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Showing posts from March, 2015

Deception on Sable Hill

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Deception on Sable Hill Shelley Gray Zondervan
     The World's Fair is nearing its end, but the danger in Chicago lingers.      It's mid-September of 1893 and Eloisa Carstairs is the reigning beauty of Gilded Age Chicago society. To outsiders she appears to have it all. But Eloisa is living with a dark secret. Several months ago, she endured a horrible assault at the hands of Douglass Sloane, heir to one of Chicago's wealthiest families. Fearing the loss of her reputation, Eloisa confided in only one friend. That is, until she meets Detective Sean Ryan at a high-society ball.      Sean is on the outskirts of the wealthy Chicago lifestyle. Born into a poor Irish family, becoming a policeman was his best opportunity to ensure his future security. Despite society's restrictions, he is enamored with Eloisa Carstairs. Sean seethes inside at what he knows happened to her, and he will do anything to keep her safe-even if he can never earn her affections. .      Eloisa longs to f…

Storm Siren

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Storm Siren Mary Weber Thomas Nelson
I have heard so many glowing reviews of this book, and was extremely vexed at how long it took me to get a copy. Finally, at long last, I had the book in my hands and I could only hope that it would live up to my expectations.

My heart immediately dropped when I opened it and found the dreaded first person-present tense. Nooooo! My least favorite POV in the entire universe. However, one thing I have noticed about reading books written this way is that they either fade away so I don't notice the narration and get lost in the story, or else they just grow more distracting. Thankfully, Storm Siren's narration did the former. While the author's writing style felt clunky at times and still isn't my favorite, I was able to get past it and enjoy the story.

But now we get to my real problem with the book.

I remember years ago reading reviews of books that criticized the books' lack of worldbuilding. I scoffed. World-building? Who cares?…

Lighten up, Ya'll

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Lighten up, Ya'll Virginia Willis Ten Speed Press
I love food, to the point that I have a bit of a reputation about it. However, while I do like my sweets, carbs, and dairy, I don't think of myself as a really "unhealthy" person, simply because I'm not the hugest fan of fast food or overly processed stuff. But when it comes to homemade dishes....pile on the cheese. or butter. and steak. Steak is good.

So when I saw this book- which boasted "healthy" southern recipes, I knew it couldn't hurt to try it.

I'd never heard of this chef before, but I enjoyed her writing. I haven't read through the whole book but I read the introduction and several of the recipes.

Some of the recipes in this book immediately caught my eye- mostly the sweets, such as "Old-fashioned Buttermilk Pie" and "Claire's Cream Cheese Swirled Brownies." Some I skipped over (I mean, what's the point of pepper poppers without the cheese? I'm not ea…

An Uncertain Choice

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An Uncertain Choice Jody Hedlund Zondervan
The first book in a new YA historical fiction series from bestselling author Jody Hedlund. Due to her parents' promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, a month before her birthday, a friend of her father's enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents' will left a second choice-if Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow. Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the competition for her heart seemingly results in a knight playing foul, she begins to wonder if the cloister is the best place after all. If only one of the knights-the one who appears the most guilty-had not already captured her heart.    Ah, knights, castles, princesses, and dungeons. Who doesn't love them? With this in mind, I couldn't help but be interested when I saw this book fi…

The Wood's Edge

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The Wood's Edge Lori Benton Waterbrook
At the wood's edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?

The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.

On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald's wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.

When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood's edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another b…

Season of Fire

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Season of Fire Lisa Bergren Zondervan
After tackling her first mission and coming to terms with her power of empathy, Andriana discovers her first battles were only a taste of what is to come. She and her knight, Ronan, have admitted their feelings for each other, but their bonds are tested when Dri is captured by their mortal and spiritual enemy—Sethos—and his master, Keallach, emperor of Pacifica.

Andriana is certain Keallach can be convinced to follow the Maker’s plan and join the other Remnants . . . but in time, she must decide whether she really can pull him back to the Way, or if Sethos’s web of darkness has slowly and thoroughly trapped them both . . . forever.

   Since the dystopian genre has taken the YA market by storm, it's not surprising that Christian publishing would follow suit. Season of Fire is the second book in the Remnants series.

   This book is a little hard for me to review because, while there wasn't really anything wrong with it, I just couldn't con…

After a Fashion

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After a Fashion Jen Turano Bethany House Publishers
Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income.

Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.

Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can't make her fashionable. She'll never truly fit into Oliver's world, but just as she's ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surpr…