Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Hint of Moroccan Mint Tea

A Table by the Window

Chapter 1

Hillary Manton Lodge 

Heirloom recipes, family secrets…and a chance for love 
The youngest heir to a French-Italian restaurant dynasty, food writer Juliette D’Alisa has spent her life negotiating her skill with words and her restaurant aspirations. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to open a restaurant together, she feels torn—does she really have what it takes? Should she risk leaving her journalism career?
After the death of her grandmother, Juliette discovers an antique photograph of a man who looks strikingly like her brother. As the truth behind the picture reveals romance and dark secrets, Juliette struggles to keep the mystery away from her nosy family until she can uncover the whole story. 

Inspired by her grandmother’s evolving story, Juliette resolves to explore the world of online dating. To her surprise, she finds a kindred spirit in Neil McLaren, a handsome immunologist based in Memphis, Tennessee. With a long-distance relationship simmering, Juliette faces life-shifting decisions. How can she possibly choose between a promising culinary life and Neil, a man a world away in more ways than one? And is it possible her Grandmother’s story can help show the way?

     Recently I find that every book that comes into my mailbox is historical fiction. Which I find very wonderful, but this was a refreshing alternative. I sat down at my desk and read it from cover to cover, I laughed and I cried, and it was wonderful. The whole book was about food with every chapter beginning with a quote about food and ending with a recipe that goes over a food that was mentioned in the chapter. The recipes appear to be easy to make, which made me sad because Juliette made pasta from scratch and there was no recipe for that. That was easily the worst part of the book. 

     I really loved this book, something about the simplicity and elegance of the story just caught my attention. The whole family of characters in the book was beautiful. One of my friends is Italian and her family is so loud and happy and I got to feel that feeling of being a part of that kind of atmosphere. It is a very addictive feeling. Also, the characters are restaurant people and that was really interesting too. Fantastic. It was refreshing and inspired this warm cozy feeling that reminded me of reading on a cabin porch during the start of fall. At the very least, the sneak peak (the link is in the caption) is definitely worth a look.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

To Bob or not to Bob

A Heart's Rebellion: A Regency Romance

Ruth Axtell

     Dutiful Jessamine Barry is tired of waiting patiently for a man to decide her future. So even though Lancelot Marfleet, second son of an aristocrat, is taking an interest in her during the London season, she refuses to consider him as a suitor. Instead, she's ready to take fashionable society by storm--and finds a rakish young man all too willing to help her do it. When things go too far, Jessamine will learn that the man who is faithful through thick and thin is more worthy than the one who speaks pretty words. But will her disgrace keep Lance from reconsidering her as a wife? And when tragedy strikes and Lance becomes his father's heir and a titled gentleman, will he think she only wants him now because of his title?

Fans old and new will love this lush Regency London story of discovering one's true self and finding one's true love.

     I don't think that I have ever cut my hair as a Bob. I like having long hair, I find it easier to do things with. Jessamine doesn't feel that way. Trying to fit into society to become popular and attract a handsome suitor she decides to change who she is, which invariably lands her into trouble. Plus she ends up with a bob. I didn't like that she changed herself, but she herself struggled with the shame of these choices when among her parents again. Bobs. 

     When I watch television or movies with my family I am  not allowed to be in control of the remote. Whenever I find something embarrassing I press that lovely little button on the remote and skip it. I also tend to fast forward over incredible sappy, melodramatic, or sad parts. I watched the Titanic in forty minutes. I still got the entire story line. When I read books where the characters embarrass themselves I tend to skim and jump because I have no tolerance for it. This book had a lot of that. I found it extremely difficult to move through, but other than that the book flowed very well. 

      I enjoyed this book very much, and I think it will be a good spring time read. Although not set in the Spring totally, Lancelot enjoys botany so flowers feature quite a bit. One last thing, this book is perfect for Jane Austen readers because although the language is quite the same it is very close. This book is the perfect example of a Christian Regency Romance. 

