Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sassy Server as a Single Mother

At Home in Last Chance

Cathleen Armstrong

Last Chance #3

What happens when the life you’re running from won’t let go of your heart?

Kaitlyn Reed and Steven Braden have never thought much about responsibilities, or consequences, or even people who might be counting on them. If they didn’t like the way life was unfolding, they just took off, and let someone else pick up the pieces. But that long, open road has a way of circling back, and now they are both at home in Last Chance, wondering if there is one more chance for them.

Kaitlyn wants more than anything to reestablish a relationship with the daughter she left behind six months earlier, but seven-year-old Olivia is in no hurry to let her mother back in her life. And Chris, the older brother who took them both in, still treats her like the wayward little sister she has always been.

Steven is trying to prove to his family that he is not the irresponsible charmer they have always known him to be. But that’s not proving easy, as “Steven is just Steven” has long been the prevailing viewpoint of not only his family, but the whole town.

Kaitlyn and Steven find themselves drawn to one another, despite the misgivings and warnings of the fine folk of Last Chance. And as their relationship unfolds, they learn to understand, trust, and forgive—first each other, and finally themselves.

     I was really impressed at this overview. I didn’t even notice how long it was (compared to the one on the back of the cover) until I put it into Windows Live Writer. I personally like this overview much better than any other. All the information provides a more complete idea of what you’re getting yourself into when you pick up the book.

     At Home in Last Chance is a sequel to Welcome to Last Chance (and one other book), but the book itself provides enough context to start any where you like. I really liked this one in particular. Kaitlyn finally takes a real role as an adult, and we’re rooting for her the entire time. For a lot of the characters it seemed like if the liked the daughter then they liked the mother, and when they didn’t like the daughter the feeling followed through to the mother. It was kind of cool.

     This series was soooo cute. I loved the little small town, and how they really had only one or two of different kinds of stores. They also have a problem with alcohol, so there is no bar. It is just cute, and you can practically see the little Victorian homes lining the adorably small town streets. Time to try something new… Contemporary Fiction. Contemporary Western Fiction.

Click on the cover to get to an excerpt. Enjoy reading!

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

Sunday, January 25, 2015

One Word and A Message to Everyone

Emissary

 

Thomas Locke

With his twenty-first birthday, Hyam begins a journey that will lead him to his destiny--or his doom.

Hyam has always shown a remarkable ability to master languages, even those left unspoken for a thousand years. But now the shadow of suspicion that was cast upon him as a child prodigy at Long Hall is lengthening, and he must keep his identity hidden--or face annihilation.

As Hyam's mother slips toward death, she implores him to return to Long Hall before he settles down to farm his land. This journey born from duty becomes an impassioned quest for the truth. War is coming swiftly, and Hyam must rely upon his newfound powers and the friends he meets along the way in order to unravel the puzzling past and ensure that he--and the realm--will have a future.

In a world where magic has been outlawed for centuries, one young man discovers that he possesses powers beyond his wildest dreams.
But he does not realize how pivotal this gift will be in the days to come.

Except for the healing arts, magicking is a punishable offense in the realm. The only places it is still practiced are the Long Halls scattered throughout the land--isolated haunts of wizards called mages and their long-suffering students.

But hidden rivers of power course deep beneath the earth, and not everyone has obeyed the edict banning magic. Vixens lie in wait on the Galwyn road. A mysterious race of telepaths comes and goes invisibly. It is even rumored that Elves still hide among the wizened trees. And somewhere beyond the badlands, a growing menace threatens the hard-won peace of the realm.

This young man could stem the ominous tide . . . but only by turning away from everyone and everything he has ever known. And facing dangers he cannot fathom.

Emissary was a delightful read.  I immensely enjoyed all of the little gems tucked amongst the pages.  The front cover and the map of the book reminded me of a lot of Prophet by R.J. Larson.  I found the orb on the cover to be reminiscent of the tree branches that Ela held.  In fact, I found myself comparing Prophet to and Emissary often.  I thought that the emissary withstood the comparison rather well. I just thought of something else that makes the two similar, the titles! Think about it, two one word titles, and the titles represent a person’s position as a representative from one person/group to another person/group. SO COOL!

The whole book felt like a beginning.  The action seemed to be a prologue, like it was leading into a whole other story. The second story (the one that was never mentioned) already felt alive to me. While the action here was good and it definitely  worthwhile, I cannot wait to read the second story.  Unfortunately, it looks like next book will not be out until 2016. 

As for the extended prologue, I really enjoyed it.  I found it enticing, if a bit confusing, and similar to the Style of Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Anne Elisabeth Stengl writes long and complicated and intertwined stories that hold you captive until the very end.  I have found that Emissary similarly kept me captive, I couldn't stop reading because I wanted to know more about the characters.  They were so alive and realistic and I really wanted them to win.  I was pleasantly surprised by all the things the characters are motivated to do.  I found some of their actions to be a little surprising, and a bit out of the blue.

I really enjoyed Emissary, and have no doubt it will turn out to be one of my favorites this year. Enjoy Reading!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

 

 

 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

End of a Ridiculously Scandalous and Angst-y Era

Price of Privilege

Jessica Dotta

     Having finally discovered the truth of her birthright, Julia Elliston is determined to outwit Chance Macy at his own game. Holding a secret he’d kill to keep, however, is proving more difficult than she imagined.

