Saturday, February 21, 2015

"Changing Her Heart" by Gail Sattler

 About the Book 
When lovely Lacey Dachin signed onn at the clothing shop next door, it looked as if fun-loving Randy Reynolds had found a potential lunch partner.  meals could be lonely for a single guy, particularly one whose friends were getting hitched right and left.
But could the past truly be behind him?  He knew Lacey feared the worst.  Yet with his life in stand-up shape, the only thing that neededd changing now was Lacey's mind.
Men of Praise: Faithful and strong, these men lead in worship and love

This book was released in February 2006
This book comes from my personal collection and was rescued from a yard sale

My Review

“Changing Her Heart” by Gail Sattler is a older book I realize, but I rescued this book one Saturday out with friends going to different yard sales. This book had never been cracked open sadly as when I got to about a third of the way through the book, the spine cracked nice and loud. I feel so bad for books that haven't been read even when there are years that it has been out. I also have to say that this is the first time I have read any books by Gail Sattler, and I have already got a few books on hold at the local library for I like the way this book was written.

The reason I went into my yard sale books is because I wanted something light to read and I didn't have any light library books at the moment. I have to say though that this was both a heavy book with it message but very light reading, and not often is that a combination that mixes very well, but this book does just that. The subject or maybe more of the conflict of the story is dealing with an addiction in various different levels and forms. I found the base story line to be told in such a way that really one can't keep but cheer on certain characters, and that is where the heavy part of the book comes in.

The light reading is in the romance, for though there are a few ups and downs without a doubt, it was pretty straight forward for girl meets boy and well they develop a relationship. I found the straight forward relationship building to be incredibly sweet and tender, to where I wanted to cry at moments for there wasn't anything really that wouldn't have happened in any real life new relationship. Both Lacey and Randy had their flaws and their strengths. Neither their flaws nor their strengths are over blown making them both seem realistic and like the neighbors next door.

Now to be honest this is the third book in a series but it is a perfect stand alone book as well, for as said this is the first book I have read by Gail Sattler. I didn't feel lost in the slightest, though my interest was piqued about what happened in the first two books, but didn't feel like I was missing anything while reading this book. I hope all who are lucky to get a hold of this book and read it, enjoy it as much as I have.

Other "Men of Praise" Books

Hearts in Harmony
His Uptown Girl
Changing Her Heart

Friday, February 20, 2015

"The Engagement Bargain" by Sherri Shackelford

 About the Book 

Make-believe betrothal  

Rock-solid and reliable, confirmed bachelor Caleb McCoy thought nothing could rattle him—until he discovers he needs to pose as Anna Bishop's intended groom. After saving her life, his honorable code bid Caleb watch over the innocent beauty. And a pretend engagement is the only way to protect her from further harm. 

Raised by a single mother and suffragist, Anna doesn't think much of marriage—and she certainly doesn't plan to try it herself. But playing Caleb's blushing bride-to-be makes her rethink her independent ways, because their make-believe romance is becoming far too real…  

Prairie Courtships: Romance on the range

Buy "The Engagement Bargain" from Harlequin

This book was released in February 2015
This is a well loved library book that was used for review

My Review

“The Engagement Bargain” by Sherri Shackelford is another wonderful book that is connected to her other three books. There are a lot of connections, yes I admit that, however this is a perfect stand alone book. I found this book to be humorous and eye opening too, not to mention a few moments of tension due to what is happening.

This story is interesting for it has its up and downs and there were even times when I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Other times my heart was in my throat or tears were gently falling. This is a story of coming into one's one destiny for one of the characters need to make their decision as to what their future holds and in what way will that future be shaped. Choices are having to be made by both characters and some of them are not easy and some are heartbreaking. 

Anna is a woman who believes firmly in the movement that she is part of and she is not sure if she is ready and willing to change. There are two parts to Anna, the part she is on the inside and the part she projects to everyone around her. Though there are two parts to her, they are not all that different really, it is just how she projects herself to the world and how she admits how she is on the inside. There are times when she is searching for something else too, while other times she knows exactly what she is feeling and her desires for the future. Her heart is for others without a doubt, there is no question about that for her thoughts are always on the people she is wanting to help.

