Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund - Book Review

Book Description

"In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Ben Ross grew up a farmer's son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn't see how he'll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he's drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna's decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben's growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice."

My Thoughts

Jody Hedlund returns with another historical novel based on the loves of John and Abigail Adams.  I have loved all of Jody Hedlund's books, but Rebellious Heart is my absolute favorite by far! Painting a vivid history of the American colonies before the War of Independence, this novel is brilliantly written. 

I absolutely love the hero, Ben Ross. Not only is he determined to protect the innocent, he is so sweet! Abigail is an amazing and witty heroine who struggles with her feelings towards Ben and also her loyalties to the British crown.  Their relationship is adorable and I love how it is based on John and Abigail Adams real life friendship and romance. 

I was shocked at the very end and could not imagine the conclusion.  Filled with romance, suspense, and American history. I am adding this book to my shelf of favorites and plan on purchasing a copy when it comes out on September 15! Highly recommend! 

Rating: 5/5

Ages: 16+

Rebellious Heart  by Jody Hedlund
ISBN: 0764210483
Bethany House Publishers

  *Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my review copy. I was not required to write a positive review.*

Monday, July 22, 2013

When a Secret Kills by Lynette Eason - Book Review

Book Description

"Investigative reporter Jillian Carter knows it's time to put the past to rest. She's tired of looking over her shoulder, letting a killer go free. She's no longer the scared kid who changed her name and disappeared. Now, no matter what the cost, Jillian must do what she is trained to do--ferret out the truth and expose it. Senator Frank Hoffman committed murder ten years ago--and Jillian watched it happen.

Didn't she?

Not even the enigmatic and attractive Colton Brady, her ex-boyfriend and nephew of the killer, will be able to make her leave this alone. Get ready for the spine-tingling, nail-biting conclusion to an explosive series."

My Thoughts

Lynette Eason delivers once again another page turning mystery that keeps you guessing until the very last sentence.  I have been eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the Deadly Reunions series, and was not disappointed!

Jillian has returned after being in hiding for ten years...ten long years in which her former boyfriend Colton has searched and wondered what became of her.  She is back to her hometown and danger lurks for her at every turn.  I really liked Jillian and Colton's relationship and their conversations on deep matters.

The only part of the book I found slightly unbelievable was Meg.  Somehow her dialogue did not sound at all like something a nine year old child would say.

Overall, When a Secret Kills is a fantastic conclusion to a wonderfully suspenseful series!

Rating: 4.5/5

Ages: 15 +

When a Secret Kills by Lynette Eason
ISBN: 0800720091

  *Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my review copy. I was not required to write a positive review.*

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

25 Years of Christy Miller

Robin Jones Gunn, one of my favorite authors is celebrating 25 years of her well loved Christy Miller series!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Stranded by Dani Pettry - Book Review - Coming Fall 2013!

Book Description

"When her friend vanishes from a cruise ship, reporter Darcy St. James isn’t satisfied with their explanation that she simply left her job of her own accord. Something isn’t lining up, and Darcy believes the only way to find the truth is to put herself in Abby’s position.
Within days, Darcy learns her friend wasn’t the only person to disappear mysteriously. Last summer, a woman vanished under almost identical circumstances.
Gage McKenna has taken a summer-long stint leading adventure excursions for the passengers of various cruise lines that dock for a few days of sightseeing. He’s surprised to find Darcy working aboard one of the ships, investigating a troubling report.
Something sinister is going on, and the deeper they dig, the more Gage fears they’ve only discovered the tip of the iceberg."
My Thoughts
Dani Pettrey's books are getting better and better! I really enjoyed reading this latest installment in the Alaskan Courage series and was delighted to learn that there are two more books planned!  (As a side note, I am a huge fan of the beautiful covers in this series!)

Gage and Darcy both end up on a cruise ship where mysterious happenings and disappearances lead them to something far deeper and sinister than either one of them could believe.  I liked learning more about Gage's struggles and heartbreak, as well as finding out about the mysterious Jake! I really hope the next book is about Kayden as we get a glimpse past her tough exterior in Stranded.  

