Saturday, September 27, 2014

"Lone Star Hero" by Jolene Navarro

About the Book

A Second Chance At Love

Single mom Vickie Lawson is back in her Texas hometown, intent on making a better life for her children. But when her son's troubles lead childhood sweetheart Jake Torres to her door, she realizes her feelings for him never went away. Now a State Trooper, Jake vows not to be distracted by the beautiful woman who once held his heart. He's never revealed to her the secret that tore them apart. Jake fears if he does, she—and the whole town—will never forgive him. But if Vickie and Jake can untangle the past, they may have another chance at forever.

Buy "Lone Star Hero" from Harlequin

This book was released in August 2014
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed

My Review of "Lone Star Hero"

“Lone Star Hero” by Jolene Navarro is a book that goes along with “Lone Star Holiday”, though not exactly with the character I was hoping for. Although the book is connected with characters from “Lone Star Holiday” and we are taken back to Clear Water, Texas, this book is a great stand alone book.  Anything that is important from "Lone Star Holiday" that is needed for "Lone Star Hero" is explained so well that no one should feel as if they are missing anything.

Vickie Lawson is a wonderful example how we can change our lives and that our past does not define our future. Here is a woman who is struggling to be the woman she wants to be, for she doesn't want to be the person she was even a few months before. Her kids mean the world to her and she is trying to do her best with the hand that has been dealt her long before the story started. I enjoyed watching her struggles in her changing and seeing the final work in progress at the end of the story.  I say the final work in progress because we are all a work in progress, but Vickie is a great example of that.

Jake Torres is a man with a secret that has been buried, and yet has had too much control over his life. He is determined to do what is right and has this desire to protect all those who need protection, which would explain why he is a State Trooper. Jake also has a better understanding about certain aspects of life, which makes him the perfect person to be the hero with what happens in the story.

This is a sweet story of miscommunication in the past because fear was allowed to control the emotions and actions. Decisions that were made at the same time because of those same fears, but without all those happening the story that was told in this book, would not have been the same and there could be some pretty important lessons that would have never been learned. Lessons in being more open, to speak the truth, to fully rely on God and not to try and control all that is going on in our world, and that changing is not always so easy but so worth it.

When the conflict showed up, I was pretty sure I knew exactly how the rest of the story was going to go, for frankly it seemed like it was a pretty standard conflict. To be honest, there was quite a bit of predictably to the story with the conflicts. Some of the things veered to the right or left but stayed along the path for the most part in the conflict.  However, I still enjoyed the story because of the romance that was being rekindled, and couldn't bring myself to skip a single page (which for a story that I think is a pretty predictable story is really good), for I needed to see what was going to happen next.

I must be honest, I think that the reason that this book was not able to keep my undivided attention was for some reason, at this moment this book didn't strike a nerve with me. Books that strike a nerve with me are books that have a message that seem to be something I need to think about, and this book right now doesn't seem to strike that right nerve with me at this moment. In a few months or in a year or two, I have a feeling that when I re-read this book, something will strike that nerve and I will have so much more to say about this book.

I truly hope all who read this book find that special something that is going to touch them in a special way.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"A Heart to Heal" by Allie Pleiter

About the Book

The Courage To Hope

Guidance counselor Heather Browning is desperate. She needs a mentor to help Simon, a disabled student who is struggling at Gordon Falls High School. Unfortunately, hotshot Max Jones is her only option. Confrontational and cavalier, Max uses his flashy persona to hide the bitterness he's felt since his life-changing accident. Perpetually cautious, Heather finds Max's bad-boy bravado as intriguing as it is infuriating. But as Heather and Max work together to build Simon's self-confidence, they begin to trust each other. Max has never been slow and careful with anything. Can he be gentle with Heather's heart?

Gordon Falls: Hearts ablaze in a small town.

This book was released in August 2014
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed

My Review of "A Heart to Heal"

“A Heart to Heal” by Allie Pleiter is a book that I actually didn't think would happen because of Max's disability, and that is because most authors wouldn't touch Max's disability with a ten foot pole, which in my opinion is a shame. This book really hit the mark with me and this is on my “MUST BUY” list, and there is not many on that list. I have a long “I want to buy” list but to date I only have handful of “MUST BUY” books.

To finally see a hero such as Max with all the issues that he dealt with finally being seen in a book such as this, was refreshing and so true to life. I may not be in the same spot as Max is at this point but I have been there and face the same thing in the future possibly. When I was there in the past I had to deal with the same things he dealt with in the book, and I see the same attitudes time and time again in the world. I found the humor that Max dealt with his disability to be understandable, as well as his anger, doubts and fears. I deal with my disability with humor, even though many may not understand it. I worked through my anger, doubts and fears but they were all there. I was able to relate, other than I am a woman, with Max so much that I couldn't help but root for him in all ways.

