep going when she just wants to throw her hands up in the air. 

Aaron Masterson is the local agent and not fooled by the Wilde family in the slightest, well maybe for a little bit but not for long. Aaron is a man who is trying to doing his best for everyone without actually lying, but there are some things he just has no choice to do. He is the typical hero of the west who is bound and determined to protect the woman or women he knows, while keeping to his honor.
There is this instant attraction between Aaron and Kylie, and that chemistry just seemed to ooze off the page surrounding the reader. This is not a sexual type of chemistry, but more of that falling in love chemistry. It takes a talented author to have that kind of chemistry ooze off the pages without it feeling sexual. Personally I felt like I was falling in love all over again, as they fell in love with each other. 

So many characters are introduced, some like the Wilde family, we will see again in future books, while some of the others, one has to wonder if we will see them again, and if so how. There is one character though that I hope really does show up again and things work out for this character. Each character as they were introduced, were given this personality that helped make them each seem like they were just jumping off the page. Each of them, good and bad, has something about them that I couldn't help but to care for most of them. There is just one character that I really didn't care for at all, but that was the characters personality not because  Ms. Connealy didn’t round out this character. 

The message of starting over is done in several different levels throughout the characters and story. No two characters seems to be at the same place of starting over after the war much as it is even in today's world. There is movement forward with several of the characters with them taking big and little steps to get to where they want to be. 

There is also a message of love and forgiveness which I found very poignant at the end of the book in the last big scene. Sometimes it is easier to continue to hate instead of remembering the good and moving past the hatred to find that place of forgiveness and love.   It is this last scene that reminds us that we need to love everyone even those who hate us, and that sometimes taking that first step in love instead of hate can be dangerous but yet so rewarding. 

Overall between the twists and turns of the story, the characters leaping off the page while dodging the oozing chemistry, I loved this book, and now going to wait as patiently as I can (not sure how well that will work) until the next book “Now and Forever” comes out next year. I really should know better than read Ms. Connealy's books one at a time like this for the wait until the next book is so hard, but I can't bear the idea of waiting for two years or so until the whole series comes out.
I hope all who read this book enjoy it as much as I did. 

Please feel free to contact me if you have a Christian or Inspirational book to review or that I should review on my blog.  Please contact me by using the contact form on the left hand side.  Thank You.

Friday, September 12, 2014

“A Bride for Noah” by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith

About the Book

bridefornoahLori Copeland and Virginia Smith, beloved authors of the Amish of Apple Grove series, team up again in an exciting new series for devoted fans and new readers. 

It’s 1851, and Evie Lawrence is penniless and heartbroken after a failed romance. When a kind elderly man announces his plan to move west and make his fortune, Evie jumps at the chance to go with him and start a new life. She says goodbye to the only home she’s ever known and sets out for the Northwest. 

There she meets Noah Hughes, a handsome young man who has gambled everything he owns on the chance to make a fresh start. Living the rugged life of a lumberjack, he too is determined to one day make his fortune. The last thing he’s looking for is a bride…so why can’t he get Evie out of his mind? 

In this first book of the Seattle Brides series, two people learn what it means to move beyond their expectations and embrace the very best God has for them. 

Released date was October 2013
This is a well love library book that was reviewed

My Review of "A Bride for Noah"
“A Bride for Noah” by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith is the first book in the “Seattle Brides” series. This is a book of fresh starts, determination to succeed, and learning to cooperate with others. 

Noah arrived in, what is to become Seattle, with a bunch of lumberjacks with plans of helping some day in forming a town if things can be productive. There is no women around, and that suits him just fine. Little does he know that things are going to change faster than expected and he has a large part in that change, which does not make him happy. Noah shows his true character through all the ups and downs in the ways he acts, which is with honor and not getting angry at things that he can't seem to change. He does the right thing when he would rather just throw his hands up in the air and walk away from it all.

Then there is Evie Lawrence who has traveled with three other young ladies, all who only have one thing in mind and that is to find a husband, to this unsettled area with big plans along with her employer. Evie is determined to succeed in her plans regardless what any of the naysayer has to say about her plans. She shows this determination in the way she handles the hurdles that are thrown in her way, and learns a bit about herself along the way. There is a strength in Evie that is seen in many heroines but at the same time there is just something special about Evie that I can't really put my finger on, but I am confident to say that to me she was something else.