Caleb is a man that we have seen in a few other of Ms. Shackelford's books, and is pretty quiet and likes keeping to himself. There really isn't any special reason that he likes to keep to himself other than the fact that is a bit of a loner, but throughout the story Caleb discovers a few things about himself. Caleb is the type of a man who acts first and thinks later, does what he needs to do regardless of whether he should or shouldn't, and unconditional loves. Caleb is a quiet man for sure but he is not one to stay silent when something needs to be said either.

The conflict of the story is not at all what I expected it to be. When all the pieces fell into place I have to say that my mouth dropped open for I never saw that coming at all. What a twist to the story that is for sure. Even thinking back through the story I really can't even think about where things would have pointed to the ending, yet it made sense at the same time. So there is an external conflict, but most of the conflict was internal with one of the characters. It is a struggle to watch this characters internal conflict but at the same time I was so proud as this character came to their decisions.

I have to say that I learned something interesting by just reading the author's note at the end. I love when I learn something historical whether it be through the actual story or in the author's note, for it is so important to continue learning something whenever possible for it helps keep the mind going.

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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

"Daddy Wanted" by Renee Andrews

 About the Book 

Overnight Mom

Former wild child Savannah Bowers goes from being happily single to the guardian of three children after the sudden death of her best friend. Struggling with her new role, Savvy's not sure if Brodie Evans's offer to help is a welcome one. She has trouble forgiving her childhood friend's past mistakes, but she'll give him a chance for the sake of the kids. Which is why the attraction she begins to feel for him catches her off guard. And she can tell she's not the only one. If Brodie can prove he's changed his ways, he might just be  this instant family's perfect daddy.

This book was released in February 2015
This is a well loved library book that was used for review

My Review

“Daddy Wanted” by Renee Andrews goes along so nicely with her other books that are centered around Claremont, Alabama, yet this is a perfect stand alone book. There are characters from previous books but they don't play a role really in this book other than be there like anyone else would in a community. So if one hasn't read any of the other books by Renee Andrews that is perfectly okay for no one will get lost reading this story of discovery.

I say that this is a story of discovery more than anything, though forgiveness is a part of the story too, for it seems a lot of things are discovered through the story. There are lessons that not only Savvy and Brodie learn but a few other lessons are learned by a few other characters as well. Some of the lessons learned is how to move beyond the past, how to forgive and what is really important in life. I was just trapped within the pages of this story, that is not exactly new but there are some interesting twists. One of those twists I actually enjoyed a great deal for it took someone who normally has this clean, perfect image in books, and made them to be an average human with some darker sides too.

Savvy is an interesting name that is for sure but really I almost think it is the most appropriate name for the heroine of the story. This is a woman who is pretty savvy in what she is trying to do. She knows that she a little over her head but she continues forward to do the best that she can, and even allows a friend from the past help her out. She is willing to listen to just about anyone if it is going to help her in helping those she cares about. There are reasons she is the way she is, and we do learn the reason, but wonder how things are going to move forward when the truth is out there.

Brodie is a man who is changing and is trying the best that he can to prove it. There are times when it seems as if he is floundering but that doesn't stop him. He is determined to do the right thing while he is showing that he is changing he shows his heart and his flaws. There was just something about Brodie that really made him seem boyish (not in actions) yet a grown up, loveable and frustrating all at the same time.

Two wild children of the past now are working together for something better in the future. There is a bit of a shocker at the end, for I didn't see that coming and usually I can spot that a mile away it seems, and though now I can see where there are bread crumbs along the way, but some of those bread crumbs seemed to back track or take a different path, so it wasn't easy to see the path while reading the book. It is interesting to watch these two former friends, get past the hurt happened, to figure out how to be friends again and learn to become friends again.

I hope all who read this book enjoy as much as I did. There are so many messages that can be taken from the book, though I took away the different discovery's take the characters learned. I would have to say that this story is one that will touch each of its reader in a different way I am sure.

