Monday, June 30, 2014

The Life of a Wife of a Crook

A Woman of Fortune

Kellie Coates Gilbert

Texas Gold #1

     Texas socialite Claire Massey is living the dream. Her world is filled with designer clothes, luxury cars, and stunning homes. But her Neiman-Marcus lifestyle comes crashing down when her charming cattle broker husband is arrested for fraud. Suddenly, she finds herself facing attorneys, a media frenzy, and a trail of broken hearts. Betrayed and humiliated, Claire must start over against incredible odds to save her family–and discover a life worth living.
     Poignant and emotionally gripping, A Woman of Fortune reveals the many ways we deceive ourselves and how resilience of the heart is essential to authentic living. Drawing on her experiences as a legal investigator, author Kellie Coates Gilbert delivers emotionally gripping plots and authentic characters. Readers will love Claire’s unbending determination as she strives to keep her family from falling apart and learns to embrace the kind of fortune that lasts.

     As the first book in the Texas Gold series, I picked this book up from a completely new author and began a different sort of journey. Most of the stories I read are about young love. Rarely do I ever read a book where the main focus is on characters who are firmly established in the way of life because that is the way they have done it for twenty or thirty years. I know that if more books of this type and this caliber pass by my bookshelf I will be sure to invite them to stay a while.

     The subject matter of the book is for me relatable only through other readings and the television (Specifically a show called Leverage-although they would be the ones working to take down said husband). Anyway, apparently it is based off of an actual man who committed mass fraud. I wasn't conscious of major events like that at the time so it has no effect on my memory. I also have never had someone close to me lose their savings in someone else's Ponzi scheme. My closest encounter stems from The Nanny. So I feel like this book might be a bit touchy for those people who are actually reaped the consequences of a bad investment, but I couldn't say for sure.

     Aside from that, it was a well written very logical book. The emotions in the book were so realistic, and the logic behind the actions,  while not necessarily logic I would hold to, keeps in touch with who the characters are. It focuses on not only Claire's problems in dealing with this kind of corruption in the household, but also with her young daughter who particularly has trouble with the situation. It does touch on the other family member's problems with the revelation that the patriarch is a crook, but the daughter does get her own chapter. A Woman of Fortune is certainly worth at minimum a check out from the library to see if this book is your cup of tea.

I am very pleased to have come into contact with this book. I received a copy of it from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Vegas Wedding to Boot

Meant to Be Mine

Becky Wade

Ty Porter has always been irresistible to Celia Park. All through high school--irresistible. When their paths cross again after college--still irresistible. This time, though, Ty seems to feel exactly the same way about Celia. Their whirlwind romance deposits them at a street-corner Las Vegas wedding chapel. 

The next morning they wake to a marriage certificate and a dose of cold reality. Celia's ready to be Ty's wife, but Ty's not ready to be her husband. He's a professional bull rider, he lives on the road, and he's long planned to settle down with the hometown girl he's known since childhood. 

Five and a half years pass. Celia's buried her dreams so that she can afford to raise her daughter. Ty's achieved all of his goals. Or thought he had, until he looks again into the eyes of the woman he couldn't forget and into the face of the child he never knew he had.

How much will Ty sacrifice to win back Celia's trust and prove to her that their spontaneous marriage can still become the love of a lifetime? 

     Another contemporary romance, Meant to Be Mine is ahead of the middle of the road. With rodeos, rushed weddings, and a land feud, it covers all the classic western adventures and pitfalls with a modern twist. 

     The focus of the book was Ty and Celia's relationship and reunion. With Addie to look out for, several more conflicts are developed. This book had multiple surprises and detours that I absolutely did not see coming, but in fact enjoyed quite thoroughly. I reread the book to try and see if I had just missed all of the signs because I was just consuming it far too quickly , and I did! The subtleties in this book were so intricate and so well woven into the larger picture that they were only obvious upon a reread. I would definitely  recommend rereading the book about a fortnight (or one book later) after finishing it to revel in the mysteries. 

     It is truly a light fluffy read, perfect for Summer. I also enjoyed the description of the setting. Celia lives in one of these doll house Victorians that I could just picture. It brought to mind a Chicago suburb that my Mom used to drive my sister and I through. So cute! 