There are several secondary characters from the ladies who traveled with Evie, to her employer and all of the lumberjacks. With some many secondary characters, at times I have seen an author kind of give each of the secondary characters a generic personality, but not here for each of them were different and easily able to be picked out without really having to have a name put with them.

The first third to half of the book really seemed like it dragged, and it was only determination to finish the book that enabled me to finish the book, and for that I am so glad that I did. Once things started moving about halfway through, they really started to move. I thought I had the book figured out early on, but nothing I figured was going to happen. There were twists and turns in the last half of the book, that really helped keep my attention. Of course, maybe if someone is paying more attention to those details that seem as if they are only important for that certain scene, there won't be so many twists and turns, but I missed those little points so there were a lot of surprises for me.

I found myself laughing several times through out the story. There was one scene with the “white settlers” and the “Indians” that I found humorous and yet there was such a poignant message to it as well. The message was though we may not understand the words said, actions indeed say so much more, and compassion can take one so much further than being selfish or unwilling to try to understand. Though this scene is the one that stuck out the most to me there are numerous other scenes where things could go so wrong when dealing with two different cultures at the time they were, yet because of willingness to put the best foot forward, things turned out much greater than ever thought.

There is not much conflict in this story but there is plenty of tension and hurdles, which makes this a great story to read on that cold, dreary night with a cup of hot cocoa, or when lounging out on the beach while soaking up the sun. Just when there appears to be some conflict starting up, it is quickly dealt with in a way that I had not expected for I thought it was going to turn nasty there for a bit. I am personally a little torn on what to think about this conflict that shows up near the end of the book and centers around Evie. It is needed of course because of the timing of the event, but it was either the laziest way to end the conflict or one of the most understanding and creative way to insert problems between the hero and heroine, for there are still a couple of little issues to be resolved between them. Either way, it worked wonderfully with the story and in the end that is really all that counts anyway.

I hope all that read this book enjoys it like I did.

Please feel free to contact me if you have a Christian or Inspirational book to review or that I should review on my blog.  Please contact me by using the contact form on the left hand side.  Thank You.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

“Full Steam Ahead” by Karen Witemeyer

About the Book

When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead?

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole's father has always focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father's rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole's plans.

After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family's legacy?

Buy "Full Steam Ahead" from Barnes and Noble

"Full Steam Ahead" was released in May 2014
This is a well love library book that was reviewed

My Review of "Full Steam Ahead"

“Full Steam Ahead” by Karen Witemeyer is a wonderful story that has plenty of lessons to be learned by the characters and maybe by the readers as well. There was plenty of romance, of course, not to mention hunting, trips of guilt, humor, secrets (both large and small), determination and courage. I found that this was book that I just could not put down.  The writing was beautiful, creative and really interesting. The characters themselves were strong, well rounded, and as well as both being quirky to where I couldn't help but to fall in love with them. Then there is the plot and oh where to start with that for it was so interesting, complex and yet so simple that it kept me reading to point of past my bedtime in order to finish the book.

I found both Darius and Nicole to be strong willed characters with a lot of determination and single mindedness in order to see through what they believe is the most important tasks. The characters held true to the period with the guy thinking that the girl isn't smart enough and the girl without getting too into it with the guy quietly proves him wrong. I found that great, for really it was almost apparent from the start, that he at least needed her, and as the story goes on, the reader is able to see how she needs him as well and why. This kind of need between them, along with the attraction that is from the start, not to mention that there are no false presentation of oneself, personality wise anyway, really made it interesting to see why and how the romance blooms between them.

The flaws that shows up in both of the characters too, really made them stand out just that much more, for they were simple little flaws yet so major in how each character handled and worked with those flaws. At times I wanted to smack someone upside the head because they just didn't seem to be fully seeing their problems, even when it was pointed out to them full out in their face with no hidden messages.

There is not just one conflict within this story but two and they are not connected which made the story just that much better I think. While focusing on one conflict the other conflict was always there in the background, and I kept waiting for something to happen with that and when it did, wow things moved even faster.  I found that the resolution to both conflicts to be completely different, which makes sense after all they are completely different conflicts, and perfect for the way the story went.  
I truly enjoyed this story and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a light reading book that is also action packed and intense.  I know sounds a bit oxymoronic but really that is how the book read to me.  It was easy to follow along with the flow without much thought, with plenty of laughter, and was kept interested in the story because of the action and everything that was happening.

Please feel free to contact me if you have a Christian or Inspirational book to review or that I should review on my blog.  Please contact me by using the contact form on the left hand side.  Thank You.