Monday, July 6, 2015

The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Camille Iverness can take care of herself. She's done so since the day her mother abandoned the family and left Camille to run their shabby curiosity shop on Blinkett Street. But when a violent betrayal leaves her injured with no place to hide, Camille has no choice but to accept help from the mysterious stranger who came to her aid.

Jonathan Gilchrist never wanted to inherit Kettering Hall. As a second son, he was content working as a village apothecary. But when his brother's death made him heir just as his father's foolish decisions put the estate at risk, only the sale of a priceless possession—a ruby called the Bevoy—can save the family from ruin. But the gem has disappeared. And all trails lead to Iverness Curiosity Shop—and the beautiful shop girl who may or may not be the answer to his questions.

Curious circumstance throws them together, and an intricate dance of need and suspicion leads the couple from the seedy backwaters of London to the elite neighborhoods of the wealthy to the lush, green Surrey countryside—all in the pursuit of a blood-red gem that collectors will sacrifice anything to possess.

Caught at the intersection of blessings and curses, greed and deceit, two determined souls must unite to protect what they hold dear. But when a passion that shines far brighter than any gem is ignited, each will have to decide how much they are willing to risk for their future, love, and happiness.

MY THOUGHTS:
The Curiosity Keeper had all the right elements for a story that kept me turning the pages. Perhaps it is because movies during this genre are so popular, but Mrs. Ladd's descriptions of a cluttered shop, dank and dirty back alleys of London, and verdant gardens of the British countryside made me feel as if I were right in the places she pictured.

I fully enjoy the polite and proper, yet dark and mysterious side of a Regency era tale. And, The Curiosity Keeper had all of that, showing that no matter your station, greed will corrupt all around you.

I loved the twist of Camille's mother. *spoiler alert: I guessed her role early on...but was still surprised at the depth of her involvement.*

Overall, great story!

Thank you to Sarah and Thomas Nelson 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.**

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason



ABOUT THE BOOK:
At Irish Meadows horse farm, sisters Brianna and Colleen struggle to reconcile their own dreams with their father's demanding marriage expectations.

MY THOUGHTS:
This book didn't have as much of the 'Irish' element that I was expecting, though the religious aspect of Catholicism and works definitely fit that genre.

I enjoyed the overall theme of love beneath your station, thus familial tension, and the beautiful horse farm setting, but I was surprised that I didn't really like Brianna by the end of the book. Colleen really showed a changed attitude from beginning to end, but Brianna just got more and more shrewish. True, she admits that herself in the book and works on mending her relationships, but instead of endearing herself to me, I only found her less and less likeable as the pages turned. It's too bad, because I felt her and Gil's story was the main draw of the book.

Although good, Irish Meadows didn't make 'great' for me and doesn't fit a top favorite for the books I've read so far this year.

Thank you to Susan 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.**

The Flower Brides: A Collection by Grace Livingston Hill



The Flower Brides is a collection that tells about three different woman: Marigold wants to fit in with 'in' crowd; Diana struggles when her father marries her manipulative, wicked cousin; and Camilla accepts the help of a handsome stranger for her sick mother.

Though some may think GLH's books are dated, the lessons are timeless and biblical. Each moral conundrum that the main character faces is presented with truth from God's Word. The salvation message is almost always woven throughout her books, as well as clear verses on Christian living.

I enjoy almost every GLH book I read...and, though each 'flower bride' was engaging and entertaining, I liked Camilla's story best!

Thank you to Barbour Books 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.**

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer



ABOUT THE BOOK:
A teacher on the run. A tracker in pursuit. Can Charlotte and Stone learn to trust each other before they both lose what they hold most dear?

MY THOUGHTS:
Karen delivered, once again, a perfect blend of romance and drama with Charlotte and Stone's story. Stone, like all of her heroes, is rugged, handsome, and full of honor and integrity. Neither does her heroine disappoint. Charlotte is strong and brave in the face of obstacles and danger, but willingly surrenders her heart when protection – and ultimately love – is offered.

I loved 'Dead-Eye Dan' and 'Hammer Rockwell.' Dan and Stone's offense to these characters added a light touch of humor to the story. And the children were easy to love. The reader couldn't help but want them to find understanding, loving homes.

Karen's books are ones I always close with satisfaction and recommend – and I do so again with A Worthy Pursuit!

Thank you to Karen 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.**
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