     I received a copy of this book from the publisher  in exchange for my review. Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Search and Rescue 102: Being Reckless Destroys Lives

Visible Threat

Janice Cantore

Officer Brinna Caruso wants perfection—perfect justice and a perfect world. She wants to save and protect all the innocents in the world, no matter the cost.

Orphaned and struggling to get by, Ivana and her sister left Bulgaria for America with dreams of a better life. But since they arrived in Long Beach, everything they were promised has turned out to be a lie.

After a dead girl is found in the river with a mysterious tattoo on her hip, homicide detective Jack O’Reilly asks for Brinna’s help. Unaware of the depths of evil that will be uncovered, Brinna finds herself flung into a dangerous frontier—an organized human trafficking ring.

     So when watching your favorite tv show you get those one episode at a time kind of episodes and you get those deep dark who series plot lines kind of episodes. The first book in the series was a good pilot book, it wasn't particularly dark and while it implied creepy stuff happened it never got quite as explicit as this one does. This is the deep dark episode in the series. Still good, but you have to really be committed to like it. 
     I liked it. I actually skimmed over some parts because I couldn't stand reading about human trafficking, the author did a couple chapters from the point of view of the young woman who was the victim, and while really well done it was absolutely horrible to read. The idea that there are girls out there in that situation sickens me. There is nothing actually explicit in this book, but it is a lot more prevalent than the previous one. 

     On the flip side, it really was well written and read like a tv show. I enjoyed watching Brinna grow in God throughout the book. It really cemented the fact that it is a Christian novel. I thought it incredibly realistic in the journey towards God. I would say that it is of utmost importance to read the first book before the second because so much happens that relies on you having read the first. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Literal Meaning- Pile of Poo

In the Shadow of Jezebel 

Read Chapter 1

Mesu Andrews

In a kingdom controlled by cruel and manipulative women, one princess will discover the power of truth and love.
Trained as a priestess in the temple of Baal, Princess Jehosheba strives to please the demanding Queen Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the royal household, Jehosheba realizes that the dark arts she practices reach far beyond the realm of earthly governments. 

Forced to marry Yahweh's high priest in order to further Athaliah and Jezebel's power plays, Jehosheba enters the unfamiliar world of Yahweh's Temple. Can her new husband show her the truth and love she craves? And can Jehosheba overcome her fear and save the family--and the nation--she loves?

With deft skill, Mesu Andrews brings the Old Testament to life, revealing a fascinating story of the power of unconditional love.

   Starting this book, I have to say I was a slight bit wary. Jezebel was a terrible woman and I like stories with happy endings. I am so glad that I chose to read it anyway. In general I really enjoy reading  biblical fiction. I like the mostly romanticized accounts of some amazing people that had faith in trials that we don't really see today, like the extinction of multiple peoples. Most of the fiction that I read is centered around people we know a lot about: Esther, Deborah, Ruth, Rahab, Nehemiah, and people who stand out in the bible. I have read a few that are mostly about the smaller fictional characters surrounding those large people like: Nehemiah's cousin, women who worked in Jerusalem alongside the disciples, Deborah's little shield maiden, and I like them all. 
     This book was different. It was amazing, but it took a character that is literally mentioned twice in the whole of the Bible, within two verses, and creates a full length novel about it. Jehosheba is a courageous woman involved in an intricate part of the Bible. So down to the nitty-gritty before I share some fun facts. The book is definitely not suitable for anyone who is not mature. The book talks about child abuse, it isn't to obvious but it is detailed, cutting, sacrificing and the worshiping of false gods. But other than that there was nothing untoward

    The book is incredibly informative, I learned so much! It was so exciting. I think that there are one or two historical discrepancies, but they were so little that I so think about it. Did you know that during this time period every child was named some part of the name of god in it. They pretty much had two options: Jehovah and Yahweh. You'll notice that the main characters name is Jehosheba. There were so many, but I don't want to spoil the fun of learning about it, so I'll just leave you with that little bit. I cannot wait to find some place to put it on my bookshelf. I'm actually about full now. I had to start encroaching on my family's library space for my personal books. 

     Below I have included a link to a bible study that accompanies this book. I printed it out, I cannot wait to start it myself. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. 

Bible Study