Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Shattered by Dani Pettrey

This is the 2nd book in The Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey which follows the McKenna family. Piper McKenna is devastated when she finds out her younger brother Reef is accused of killing a former love interest and fellow snowboarder. The evidence seems so conclusive as Reef is covered in blood and has eye witnesses. And yet Piper is sure Reef did not do it and is trying to convince her friend Deputy Landon to help her. Landon who is a old family friend is not so sure about Reef's innocence but he would do anything to help the McKenna family and especially Piper who he has growing feelings for. As Piper and Landon come closer to the truth will they be able to keep one step ahead of the ruthless killer and will they be able to admit their growing feelings for each other?

Even though I have not read the first book in this series, I really liked it and did not feel like I was missing out on too much. I loved how Dani Pettrey has an amazing cast of secondary characters, it made the story more interesting and makes me look forward to the next book in the series. The only issues I had with the book was the romance was a little over the top, some of the stuff was a bit much for a Christian book and I wish she had toned it down some. All in all though it was a good book and I am looking forward to the next one.

Follow the Heart by Kaye Dacus

This is the first book by Kaye Dacus I have a read and it was a cute,sweet read.The premise of the story is b Kate and her brother Christopher are going to England after their Father loses his fortune. Kate is 27 and already considered an old maid with no prospects in America, so in a last effort to save her family from poverty she and Christopher go visit their Mother's relatives.
Upon coming to England Kate meets handsome gardener of her Uncle's estate who shares the same passions,but can she disappoint her family and what will win out?

Overall I thought this book had well developed characters and I really liked the fact that Kate was a character you could relate to. Overall it was a good read.

Take the trophy and run by Gail Sattler

"Take the trophy and run" by Gail Sattler is a quirky easy read. The story is about the small town of Bloomsfield, which has a thriving Gardening club that Amber is barely in. Her business which sells gardening goods, is in jeopardy if she is kicked out of the garden club. When the gnome trophy disappears Amber and her best friend Stan try to find out the culprit.Who wants Amber kicked out of the garden club? And why is Stan treating her different?

This was a quirky, interesting read, but I thought the characters could of been a bit better developed and the mystery a bit better developed. Overall it was a clean, interesting read. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen

I have to start out by admitting that I have attempted several of Julie Klassen's books in the past and have not been overly impressed. Sure,I like the premise of most of her books which are along the lines of Jane Austen/ Charlotte Bronte. However, I wasn't crazy about the story lines and the characters. So it wasn't until my sister told me "The Tutor's Daughter" was really good that I decided to give it a go and I am glad I did,because it was an enjoyable read.

Emma Smallwood is use to be in control,she leads an orderly life with her Father helping out at his school. It is not until they go to Sir Giles Weston home so her Father can tutor his 2 young sons that Emma's world is turned upside down. She remembers Sir Giles two older sons, taunting unkind Henry and kind, handsome Phillip.
Strange things start happening at the Weston's house, what are the secrets the Weston family are hiding and which of the brothers should Emma trust with heart?

This delightful book has a Gothic air to it and whispers of Jane Eyre.It was a delightful read and I look forward to reading more of Julie Klassen's books in the future.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Lost and Found by Ginny Yttrup

I am finding that Ginny Yttrup is quickly becoming one of my favorite Christian authors. Her style of writing is lyrical and sucks you right in and the things she writes about are ones that most people struggle with.
Jenna Bouvier appeared to have it all, beauty, wealth, a loving husband. But when her beauty and then her husband are taken from her and she is left with a very controlling mother-in-law who is accusing Jenna of having an affair. Will Jenna learn to trust in God even when it feels like He has taken everything away from you and you have nowhere to turn?
Andee Bell seems to have her life together,she has worked her way to becoming a very rich business women, when she falls in love with Jenna's brother she is afraid that some decisions she made will jeopardize their relationship,will she be able to find love and peace?

As I said before Ginny Yttrup is a fairly new author with 3 books under her belt, two of which I have read and thoroughly enjoyed. They are not happy-ever-after type books, but deal with real issues and really make you think about your relationship with the Lord and what you would do in the characters situations. 

Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins

Yet again Brandilyn Collins delivers an exciting, thrilling, page turning book. I am always excited when she comes out with a new book as they are sure to not disappoint.
This book is about small town Amaryllis where everyone knows each other and it is a safe place to live...or is it? In the past 3 years 5 murders were committed, everyone likes to think it was someone from out of town, but was it someone that the women knew? When a sixth murder is committed 3 women in town are terrified that they know who did it, but which of them is right and will they find out who the real murder is before he silences them forever?

