Thursday, September 24, 2015

Wagon Train Proposal by Renee Ryan

About the Book

For the Sake of His Children
A marriage of convenience? Rachel Hewitt couldn't possibly accept. Not even for the sake of three adorable little girls who desperately want a new mother. Sheriff Tristan McCullough offers Rachel a home and family, but not the one thing she truly seeks—someone to love her for herself.

Tristan McCullough hoped to find a wife on the wagon train, not a nanny. The hardworking widower wants a marriage without emotional risks. But independent Rachel intrigues him. One minute she's winning over his shy little girls, and the next she's tackling danger head-on. She might just be Tristan's unexpected second chance at happiness…if he'll risk his wary heart again.

Journey West: Romance and adventure await three siblings on the Oregon Trail


This book released in June 2015
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed

My Review

“Wagon Train Proposal” by Renee Ryan is the third and final book in the continuous series 'Journey West', and a wonderful finish to the whole series. Now even though this is the final book in the series that doesn't mean that this can not stand alone for it most certainly can.  If one has not have the pleasure of reading “Wagon Train Reunion” or “Wagon Train Sweetheart” then that is ok for it is not absolute vital to read them, but they do help with some background on both Rachel and Tristan.

The series long story-line reveals the culprit or culprits pretty early one but just because the culprit or culprits are revealed early doesn't mean that the guilty party or parties are not a problem later on in the story.  Actually because of the culprit or culprits I was on edge wondering when this person or persons would strike.  I couldn't help but laugh for I expected things to go one way and I kept waiting for it all to go down, and when it went down, I am not sure if I was disappointed because it didn't happen the way I thought or laugh because of the way it did.  Well I know I laughed at one point during this whole event, so maybe it is just a little bit of both.

There is a twist in the story that was so unexpected that I actually had to go back and reread the page again to make sure I read it right the first time.  This is a secret that deeply affects one of the characters.  It sure added something I never saw coming and well I can almost see how it made the character stronger.  Stronger because they dealt with it, forgave and is now learning to deal with the secret that has been brought in the open with courage.  I wonder how many other readers are going to reread the paragraphs or page when this all comes out.

Rachel is the youngest Hewitt sibling and she has three very protective siblings along with three protective in-laws, to the point it is almost funny.  Rachel is a woman who is not shy about stating her opinions in the slightest, is not afraid of hard work and feeling a bit uncertain about where she belongs.  She had plans when she finally reached Oregon City but suddenly those plans are out the window so now she much come up with something else, which she does.  There is this natural grace about Rachel as well determination and strength.

Tristan is a man who takes his job seriously and has a plan.  He is also a man of great honor as we first saw in “Wagon Train Sweetheart” and again in this story.  He has this fierce love for his three precious children without a single doubt and will do whatever he must to protect them.  He has reasons for some of the things he feels, even though most think they might be unreasonable, at the time I could almost understand his thoughts.  Though things don't work out as he plans them he is flexible enough to do whatever it takes.

I had wondered time and time again why a certain character was always there and wondered if maybe this character was going to play a larger part than they actually did.  I also wanted to see another character find their own happy ending.  Actually to be honest there is another character as well who I wouldn't mind finding their own happy ending after all this person has been through and what they are still facing.  I don't think we will see those things come out in future books, but maybe my own imagination will just have to take over.

I hope all who have the privilege of reading this entire series will enjoy it as much as I did.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wagon Train Sweetheart by Lacy Williams

About the Book

A Promised Bride 
Emma Hewitt never thought she'd travel thousands of miles to wed. Yet Oregon is where she'll meet the groom her brothers have chosen. After years of nursing her ailing father, Emma's social skills are lacking. An arranged marriage is only sensible. And her growing feelings for Nathan Reed, a worker on her wagon train, are surely better forgotten.
\Nathan knows he's wrong for Emma. He's too rough, too burdened with guilt over his past. But when Emma nurses him through a fever, she sees something in him no one ever has. Now he wants to be a man worthy of her love. Emma's loyalty to family has always come first. Will she find the courage now to follow her heart?
Journey West: Romance and adventure await three siblings on the Oregon Trail


This book released in May 2015
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed

My Review

“Wagon Train Sweetheart” by Lacy Williams is the second book in the 'Journey West' continuous series.  This is another Hewitt sibling that has their own happy ending, and Emma learns quite a few things along the way in this story.  I loved the story but hated the cover of the book for frankly it didn't show the characters correctly.  Nathan's hair is longer in the book and Emma's hair is blonde.  Not Ms. Williams fault but seriously the people who do the covers should try not to make it so obvious that they don't have a clue about the story.

There is a series story-line that is continued and a couple of suspects are knocked out of the running but I have to wonder if maybe there isn't a new one added.  Though there is this series story-line, I would feel comfortable in saying that this could be a stand alone book.  There is a little bit of information that was in “Wagon Train Reunion” that was not in this book but it wasn't enough to make anyone feel as if they lost something important between the books.  I just wonder about the clues that were not mentioned in this book but were mentioned in the last book.  Guess everything will come together for “Wagon Train Proposal”.

