Monday, January 9, 2017

Because You're Mine by Colleen Coble

Book description:  "Alanna has been plagued by tragedy. So it should come as no surprise that in the beauty that surrounds Charleston, all is not as it seems.
When her husband is killed by a car bomb while their band is on tour in Charleston, Alanna doesn’t know where to turn. Her father-in-law is threatening to take custody of the baby she carries, but the one thing she knows for sure is that she can’t lose the last piece of Liam she has left.
Their manager offers her a marriage of convenience to gain her U.S. citizenship and allow her to escape her father-in-law’s control. It seems like the perfect solution . . . but her doubts begin almost as soon as she arrives at Barry’s family home, a decaying mansion surrounded by swamp.
To make matters worse, Liam’s best friend survived the car bomb. She’s never really liked Jesse and now she can’t seem to get away from him. When he takes Liam’s place in their band, it’s almost more than she can bear.
But then things start happening. Things that could easily cost Alanna her life—or the life of her unborn child. Are they merely coincidences? Or is there something much more sinister at work?"
My review: I couldn't read this book fast enough! I did figure out a couple of the main twists from the very beginning, which is unusual for me to do with this author. However, it did not take away from the excitement of the book. There are some books that you want to stay up reading but you don't. Then there are some books that you stay up reading because there is simple no way you can make yourself put it down. This is one of those books! The characters are little unbelievable, which again is unusual for this author, but this is a fiction book after all. The plot keeps moving and builds to the climax, which does not disappoint. The ending couldn't have been better. In spite of the fact that some of the aspects of this story do not represent the author's usual writing, this is an excellent book that I highly recommend. 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.

Friday, January 6, 2017

In the Shadow of Denali

Book description:  "Cassidy Ivanoff and her father, John, work at the new and prestigious Curry Hotel near the foot of Mount McKinley--Denali as it's still called by the natives. John is the wilderness and exploration guide for the wealthy tourists while Cassidy works in the kitchen as Cook's assistant. The entire staff buzzes with excitement during the busy days preparing for the President's imminent visit. His historic trip to dedicate the new national park on his way to driving in the golden spike to officially complete the Alaska Railroad will be the beginning of a new era for all of them and place The Curry at the heart of Alaska. 

Allan Brennan travels to the Curry Hotel to be an apprentice to the seasoned Alaska mountain guide, with hopes of discovering the truth about his father's death on the mountain years earlier. His father's business partner blames the guide for Henry Brennan's untimely death, but Allan cannot be at peace until he knows for sure. He finds an unlikely ally in Cassidy, and as the two begin to look into the mystery, they suddenly find that things are much less clear, and much more dangerous, than either could ever imagine."

My review:  I always look forward to reading books by Tracie Peterson, and this book certainly did not disappoint! Tracie Peterson along with Kimberley Woodhouse have written a book that pulled me into the story from the very first sentence, and I didn't want to put the book down. Even though the story is fictional, there are historical facts woven in. I always enjoy learning a little bit of history as I read these fictional stories. I also appreciate the Biblical truths that are sprinkled throughout without being over-the-top. There is a perfect balance.  Cassidy is one of those people who always seems like nothing can ever get her down, and just when you think that she has been made to be "too perfect" she is shown to be totally human like everyone else. Not only were the main characters outstanding, the supporting characters couldn't have been better. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish!  I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review posted on my blog. All opinions are my own.

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

Book description:  "The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?"

My review:  I definitely enjoyed reading this book, but I would not rank it with the best books I have ever read. I didn't really like Jane very much at the beginning, so it took me awhile to get into the book. She acted too brainless for normal people. By the end of the book, she had proven that she was far from brainless.  Despite a slow start, the story did build appropriately to the climax. There was some intrigue that kept me guessing, and the outcome was satisfying. I think an appropriate sequel would help make this book that much more appealing. If you are given a chance to read this book, I would not pass it by, but if you have some favorite authors you are waiting to read, this one will definitely wait.  I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. I was only required to write a review for my blog. All opinions are my own.