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The Captain's Daughter

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The Captain's Daughter Jennifer Delamere Bethany House
When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater which is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. An injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.
     I can't help but admit …

New Look

     A Tree, A Book, and A Breeze has undergone a long overdue makeover. (And in revamping it, I also discovered that there are new blogger templates! Amazing.)

     Also, one thing you may have noticed is that lately I've been leaving off official "ratings" on my reviews- this is because I'm continually frustrated by whether or not I'm giving out good ones. I always feel like I'm either being too generous or to harsh, and since I generally am a more picky reader, I was beginning to think my continual refusal to hand out 10 stars might be a little depressing for all of you! So, I've simply been leaving the star ratings off. However, if you are a tried-and-true fan of the star system, head over to my Goodreads page and follow my reviews there, since I still use them on that site.

     So, have a look around! Hopefully everything is organized in a manner better and more convenient than before.

Jane of Austin

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Jane of Austin Hillary Manton Lodge Waterbrook Press
Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.
But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.
While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas. 
In this modern spin on the Austen classic,…

Ice Cream and Friends

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Ice Cream and Friends Editors at Food52 Ten Speed Press
     Seriously, who doesn't like ice cream? It's one of my favorites, and since my family owns an ice cream maker, I've been interested in trying out more recipes.

Ice Cream and Friends is, visually, a beautiful book, and there are several recipes that look delicious. There are also some that look weird (will I ever hazard spending money on the ingredients for Burnt Toast Ice Cream? I don't know) and some that just aren't to my taste (fruit is not my thing). The only recipe I've tried so far has been the honeyed walnut ice cream: it was okay, although the cream-to-milk ratio was a little different than I prefer, and gave the finished product more of a whipped cream taste than a true ice cream one. In addition, while I'm sure I'll be trying more recipes from this book, there aren't too many that really made me go, "wow, I HAVE to try this!" My flavor preferences tend more towards choco…

Bread of Angels

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Bread of Angels Tessa Afshar Tyndale
Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.
But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant's daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.
With only her father's secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances--along with her father's precious dye--help her become one of the city's preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can't outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stan…

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow

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The Evaporation of Sofi Snow Mary Weber Thomas Nelson
Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.
Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.
For Miguel, Earth's charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a tar…

Wings of the Wind

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Wings of the Wind Connilyn Cossette Bethany House
Alanah, a Canaanite, is no stranger to fighting and survival. When her family is killed in battle with the Hebrews, she disguises herself and sneaks onto the battlefield to avenge her family. The one thing she never counted on was surviving. Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, is shocked to find an unconscious, wounded woman among the Canaanite casualties. Compelled to bring her to a Hebrew healer back at their camp, he is soon confronted with a truth he can’t ignore: the only way to protect this enemy is to marry her. Unused to being weak and vulnerable, Alanah submits to the marriage—for now. As she comes to know and respect Tobiah and his people, however, she begins to second-guess her plans of escape. But when her past has painfully unanticipated consequences, the tentative peace she’s found with Tobiah, the Hebrews, and Yahweh is shaken to the core. Can Alanah’s fierce heart and strength withstand the ensuing threats to her life and all she’s …