Friday, November 21, 2014

“Alaskan Sweethearts” by Janet Tronstad

About the Book

A Match Made in Alaska

Hunter Jacobson wants no part of his grandfather's matchmaking. The lone cowboy is certain that's what the old man is doing when he trades part of their Montana ranch for Scarlett Murphy's claim to an old Alaska gold mine. Or is he running one of his legendary scams on the sweet single mom? A trip to Dry Creek, Alaska, reveals the truth—and brings Hunter and Scarlett face-to-face with a past family feud and a vulnerable present. But surprisingly it's the future that intrigues Hunter most…if he can get Scarlett to make him her groom. 

NORTH TO DRY CREEK: The road to Alaska is paved with love

This book was released in October 2014
This is a well loved library book that was reviewed.

My Review

“Alaskan Sweethearts” by Janet Tronstad is the first book in her 'North to Dry Creek' series and it is an interesting one at that. Honestly I am not that sure where this series is going to take place in the future and which family is going to be the main focus. I can this new series taking place in Dry Creek, Alaska or Montana and I really would love to see what happens with the siblings in the Jacobson and Murphy families for both set of siblings sound like they all deserve their own happy family.

About the only thing I didn't care about the story, and this is a complete and total personal like ~ nothing more and nothing against the author ~ is that this story took place in under a week from first meeting until the end of the book. With the fact in mind, this is a pretty good book that I enjoyed a lot even with the fact I don't care for the quickie romances.  That in my opinion really says something about the authors talent to weave a wonderful story and it was wonderful for I got lost in the story.

Now with that said the way the story is told it is hard to dislike the book for both Hunter and Scarlett spend a lot of time together because of a reason, that I really can't get into without spoiling anything. During their time together a lot of things are discovered about each other and themselves. Nothing seemed as if it was being rushed or forced, but instead it almost seemed as if both Hunter and Scarlett had been discovering things for themselves somewhat and this story just really sped things up for the both of them on the inside.

While I didn't get the sense that I really knew the characters and who they are on the deep inside, what I did see of each of the characters though was enough to get the idea that they both put family first and do what they must to protect their loved ones. Even though I may not have personally felt as if I got to know the characters deep enough, I sure didn't feel as if I was cheated some way or that I was reading some flat characters who had no depth. In fact I thought that these characters were pretty well rounded with all that was in the book.

I found the message of trust to be a big part of this story and I could understand why trust was not an easy thing to be given for each person who isn't trusting. There are some pretty big reasons there, that caused it to be hard to trust, and yet I found it really interesting in what was the cause for the trust to develop and how it developed. I found that this one of the most interesting aspects of the story for I was wondering what was it going to take for the trust to be given, and wasn't expecting the moment when the trust was extended without a second thought.

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"A Pony Express Christmas" by Rhonda Gibson

About the Book

When Jake Bridges suddenly finds himself the guardian of his orphaned niece, he knows he needs a wife. What does a stock tender at a pony express station know about raising little girls? A marriage of convenience to the child's caretaker is the most practical solution.  

A mail-order marriage seems like Leah Hollister's last chance to know the simple joys of family life. But then she receives word that her would-be groom is dead. Now Jake proposes she marry him. She knows love isn't necessary. Yet the more she learns of sweet Molly's kindhearted uncle, the more she dreams of a true partnership with the man who has unexpectedly captured her heart.

This book was released in November 2014
This is a well loved library book that was reviewed.

My Review

“A Pony Express Christmas” by Rhonda Gibson is a story of two fearful souls who find the magic of love at Christmas time. This was truly a romantic story with some trials before all was said and done, as well as fears being laid to rest.

I so enjoyed how this story was told for there were introductions of characters who came and went, leaving me to wonder what was the purpose of said characters only to go “WHAT!”. This is not a mystery or suspense book but there of course is the uncertainty that life has in general of what was going to happen next. The twist and turns that the book took kept also helped keep this book interesting to where I hated putting down the book and when I had to put it down, I rushed back to it as quickly as possible.

Leah is a woman who has some pretty simple dreams that is for sure, but then again for her those dreams almost seem impossible. She has a couple of 'rug yanked from under her feet' moments but she doesn't stay down long for she has a lot of spunk and determination. Through it all though there is her fear, a fear that is understandable given her past, and to watch that fear fade away was something truly special. It was done in such a way that it didn't seemed forced nor was it gone in a flash.

Jake is a man who puts others ahead of himself, but he too has a fear, a fear that is holding him back, but in a way his fear makes sense as well. Jake works hard and enjoys what he does, but he is willing to do what he must for the sake of his family. Jake's fear may have washed away like a flash flood, yet there was warning signs that the fear was being washed away along the way.  When his fear did go away completely it was done in a way that made so much sense for it matched his fear in the first place and I can't see it going away any other way than the way it did happen.

