Friday, October 24, 2014

"A Home for Her Heart" by Janet Lee-Barton

About the Book

Love on Assignment 

Magazine writer Elizabeth Anderson has sparred with newspaper reporter John Talbot for years. Though they cover similar stories, John thinks Elizabeth's writing is trivial, and she finds him too boastful. So when they must work together to investigate New York City's worst tenement houses, they're surprised by the great team they make.

Despite their professional rivalry, John and Elizabeth begin to trust each other as they grow from competitors, to friends, to something more. But then John makes a startling discovery that would break the story—and Elizabeth's heart—wide-open. John's always been driven by his career—can he give up one dream for another?

Boardinghouse Betrothals: Hearts taking shelter—and forging new beginnings

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

My Review

A Home for Her Heart” by Janet Lee-Barton is the third book in her 'Boardinghouse Betrothals' series but a great stand alone book as well. This is a story of trust and overcoming misconceptions along with broken trust.

I found this book to be an easy sweet read without much thought to it. I found the seesawing between John and Elizabeth a little slow for it seemed to take forever for things to move forward, but then when things do start to move forward it is in little steps. Frustrating for me as a reader who was looking for something more a little faster. When I say for something more a little faster, I am not talking about anything beyond the falling in love and realizing that is what is happening. Instead there are issues that both John and Elizabeth need to overcome which made the seesawing frustrating. When I say that it was frustrating I mean that in a good way for things were not going the way I thought they would which meant that I had to keep turning the page to see what was going to happen next.

There is a secret that someone is keeping and the secret keeper is scared to reveal their secret. They fear that things will change all the way around but they don't know what else to do but reveal their secret for the secret is to bog them down. The secret is not a big one but yet big enough to be a concern. When the secret is finally revealed I was happy how it came about for it isn't often that the reveal happens the way it did.

Elizabeth is a woman who is working hard and is not afraid of the darker sides of life, at least when she is not alone. She is proud of her work as a reporter and has a heart for those who have less than she does. She has issues with trusting men and for a pretty good reason that is for sure.

John is a man who wants more than what he has, and I am not talking about money. He wants his dream and comes so close by hard work as well as never giving up. This is a dream that was stolen from him before and now he is close again. Regardless, John also knows what is the most important thing in life does what he can to help improve what conditions he can when he can.

The tenements are a big part of the book yet again, as it is the tenement buildings that help bring John and Elizabeth close for a short time. Things are not glossed over in this book for how harsh some of the conditions could be and some of the descriptions of the buildings gave me the chills and made me stop to think about how lucky we are that those kind of places still exist, they are not as numerous as they once were.

Choices need to be made when certain things come to light and it is the choices that are not easy to make, but they have been made none the less. I found that with the whole book it was worth reading and I hope all who read this book enjoy it as much as I did.

Other "Boardinghouse Betrothals" Books by Janet Lee-Barton

Somewhere to Call Home
A Place of Refuge

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Cowboy to the Rescue" by Louise M. Gouge

About the Book

Captivated by the cowboy 

Though Georgia belle Susanna Anders agrees to accompany her father on a silver prospecting trip to Colorado, her heart belongs to the South. Then charming cowboy Nate Northam saves her father's life and gives them shelter at his ranch. Feeling gratitude is only natural, but falling for a Yankee? Both of their families would be outraged.

While Susanna's father recovers at the Northams' home, Nate can't help being drawn to the sweet Southern beauty…and wishing he were free to think of courtship. That is until shocking revelations compel both Nate and Susanna to choose where their loyalties lie—fettered to the past or to the promise of a bold new love….

Four Stones Ranch: Love finds a home out West

My Review

“Cowboy to the Rescue” by Louise M. Gouge is the first book in the series 'Four Stones Ranch' and what a great start to the series. I have to be honest I normally just put my name down on the waiting list for each new Love Inspired book at my local library, without reading what they are about until I get them in my hand. Well when I read the back of the book, it didn't sound that interesting so I waited until I had to return the book to read it. Oh boy what a fool I was for I waited for almost three weeks to read this fantastic book.

