Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ripples Along the Shore

Book description:  "Caroline Milburn's husband didn't return from the Civil War. She moved to St. Charles to live with her sister's family, but thinks it's time to come up for a change. She was a school teacher before she married and California is advertising for teachers. Buddy Cowlishaw worked as a scout on two wagon trains before the war. He hadn't planned to go west again but receives a generous request that he command a caravan of wagons going west from St. Charles. When Caroline decides to apply for a teaching job in California; she attends a meeting chaired by a wagon train master and is dismayed to discover he doesn't allow single women-widows included-to join the train. Can she convince him that God's plan is bigger than his fears?"

My review:  This is the third novella in The Quilted Heart Novellas series by Mona Hodgson.  The reader does not need to have read the other two books in the series; however, it does make the book a little easier to read if you have.  There are a lot of characters to keep straight and a previous knowledge of those characters helps.  Once again, I think Ms. Hodgson did a disservice to this novella by not making it a full-length book.  She was not able to fully develop the characters or the story.  For such a short book there were too many characters to keep straight even if most of them had been introduced in previous books.  I was disappointed with the ending and like her previous book that I reviewed, I felt like I was left hanging.  The plot moved to quickly and ended too abruptly.  Ms. Hodgson had some great ideas and lessons. I just wish she would have taken the time to develop those ideas and lessons.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Quarryman's Bride

Book description:  "Emmalyne Knox and Tavin MacLachlan were destined to be together...until the tragic deaths of Emmalyne's youngest sisters. Family tradition mandates that the youngest daughter should remain single to care for her parents in their old age, and now that daughter is Emmalyne. Her father unyielding, Emmalyne surrenders to her duty, heartbroken. Tavin leaves town, equally devastated.

Years later, Emmalyne's family moves, and she and Tavin meet again. Their feelings for each other are as strong as ever, but their painful past and Emmalyne's father still stand between them. Soon both families are in the midst of the growing conflict rising between the workers at the granite quarry that Tavin's father owns and operates. When a series of near-fatal accidents occur, Tavin must figure out who is behind the attacks before someone gets killed.

Bound by obligation, yet yearning for a future together, can Emmalyne and Tavin dare to dream that God could heal a decade-long wound and change the hearts of those who would stand in the way of true love?"

My review:  Tracie Peterson really gets the reader thinking about how far an adult child nees to go to honor their father and mother.  This would probably be considered a controversial subject, but I think Ms. Peterson handles it very well.  I appreciated the character of Emmalyne.  Her character displayed strength, yet she showed her weaknesses.  Also, while hating Emmalyne's father the reader is drawn to love him by the end of the book.  Ms. Peterson did a great job showing the heart of her characters and allowing the reader to experience their circumstances with them.  I loved the plot and the unexpected twist at the end.  This is a great book and one that I had a hard time putting down.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Jennifer: An O'Malley Love Story

Book description:  "It's a summer of change for Jennifer O'Malley. The busy physician has a pediatrics practice in Dallas, and meeting Tom Peterson, and falling in love, is adding a rich layer to her life. She's sorting out how to introduce him to her family--she's the youngest of seven--and thinking about marriage.

She's falling in love with Jesus too, and knows God is good. But that faith is about to be tested in a way she didn't expect, and the results will soon transform her entire family."

My Review:  This book is a novella by Dee Henderson.  I have read all the other O'Malley stories by her and they are all very involved with detailed plots.  With this one being a novella it wasn't nearly as detailed and "page-turning" as what I have come to expect from Ms. Henderson.  Even though I enjoyed the story, I was very disappointed!  I know Ms. Henderson was basically "fitting in" Jennifer's story since the ending has already been told, but I would have liked it better if she had evolved the story more.  Jennifer is a sweet character, and I loved her story.  I just wish it had been longer.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  

Gone South

Book description:  "Leaving frosty Michigan for the Deep South was never a blip in the simple plans Tish McComb imagined for her life, dreams of marriage and family that were dashed five years earlier in a tragic accident. Now an opportunity to buy her great-great-great-grandparents’ Civil War era home beckons Tish to Noble, Alabama, a Southern town in every sense of the word. She wonders if God has given her a new dream— the old house filled with friends, her vintage percolator bubbling on the sideboard.

When Tish discovers that McCombs aren’t welcome in town, she feels like a Yankee behind enemy lines. Only local antiques dealer George Zorbas seems willing to give her a chance. What’s a lonely outcast to do but take in Noble’s resident prodigal, Melanie Hamilton, and hope that the two can find some much needed acceptance in each other.

Problem is, old habits die hard, and Mel is quite set in her destructive ways. With Melanie blocked from going home, Tish must try to manage her incorrigible houseguest as she attempts to prove her own worth in a town that seems to have forgotten that every sinner needs God-given mercy, love and forgiveness."

My Review:  I don't usually comment on the cover of a book, but for this book I feel I must.  Gone South is actually a contemporary fiction, but the cover on the book indicates otherwise.  Even though I had read the book description before I started, the image on the front cover indicates that this book is historical fiction.  For me, it made it difficult to "get into" the book.  My mind said that I should be reading something historical, but I was not.  I never realized that a cover could have that much of an impact on what I was reading.  Once I overcame that hurtle, which was frustrating, I did enjoy the book.  I had to chuckle at some of the experiences Tish had living as a "Yankee" in a southern town.  Melanie's character was a reminder that children with learning disabilities can slip through the cracks, but  I think the author did a great job placing the two of them under the same roof even though they came from extremely different backgrounds.  They both made it work living as outcasts in a small southern town.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rock Harbor Search and Rescue

Book Description: "In Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, a middle grade fiction novel based on Colleen Coble’s bestselling Rock Harbor series for adults, kids will enjoy the mixture of pets, adventure, suspense, and a mystery.
Emily O’Reilly is obsessed with all things Search and Rescue. She volunteers with the team and goes on rescue missions with her stepmom. She is even selling homemade jewelry to save up for her own Search and Rescue puppy. But when an expensive necklace is stolen from a renowned jewelry artist at Rock Harbor’s fall festival and Emily is accused of the crime, it looks like she’ll never get her puppy and be able to join the Rock Harbor Search and Rescue team.
Emily isn’t willing to give up on her Search and Rescue dreams that easily, and she sets out to find the real culprit and to restore her reputation. With a few suspects in mind, Emily is determined to uncover the truth, but she isn’t prepared for the secrets she and the Search and Rescue dogs sniff out in the process."
My Review:  I enjoyed reading this youth novel.  Colleen Coble is one of my favorite authors, but I wasn't sure if she would do as well with a youth novel.  I was not disappointed.  There is plenty of adventure and suspense, as well as lessons to be learned.  Any young girl that loves to read would benefit from reading this book.  Ms. Coble wrote a book that girls can read, enjoy, and learn from.  I will definitely be hanging on to this book for my daughters to read when they get a little bit older.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze Blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.