Monday, June 23, 2014

Blind Trust by Sandra Orchard {Revell Blog Tour!}

18637162My Review:
A thrilling sequel to a mysterious series!

We met Kate Adams in the first book, Deadly Devotion, and now her story continues in Blind Trust. I was really impressed by this sequel! It's been awhile since I've read a series where you stay with the primary characters from the first book. That being said, Orchard's series feels fresh.

If one thing about Kate has been made crystal clear it's this: you don't mess with her friends. As we saw in the book prior to Blind Trust, Kate's dear friend's death was ruled as suicide. Refusing this verdict, Kate set out to discover the truth. In Blind Trust, her kind neighbor, Verna, is accused of counterfeiting. We can all probably guess how Kate reacts to that. This loyalty to people close to her is really admirable, yet is odd when you consider she has problems trusting others. I love how well Orchard has developed Kate this far, and I'm curious to get to know her even better in Book 3.

Detective Parker, or Tom, strives to balance his developing relationship with Kate and his job. Despite his flaws and his imperfections, Tom is a dependable guy for the most part. I loved getting to know his character better in Blind Trust.

Orchard has written a series that leaves you wanting more. There's suspense, mystery, uncertainty, and a slight amount of romance weaved in. I am ever so eager for Book 3's release! June 2015 seems so far away. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy the suspense/mystery genre ages fifteen and up for readability.

I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!!

Back Cover:
Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can't believe that it came from her sweet neighbor. Or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker's investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor's innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue that is far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation--and strikes too close to home for comfort. As family secrets come to light, her world--and her budding romance with Tom--begin to crumble. To Kate, it's clear that she won't be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster's secrets. But is it too late for her and Tom? 

Award-winning author Sandra Orchard draws readers into a world of rogues, red herrings, and romance as she unfolds the continuing story of amateur sleuth Kate Adams.

Friday, June 13, 2014

{Book Review:} Somebody Like You by Beth K. Vogt

20648658My Review:
Words cannot effectively describe this beautiful story!

It didn't take me long to be reeled in hook, line, and sinker into Somebody Like You. I am thoroughly impressed by Mrs. Vogt's talent, voice, and skill. I'm surprised I haven't picked up one of her books before now! Every aspect of the story felt so real that I had to remind myself it was fictional. You better believe I'm going to track down Mrs. Vogt's other books. ;-)

Haley is a woman who longs to be cared for- even if she doesn't realize it herself. For years and years she has striven to be as good as her brothers. Referred to as "Hal" by all her friends, even her late husband, she was simply "one of the guys." I loved her inner struggles, because they made her human and I understood her fears.

Stephen is a hurting man seeking something. Seeking what exactly, he isn't sure. I admired his compassion and servant's heart, and I appreciated the guilt he has been carrying around for going on a dozen years. In some ways, he was his twin's exact opposite. But, I'll save the details. All around, Stephen is a sigh-worthy lead and not because of his good looks.

To conclude, then, I really, really, really, enjoyed Somebody Like You. Like couldn't-put-it-down good. The plot drew me in and kept me intrigued while Mrs. Vogt's characters pulled at my heart-strings. I also loved how delicately Mrs. Vogt dealt with some issues present in our society. My opinion? You're going to have to read this book for yourself. I highly recommend to readers who enjoy contemporary romance ages sixteen and older for both readability and content.

I received this book for free from the author in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks, Mrs. Vogt!! 

Back Cover:
Can a young widow find love again with her husband’s reflection?

Haley’s three-year marriage to Sam, an army medic, ends tragically when he’s killed in Afghanistan. Her attempts to create a new life for herself are ambushed when she arrives home one evening—and finds her husband waiting for her. Did the military make an unimaginable mistake when they told her Sam was killed?

Too late to make things right with his estranged twin brother, Stephen discovers Sam never told Haley about him. As Haley and Stephen navigate their fragile relation­ship, they are inexorably drawn to each other. How can they honor the memory of a man whose death brought them together—and whose ghost could drive them apart?

Somebody Like You is a beautifully rendered, affecting novel, reminding us that while we can’t change the past, we have the choice to change the future and start anew.

Author Beth VogtAbout the Author:
Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A nonfiction writer and editor who said she’d never write fiction, Beth is now a novelist with Howard Books. She enjoys writing inspirational contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. Connect with Beth on her website or check out her blog on quotes, In Others’ Words.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

{Book Review:} Meant to be Mine by Becky Wade

21356325My Review:
Oh my goodness!!