While unraveling the mystery, I thought that Dani Pettrey's suspense writing was even better than the last book and I loved how she brought out a very intense need in our modern society. *spoilers!*

Rating: 4.5/5

Ages: 16+

Stranded (Book 3 Alaskan Courage Series) by Dani Pettrey
Bethany House Publishers

  *Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my review copy. I was not required to write a positive review.*

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Bride for All Season - Book Review

Book Description

"It all started with an ad in a mail-order bride catalogue . . .
This charming bouquet of novellas introduces you to four Hitching Post Mail-Order Bride Catalogue prospects in the year 1870, all eager for second chances . . . and hungry for happiness. Year in, year out, they'll learn that love often comes in unexpected packages.
"And then Came Spring" by Margaret Brownley
Mary-Jo has traveled halfway across the country to meet her match, arriving just in time for his funeral. Returning home seems like her only option until her would-be brother-in-law proposes a more daring idea.
"An Ever After Summer" by Debra Clopton
Ellie had no idea she's not what Matthew ordered. And what's wrong with being a "Bible thumper" anyway? She's determined to show him she's tougher than she looks-and just the girl he needs.
"Autumn's Angel" by Robin Lee Hatcher
Luvena would be perfect for Clay if she didn't come with kids. But kids are a deal breaker, especially in a rough-and-trouble mining town. ­ The trouble is, there's no money to send them back . . .
"Winter Wedding Bells" by Mary Connealy
David's convinced he's not long for the world. He needs someone to mother his boys when he's gone-nothing more. Can plucky Irish Megan convince him to work at living instead of dying?"
My Thoughts
I really enjoyed this collection of four short stories of mail order brides!  Each story can be read in one sitting and are filled with adorable characters.  I loved how all of the stories are connected by the Hitching Post mail order bride catalog whose proprietor can't help but put his finger in to make sure every ends up with who they really need, not who they necessarily think they need!
Rating: 5/5
Ages: 18+
A Bride for All Seasons by Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy, and Debra Clopton                                                                 ISBN:1401688535                                                                                                  Thomas Nelson Publishers
  *Thanks to the publisher and BookSneeze for my review copy. I was not required to write a positive review.*

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Shattered (Alaskan Courage) by Dani Pettrey - Book Review

Book Description

"Piper McKenna couldn't be more thrilled that her prodigal brother, Reef, has returned to Yancey, Alaska, after five years. But her happiness is short-lived when Reef appears at her house covered in blood. A fellow snowboarder has been killed--but despite the evidence, Reef swears he's innocent. And Piper believes him.

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. Piper is frustrated with his need for facts over faith, but he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth may mean risking Landon's career.

With Piper waging her own search, the two head deep into Canada's rugged backcountry--and unexpected complications. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step."

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading this continuing saga of the McKenna family, particularly Piper and the family's best friend, Landon.  Shattered shows that Dani Pettrey's writing style has matured and I personally enjoyed the suspense element in Shattered much more than in Submerged.  I was hooked from the beginning and just when I thought everything was resolved, an unexpected plot turn kept me guessing until the last page!

My one complaint with Shattered was the emphasis on different characters' immorality and the possibility that one character was being a "player."  I believe that the plot could have been just as effective without some of the unnecessary comments and scenes.

Overall, I loved this book and brought it with me everywhere as I could not put it down! I am looking forward to the third book in the series, Stranded.

Rating: 4/5

Ages: 18+

Bethany House Publishers

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Submerged (Alaskan Courage) by Dani Pettrey - Book Review

Book Description

"A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers.

Yancey, Alaska was a quiet town...until the truth of what was hidden in the depths off the coast began to appear.

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey again. She has a past, and a reputation--and Yancey's a small town. She's returned to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash and is determined not to stay even an hour more than necessary. But then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can handle the deep-sea dives and helping the police recover evidence. He can even handle the fact that a murderer has settled in his town and doesn't appear to be moving on. But dealing with the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart, but she is not the same girl who left Yancey. He let her down, but he's not the same guy she left behind. Can they move beyond the hurts of their pasts and find a future together?"

My Thoughts

I have been hearing about the Alaskan Courage series for awhile, saw Submerged at the library last week, and decided to give it a try as I love romantic suspense.

What I liked:
  • I loved the setting and the scenery. Not many books are set in Alaska and I loved the water paired with the mountains and beauty!
  • The McKenna clan is the sweetest family and I loved them just as much as Bailey and Cole.  Their family relationship is so tight knit and I really want to read more about Piper and Landon.
  • Ms. Pettrey paints a gorgeous picture of God's grace and shows how Jesus can change a life without being too preachy or going into too much detail about Bailey's past.
What I didn't care for:
  • I had a hard time getting hooked for the first several chapters. However, I hung in there and was glad I did.
  • The suspense isn't as strong as some other romantic suspense novels, like Lynette Eason's or Dee Henderson's.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. Definitely recommend!

Rating: 4/5

Ages: 18+

Bethany House Publisher