Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has never felt good enough--not for her father, not for the man she thought she'd marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she's willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping Loch Morar.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when Rowena's father tries to trap Brice into marrying his daughter, Brice makes a surprising decision.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she's reluctant to marry a notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she's about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.

MY THOUGHTS:
It's been a long time since I read book one, The Lost Heiress, and at first I wasn't quite sure if I needed to remember that storyline. It would be helpful to remember Justin and Brook's story, though they are only barely mentioned in book 2...but, once the Fire Eyes were mentioned, most of what was important from Brook's story came back to me.

I loved Rowena and her Scottish brogue right away. And even Brice, though I found it odd he called Rowena 'darling' as soon as they were married, was easy to like – as he made a conscious choice to love.

Feelings eventually came, but Brice's choice to love Rowena, despite the circumstances, showed the true definition of love.

I found some of the physical descriptions of Rowena's attack tiring. It seemed to be mentioned more than necessary...and I did not like that Rowena's father just stopping short of vulgarity in reference to a woman near the end of the story.

Overall, I loved this honest look at true love.

Thank you to Roseanna 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.**

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Having a Martha Home the Mary Way by Sarah Mae



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Is it possible to find a balance? To care for your heart―and your home―at the same time?

Journey with Sarah Mae on this easy, practical 31-day plan to get you moving and have your house looking and feeling fresh. But even more than that, you’ll gain a new vision for the home of your dreams, and how to make it a place of peace, comfort, and community. Originally published as the e-book 31 Days to Clean and now revised and expanded in print for the first time, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way will inspire you to find a happier, healthier . . . cleaner way to live.

MY THOUGHTS:
This book is just like exercise: if you WANT to do it, and COMMIT to do it, you WILL see change!

I found Sarah Mae's writing style to be friendly and encouraging. She wasn't better than me...she struggles with feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, and tired...and comparing herself with someone else's 'clean' home.

I really enjoyed the Martha/Mary format to the book. Most of us fall into one of those categories...and need work on the other! Each chapter is short – super short! No need to feel that this book will take hours to wade through, adding only one more overwhelming task to our day.

Sarah Mae writes a short, engaging chapter before giving the reader two challenges: a Mary challenge, which takes a look at God's Word to motivate and calm your soul; and then a Martha challenge, which motivates you to take on a simple cleaning task for that day to get your home back into order.

I really thought Having a Martha Home the Mary Way was wonderful and doable...and, again, I know it CAN work...IF I do it! So, if you need a little push, let Sarah Mae encourage and motivate you in 31 days to a marked difference in your home! You, too, CAN do it...if you WANT to and WILL!!

Thank you to Sarah Mae and Tyndale through Tyndale Blog Network 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, March 7, 2016

Room for Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer



ABOUT THE BOOK:
In a desperate time, can Neva find forgiveness for a grievous wrong—and make room for hope?

Neva Shilling has a heavy load of responsibility while her husband travels to neighboring communities and sells items from his wagon. In his absence, she faithfully runs the Shilling Mercantile, working to keep their business strong as the Depression takes its toll, and caring for their twins.

When a wagon pulls up after supper, Neva and her children rush out—and into the presence of the deputy driving a wagon carrying three young children. The deputy shocks her with the news that Warren and his wife have died, insisting it was their last request that the three children go live with “Aunt Neva.”

Neva’s heart is shattered as she realizes that Warren’s month-long travels were excuses for visits with his secret family. She wants nothing more than to forget Warren, but can she abandon these innocent children to an orphanage? Yet if she takes them in, will she ever be able to see them as more than evidence of her husband’s betrayal and love them the way God does?

MY THOUGHTS:
Ooh, I loved this newest story by Kim!

Kim has such a way with her characters and often makes me teary-eyed within the first few chapters of her stories. Room for Hope evoked those sniffles.

I absolutely loved the Depression Era setting, as well as the addition of hobos (and their secret code) in the story.

And Kim's characters are always so great! I loved and empathized with Neva. I ached for Bud, Belle, Charley, Cassie, and Adeline. I was suspicious of Arthur and full of hope for Jesse.

Room for Hope is a wonderful story of true forgiveness. You should pick up a copy for yourself!

Thank you to Kim and Waterbrook Multnomah through Blogging for Books 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, February 22, 2016

With This Ring: A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry by Witemeyer, Jennings, Connealy, and Jagears



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor that will delight readers.

MY THOUGHTS:
I don't normally reach for novellas unless I like the authors. With This Ring was written by 3 authors I have read and enjoyed, and as I needed some lighter reading while my dad was recovering from surgery, I requested the book for review.

4-1/2* - The Husband Maneuver by Karen Witemeyer: Karen starts the collection off with a bang in her story. For those of you who read A Worthy Pursuit, you'll love hearing what happens to Stone's friend, Daniel Barrett, or 'Dead-Eye Dan,' as he has been portrayed in action-packed dime novels which he despises.

I loved that each chapter started out with pages from the scorned dime novel...and followed up with the 'real life' Daniel.

And I loved Marietta. She loved Daniel, but wasn't pushy in her attempts to show him. Well, she wasn't subtle, exactly...but, she was sweet and respectful...and you could feel her extreme longing that Daniel would notice her. I loved watching their relationship unfold.

As for the other three short stories, they just didn't capture or hold my interest as much as Daniel and Marietta's story.

2-1/2*- Her Dearly Unintended by Regina Jennings: Unfortunately, this one was my least favorite. The beginning started out exciting with Mary Ellen, the cow, and the raging river, but as the story progressed, I didn't really like Mary Ellen. She was so...sharp. Disagreeable. Way too OCD (and I'm a bit OCD myself, so that's saying something). ;-) Josiah seemed like a nice guy, I really couldn't understand her dislike...but I guess that's the way some women react to past hurts without explanation. And, the stranger was so creepy...I never reconciled myself to what he ended up being and felt weird about him the whole time.

4* - Runaway Bride by Mary Connealy: I have only read a few of Mary's earlier books, and they weren't really my thing. So, I was surprised that Runaway Bride ranked second for me of these four stories. Carrie flees from an arranged marriage, and Big John Conroy is the one sent to bring her safely to her sister. Carrie can't leave her younger brother behind, and John finds himself really liking the spunk and courage of the two siblings. Of course, we rarely run unless something is chasing us, and Carrie's intended groom is hot on her trail.

As expected, John suggests that Carrie's only hope for safety is marriage...to him.

3* - Engaging the Competition by Melissa Jagears: I did like that Harrison wasn't perfect – was blind as a bat without his glasses – but I never really felt the attraction between him and Charlie (Charlotte), who didn't seem that dense to not realize her 'better than boys' attitude could be blocking true love. Reading of fuzzy faces, though sad reality, (as both my husband and I were once with eye wear before Lasik!), lacked the warmth and romance I enjoy.

So, With This Ring was mostly as I've come to expect of novellas – some of it I liked, some I didn't, and some surprised me! But, I would recommend picking it up, if just to read the story about Dead-Eye Dan (loved the last dime novel chapter that Daniel rewrote)!

Thank you to Karen, Regina, Mary, and Melissa 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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