     Just when Julia thinks she’s managed to untangle herself from Macy’s clutches, he changes tactics with a risky ploy. As the scandal of the century breaks loose, drawing rooms all over London whisper what so far newspapers have not dared to print: Macy’s lost bride is none other than Lord Pierson’s daughter—and one of the most controversial cases of marital law ever seen comes before Victorian courts.

     Though Julia knows Macy’s version of events is another masterful manipulation, public opinion is swaying in his favor. Caught in a web of deceit and lies, armed only with a fledgling faith, Julia must face her fiercest trial yet.

     I couldn’t find an excerpt for this one, but you can find samples through amazon and Barnes and Noble. Although if you’ve gotten this far in the series you have a pretty good look at what this one will be like and you’re probably too invested in the series to give up now. If you haven’t read the other books, stop now and pick up the first one.

     Price of Privilege  was a fantastic wrap up for the series. It exemplified everything that the series had been building up, and it summed up all the values so perfectly. It was actually really surprising, and gave me an oddly fulfilled feeling.

     This story is bookended by Julia’s adult self looking back on the events that the books detailed. It was a tad confusing, so I had to make sure to be on top of it. I loved how everything unconventionally turned out. It is a fantastic sequel, and one any fan wouldn’t want to miss.

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

Thursday, January 8, 2015

From Nurse to Wife to INTRUDER ALERT!

 


A Most Inconvenient Marriage

 


Regina Jennings


Abigail Stuart Thought She was Jeremiah Calhoun’s Widow.

But Jeremiah Calhoun Is Very Handsome, Very Alive, and Very Perplexed.

Most Inconvenient Indeed.

With few options of her own, nurse Abigail Stuart agrees to marry her patient, a gravely wounded soldier calling himself Jeremiah Calhoun. They arrange a quick ceremony before he dies, giving Abigail the rights to his Ozark farm and giving Jeremiah the peace of knowing someone will care for his ailing sister after he’s gone–a practical solution for both of them.

After the war, Abigail fulfills her side of the bargain–until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up, injured but definitely alive, and wastes no time in challenging Abigail’s story. Abigail is flummoxed. After months of claiming to be his widow, how can she explain that she’s never seen this Jeremiah Calhoun before? How can she convince him that she isn’t trying to steal his farm? And will she find a way to stay, even though this practical arrangement has turned into a most inconvenient marriage?



     A Most Inconvenient Marriage was an absolutely wonderful read. I really enjoy Regina Jennings, and have read all three of her earlier books: Sixty Acres and a Bride, Love in the Balance, and Caught in the Middle. I like the light hearted, potent style that she manages to hit every time. 
 
      I really enjoyed the playfulness that emerged between the characters and the funny situations they managed to get themselves into amidst all of the trying and emotional situations. Abigail carries baggage from the past, Jeremiah had/has a woman he wants to marry, and during it all horses are snuck into the house in the best example of revenge I have ever read. 
 
     A Most Inconvenient Marriage is the first book in the new Ozark Mountain Romance series, and I’ve heard that the second book is going to be called At Love’s Bidding.  This story is about Miranda Wimplegate, a Bostonian art appraiser, who heads west with her grandfather to manage his newly acquired auction house. When she arrives, she learns that her grandfather has dementia, that instead of an art auction house he has purchased a livestock auction, and the cowboy in charge won’t be managed by any woman.
 
   Click on the cover to go to an excerpt of the book. Enjoy reading!
 
  I received a copy of this book from the author in order to tell everyone about it, and boy! do I love doing it.


 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Poor, Long suffering Niece

The Daughter of Highland Hall

Carrie Turansky 


Fans of Downton Abbey, Jane Eyre, and Pride & Prejudice will enjoy this pure and inspiring romance
taking place in Edwardian England amid a clash of cultures and changing times.

Eighteen-year-old Katherine Ramsey travels to London with her family to make her debut into society and hopefully find her future husband. Her overbearing aunt insists she must secure a proposal from a wealthy young man who is in line to inherit his father’s title and estate. But Katherine questions her aunt’s plans when she gets to know Jonathan Foster, a handsome medical student and strong Christian who is determined to protect the poor and vulnerable in London’s East End. 

When a family scandal puts a damper on Katherine’s hopes for the season, she has time to volunteer with Jonathan, caring for children in one of London’s poorest areas, and romance blossoms. Katherine’s faith grows and she begins to envision a different future with Jonathan. But when Katherine’s work in the East End puts her in danger, Jonathan distances himself from Katherine to protect her. A wealthy suitor reappears, and Katherine must choose which path to follow. 

     The Daughter of Highland Hall was a really cute read. It is the sequel to the book  The Governess of Highland Hall. I enjoyed the first one, but in some aspects the second fell short. The sequel needs the context of the first book for understanding. 

     I liked seeing what happened to Kate following the emotional events of the first book, but there was such a huge divide between the personality we are presented with in the first and the second that it is tough to reconcile the two. Katherine's Aunt's personality was not, however, different. She was frustratingly similar. Really frustrating. 

     Aside from that, I enjoyed the focus on Kate. She is trying to make her way in this society, a society that the family she is living with has all but spurned, and she only has her ridiculous aunt's plans. For clarification both the aunt and her plans are ridiculous. Kate and Jonathan are adorable together and we get to see the story from both perspectives. I loved seeing all of the realistic problems that a Christian with faith needs to face. 

I've also heard that there will be a third book coming out soon! Keep Reading!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my complete and full review.