The back of the book may hint at the conflict of the story but man if anything it is only a hint for when the conflict was fully known it sure took me back for it was one very clever twist to the story. Within the synopsis on the back one might be able to tell that there is still those prejudices in regards to Southerners and Northerners, which are bold in this book, and watching the overcoming of those prejudices, guilt and other feelings associated with the war was something special that is for sure. This story didn't just brush over some of the horrors of that war, but told one story (true or not I am sure it could have happened somewhere along the line of the war) that had some of the horrors to it. War is never pleasant or easy and I was glad to see that it was not just brushed over either, though really the story is not that graphic or horrific to where I found myself uncomfortable.

Southern belle Susanna is a young woman who is determined to fulfill her promise which means she goes where she really doesn't want to go, with plans to return home at some point in time. She is not afraid of hard work in the slightest, and when taken by surprise by things, she learns to roll with the flow and give back when it is appropriate. There are things that she learns through the story but she is also a woman who is not about to spout off everything she is thinking, but will speak her mind when it is needed.

Northerner Nate is a man who is Godly and so thoughtful of others. Here is a man when he came upon Susanna and her father, he was thoughtful enough to think about where the best place was for him to recover and where they would be the most comfortable. Nate is also a man who knows what some of his flaws are and that he needs to work on them. Throughout the story Nate seems to walking this very fine line between several people, one that has some interesting twists and turns. Nate is not afraid of doing what must be done even if that means going up against someone who means the world to him.

This story is a great start to the rest of the series for personally I loved seeing Rand, Rosamond and Tolley for we get a good glimpse into who they are and a bit of their personalities. I am assuming that since the series is 'Four Stones Ranch' that the future books are going to be around the rest of the siblings, which means we will be able to watch the younger siblings grow and mature.

As I said earlier there are numerous prejudices in regards to the North and the South that are dealt with, but also there are a few others that come up at least that society has at the time. I loved how love overcame so many hurdles for so many, how when the truth is revealed there is healing for so many and friendship, not mention love, was completely blind at times. Forgiveness and healing is a big part of the story as well and it is one of those sweet moments when a choice needs to be made and there is no clear end result from the story point of view at the moment until it is made. I have to say that is what made this book so wonderful for though things should be clear cut nothing really is. There are numerous twists and turns in the book that made me regret having to put it down so I can get some sleep, then first thing I picked up the book needing to finish it.

I really hope all who read this book enjoys it as much as I did and don't allow the back make anyone think it is not worth reading for it really is.

"The Gentleman's Bride Search" by Deborah Hale

About the Book

Matchmaking with a Mission 

If Jasper Chase won't trouble himself to find a new governess, Evangeline Fairfax must find her employer a wife. That way, his children will be well cared for once she leaves to start a charity school. Jasper reluctantly agrees to a matchmaking house party with one condition—that Evangeline give him lessons in courtship.

Devoted to improving conditions at his mill, Jasper unwittingly ignored matters at home. Only now, as Evangeline teaches him how to win a wife, does he realize what it means to be a true father and husband. And if this independent young woman would just say yes, her plan could have the perfect ending….

Glass Slipper Brides: From governess to Cinderella bride

My Review

“The Gentleman's Bride Search” by Deborah Hale is the fifth full book and sixth story in Ms. Hale's 'Glass Slipper Brides', but a perfect stand alone book as well for the most part. The only thing that I find helpful with reading the other books in the series is one has a better idea of how the school that Evangeline had attended as a child, for all of the girls in the series had different memories that has come out over the course of the series. Still even without those details, one shouldn't feel as if they are being left out of something important.

This is the story of the leader of the pack, so to speak, Evangeline who is so certain of her future, and a bit frustrated that it hasn't happened yet. Her love for children is easy to see and a pretty good thing since children are a part of her future, and so is her ability to understand children while corralling them in positive outlooks. At times her bossiness and pushiness comes through, but not always in a bad way. Her honestly even in the face of that it might make her uncomfortable is also reassuring. Then there is her flaws that help make her seem so much more approachable.

Jasper is a man that is a mass of contradictions at times, or at least I thought so. Maybe those contradictions was nothing more than faulty thinking, but it also showed his humanness that sometimes hero's seem to be missing in books. His love for his family is a very powerful thing without a doubt, and though he may not have understood why he did things they way he did them, he did those things just the same because he believes in the reasons he has told himself. Jasper is a man who is also willing to listen to others, and give things a chance though he might not want to.

