Thursday, July 31, 2014

A July Bride

Book description:  "Can she forgive the man who left her at the altar?
Alyssa Pennington dated Brendan Myers for three years before she accepted his proposal. For almost a year, Alyssa's friends and family helped her plan a lovely wedding to take place in the church she'd grown up in. It was the happiest day of her life when she walked down the aisle to be united with the man of her dreams. But when Brendan left her at the altar, Alyssa was consumed by humiliation, embarrassment, and a broken heart that wouldn't allow her to trust anyone. Especially Brendan.
Brendan Myers knows he will spend the rest of his life regretting what he did to Alyssa, the only woman he's ever loved. Without her, his life is empty. In one fateful moment, he'd panicked, destroyed their future, and ruined everything. Now he plans to win her back.
But winning back his bride might prove much more difficult than he can imagine. And even if he does get her to the altar again, will she think turnabout is fair play?"
My review:  This book is my least favorite in the "A Year of Weddings" novellas.  The characters had no depth and the story line was not believable.  In fact, it was pretty ridiculous.  I usually enjoy books written by Beth Wiseman, but this one is very poorly written.  Don't waste your time with this book.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

With Every Breath

Book description:  "In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston's respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she'd hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now. 

Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor's risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis. As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, his hidden depths fascinate her. However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait and Trevor's closely guarded secrets are darker than she ever suspected.

As revelations from the past threaten to destroy their careers, their dreams, and even their lives, Trevor and Kate find themselves in a painfully impossible situation. With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all."
My review:  Elizabeth Camden is another new author for me, and I enjoyed reading her book.  A few things were a little unbelievable, but those parts still made for a good story.  I was able to figure out one of the mysteries, but there were plenty of other things that came as a surprise as I read.  I don't want to spoil anything, so suffice it to say, this is a book that will keep you guessing and turning pages in anticipation until the very end.  Another enjoyable part of the book was the sparring between Trevor and Kate.  They kept me chuckling as I read.  I will certainly be on the lookout for other books by this author.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

The Butterfly and the Violin

 "And then came war . . .
Today. Sera James spends most of her time arranging auctions for the art world’s elite clientele. When her search to uncover an original portrait of an unknown Holocaust victim leads her to William Hanover III, they learn that this painting is much more than it seems.
Vienna, 1942. Adele Von Bron has always known what was expected of her. As a prodigy of Vienna’s vast musical heritage, this concert violinist intends to carry on her family's tradition and play with the Vienna Philharmonic. But when the Nazis learn that she helped smuggle Jews out of the city, Adele is taken from her promising future and thrust into the horrifying world of Auschwitz.
The veil of innocence is lifted to expose a shuddering presence of evil, and Adele realizes that her God-given gift is her only advantage; she must play. Becoming a member of the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz, she fights for survival. Adele’s barbed-wire walls begin to kill her hope as the months drag into nearly two years in the camp. With surprising courage against the backdrop of murder and despair, Adele finally confronts a question that has been tugging at her heart: Even in the midst of evil, can she find hope in worshiping God with her gift?
As Sera and William learn more about the subject of the mysterious portrait—Adele—they are reminded that whatever horrors one might face, God’s faithfulness never falters."
My review:  I absolutely love The Butterfly and the Violin!  Once I started reading, I couldn't put this book down. I think the author, Kristy Cambron, does a great job fitting two stories and time periods together.  She moves back and forth between the two time periods, but in such a way that the reader is never lost.  She makes the story come alive with characters that are real and a storyline that includes true historical events.  I was kept on the edge of my seat through the whole book, was pleasantly surprised with the ending, but was also sad that the book had ended.  This is a story that will stay with you long after you are finished reading.  With this debut novel, Kristy Cambron shows great potential.  I am already anticipating the next book in this series.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Four Weddings and a Kiss

"In 1885 five western preachers sit around a campfire talking about unlikely couples they've seen God bring together.
Spitfire Sweetheart by Mary Connealy
Maizy Place is an unruly tomboy. When she causes an accident, injuring neighbor Rylan Carstens, she becomes his unlikely caregiver. Rylan has never noticed how pretty his infuriating neighbor is, and he never expected to fall in love.
Love Letter to the Editor by Robin Lee Hatcher
Molly Everton is the outspoken daughter of the town newspaper's owner. When her father brings in an outsider to be editor, she tries to drive him out of town. But Jack Ludgrove is not intimidated. He’s resolved to change Molly's mind about him—as an editor and as a man.
A Cowboy for Katie by Debra Clopton
Katie Pearl is uninterested in men and love. But she needs help on her ranch and hires Treb Rayburn, a wandering cowboy looking to make a buck. Will Treb change Katie’s mind?
Courting Trouble by Margaret Brownley
Grace Davenport is either the unluckiest woman alive—or a killer. When her third husband is found dead, Grace is arrested. Attorney Brock Daniels isn't interested in the case—until he meets Grace. Only a miracle will prove her innocence, but the joining of two lonely hearts may be their saving grace."

My review:  If you have never read books by some of these authors, these novellas are a great way to find out what you think of them.  The beginning gives a bit of an introduction to the stories that will follow, and I thought it very appropriate and engaging.  I loved Maizy in Spitfire Sweetheart.  She kept me laughing and guessing what would happen to her next.  In Love Letter to the Editor, I appreciated Jack and his attitude toward Molly.  A Cowboy for Katie was my favorite.  Debra Clopton did an excellent job making Katie weak and strong at the same time.  Katie's physical issues were portrayed in such a way that the reader understood what she was going through.  Courting Trouble I have to say was my least favorite.  I think because the story-line just didn't ring true to me.  It was fun to read, but it just wasn't real.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Captured by Love

"Michigan Territory, 1814
A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger
discover firsthand the high price of freedom.

The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders.

Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who's grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley.

As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they'll risk for love."

My review:  I love getting a glimpse of history in historical novels.  Captured by Love is a book full of adventure that is centered around historical events.  Judy Hedlund does an excellent job developing her characters and drawing the reader into the story.  Danger, unexpected twists, and romance make this is a book that you won't want to put down.  The characters are real with real struggles and fears, and they also have placed their trust in a God that is real.  I appreciate the message of faith and trust in God that is found in the pages of this book.  I look forward to reading more by this author.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.