Heather is a woman who has a heart that is pure gold. She has her own scars from the past both that are on the outside and on the inside. Things she wanted to keep in the past, found their way into the light and she found herself defending once again. Heather is also determined to help those who need it and tries her best to make the best out of some really tough situations that pop up. I was able to see her strength and her faith in all that she did even though at times she doubted herself it seems. Overall, though, Heather is a woman who was just the right woman for all that was going on around her.

The secondary characters are so well written that they seem as if they are just important as the main characters. Alright one of the secondary characters is pretty important to the story and this character is full of some pretty good advice when the time is needed. Though it might seem as if this character speaks out of character, this character really doesn't for they have a better understanding than most of the other characters. I found that each character had this unique sense of humor, some to hide their true emotions, and some because something struck their funny bone in a strange way.

There is plenty of humor throughout the story, where I found myself laughing on a regular basis throughout the story. I would have to say that this is a book that I so loved, and I didn't actually shed a single tear, which is odd considering I understood what Max was going through, yet I didn't shed a single tear over him. I must admit that I am emotional reader and I cry at more books that I care to count, but this time I didn't, and I loved the story.

The conflict of the story is in two ways, one is internal and one is external. These are conflicts that are dealt with everyday within people we know even if it is just a nodding in the store relationship. Though we don't know what the resolution is to one conflict, I have to say that is good for really it is one of those things that sometimes can't be wrapped up all nice and neat. One we don't see how it is resolved but we see the end results, which is about the only disappointing aspect of the whole book.

I highly recommend this story to all who love romance and don't shy from imperfect hero's. 

Other Books in the Gordon Falls series by Allie Pleiter

Falling for the Fireman
The Fireman's Homecoming
The Firefighter's Match

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Christmas Comes to Little Hickman Creek" by Sharlene MacLaren

About the Book

Two years ago this Christmas, Sadie Bennett's beloved husband was killed in a tragic accident at the local sawmill. What was once her favorite time of year now haunts her, with its cheerful trappings a cruel reminder of the love she lost. The young widow would like nothing more than to hibernate until the festivities are over. When she finds herself assigned to the committee tasked with picking a Christmas tree for the town square of Little Hickman Creek, she begrudgingly agrees but determines to fulfill her duties to the bare minimum.

As the search for a suitable tree gets under way, Sadie is dismayed to learn that one of her fellow committee members is a man she's worked hard to avoid. Reed Harris owns the local livery, and while he's friendly enough, good-looking, too, Sadie isn't ready to invest in another relationship. In fact, she may never be ready, unless a Christmas miracle manages to thaw her frozen heart.

This book was released in September 2014
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed

My Review of "Christmas Comes to Little Hickman Creek"

“Christmas Come to Little Hickman Creek” by Sharlene MacLaren is a sweet and tender novella that is just perfect for that night when one wants to sit back to have a quick read when they are limited on time.

 We are taken back to Little Hickman Creek for a visit for this story and we get to revisit with the Broughton's, Callahan's, and Atkins' a little in this story, however, if one hasn't read the prior Little Hickman Creek books that is not a problem for this is a perfect stand alone novella. Personally I would have rather had a full length novel with a return to Little Hickman Creek series, but I will take what I can get.

Sadie is a young woman who has not been able to move on after the death of her husband during the Christmas season. She is one who puts up a lot of pretense that things are fine, but inside she is just struggling to get through each day.

Reed is a young man who has figured out what he wants and living in a big city is not it, and he has his eye on his future wife. He is a man who shows great patience and honor in how he behaves around the woman he wants for a wife.

I have to say that I loved the moments when in the book God spoke to the characters, whether they recognized it as a nudge from the Holy Spirit or heard the words themselves, it was just so beautiful. I always enjoy those special moments when an author has God speaking to His special fictional creation (and I firmly believe that God speaks to both real flesh and blood, and to fictional characters) for I believe that God is speaking to someone who is reading the book and hopefully they will see what they need to see. And, yes, I did take something away from the story.

One of the underlining messages that I took away from the story is that there is a season for everything. A season for grief, for joy, for tears, for laughter, but there is never a season for fear for with God all things will work out. It was not an easy lesson, but it did come slowly and over time instead of just a few pages. I always appreciate when lessons are learned slowly instead of instantaneously for I think the lesson is remembered better that way.

This story does take place over a few weeks if that long but it was hard to remember that, because the story was so well told that we learn a few things to help make the story seem more realistic. I truly enjoyed the story and will reread it again, then again I fell in love when I first read The Little Hickman Creek series just earlier this year.

I hope all who read this book enjoy it as much as I did.

Other Books in the Little Hickman Creek series 
by Sharlene MacLaren

Loving Liza Jane
Sarah My Beloved
Courting Emma