Evangeline and Jasper have quite a bit in common with each other that is one thing that made this story so enjoyable with the arguments and understanding of each other. It was also pretty amusing watching the two interact with each other for this is a romance book after all and both of them were pretty dense as to what was expected of them, by at least this reader. Of course they finally figured out what I wanted them to figure out but the journey to get to that point was frustrating and so worth the journey without a doubt.

I loved how both Evangeline and Jasper showed their faith in what they were doing or planning to do in the future. Though I do enjoy books where one of them seem to struggle with their faith, it is refreshing too when everyone has a good, solid foundation in their faith. It is not just the solid foundation but it is their actions, thoughts and everything else about them that shows more than just their words that show their faith.

I found that this book was a perfect book for the end of a series for there were no one left to wonder about their future. All the young ladies from the matchmaking house party that was thrown, found their future in the book, whether it be with a man or something else. I felt bad about one of the young ladies and I wonder if maybe she shouldn't have her own book in the future for I can just imagine the reformation that would take for this young lady and what a wonderful story that would be. Then again not all people can be reformed though we all wish they could.

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

Other Books in the "Glass Slipper Brides" Series

The Wedding Season: Much Ado About Nuptials
The Captain's Christmas Family
The Baron's Governess Bride
The Earl's Honorable Intentions
The Duke's Marriage Mission

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Her Hometown Hero" by Margaret Daley

About the Book

Home to a Cowboy

In a split second, a tragic accident ends Kathleen Somers's ballet career. Her dreams shattered, she returns home to the Soaring S ranch…and her first love. Suddenly the local veterinarian, Dr. Nate Sterling, goes from her ex to her champion. With the help of a lively poodle therapy dog, the cowboy vet sets out to challenge Kathleen's strength and heal her heart. He'll show her there's life beyond dance, even if it means she leaves town again. But maybe, just maybe, he'll convince her there's only one thing in life worth having…and he's standing right in front of her.

Caring Canines: Loving and loyal, these dogs mend hearts.

"Her Hometown Hero" was released in September 2014
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed
My Review

“Her Hometown Hero” by Margaret Daley is the third book in her 'Caring Canines' but never fear this is a fantastic stand alone book. Sure there are connections to the prior two books but not to the point where one feels left out, for it was more as if the prior characters are just minor characters in the book.

This is a story that is a wonderful story that shows regardless what happens in life, with the three “F's” (faith, family and friends) nothing is impossible. What Kathleen goes through after the accident that ends her career is something that is not easy and her struggles are so understandable and realistic. My heart went out to Kathleen because in some ways I understand what she was going through while other times her emotions are written so well that I couldn't help but empathize with her completely. Kathleen went through a lot of changes throughout the story and what changes they are.  I thought that with the way Kathleen's journey is written that it was hard not to shout with her when her dreams all came true.

Nate is a man who is willing to help out who he can, even someone who hurt him in the past. His heart is there for all to be seen, or at least for the reader to see, and though it is understandable some of his reactions. I was happy to see that past didn't seem to have a huge hold over him like some might have for this showed his truly caring side.

I truly found this story of overcoming adversity truly outstanding. This was not a simple story either but one of struggle and learning to adjust that adversity. I found that it was that overcoming of adversity that really made this story so outstanding, though I know that it is not the same for everyone. Some take longer to get to certain points while other can move through the stages a bit quicker, but no matter what we all can do anything we put our minds to it with plenty of support. I don't feel as if I am giving away the ending of the book after all this is a fictional book, so of course there is going to be a positive ending.

The romance itself was done in such a way that it was sweet and tender, to where it almost seemed as if it crept up on everyone. The romance was not really part of the conflict for there was enough conflict with the adversity that I mentioned above, which made it kind of nice.

This story is truly a wonderful story that I hope all who read this story enjoys it as much I did. A story full of so many emotions that I found myself crying and laughing, sighing and rolling my eyes, and everything in between. It is really worth the read.

Other 'Caring Canine's' Books

 Healing Hearts
Her Holiday Hero