This is Emma's story and we learn so much more about her.  What her fears are, what she enjoys doing and what frustrates her.  There are things that we got to see about Emma in “Wagon Train Reunion” sure but here we learn so much more about her.  She is a shy young woman who gives of herself to the point of sacrifice it seems, but wishes for things to be different at times.  Throughout the whole journey Emma learns things about herself as well.

Nathan is a man who has a haunting past, and I sure didn't see it coming either.  I was able to understand a bit better why he is the way he is and it all stems from his past.  Though he does what he can to hide it, this is a gentle giant without a doubt and who has his own fears.  But like Emma learning about things about herself, Nathan learns somethings about himself throughout the story.

With this story we have come over half way if not more in the wagon train journey, and nearing completion.  The adventures, I guess you could say, were interesting and hair raising at times.  I have to say that with the description of some of the things that happen, that my admiration of those who made this trip are more courageous than I thought.

This is a story that is really worth reading.  I hope all who pick up this book enjoys it as much as I did.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Wagon Train Reunion by Linda Ford

About the Book

Second-Chance Courtship 

Abigail Black had no choice but to break Ben Hewitt's heart years ago. Her parents had picked another, wealthier groom. Now widowed and destitute, she's desperate to leave her old life behind. The wagon-train journey to Oregon is full of dangers, but she'll face anything—even Ben—for a fresh start. 

Ben knows better than to trust Abby again. Between her family's snobbery and his family's protectiveness, avoiding her should be easy. Yet he's still moved by Abby's sweetness and beauty…along with a sadness and strength he never noticed in her before. Forgiving past wrongs would be a struggle—but the hardest struggle would be letting Abby go once more.

Journey West: Romance and adventure await three siblings on the Oregon Trail


This book released in April 2015
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed

My Review

“Wagon Train Reunion“ by Linda Ford is the first book in the continuous series 'Journey West'.  I have put off reading this book for as long as possible, so that I would have less time to wait between this first book and the last book.

This book is really different than most books I have read in the past, for there more flashbacks than usual.  Actually it seemed there for the first half to two-thirds of the book was equal parts flashback as in the present time of the story telling.  Sometimes flashbacks are not written well with other stories, but this time around, the flashbacks were written so well that they really enhanced the story and helped explain so much of what was going through both Abigail and Ben both then and now.

This is a story of second chances.  Second chances for everyone on the wagon train and maybe, just maybe second chances for Abigail and Ben.  Both are stuck with something in the past.  One is stuck in what happened between them so many years ago and the other even further back.  To be able to free themselves from the past they must be willing to face it and search what they are wanting now.

Abigail is a woman who has done what she felt that she must, regardless what the cost is to herself.  She is a woman who can handle a lot of stress for she deals with her mother without complaint (frankly she should get sainthood for that alone), always willing to help those around her, tries to do her share of the work, and battles her own emotions.  Abigail is also a woman who knows what she wants for her future.

Ben is a man who takes his responsibilities very seriously, and he is so determined to protect himself from the past.  As the train moves forward things happen to where he has no choice but to face the past, while helping those who need.  It how he handles everything that really shows his true character.

There is a series story line that is going to drive me up a wall until the villain is exposed.  Honestly there are so many who could be the villain, though I don't buy the person accused at the end of this book.  There are several reasons why I don't buy that this is the guilty party, but I can only explain one reason and that his because he is the hero of the second book.  There are some pretty big reasons other than that but if I went into them then I might be giving something away.

This is a wonderful start to the series and I look forward to reading the other books.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Father's Second Chance by Mindy Obenhaus

About The Book

Repairing Her Heart 

Businesswoman Celeste Thompson has one goal: to make her restaurant and hotel a success. She doesn't need any distractions, even from handsome contractor Gage Purcell and his two adorable little girls. Besides, single dad Gage is just biding his time before a big job at the mines comes through. But as Celeste's project springs to life, their arguments transform into attraction. Gage isn't looking for romance, especially not with another career-driven woman like his ex-wife. But openhearted Celeste is more than just another work-consumed client. She might just be his happily-ever-after.

My Review

“A Father's Second Chance” by Mindy Obenhaus is a book that is connected to her other two books set in Ouray, Colorado. Though there are plenty of connections to the other books this is a perfect on its own book for everything needed to be told throughout the story.

Here is a story of man planning but God having better plans. I can understand why each Celeste and Gage are so set in their plans for their perspective back stories are told to where it is hard not to feel something for each of them with their pasts. Something really surprising comes out with one of them, but it is so clear to see that this event changed the character and if put in the same position they wouldn't think of repeating the same event.