To watch these two interact, the talking, working together and so much more, was really so romantic. There is conflict in the story that helped keep the romance from being over the top, and that conflict was both internal and external. The external helped to bring both Leah and Jake closer in knowing each other and what is to be expected of the other in their marriage of convenience. The internal conflict was a part of both of them working through their fears or trying to protect themselves.

There is not much mention of a message in relation to Christmas that shouts a Christmas message here, I think anyway. I do think the message of love being the greatest of all gifts is there which works wonderfully with the Christmas season.

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"High Country Holiday" by Glynna Kaye

About the Book

A Holiday Reunion

When Cody Hawk returns to Canyon Springs, Arizona, to make peace with his ailing father, his bad-boy reputation is still intact. So is his love for the woman he was forced to leave behind. But the privileged Paris Perslow is still off-limits. When Paris needs his help with the annual holiday gala, Cody braves the town's disapproving glances for a second chance with his first love. Years ago Cody promised he'd return for her. But with everyone and everything against them, what will it take to prove to Paris that his love is the perfect gift?

Would like to say that the website is out of date it appears

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

My Review

“High Country Holiday” by Glynna Kaye takes us back to Canyon Springs in this tale of anger, hurt, forgiveness, and trying to make sense of the past. I found this story to be one of those stories where I just wanted to slap people around because of their attitudes, alright I know they are fictional people and I am a Christian but really read this book and see what I mean, for others might be feeling the same thing.

Paris is a young woman who is trying to figure several things out in her life, and trying to figure out where she is going. Her heart though is there for all the world to see, and in some ways I wonder if she wasn't being taken advantage some in this story. Granted what I think of her being taken advantage of, is part of the plan for the over all story, but still it just shows a little more about Paris' character. Please don't get me wrong she is not some push over who is going to roll over when push comes to shove, for she does indeed have a backbone.

Cody, oh here is a hero that my heart just ached for from the moment I started to read his point of view on page 10 (larger print book) and throughout the entire book I was rooting for Cody. There are things that have shaped Cody into the man that he is now, and who he doesn't want to be. We are given little hints here and there about what happened in his past and then to see his present day, it is just a testament to what being determined and the love of good people can do in a person's life.

There is a truth that has been hidden for too many years that when it is revealed the effects are far reaching with misunderstandings and suspicion. When the truth is revealed finally, things are not that easy, but as always when the truth is revealed there is a freedom in moving beyond what has been hidden. There is work that is need to done in completely moving on, but by the end of the book there is enough progress to know that a happy ending is going to be there (and lets face it, this is a fictional book where there should always be the happy ending).

The Christmas season is a good and bad time for one of the characters due to the past memories, but over all the Christmas season is just the time setting for the book, but the message of Jesus coming for all is there. I also did enjoy the message that even Jesus didn't have money so there was no one out of Jesus' and God's reach if we accept that love. This may not have very noticeable but I came away from this book with that message.

Hopefully all who read this book will walk away from the book with something special for them with the holiday season just around the corner, and enjoy this book like I have.

Monday, November 17, 2014

"The Guy Next Door" by Missy Tippens

About the Book

From Friend to…FiancĂ©?

Stalwart and steady, Darcy O'Malley has been by Luke Jordan's side since childhood. She has seen him through trials and tragedies, romances and breakups. They've been everything to each other—except boyfriend and girlfriend. Why ruin a good thing? What Luke can't explain, however, is why suddenly Darcy's presence is making his heart beat so hard. Something has changed since he left Appleton, and it's making him uneasy. Is it possible his best friend is meant to be something more? Dare he risk their perfect friendship in the hopes of finding his perfect wife?

This book was release in October 2014
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed

My Review

“The Guy Next Door” by Missy Tippens is a book that is full of family, friendship and that attraction between girl and guy that just makes a romantic, like myself, sigh with contentment. There is conflict, don't get me wrong, but this story almost felt as if I walked into the middle of something yet I didn't feel lost at all with how the story was told.

Here is a story where two people have been the closest and best of friends for so long that one of them is blinded by what is front of them. It is that struggle between both of them that makes for the conflict.  Then there is that long awaited kiss really which was worth the way until someone really needed a royal kick in the pants. Really I was on pins and needles for that first kiss for I knew it was going to be something really special when it finally happened and it was in my opinion until someone opened their mouth and ruined the moment which frankly made me laugh for it was such a special moment and the one who ruined the moment stayed true to form too.

