Saturday, April 28, 2012

Prize of My Heart

Prize of My Heart

Prize of My Heart 
Lisa Norato
Bethany House Publishers

An unsolved mystery separates ex-privateersman Captain Brogan Talvis from his lost son--his only living relation, his only family. Shortly before her tragic demise, his wife abandoned their infant to strangers, refusing to reveal the child's whereabouts. Now, three years later, Brogan has discovered the boy at the home of a shipbuilder's daughter, Lorena Huntley.
Lorena guards a dark secret about her young charge. She finds herself falling for the heroic captain who has come to claim his newly built ship, unaware his motive for wooing her is to befriend the boy he plans on reclaiming as his own--until the day another's evil deceit leaves her helplessly shipbound, heading toward England.
As the perfect opportunity to reclaim his son unfolds, Brogan is haunted by thoughts of Lorena in her dire circumstance, and he is forced to make a heartrending choice between his child and the woman who has begun to capture his heart. But only his unselfish sacrifice can win him the greatest prize of all--love.

I really liked the main character of this book. Lorena was sweet- plus she loved baking :) Brogan, though, took me awhile to like. Even at the end of the book, I felt like I didn't like him enough. Drew was utterly adorable, though. That bit with the slingshot had me grinning from ear to ear!

This story was very fast-moving. It was almost a little too short- I finished it very quickly. The storyline was original, and took a variety of twists and turns. However, there was one major "twist" that I rather saw coming and didn't surprise me. Even so, I liked Prize of my Heart. It was especially interesting to me, as I am in the process of writing my own Regency-era novel that takes place on the open seas.

Objectionable Content: The main plot involves the knowledge of a certain woman who was unfaithful to her husband and another man's mistress. There are two kisses. A woman is drugged.

Rating: 7 1/2

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Upcoming Fiction From Bethany House

Love in Disguise, Carol Cox, 978-0-7642-0955-0Can she solve the crime before they uncover her true identity?

Jobless and down to her last dime, Ellie Moore hears about a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and believes it's the perfect chance to put her acting skills and costumes to use. Reluctantly, the agency agrees to give her one assignment, one chance to prove herself. Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie travels to Arizona to begin her investigation. When the need arises, she also transforms into the dazzling Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.
Mine owner Steven Pierce is going to lose his business if he can't figure out who's stealing his silver shipments. In his wildest dreams, he never expected to receive help from a gray-haired widow... or to fall in love with her beautiful niece.
Then the thieves come after Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn't safe no matter which character she plays! Should she give up and reveal her true identity? What will Steven do when he realizes the woman he's falling in love with doesn't really exist?
Set in 1880s Arizona, Love in Disguise blends romance, humor, and mystery for a can't-put-down read.

I've never read anything by this author before, but secret identities and disguises have always intrigued me!

Four brothers. Four straws. One bride.
Short-Straw Bride, Karen Witemeyer, 978-0-7642-0965-9No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a long-standing debt compels her to take the risk.
Years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer comes across a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt prompt him to attempt to rescue her once again.
Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she vows to stand by his side. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her as merely a short-straw bride?

I love Karen Whitmeyer's books! I can't wait for this one!

At Every Turn, Anne Mateer, 978-0-7642-0904-8A Heartwarming Historical Sure to Delight

Caught up in a whirlwind of religious fervor when two missionariesspeak at her church, Alyce Benson impetuously pledges three thousand dollars to mission work in Africa. She's certain her wealthy father will simply hand her the money. But when he refuses, she must either stand up in front of the congregation and admit failure, or raise the money herself.

Alyce harbors a secret passion for speed and automobiles. It's 1916, and the latest advancements in car engines allow some to post speeds upwards of seventy miles per hour! When she discovers her father's company has sponsored a racing car that will compete in several upcoming events--races in which the driver will be paid and could win as much as five thousand dollars in prize money--she conspires with her father's mechanic, Webster, to secretly train and compete.

But as Alyce comes across needs in her own community, money slips through her fingers faster than she can earn it. And when her friends cast aspersions on Webster's past, she believes she might have trusted the wrong man with her secret. Will Alyce come up with the money in time, or will she have to choose between her promise and the man who holds a piece of her heart?

I read Anne Mateer's last book, Wings of a Dream, and absolutely loved it! I'm looking forward to picking up this one.

Against the Tide, Elizabeth Camden, 978-0-7642-1023-5Love and Lives are Threatened in Camden's Latest Offering

As a child, Lydia Pallas became all too familiar with uncertainty when it came to the future. Now, she's finally carved out a perfect life for herself--a life of stability and order with no changes, surprises, or chaos of any kind. She adores her apartment overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, and her skill with languages has landed her a secure position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.
However, it is her talent for translation that brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane," a man who equally attracts and aggravates her. When Bane hires Lydia to translate a seemingly innocuous collection of European documents, she hesitantly agrees, only to discover she is in over her head.
Just as Bane's charm begins to win her over, Lydia learns he is driven by a secret campaign against some of the most dangerous criminals on the East Coast, compelled by his faith and his past. Bane forbids any involvement on Lydia's part, but when the criminals gain the upper hand, it is Lydia on whom he must depend.