Meant to be Mine is definitely my new favorite by Becky!! I was hooked from the very first chapter. Putting the book down was torture! I wanted to dive right into the pages of the book and shake some sense into Celia, then I wanted to play princesses with cute, adorable, Addie, and lastly I wanted to smack Ty. Seriously, could two people really be so stubborn? Nonetheless, I loved them both and I admired Ty trying to make things right with Celia.

(minor spoilers ahead!) If there was one thing that frustrated me the most it was probably the "we can kiss, but we're just friends" deal Celia and Ty struck up. Making out when no one was looking? Really? They're both so intelligent it drove me nuts thinking that they could make stupid decisions. Other than that, they acted within common sense. (end spoiler alert)

Celia, as Ty put it, is beautifully imperfect. She strives to take care of Addie to the best of her ability. She protects the little girl like a Momma Grizzly. I was glad to see Celia become gradually more independent and trustworthy of others. Whether she realizes it or not, she really changed from the Celia we first meet toward the beginning. It's a good change, though.

I'm not going to say too much about Ty. He made a lot of mistakes in his past and it was sad for me to think he was inflicting penance upon himself (i.e. no church, no women, etc.). He ran away from the thing he needed most: God. He probably changed for the better as much as Celia did. I'm glad they both found what they really needed.

To quickly sum up then, Meant to be Mine is a treasure, forever to stay on my bookshelf. I fell in love with the simple way Becky writes and, of course, her characters. (I desperately wish I could hug Addie!!) She takes simple Christianity concepts and makes her characters struggle. The battle isn't easy, but watching them overcome is encouraging. I highly recommend this novel to those who enjoy contemporary romance with a deeper theme/message and I also recommend to girls sixteen or older for readability and content.

I received this book from Bethany House in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!

Back Cover:
Ty Porter has always been irresistible to Celia Park. All through high school--irresistible. When their paths cross again after college--still irresistible. This time, though, Ty feels exactly the same way about Celia. Their whirlwind romance deposits them at a street-corner Las Vegas wedding chapel.

The next morning they wake to a marriage certificate and a dose of cold reality. Celia's ready to be Ty's wife, but Ty's not ready to be anybody's husband. As a professional bull rider, he lives on the road and can't bring himself to settle down.

Five and a half years pass. Celia's buried her dreams so that she can afford to raise her daughter. Ty's achieved all of his goals. Or thought he had, until he looks again into the face of the one woman he couldn't forget and into the face of the child he never knew he had.

How much will Ty sacrifice to make Celia's dreams come true, to win her trust, and to prove to her that their spontaneous marriage can still become the love of a lifetime?

Monday, June 2, 2014

{Book Review:} Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin

18652808My Review:
An endearing contemporary!

This is the first book I've read from Bylin and I have to say I'm impressed. Her style is smooth and it draws you deeper into the story. I loved the condors! I'd heard about the incredible, near-extinction birds from somewhere else, but Bylin's novel took my knowledge to another level. The condors slipped into the story so seamlessly that they didn't take up too much space, nor did I feel they were lacking attention.

Kate is a seemingly typical control-freak with a bruised heart. All her life she has lost people she deeply cares about due to circumstances beyond her control. She's a character I could easily sympathize with, but I couldn't relate to her problems. There were so many times I wanted to shake her silly! Nick too for that matter. Kate's transformation from an unbeliever to a believer in God is slow and realistic. She asks many questions common coming from an unbeliever. They're good questions. They're hard questions too. Yet Nick responds with grace and patience every time, being honest with Kate when he doesn't know all the answers.

In sum, Bylin's newest release from Bethany House isn't a personal favorite; however it's a delightful story about giving up control of your life to your Creator. I recommend this novel to those who enjoy contemporary novels set in small towns, and those looking for a novel with a deeper message. I recommend to readers ages fifteen and older.

I received this book from Bethany House through Netgalley in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!!

Back Cover:
Contemporary Romance to Make You Laugh, Cry, and Fall in Love

When Kate Darby swerves off a mountain road to avoid hitting a California condor, she ends up trapped in her car, teetering on the edge of a cliff. Terrified, she breathes a prayer that changes her life: "God, if you're real, I want to know you." 

It's Nick Sheridan who comes to Kate's rescue. Nick is handsome, confident, and seems to develop a habit of rescuing her, but Kate is in town only until her grandmother recuperates from a stroke. She's not planning to fall in love with one of the locals. 

Nick Sheridan is a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, a new Christian, and a travel writer. When he sees a car dangling on the edge of a cliff, the daredevil in him jumps into action. He doesn't expect to be swept off his feet by the car's occupant. He's made a vow: no dating for a year. And it's a vow he intends to keep in spite of his attraction to Kate Darby...