This is also a wonderful eye opener to stop taking loved ones (family and friends) for granted. We need to think of them, to be there for them, to forgive and love them no matter what. Sometimes things happen that out of our control, then there are the times when we think we have so much time that we put things off.  However, this is a wonderful story to remind us to make sure we live for today, to spend time with loved ones and to stop being afraid and to take that risk for the pay off might just be worth it. It is was when characters stopped being afraid and took the time to grab the moment that so much was cleared up.

Darcy is the typical girl next door who is not so much a girl but a woman who is warm, giving, loving, and overworked at the same time. She does all she can to stick to her self imposed plan but she is willing to make changes when something really important comes up. Darcy is a woman who knows how to value her family and friendships, where things have value and has a hard time just dropping something without having someone there to pick up where she left off.

Luke is a man who values his family and getting his career going, though family comes first. Luke has plans for his future, with a lot of high hopes, yet he is not so set in those plans that he can't go with the flow when things are changing on him. His emotions go through some pretty big changes all within reason of what is going on throughout the story.

I truly found myself glued to the book with the classic girl/guy next door story with some twists to where it seems as if I read this book in record speed. There was something about the attraction that was there in the book that just hooked me with the book, for this wasn't that typical sexual attraction but something deeper it seemed. The attraction seemed more to the inner self of the other person, and it seems as if the attraction is now being seen through new eyes. This attraction really did seem to jump off the page at times. Regardless of that I would still allow my neighbors young teen read this book if she wanted for there was nothing that I thought would be inappropriate.

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

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"North Country Dad" by Lois Richer

About the Book

The Mommy Plan

Widower Grant Adams loves his twin stepdaughters, but what does he know about pigtails and dresses and being a full-time dad? With his new job in a remote Canadian center for troubled boys, Grant needs a good nanny. But when he meets Dahlia Wheatley, who's loving, patient and kind to his girls, he realizes the twins need more than a sitter—they need a mother. With her own harrowing past, Dahlia is as reluctant to get emotionally involved as Grant is. Yet his startling proposition just may form a happy new family of four. 

Northern Lights:  On the edge of the Arctic, love awaits

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

My Review

“North Country Dad” by Lois Richer is another wonderful installment of her 'Northern Lights' series, yet no worries for this is the perfect stand alone book. I have to say that I really love how there is not only the hero and heroine that the story focuses on but there is almost always one of the boys at Lives is the a big part of the story too.

I would like to give warning to all those time-line fanatics like myself, there is no time-line error in the story, it just takes place in Canada. What I mean is that it talks about getting ready for Thanksgiving, and so being American I am thinking the fourth Thursday of November being Thanksgiving, then a few chapters later it states that it is November 11. Oh boy my head was about to explode for I am thinking the time-line has some MAJOR issues here until it dawned on me this is in Canada, so I googled when Canada celebrates Thanksgiving. Well I found my answer which is about mid October, and let me say that just settled my time-line unease for everything lined up just fine. Ok I had to check but it was bugging me to think that kind of mistake, which wasn't a mistake, could have slipped through so many editing sessions not to mention all the other readers for that could have been a huge error.  I am use to overlooking little things but when something catches my attention like this did I check it out and normally contact the author privately with the error, and I am so glad I didn't make a fool out of myself with this book by contacting Ms. Richer with a non time-line error.

This is also a story that is not centered around the Christmas holiday but boy it does have the same meaning throughout the months that the story takes place. The message is that God loves us no matter what and that He is always there for us, so much that He sent His only beloved Son for us. Also we are human and we are going to make mistakes and I so loved how the message of God's unconditional love was given as an example. I was just thrilled when I heard Pastor Rick talk about God loves us, His children, as we love our own children regardless what they do. I have used this example myself that no matter what we do God will always love us and never turn His back on us, just like we will always love our children and never turn our back on them.

I found the three main characters, Grant, Dahlia, and Arlen, all share something yet that shared feeling has come from different events in their past. I saw this common feeling among them but yet they each felt a different reaction to those feelings. One felt so guilty they couldn't seem to overcome the anger they felt, another decided that they couldn't be what they were needed to be, while the last one felt as if they had to accomplish this great task completely by themselves.

I so enjoyed watching the three of them discover the truth about themselves, in each their own way. In a strange way they didn't give up on each other yet they each stood on their own two feet to learn what they needed to learn to overcome their past hurts and pains. I think it was because they didn't give up on the others, yet learning on their own is what really touched my heart and made me enjoy this story so much. I also hope that all who read this book enjoys it as much as I have and walk away from the book thinking about something that was discovered by each reader as if it was meant for them.

Other Books in the "Northern Lights" Series

North Country Hero
North Country Family
North Country Mom