Other 'Claremont, Alabama' Books
Her Valentine Family
Healing Autumn’s Heart
Picture Perfect Family
Love Reunited
Heart of a Rancher
Bride Wanted
Yuletide Twins
Mommy Wanted
Small-Town Billionaire
Daddy Wanted

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Second Chance Reunion" by Merrillee Whren

 About the Book 

A Mom's Redemption
Annie Payton's lost everything she once held dear. The Village of Hope is her last chance to rebuild the life she's frittered away so needlessly. But as she works to regain custody of her children, she never imagines an unlikely advocate in her corner—ex-husband Ian Montgomery. Ian's always willing to help those down on their luck, but his ex-wife's a different story. Her past betrayal is still a painful memory. As the Village's lawyer, he'll represent her—but that's as far as he'll allow his feelings to go. Can Annie show Ian that she's changed in every way but one—the love she still has for him?
Village of Hope: A community built on love

This book was released in January, 2015
This is a well loved library book that was used for review

My Review

“Second Chance Reunion” by Merrillee Whren is the first book of her 'Village of Hope' series and I was hooked after the first chapter or two. I have to say that I just loved this story for it was so different in a lot of ways that really surprised me.

In most stories, if there is going to be someone who is a graduate of the school of hard knocks it is either the hero or heroine, while the other one has almost always had their act together. This is different for both the hero and heroine are graduates of the school of hard knocks. How they are graduates of the school of hard knocks, I am going to leave out for that is part of the story that makes this story so wonderful. I have to say that I was happy to see how these graduates of the school of hard knocks changed their lives, but one character's courage really hit a spot with me. Not because the other character was a coward but because how this character's courage took shape in more ways than one. No, that is not right for really I would have to say that both of the character's showed a great deal of courage just in very different ways.

By the title one might think this is about second chances, and it is, but there is more to it as well. This is also about forgiveness for some deep hurts have been inflicted and when discoveries are made things are not all that easy in that forgiveness department. I have to say this one was one of the better forgiveness stories I have read in a long time for there was more than just saying the words but working through the feelings. We may not see all the details in that path to forgiveness but we do see that it is not an easy road, and I know that from personal experience. I would have to say that this seemed to be a pretty realistic story on the forgiveness, and I felt the emotions of dealing with the graduates of the school of hard knocks though I don't have any personal experience with that.

Annie is a woman with a past and trying to make things right now. She has a lot of help even from places and people that she didn't even expect. We get to see her regret but while she is not sitting around feeling sorry for herself but instead she is doing everything she can to rebuild her life, while reaching out to those around her. Her strength and courage is something that is seen in little pieces here and there, and built upon in each instance. Though at times it seems her courage falters some, she still continues forward which shows her strength.

Ian is a man who has his own secrets and would rather keep them that way. He is a man who only wants to help those who need his help with the law. His heart is for those who are struggling to put their lives back together or who just need the help in general. He has some issues to resolve himself and he seems to struggle through them, but at the end of course, things right themselves out. Ian is a man who is confident in the job he does, but there are areas in his life that he is still uncertain about.

There may not have been any external conflict in the story but the internal conflict was enough to keep this reader turning the page. My adult son who tried to interrupt me once during the book received a sound “leave me alone until I am done” statement for I just couldn't put the book down for any reason. The emotions in the story was written so well that I couldn't help myself feel what the character's were feeling. Of course there is a happy ending (after all that is why I read the romance stories) but there is nothing easy about this couple getting together.

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

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

“Big Sky Homecoming” by Linda Ford

About the Book
big sky homecomingFalling for the enemy

Newly returned Duke Caldwell is the son of her family's enemy—and everyone knows a Caldwell can't be trusted. Yet when Duke is thrown from his horse, Rose Bell puts her misgivings aside to help care for the handsome rancher. And soon there's no denying that her childhood nemesis isn't the scoundrel she thinks he is. 

Duke keeps telling himself that his reasons for wanting to spend time with feisty Rose have to do only with ending their families' feud—and not with how captivating he finds her. But though Rose might be willing to mend fences with the enemy, could she ever believe Duke worthy of her love?  

Montana Marriages: Three sisters discover a legacy of love beneath the Western sky

This book was released in February 2015
This is a well loved library book that was used for review 

My Review

“Big Sky Homecoming” by Linda Ford is the third and final book of her 'Montana Marriages' and what an ending to the series that is for sure.