Celeste is a woman who is discovering something truly important to her and when pushed to the limit she has to make a choice as to what she is willing to stand up for. Her selflessness was shown throughout the entire story for she was constantly giving of herself to help plans for things to happen, when she saw there was a need in time of an emergency she was there with all she could do to help and she never seemed to complain or get angry without a just cause, and when she did there was really a just cause for her complaints or anger.

Gage is a man with one goal in mind and that is to be there always for his precious children. He does have a dream job but until things are right he is doing what he can to be there for his girls. Gage is a an honorable man who will do what he needs to do in order to take care of his family including working with someone who reminds him too much of his own past, with a grin and hopefully pleasant attitude, but he will not go against what he feels is right no matter what. There is something special about a man who is so determined to stay on one path but to watch them trip up completely like this one did.

There are plenty of ups and downs within the story that had this reader crying at times because of what was happening. I found it interesting how things were not exactly easy at times with certain situations but no one gave up really no matter how hard it was to get to the other side. The determination of them to move forward regardless of what they had to go through or who they had to deal with showed how each of them had a strength in them that helped out when things got uncomfortable. That strength was also shown when neither Celeste or Gage was willing to back down or step back when things got extremely uncomfortable and hard. It is because of their strength that really made each of them the people they were.

I hope all who pick up this book will enjoy it as much as I did, and laugh like I did at the plans that man made as God's plans were unfolding along. I understood the feelings of the man, and was relieved to see that those who made the plans were not so stubborn that sooner or later they came around to the better plan for them. It is worth reading in my opinion so pick up a book and loose yourself in a fall landscape of Colorado.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Amish Widow's Secret by Cheryl Williford

About the Book

Second Chance at Love

Widow Sarah Nolt never expected another marriage proposal. She hardly knows the handsome Amish man who's come to help with her barn raising. Besides, they're both still mourning the loss of their spouses. But Mose Fischer needs a caretaker for his daughters, and Sarah needs to escape her father's oppressive rule. They agree to a marriage of convenience, but when Sarah moves to Mose's Amish community in Florida, she can't help falling for the strong, kind widower and his little girls. To create a family, they'll have to come to terms with their pasts…and the secret Sarah is unknowingly carrying.


Buy "The Amish Widow's Secret" from Barnes&Noble 

This book released in June 2015
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed
My Review

“The Amish Widow's Secret” by Cheryl Williford appears to be her first published book and I have to say that it was a book that had me hooked by the page 30. I was hooked because my emotions were fully involved in the story by that time.

This is a book that I highly enjoyed and would recommend to anyone looking for a story that is quick and easy to read. There is a complex yet highly simple plot (oxymoron I know but it is true) and the characters are wonderful created. Most times it is pretty easy to see when an author is getting their first story out there for it seems as if something important is missing in their writing even if story is really good, but Ms. Williford's first book didn't have anything missing that I could see other than a warning about the emotional turmoil within the pages.

I haven't read too many marriage for convenience within the Amish genre but this was written very well. Often I don't pay too much attention to the little summary on the back of the book, but there was something that I thought odd about what was said on the back and that was how someone could carry a secret without knowing it, and then by page 100 I fully understood what that secret was. I have to say how it all happened was completely unexpected and lovely twist to the whole story.

Sarah is a young woman who frankly has a lot on her plate, a lot more than what is hinted at with the summary on the back of the book, yet she shows remarkable poise and grace throughout the entire story. That is what made her so spirited for when things seemed to crashing around her completely, she held true to her thoughts and beliefs. Regardless what this woman had been through she held fast to those thoughts and beliefs which showed remarkable strength and courage. Her heart though could have been bitter and cold was warm and open to all around her.

Mose is a man who is willing do to what he must for the sake of his children but only if it feels right to him and if it is what he is called to do. His heart is understanding and patient with all those around him, or at least those he cares for. He has no problem standing on the side that is right but doesn't allow his temper to get the better of him for the most part, but like any man he has a breaking point too which he reaches within the story. It is understandable when he reached his breaking point and honestly it doesn't last long the emotions that fill him at that point in time.

I so enjoyed getting to know Mose and his precious daughters, who have their own understandable issues, and Sarah. As I got to know them, and I really did feel like I was a friend welcomed into the telling of their story instead of characters on a page without their own lives, I couldn't help but love each and every one of the characters. Yes I know I sound crazy about talking about fictional characters has if they are flesh and blood but to me that is what it seemed like as I was reading this book. They had their faults and their strengths without one over powering the others, and they had emotions.

As I said before the plot of the story was complex yet remarkable simple at the same it seems like. Here are two people who have loved deeply now marrying each other for different reasons. One is doing it to give his children the love of a mother, while the other is doing it to escape. The complexity of the story comes in the form of how these two adults who barely know each other, but had loved someone close to each of them in a different way, become friends and more. The simple part of the plot is the desire to make the best of all what their future holds because once married there was no going back.

Truly I recommend this book to all who is looking for that right blend of easy reading and dive head long into a whole new place somewhere different from home.