Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Bestselling author Mary Ellis (A Widow’s Hope) presents The Last Heiress, a new romantic standalone that intertwines the lives of a British manufacturing heiress and an American merchant caught in the turbulent time of the War Between the States.

MY THOUGHTS:
First of all, I really thought the cover of The Last Heiress was beautiful. I was also very interested in the Civil War time period.

However, The Last Heiress moved really slow for me. In fact, I got one-third of the way in and put it down. I didn't pick the book back up for over a week. I then restarted it and was able to feel a little more interest in the story. But, once I got past that same first third of the book, several pages dragged again.

I'm not sure if it was the plot or characters – likely a little of both. I could never tell if Jackson was good or bad? Perhaps just a spoiled, rich kid? Because he seemed to be a kind husband, but unpleasant in most all other dealings. Same with Abigail and Amanda – whom I had difficulty keeping straight! Sometimes sweet, sometimes snooty? (I guess we can all be like that...)

The war obviously disrupted Amanda's plans to acquire cotton, but I felt that that storyline ended too abruptly. She didn't seem to be busy finding other suppliers like she continued to claim she was in America for; instead, she was making excuses to meet up with Nate.

For me, The Last Heiress didn't quite match the beautiful cover. The story was too slow and choppy for me to enjoy.

Thank you to Mary and Harvest House through NetGalley for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Outlaw Takes a Bride by Susan Page Davis



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Johnny Paynter flees Denver to escape being hanged for a murder he didn't commit. At his brother's ranch in Texas, where he thought he could take refuge, he finds his brother, Mark—dead. Taking advantage of his strong resemblance to his brother, Johnny assumes Mark's identity. Soon Johnny discovers that Mark had been corresponding with a widow named Sally in St. Louis, and she's en route to be a mail-order bride to Mark. Seeing no other option, Johnny makes a fateful decision to go through with the wedding, posing as his brother. But Sally has secrets she's hiding, too. How will a marriage survive with so much deception?

MY THOUGHTS:
Mail-order bride stories have always fascinated me – I mean, it's hard to believe some woman would just answer an ad and travel for days, or weeks, to marry a man she has never met, even if they did correspond for awhile. I guess it was just a precursor to internet dating?!

Outlaw had a great twist! Of course, no good relationship can be based on lies...and poor Sally unknowingly gets herself mixed up in Johnny's mess. As we all know that one lie can lead to another and then another – oh what a tangled web we weave! – it was almost painful to watch Sally's confusion and Johnny's rejection of her. You just wished you could shake Johnny to 'fess up, but again, another good lesson: peer pressure doesn't go away when you leave your teenage years behind!

Peer pressure, fear, lies, guilt... ouch.

My suspicions of whodunit was right on, but it didn't ruin the story. Instead, I was just waiting to see when the truth would finally come out.

Quite honestly, I wasn't ready for the story to end! I wanted just a few more chapters, as I'd really come to like Sally and Mark/Johnny and I felt their story ended just a bit too abruptly.

If you enjoy mail-order, western type stories, you'll want to pick up The Outlaw Takes a Bride!

Thank you to Susan and Shiloh Run Press through NetGalley for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Abigail Stuart thought she was Jeremiah Calhoun's widow.
But Jeremiah Calhoun is very handsome, very alive, and very perplexed.


Most Inconvenient Indeed.


With few options of her own, nurse Abigail Stuart agrees to marry her patient, a gravely wounded soldier calling himself Jeremiah Calhoun. They arrange a quick ceremony before he dies, giving Abigail the rights to his Ozark farm and giving Jeremiah the peace of knowing someone will care for his ailing sister after he's gone--a practical solution for both of them.

After the war, Abigail fulfills her side of the bargain--until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up, injured but definitely alive, and wastes no time in challenging Abigail's story. Abigail is flummoxed. After months of claiming to be his widow, how can she explain that she's never seen this Jeremiah Calhoun before? How can she convince him that she isn't trying to steal his farm? And will she find a way to stay, even though this practical arrangement has turned into a most inconvenient marriage?

MY THOUGHTS:
I've read several of Regina's books, and I really enjoyed A Most Inconvenient Marriage. The twist of marrying the wrong man is not new, but having him die and the right man show up is!

Abigail was strong, but sweet...and Jeremiah was tough, but tender. Great leading characters. The supporting cast was likeable, too. A Most Inconvenient Marriage had all the right ingredients for a great story! If you enjoy mail-order bride type stories, you will want to pick up Regina's latest book!

Thank you to Regina and Bethany House through NetGalley for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Buttermilk Sky by Jan Watson



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Weary of the expectations imposed on her by her strict upbringing, eighteen-year-old Mazy Pelfrey prepares to leave her home in the Kentucky mountains for the genteel city of Lexington, where she'll attend secretarial school. She knows her life is about to change-and only for the better. Everything will be blue skies from now on.

But business school is harder than she thought it would be and the big city not as friendly, until she meets a charming young man from a wealthy family, Loyal Chambers. When Loyal sets his sights on her, Mazy begins to see that everything she'd ever wished to have is right before her eyes. The only hindrance to her budding romance is a former beau, Chanis Clay, the young sheriff she thought she'd left firmly behind.

MY THOUGHTS:
I decided to pick up Buttermilk Sky after a review in my latest Christianbook Fiction catalog. The editor mentioned the 'Anne of Green Gables' feel and I was immediately interested. I'm glad I chose to read it.
Buttermilk Sky easily read as a standalone, but it made me want to go back and read all of Jan's previous books! I wanted to get to know some of the past characters that are woven throughout the book, and I liked the feel of the Anne-ish time period.

I liked Mazy right away. She brought to mind a little bit of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. A young, unspoiled girl looking for something exciting...then coming to the realization that there's no place like home.

I also liked Mrs. Pearl and Cinnamon (who needs a story of her own!). I did feel like Mazy's story ended too abruptly – or at least, I really wanted the story to continue or have the characters fleshed out a bit more. Didn't think it was long enough. Like I said, Cinnamon needs a story of her own – and I want to know more about Clara! Perhaps we will see them in a future book...?

A sweet story set in simpler times – I liked it and would definitely read another by Jan!

Thank you to Jan and Tyndale House through NetGalley for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**
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