I have to say that the series story-line was not quite what I expected even when in the second book I thought it was something else, for it turned out to be something completely else.  With this series story-line it was full of twists and turns and ended up totally different. I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the way it ended for it seemed as if it ended way to easily. I kept waiting for something more to happen but nothing did. Somehow that just didn't mesh with everything up to that point so I guess I will just have to imagine something else happened even though it was thwarted, and maybe the bad character fully got what they deserved.

Duke is a young man who is trying to do his best to be his own man, but he is determined to do what is right regardless. This is a man who has to make choices and some of them are not easy. His faith is strong and that is what helps him with his choices. This young man is a man who is honorable, and holds others around him to that honor as well. He also is a man with a heart which is large enough to befriend people most at the time would discard, and never stopped trying to reach out his hand in friendship to those around him.

Rose is a young woman who has some issues with trust with some understandable reasons. Through it all though we see a woman who is protective of those she loves and cares for, her heart is big enough reach out to others even if she is weary of them, and strong enough to handle almost anything that comes her way. In a strange way she is a risk taker as well for she puts part of herself out there with no guarantee of the end results.

I thought the message here was quite different for I took away that things in the past are not always what they seem to be. It seems that sometimes grudges can be held for the silliest reasons or perceived reasons. It is a good reason to remember to always talk things through otherwise a lot of time can be wasted on things that were not the way they were. I enjoyed watching the truth come out as it did for walls came down and emotions developed. I would have that tearing down the walls of the past between Duke and Rose was enough conflict in this book that it didn't need anything else as for their conflict. Of course the series story-line conflict was still there as well.

There were moments of tenderness, laughter but not many tears in this book. Answers are also given to questions that have been asked throughout the series. I hope all who read this book enjoys it as much as I did.

Other ‘Montana Marriages’ Books

Big Sky Cowboy
Big Sky Daddy
Big Sky Homecoming


Monday, February 16, 2015

“Big Sky Daddy” by Linda Ford

About the Book

big sky daddyFor His Son's Sake

Caleb Craig will do anything for his son, even ask his boss's enemy for help. Not only does Lilly Bell tend to his son's injured puppy, but she offers to rehabilitate little Teddy's leg. Caleb knows that getting Teddy to walk again is all that really matters, yet he wonders if maybe Lilly can heal his brooding heart, as well. 

Precocious little Teddy—and his devoted father—steal Lilly's heart and make her long for a child and husband of her own. But Lilly learned long ago that trusting a man means risking heartbreak. Happiness lies within reach—if she seizes the chance of love and motherhood she never expected… 

Montana Marriages: Three sisters discover a legacy of love beneath the Western sky

This book was released in December 2014
This is a well loved library book that was used for review 

My Review

“Big Sky Daddy” by Linda Ford is the second book in her 'Montana Marriages' series and what an enjoyable book to boot. Oh boy I have to wonder about the whole series story-line though for there might have been a few twists though I won't commit to that until I finish reading the series with “Big Sky Homecoming”. I have a feeling that there is going to be something really amazing and not quite what I thought was going on, when the whole picture becomes clear in that last book.

Choices have to be made several times throughout the story. Choices between family and work. Choices between honor and dishonor. Choices between fear and trust. With each choice it is interesting to see how each decision is made for some of them were not easy. With these choices, several lessons are learned and a character's moral character is deepened in many ways. Oh I could go into all the lessons, but the two I think are the most important is trust and forgiveness. These are of course important and pretty common it seems in books, but the way they are presented it is almost as if they are being told the first time around.

Caleb is a man who has responsibilities for his first priority - his son, and doing what must be done for his son - who is just a treasure throughout the story. There is a history with Caleb, that we learn pretty early on in the story which really gives a lot of clarity into why Caleb the way he is. I have to say that my heart went out to Caleb for there are times when he is so torn, with understandable reasons, and the choices he had to make were not easy. At times I saw that he had to make choices that many parents in this day and time have to make as well. To me it just made Caleb seem as if he is a timeless man with timeless problems.

Lilly is a woman who has such a tender heart as we saw a bit in “Big Sky Cowboy”. Her heart doesn't seem to know how to shut down when it comes to helping those in need, regardless who they are or what species they happen to be. There are some discoveries that Lilly makes along the way as well which lead to some lessons learned as well. Lilly is so tender hearted, and one very determined young lady as well for she doesn't willingly give up on things that mean something to her.

