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Showing posts from September, 2013

Elusive Hope

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Elusive Hope MaryLou Tyndall Barbour
I really liked the first book in this series, Forsaken Dreams, so I was looking forward to this book in the hope that it would live up to the last one.
This is definitely a problem exclusive to me, but I found it really, really weird to read a book with the hero’s name being Hayden. Because it’s my own name, I just think of it as feminine even though I know that it was historically a boy’s name. Still, it was a little strange for me!
It was hard to like Hayden and Magnolia at times, because they were both so selfish. However, the most annoying aspect for me was the fact that the romance was totally grounded on physical stuff. The author must have mentioned dozens of times how attracted the characters were to each other, even when they supposedly hated each other’s guts. Half the time, it just seemed like the author was repeating what she had already mentioned earlier.
What I did like was the spiritual aspect- it was the most unusual part in the book, as…

What Once Was Lost

What Once Was Lost Kim Vogel Sawyer Waterbrook
On a small Kansas farm, Christina Willems lovingly shepherds a group of poor and displaced individuals who count on her leadership and have come to see the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor as their home. But when a fire breaks out in the kitchen leaving the house uninhabitable, she must scramble to find shelter for all in her care, scattering her dear "family."
With no other options, Christina is forced to approach Levi Jonnson, a reclusive mill owner, to take in a young blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. Levi agrees with reluctance but finds himself surprised by the bond that quickly grows between him and Tommy. As obstacles to repairing the farm pile up against Christina, she begins to question her leadership ability and wonders if she can fulfill the mission to which she's dedicated her life. And when an old adversary challenges Christina, will she find an unlikely ally—or more—in the aloof Levi? Can Levi reconcile with the rejec…

City on Fire

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City on Fire Tracy Higley Thomas Nelson
As Vesuvius churns, a slave girl-turned-gladiator joins forces with an unlikely source to seek justice. In the coastal town of Pompeii, a new gladiator prepares to fight. But this gladiator hides a deadly secret: she’s a runaway Jewish slave girl named Ariella, disguised as a young boy. A savvy fighter, Ariella determines to triumph in the arena, knowing her life will be forfeit should anyone uncover the truth. Cato, a wealthy politician, moved to Pompeii after tiring of the corruption in Rome. But he soon learns that Pompeii is just as corrupt, and if he doesn’t play the game, his family could pay the price. Determined to bring about justice for the citizens of Pompeii, Cato searches for allies. But what he discovers instead is a confounding group of Christians . . . and a young female gladiator whose fame is growing daily. Political unrest reaches a boiling point as Christians are jailed and executed, and the mountain in the distance threatens to de…

Enchanted

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Enchanted Alethea Kontis Harcourt Children's Books
This book started out wonderfully- it was well-written, engaging, and the characters were interesting and likable. However, as the story went on, it began to lose my interest. It seemed purposefully dragged out, and some of the plot twists were a little confusing. Sometimes, it seemed like the author was just trying to shove as many fairy tale references in there as she could. Also, there were a few uses of the word d**n and a couple times I thought something might have been an innuendo, but it went over my head because, well, I’m me. Of course, there was also your typical fairy-tale magical content, with fairy godmothers and vengeful fairies and a conglomeration of enchantments from familiar stories.
As a retelling of The Frog Prince, it would have been great. I think if the author had kept this book shorter and focused more on the heroine,  Sunday, and her prince, this book would have been better- as it was, it was a bit of a disapp…

Born of Persuasion

Born of Persuasion  Jessica Dotta Tyndale House Publishers
The deeper you wade into some stories, the more complex the riddle grows...does that not sound utterly intriguing? After reading the book description and the author's bio, I had very, very high expectations for this book. In the end, I am completely confused about what I think of it.

The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her pres…

An Honest Heart

An Honest Heart Kaye Dacus B&H
Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, An Honest Heart is a "sitting-room romance" with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age.

Featuring dual romance stories, the main plot involves seamstress Caddy Bainbridge and the choice she must make between two men: one from the aristocracy, the other from the working class. Award-nominated author Kaye Dacus pinpoints the theme of honesty—both men in this love triangle have deep secrets to hide, and Caddy’s choice will be based on which of them can be honest with her.

Courtship . . . cunning . . . candor. Who possesses an honest heart?

One thing that was interesting about this book isn’t that isn’t a sequel to the first book in this series; rather, An Honest Heart takes place during the events of Follow the Heart, just about some of the other characters.
I really loved the heroine’s name, as I recently named one of…

A Home For My Heart

A Home For My Heart Anne Mateer Bethany House Publishers
I was definitely looking forward to this book from Anne Mateer. Her previous novels, Wings of a Dream and At Every Turn, were sweet and fun, and that’s what I was expecting with A Home For My Heart. However, while A Home For My Heart was without a doubt a very sweet story, it didn’t live up to my expectations.
The main reason this book didn’t click with me was because of the main character. I just couldn’t warm up to Sadie, even though I wanted to. Mateer’s heroines always have some flaw they have to overcome, of course, but in this one the way Sadie caused a mess just made me annoyed rather than sympathetic to her character. I did find it a little odd at first that this is my least favorite of Anne Mateer’s books when it’s also the one that has the most endorsements by popular authors, but I do think there are a lot of people who will like this book, even if I didn’t. I, personally, just had a hard time getting into it. It dragged …

Rebellious Heart

Rebellious Heart Jody Hedlund Bethany House
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 herfamily 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 f…