Thursday, March 14, 2019

Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson

I've adored Melody Carlson books for years. Courting Mr. Emerson is her latest work and for me, it wasn't my favorite. It started out fine, the characters were warm and quirky, it drew me in with good dialog and interesting situations, but somewhere along the line it changed into a very preachy book. I don't read fiction for sermons. I read it for entertainment. This book also seemed more like a young adult book than one for grown-ups. The fifty-five year old retiree was described as someone much older than fifty-five. He acted and was treated like he was closer to eighty. It became tiresome. 

I enjoyed the first half of the book, but not the second half. 

This book was provided for review by Revell. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

2019 Reading List



Just my way to keep track of the books I've read this year. 
Favorites are in bold

January

1. Honeybee Hotel by Leslie Day
2. We Hope For Better Things by Erin Bartels
3. Dear Cary by Dyan Cannon
4. Learning to Live Out Loud by Piper Laurie
5. Love Finds You in Carmel by-the-sea California by Sandra D. Bricker 
6. Sing For Me by Karen Halvorsen Schreck
7. Still Waters by Shirlee McCoy
8. Dotty Dimple at Home by Sophie May (1896)

February 

9. Grace by Robert Lacey
10. The Seamstress by Allison Pittman
11. Never Let Go by Elizabeth Goddard
12. Glory Road by Lauren K. Denton
13. The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay
14. Convergence by Ginny L. Yttrup
15. The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel 
16. The Adventure by Adessa Holden 
17. Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens


March

18. The White City by Grace Hitchcock 
19. The Pages of Her Life by James L. Rubart 
20. The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings
21. Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel by James Markert
22. Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson
23. Summer by the Tides by Denise Hunter 
24. Secrets at Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble























Monday, February 11, 2019

Never Let Go by Elizabeth Goddard

Never Let Go by Elizabeth Goddard was underwhelming for me. Yes, it opened with action immediately. In fact, the prologue was probably my favorite part of the book. Most of the time I felt like I was reading the third or forth part of the story, it was as though there were things going on that I was on the outside of. Is this a continuation of a previous series? I was lost a lot. It took a while for me to figure out that different people called some characters different names. There was a lot of drama and melodrama. I just found it confusing. At the end I was just glad it was over. I'm not sure I've read this author before. 


This book provided for review by Revell

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Seamstress by Allison Pittman

Other than the phrase, "Off with her head," I'm not at all familiar with Marie Antoinette or the time period in which she lived. The Seamstress, by Allison Pittman, first appealed to me because of the cover. Then the title. I started reading it and had a hard time getting into it for the first few chapters, due to the era and area in which it takes place. After about fifty pages I was hooked. I'm so glad I stayed with this one. This is the story of Marie (sort of) told by the perspective of her seamstress, a woman who was beheaded shortly after the Queen. I'm not familiar with A Tale of Two Cities either, we must have skipped that one in my high school lit classes. Since I went into this book blindly my review is from someone knowing nothing about the subjects it's written about. And I really enjoyed the book. The sisters lives twist and turn, there are villains and heroes. Redemption and true love. 
This 450 page volume was worth every hour I spent reading it. Well written and thought provoking. 

This book provided for review by Tyndale. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels

It's always a little scary to read a book by a debut novelist. You have no idea whether you'll like it or want to throw it across the room. We Hope For Better Things by Erin Bartels is the beginning of a new writer:reader relationship for me. This is the stuff I want to read. This book. Perfection. History interwoven with today, three different eras combined to share one compelling story. I have never gasped or said, "Oh wow!" so many times while reading a single book. Incredibly well written. Engaging. Deep stories with characters I ached with and loved with. It's set the bar pretty high for my reading list this year.

Current racial tensions collide with Civil War era and the 1960's. Story is set in the Detroit area and seeks to find secrets that have been buried with time. But family secrets and sins have a way of coming out. 

This is one I can highly recommend.

This book provided for review by Revell. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Code of Valor by Lynette Eason

Code of Valor by Lynette Eason is the story of Brady St John and Emily Chastain. This is the latest in the Blue Justice series. The story opened with immediate action and I was drawn right in. It was quick-paced and kept my attention, I was able to finish the book in just a few hours of reading time. The only thing I didn't like was that there were so many "bad guy" characters to keep up with. I had to keep flipping back to see who was who. The author addressed several deep issues with Emily's character. Cutting. Weight issues. Self-esteem. They were handled carefully and lead the reader to believe there is hope and healing for people who deal with such things.

From the back cover:
What Detective Brady St John really needs is a relaxing vacation. Unfortunately, just as the sun is setting on his second day at a friend's cabin on Lake Henley, he hears a scream and races to rescue a woman from her would-be killer. When the killer escapes only to return to finish the job, Brady vows to utilize all of his many resources to keep her safe--and catch those who would see her dead.
Financial crimes investigator Emily Chastain doesn't trust many people. And even though she's trying to cooperate with the detective who saved her life, there are some things she doesn't know--and some things you just don't share with a stranger. Little does she suspect that what she doesn't know just might get them both killed.

This book was provided for review by Revell. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Dead Sea Rising by Jerry B Jenkins


Dead Sea Rising by Jerry B Jenkins is the kind of book I dream about reading. Fast-paced action begins on the very first page. Jenkins switches back and forth between two timelines, Old Testament era and today, and then adds a third for part of the book. These timelines will weave together at some point, but not in this volume, which ends as a cliffhanger with the dreaded words, "Part two coming soon..."
The characters came alive for me as I read this book. The chapters were short which allowed me to read through quicker (I'm not sure how that works exactly). I'd anticipated not being able to finish this before my deadline, but it was very hard to put this one down. Looking forward to the rest of the story (stories). 

About the book:

Nicole Berman is an archaeologist on the brink of a world-changing discovery. During her first dig in Jordan, she believes she has found concrete evidence of a biblical patriarch that could change history books forever. But someone doesn't want the truth revealed. While urgently trying to connect pieces of an ancient puzzle, a dangerous enemy is out to stop her.

This book provided for review by Worthy Publishing