    On a side note, Becky Wade has some really cool information about the models on the cover. I loved the idea of getting to know the models. It is truly worth looking at.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for my honest review. Enjoy reading!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

An E-book Surprise

While Love Stirs

Lorna Seilstad

After graduating from Fannie Farmer's School of Cookery in 1910, Charlotte Gregory is ready to stir things up. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to travel, lecture, and give cooking demonstrations on the very latest kitchen revolution--the gas stove--and certainly doesn't mind that the gas company has hired the handsome Lewis Mathis to perform at her lectures. Lewis encourages her work, especially her crusade to introduce fresh, appetizing, nutritious food to those convalescing in hospitals. But young hospital superintendent Dr. Joel Brooks is not convinced any changes should be made--especially by this outspoken young woman.

When Charlotte and Joel are coerced into planning a fund-raising gala for the hospital, will this combustible pair explode?

Fan favorite Lorna Seilstad is back with a breezy, lighthearted love triangle that will keep readers guessing. Attention to historic detail adorns the timeless story of a young woman looking for true love and making her way in a rapidly changing world.

    Welcome to another wonderful second book in a series! This time I can proudly proclaim that I read the first book before I touched this one. However, I can also reassure you that the second book in the Gregory Sisters series, While Love Stirs, is perfectly capable of standing by itself. I know this because when I read this one I didn't realize that they were part of the same series. When I realized they were part of a series I let out a small screech in my psychology class. I nearly cried! It was so exciting. Both are excellent reads, and might just be worth reading in order. It isn't particularly angsty and certainly sugary sweet. I really enjoyed reading it. The lighthearted attitude and playfulness in light of some serious topics put me at ease. Charlotte and Joel had me laughing throughout the book. 

     It follows both Charlotte and her younger sister Tessa giving Tessa her chance in the spotlight once every few chapters. The point of view switches mainly between Charlotte and Joel, but switching to Tessa during her chapters. The conflicts while emotional to the characters don't seem very harrowing, and most of them are subtle problems without violence. It fits really well with light airy Summer reads. 

     A major focus of the book is a gas range stove and the author was quite thorough in the descriptions. I couldn't however imagine the actual thing. This might just be my inability to paint a picture of something so foreign to me, but I would recommend looking it up. It is actually the second book I've read with a gas range stove playing a fairly significant part. Maybe it is a new trend. 

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

Friday, June 13, 2014

Flowery Paintings

17623509.jpgWishing On Buttercups

Miralee Ferrell 

Can Love Survive When Secrets Collide? 

She’d kept her secrets safely hidden—those from her past, and those in the present. Some things, Beth Roberts knows, a lady simply doesn’t share, even in the 1880’s West. The townspeople would never understand. No one ever has. Jeffery Tucker, a handsome young writer, has kept his own secrets. He doesn’t have a right to pry into Beth’s affairs but finds himself strangely drawn to her and intrigued by the whiff of mystery surrounding her. Beth knows that one day someone will unravel the threads of her past. And when two men from her past arrive, the truth might just hurt . . . Beth’s future and her heart. As shadowy memories surface, Beth sketches the scenes she sees and is shocked by what—and who—her illustrations reveal. Dare she risk her heart again?
     As a little girl my auntie gave me the nickname Buttercup, so when I heard about this title I knew I had to read it. I enjoyed it, even though the buttercups really only showed up at the end with a fairly significant role. I found the characters very easy to imagine and quite colorful. I could easily see this book turned into a Hallmark movie. 

     The book left me an anxious feeling throughout reading it because of the suspense. It wasn't a violent suspense, but it made me extremely curious. Beth was very anxious and wary and while I could sympathize it did bother me. When Beth was happy it was a subtle feeling, but it was a delightful feeling. 

     I think this barely rates as a brand new paperback from amazon book. I think maybe more of a sale book or an e-book, but certainly a keeper. Rereading it is probably worth it after a period time maybe a few weeks or a month with license to skip over the particularly angst-y parts to your favorites. 

I got this book from a reviewing group in exchange for my honest review.  Enjoy your reading!