There is plenty of humor along in this story for I found myself laughing more times than I could count. Ms. Ford has this way about describing certain scenes in such a way that ones imagination just leaps forward taking over and laughter burst forth. For as often as I laughed I found myself crying, as Ms. Ford was able to pull the emotions from me with her descriptions of those scenes, as well. Then there is the bread crumbs that are being left with the series story-line, that is beginning to drive me batty. I was so sure I had it figured out in the first book "Big Sky Cowboy" but it doesn't seem as if anything is going to be cut and drive. I am really glad that I am able to read the trilogy all together, for I would go bonkers having to wait for a couple of months.

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

Other ‘Montana Marriages’ Books

Big Sky Cowboy
Big Sky Daddy
Big Sky Homecoming

Sunday, February 15, 2015

“Big Sky Cowboy” by Linda Ford

About the Book

The last thing Cora Bell wants is a distracting cowboy showing up on her family's farm seeking temporary shelter. Especially one she is sure has something to hide. But she'll accept Wyatt Williams's help rebuilding her family's barn—and try not to fall once again for a man whose plans don't include staying around.  

Since leaving his troubled past behind, Wyatt avoids personal entanglements. He just wants to make a new start with his younger brother. But there's something about Cora that he's instinctively drawn to. Dare this solitary cowboy risk revealing his secrets for a chance at redemption and a bright new future with Cora by his side?  

MONTANA MARRIAGES: Three sisters discover a legacy of love beneath the Western sky

This book was released in October 2014
This is a well loved library book that was used for review 

My Review

“Big Sky Cowboy” by Linda Ford is the first book in her 'Montana Marriages' series and an interesting start to the series. Here is a story of second chances, hope and plenty of hope, that I found so sweet and endearing. There was nothing overly new in this type of story line but yet, there are some twist and turns in this story that made it worth reading and so enjoyable.

There are some very good reasons why Wyatt keeps his past to himself like he does, even if I don't agree with it, but different times means different thoughts and actions. Even though I may not like him keeping his past to himself like he does, there are things that really set him apart from other hero's. His deep love and determination to help his younger brother get over the past, and the fact that he seems to put other people's feelings ahead of himself. It seemed as if Wyatt's brother was the most important thing to him, and wanted to help him in any way, if even if that meant doing something he wasn't all that sure about.

With Cora there is something about this heroine for she has her problems but she is stubborn as well. At times I couldn't help but laugh at how stubborn she could be at times. She is fiercely protective of her family and tries to do everything in her power to keep anyone in her family from any kind of hurt. Though she tries she is reasonable and knows sometimes things are out of her control, which hurts her deeply. Her faith is a shining beacon in this story for it hardly wavers but she is not someone who doesn't realize that things are not perfect in her life for she has her doubts about things along with her own fears.

I truly enjoyed this story for it was just right on a cold winter's afternoon, yet filled with so much hope for a brighter future. Things have not been easy for some of the characters with their past but to see how they have moved forward was something worth reading. It wasn't always easy as feelings sometimes stayed buried deep down, until they are released. When the release happened it didn't always happen at the best of times, but at least they were at the worst of times either. Hope just seemed to leap from the pages almost from the get go for humor was easy enough to find when others wouldn't have bothered to look for it. Hope was given in watching others for things to be better in the future. Hope was in how others reacted when secrets were revealed for there are more than one.

The love that is experienced in this story is more than just the sweet romantic type but of family as well. I loved the weaving of families in this story for really it touched on some points that even in this day we feel it to be true. Families mean everything and not everything is the way it looks. There is so many connections of love, love between siblings, love between parent and child and love of others.

I look forward to reading “Big Sky Daddy” and “Big Sky Homecoming” over the next few days. I am also interested in seeing how the series story line that I think is going to be a problem is resolved. I am not entirely sure if what I think is the series story line is going to in fact something that is going to be expanded on but I sure hope so for it sounds interesting.

I don't know how I missed out reading this book when it came out back in October but I did, and then sadly the second book came out at a time when I had other things going on. I guess though if one good thing of missing the first book, and being sick with the second book, is that now that the third book is out, I don't have to wait until I can read the next book in the series.

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

Other ‘Montana Marriages’ Books

Big Sky Cowboy
Big Sky Daddy
Big Sky Homecoming