I'm currently attempting to read Elizabeth Camden's Lady of Bolton Hill -it's an ebook, so it's taking me forever- but I'm really enjoying it. This book includes some of those same characters.

No Safe Harbor, Elizabeth Ludwig, 978-0-7642-1039-6The Thrill of Romantic Suspense Meets the Romance of 1800s America

Lured by a handful of scribbled words across a faded letter, Cara Hamilton sets off from 1896 Ireland on a quest to find the brother she'd thought dead. Her search lands her in America, amidst a houseful of strangers and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh.
Despite her brother's warning, Cara decides to trust Rourke and reveals the truth about her purpose in America. But he is not who he claims to be, and as rumors begin to circulate about an underground group of dangerous revolutionaries, Cara's desperation grows. Her questions lead her ever closer to her brother, but they also bring her closer to destruction as Rourke's true intentions come to light.

I haven't read very much fiction about immigrants coming to America, so I know I want to try this one!

The Pursuit of Lucy Banning
Lucy Banning may live on the exclusive Prairie Avenue among Chicago's rich and famous, but her heart lies elsewhere. Expected to marry an up-and-coming banker from a respected family, Lucy fears she will be forced to abandon her charity work--and the classes she is secretly taking at the newly opened University of Chicago. When she meets an unconventional young architect who is working on plans for the upcoming 1893 World's Fair, Lucy imagines a life lived on her own terms. Can she break away from her family's expectations? And will she ever be loved for who she truly is?
Readers will love being swept away into a world of mansions, secrets, and romance as they follow Lucy through the streets of the Windy City during one of the most exciting times in the city's history. From opulent upper-class homes to the well-worn rooms of an orphanage, Olivia Newport breathes life and romance into the pages of history--and everyone is invited.

Pretty cover alert. Pretty cover alert. That dress!!! :)

To Win Her Heart

To Win Her Heart
Karen Whitmeyer
Bethany House

     For some reason I thought I had already done a review of this book. But apparently I haven't.
So here it is. Even if I did read the book/write this review three months ago!

Having completed his sentence for an unintentional crime, Levi Grant plans to start over in Spencer, Texas. Meanwhile, Eden Spencer has sworn off men, devoting her time instead to the lending library. Does this couple---the blacksmith with a criminal past and the librarian with pacifist ideals---have a fighting chance at love?

     This book was adorable. First of all, the heroine was a librarian (yay!). I've found some reviewers that found Eden to be too self righteous. I disagree. Eden is a pacifist and not. But I understood her feelings better than I thought I would. Yes, at times she did annoy me, but never for long. She learned from her mistakes quickly. At first, I was afraid that her issues when she found out about Levi's past would drag out for a while, but they didn't and for that I was extremely greatful! I thought the book brought up some good points about double standards and how our own feelings can affect how we see people and judge their past lives before they came to Christ.
     Levi was so sweet! I can't remember liking a hero so much from a modern novel in a long time! Because Levi has a speech inpediment, he doesn't talk much, and so begins communicating to Eden through letters, which I liked. Plus, he loved to read. :) I thought it was great that one of the books he and Eden discussed was Around the World in 80 Days, because I had seriously JUST finished that book when I picked this one up!

     Though this book had a little more "romance" than I like, it also had a great climax that kept me turning pages! I really enjoyed To Win Her Heart and I can't wait for Karen Whitemeyer's next book, Short Straw Bride!

Rating: 9

Objectionable content: The first half of this book was pretty clean; however the last half had quite a bit more kissing than I would have liked (about 4 or 5 kisses) and is actually the only reason I rated this book as a 9 instead of a 10. There is also a fight scene at the end, and Levi helps a teenage girl ecape from a man who had attempted to rape her.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Charlatan's Boy

The Charlatan's Boy
Jonathan Rogers

As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village in the company of a huckster named Floyd. With his adolescent accomplice, Floyd perpetrates a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier, such as the Ugliest Boy in the World act.

It's a hard way to make a living, made harder by the memory of fatter times when audiences thronged to see young Grady perform as "The Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp." But what can they do? Nobody believes in feechies anymore.

     As this book has been described as "C.S. Lewis and Mark Twain rolled into one" I figured it could go either way for me: I love C.S. Lewis but am not overly fond of Mark Twain. The cover intrigued me, though, with its vintage circus-y look.
     To my surprise, there were things I loved about this book. To some, it may sound silly, but I loved the names of the chapters. Titles such as "In Which I Jump Out of a Box and Play the Wild Man of the Feechiefan Swamp", "In Which We Get Out of the Feechie Trade and I Begin My Formal Education" and "In Which We Commence Terrorizing the Populace" made me laugh and put me in the mind of Charles Dickens. Which, in my case, is always a good thing.
     The actual style of writing was also enjoyable. This was an interesting, unusual novel that really didn't seem so much of a fantasy as much as, well, a Twain tale. It reminded me of Huck Finn. The book didn't really grab a hold of my attention though- despite its good points, it just wasn't a plot line that I was terribly interested in- in other words, it just wasn't "my style". The Charlatan's Boy had Christian themes, I suppose, but I'm not sure I would categorize it as "Christian" fiction. However, readers who enjoy fantasy or Southern fiction, I'm sure will want to pick this novel up.

Rating: 6

I recieved this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...