Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: Love Gently Falling

Love Gently Falling
Love Gently Falling by Melody Carlson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rita is fulfilling her dream of being a hairstylist in Hollywood when she gets a call that her mother has had a stroke. She rushes home to help her dad and brother take care of her mother. She also takes it upon herself to try to help out her mother's failing hair salon. Fighting the direct competition of another salon owned by a previous employee, Rita decides the salon needs a renovation. As she works to accomplish much in a short period of time, Rita is re-united with some school friends and finds herself drawn to Johnny, an old classmate. Will the renovation be successful. Will she want to go back to the "glamour" of Hollywood after tasting the comfort of her hometown again?

I enjoy Melody Carlson's style of writing. It's sweet and straightforward. This was a short, simple love story that goes perfectly with the month of February. :) I enjoyed Rita and Johnny's growing relationship. And I liked the closeness of Rita's family. Of course I didn't care for Zinnia with her fake overtures of friendship and her possessiveness over Johnny. But it was nice to see Rita re-connecting with her childhood best friend, Marley. :)

*Thanks to FaithWords/CenterStreet and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-book copy in exchange for my honest opinion & review.*

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Review: The Song

The Song
The Song by Chris Fabry

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was well written but just not my normal fare and it just seemed so sad to me. I know it's about redemption and forgiveness but I just didn't enjoy it. Like, I said though, it is very well written and will keep your attention if you don't mind the story line.

Jed King is the son of a famous singer. His father and mother made mistakes in their past and have both turned to God for forgiveness and redemption. Jed knows what happened in their lives and wants to avoid going down that path. He feels like he is on the right path when he meets Rose. They fall madly in love and get married. Then the song he wrote on his honeymoon becomes an almost overnight sensation and the life of a touring musician takes it toll on his home life. He faces the same temptations that lured his father so many years ago. Will he go down that path? Will it take a near tragedy to wake him up?

*Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-book copy in exchange for my honest opinion & review.*

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Review: Unspoken

Unspoken by Dee Henderson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bryce Bishop is a coin dealer who is bored - at least that's what he tells God in a brief prayer before his life changes drastically. Charlotte Graham is the inheritor of her Grandfather's vast, vast, estate and wealth. She has ALOT of coins to sell. But she is also the subject of the most infamous kidnapping in Chicago history. She was missing for four years before she was found and she has not spoken to anyone about what happened during those four years. She changed her identity and with the help of her friend and bodyguard she had rebuilt her life and found a profession she loved that allowed her to remain anonymous. Now she finds herself burdened with managing her grandfathers estate. After some detailed research she secretly approaches Bryce with the option of being the outlet she needs to sell her coins. The price of the coins is so good he can't pass up the opportunity. And so begins a relationship like none he has ever had.

I have been a fan of Dee Henderson's for years but this is not one of my favorites. I did like the relationship between Bryce and Charlotte and how patient and tender he was with her. And I felt for Charlotte and how ugly those four years of her life must have been. And I admired her strength of character and the way she was able to re-build her life. Her struggle with God was real and believable. And I loved the characters of her bodyguard John and her friend Ellie. They did so much to support her and keep her safe.

However, there were WAY too many details about the coins!! And I just felt like the vast wealth they talked about from her grandfather's estate was so unbelievable! Maybe because I just can't imagine having that much I listened to this story on Audible and maybe that's why it seemed to just go on and on and on about the coins. If I had been reading a print copy, I probably would have skimmed the majority of the first part of the book.

All in all, it had a good story line that for the most part I enjoyed. It just could have been a little shorter with less details on the coins.

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Review: Deluge

Deluge by Lisa Tawn Bergren

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading the author's warning that there were going to be some deaths in this last book of the series I was hesitant to read it but I finally bit the bullet. I'm so glad I did!! I have LOVED this series and this book was just as good as the others.

Gabi, Lia, the knights they love (the Forellis), and their parents (the Bettarinis) have settled into a good life in medieval Italia after fighting off countless enemies. Gabi is about to have a baby and Lia and Luca are madly in love. But Lia is still fighting the fear of what will happen if she marries Luca and then the plague comes. How could she handle losing him and possibly a child? As the Black Death closes in upon them, they all struggle with their plans to seclude themselves to ride out the storm. Are they making the right decision? Could they or should they be doing more to help? And will the Plague reach them anyway?

If you liked the other books in this series, you'll like this one too. Yes, there are some really sad times but there are also some really good times and there are some twists that you won't see coming. And Lisa Tawn Bergren writes these stories with so much clarity and emotion that you just can't help being pulled in to the lives of the characters. This is one of the BEST medieval series I have ever read!

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review: Prelude for a Lord

Prelude for a Lord
Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lady Alethea Sutherton is 28, past her prime in Regency England standards. She is considered unladylike because she plays the violin. She is kicked out of her house after the death of her brother and sent to live with her gruff Aunt Ebena. Some would say life has not treated her kindly. The only people in her life who have loved her and shown her kindness is her illegitimate half sister, Lucy and the kind neighbor lady who taught her to play the violin and then left it to her in her will.

Lord Dommick, Bayard, an expert violinist himself, has suffered what today would be known as PTSD after serving in the war. His ex-fiance had spread rumors that he had gone mad and he is still in some ways rebuilding his reputation as well as trying to maintain the reputations of his mother and sister so that his sister can have a good coming out season.

When a mysterious stranger accosts Lady Alethea and strongly urges her to sell her violin to his boss, she determines to find out why. Against her will, Lady Alethea ends up working with Lord Dommick to research the origin and value of the violin.

I really liked Alethea and Bayard's characters. Both of them, despite what life has thrown at them or maybe because of it, have strong characteristics and strive to make life better for their loved ones. As they get to know each other they can't help but fall in love! :)

I also enjoyed the secondary characters. I loved Lord Dommick's friends, the Quartet. Can't wait to see which one the next book is about! I also liked Lady Alethea's sister Lucy. She was very supportive of Alethea and I'm glad she got a better position and her own man. And even though Aunt Ebena was gruff she played an important role in Alethea's life and maybe even came to love her. And then there was the surprise addition of the distantly related 12 year old child to the household. Children are good for bringing comic relief and special warmth to a book.

I loved this gentle, sweet love story with a touch of mystery and danger running through it. Camille Elliot did an excellent job of building the romance and suspense. A wonderful read!

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