Brandilyn Collins is one of the top notch Christian mystery/suspense authors out there and this book does not disappoint. I highly recommend this long as  you are not home alone while reading it.:)

The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann

This is the first book by Kristen Heitzmann I have read and I found it intriguing and well written. The story is about Morgan Spencer who has recently lost his wife and despite being wildly successful in the business world moves to Colorado to raise his young daughter. It is not until he meets charming Quinn Reilly who is running from her past that he realizes that maybe his heart is ready to love again, but will he be able to help Quinn escape from someone in her past?

Even though this book is part of a series,which I did not know when I got the book, I that despite a bit of background I might of been missing overall it was fine reading it without having read the 2 previous books.
I enjoyed this book and thought it was well written and interesting. I look forward to reading more of Kristen Heitzmann in the future.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

I was able to get a sneak peek of "Cinders and Sapphires" by Leila Rasheed which is suppose to be a young adult book. The story is about young Rose who rises to the position of ladies maid to the beautiful, accomplished Ada. Rose wonders what life would be like being rich and accomplished like Ada. Young Ada has struggles of her own with scandal following her family and not being able to marry her true love.

This book is product of the Downtown Abbey craze and it really is not horribly original from the sneak peak that I read. From the get go I could pretty much figure out what was going to happen and I would not recommend this book to the young people I know.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Waiting for a view by Debby Mayne

This book was a cute,easy read. It is about Sherry Butler who is a 30 something year old who is stuck in a rut, she is content with her life the way it is and it is not until her dear friend Naomi decided to play matchmaker that she realizes she might be ready to love again.

This was quirky, quick read. I thought the characters were not horribly well developed and that it did not draw you in as well as some books. Still it was a decent, quick read and I might be willing to give another Debby Mayne's books a try.

Lily's Plight by Sally Laity and Dianne Crawford

I was looking forward to a good easy read in this Christian Historical Fiction, but was sadly disappointed in this book. I made it through the first chapter or two before throwing it aside in disgust and skimming to the end. Sadly, this book was as predictable and horrible as I thought it was going to be. The fact that it is "Christian fiction" is slightly disturbing  to me since the premise of the book is a young women coveting another women's husband.

So the story is about Lily who is an indentured servant to John and Susan, taking care of their children while John is away fighting during the French and Indian war and Susan is too ill to take care of the kids. When John comes back Lily likes him and has a hard time hiding it and John notices her too. Do you see something wrong with this picture? Am I the only one who sees a problem with coveting and lusting after someone Else's husband? And don't write about what a wonderful husband John is if he is making eyes at the servant while his wife is still alive.
Ugh,this book thoroughly disgusted me  and I would not recommend it to anyone. Basically it is a secular book with some Christianity thrown in but it does not make the theme of the book any better as they don't really address how wrong it was that Lily is coveting a married man and she gets what she wants in the end.

If you are looking for a quality Christian book then stay away from this one! There are much better Christian books out there that actually have more going on and are not complete twaddle.

Invisible by Ginny Yttrup

In my opinion a good book  is one that causes you to think long after you are finished with it  and engages you wholly in the story. It is  able to draw you in and yet also gives you things that you can apply to your own life. Rarely is such a book written and it takes a exceptional story teller to be able to do it and yet I strongly feel that "Invisible" by Ginny Yttrup is such a book.

"Invisible" by Ginny Yttrup is a masterly woven work of art that tells the very engaging, entertaining and thought provoking  story of 4 very real characters all from their points of view. They are all so wonderful real and flawed and I think most people will see some of themselves  in one of the characters whether it is Miles who lost his wife to cancer and is opening himself to loving again, Ellyn who has allowed her poor self image and hurts of the past hold her back,  successful Sabine who has let heartbreak drive her from her family and seek solitude or young Twila who has to overcome an eating disorder and realize what triggered it.

As I said before I highly recommend this book,it is wonderful, realistic and thought provoking. As a women who struggles with body image and knowing that many women do struggle with it as well, this book really spoke to me and made me understand that we truly are made in God's image and are beautiful the way we are. And whether we are struggling with an eating disorder or with being overweight that God longs to see us as He sees us, which is beautiful beyond compare.