Tuesday, May 2, 2017

House of Oak, Books 1-5, by Nichole Van

Yep, I read all five. This is a series that takes the best of Jane Austenish regency novels and the best part of contemporary romance novels and puts them together, with time travel! Thanks to a portal in the cellar, lots of romance ensues with difficult choices about which time period they should live in and whether or not they can give up everything else for true love. The romance is swoonish, but definitely clean and I really can't decide which book I loved best. I recommend them all. The first one is offered for free quite regularly, and the rest are 3.99 for Kindle.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Honest and for True: (The Adventures of Lee and Bucky Book 1) by Jane Lebak

This writer has a quirky, refreshing, hilarious writing style and I was immediately drawn in. Lee is a person who is comfortable in her skin, she just can't tell anyone about it, thinking they won't understand her. And then she meets a guy she wishes she didn't lie to. Oh, and she has a guardian angel. Definite recommend. 2.99 for Kindle.

Honest And For True (The Adventures Of Lee And Bucky Book 1) by [Lebak, Jane]

Friday, February 24, 2017

Yella's Prayers by Nadine C. Keels

She awoke with a gasp, sitting up. God? Was that You?
A pivotal year awaits Bless, a young woman who hides her passion: her music. She's not exactly friends with T'meal, a talented athlete who won't explain why he's passed up the chance of a lifetime. Nor is Bless too close to Lamall, a boisterous playboy with a broken private life that's spiraling out of control.

But Bless knows she's meant to help these two young men. She can't deny the Voice that told her so.

This is a book with carefully crafted characters and lots of family drama. I thought it was unique that the story comes from the perspective of a shy younger sister, who is the axis everyone else revolves around (although she doesn't really see it in herself). The author's strength lies in her ability to touch hearts and create characters and dialogue that come alive. I do wish it had been edited down a bit, but I recommend this as a worthwhile Christian read dealing with serious issues.

I received an ARC of Yella's Prayers from the author.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

To Warm a Wintered Heart, by Deborah M. Hathaway

Charlotte Rosebury, a friendly and kind eligible lady of means, meets Gabriel Worthington, a grieving man who has closed off his heart to love. After the death of his elder brother and father, he cares for his matchmaking mother and their estate. He wants nothing more. His mother, of course, wants nothing more than for him to fall in love and marry.

This had an interesting premise and I enjoyed the back and forth between the two characters, I just hoped for a little more growth on Gabriel's part. He is a hard character to like, and requires a lot of understanding for all the misunderstandings he causes. I enjoyed the side characters of Mrs. Worthington and Charlotte's boisterous younger sister. But the villainous side characters who live near Mr. Worthington were a little over-the-top and Gabriel did very little to protect Charlotte from them.
Regardless, the romance is sweet, clean, and swoon-worthy, and the style of the writing matched the regency period well. There were no grammatical errors to detract from the pleasure of reading.

Disclosure: I received an early review copy of this book.

To Warm a Wintered Heart by [Hathaway, Deborah M.]

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Emma's Match by Franky A. Brown

I love Jane Austen and I have a love/hate relationship with Austen off-shoots, but I have to say, I LOVE this version of Emma. I was lucky enough to be an early reader of this novel and Emma Wallace is the perfect character. You want to simultaneously hug her and strangle her. She's adorably snobby, stubborn, and yet trying desperately to improve herself. And swoon alert - from the first few pages you'll fall in love with her neighbor and best friend, Will Knight. This modern take on a classic is funny, clean, romantic, and a definite recommend.

Emma's Match (Austen Inspirations Book 3) by [Brown, Franky A.]

Friday, September 23, 2016

Almost There, by Laurel Garver

I'm so used to reading books driven by a romantic plot, or fantasy adventure, that it took me a little while to get used to this one. I would categorize it as YA Christian Family Drama. Dani has a flawed family she's trying to keep together, and big dreams. Her boyfriend Theo has his own issues, but he's seems to own them and share them in a way that Dani can't yet.

I loved the fact that when Dani makes a mistake, it comes back to bite her, and she must unravel it on her own, rather than somehow getting resolved through unrealistic machinations like in many other books.

This book felt real. All the characters are working through their own stuff, good and bad. My only caveat was the grandfather. I had a hard time dealing with the fact that everything in the book revolves around helping such a horrible person.

Well edited, interesting, and hard to put down, a definite recommend. 3.99 for Kindle. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Almost There by [Garver, Laurel]

Friday, September 16, 2016

Lady Maybe, by Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen is one of those authors where you just buy her book off of name recognition. I saw this for 1.99 and needed something to read, so I bought it. And it started out intriguing, and different than other regency novels. The protagonist, Hannah, is a lady's companion to an unfaithful, and silly woman, but left for unknown reasons. She comes back, needing money and reluctantly agrees to join her employers at a new house. After a horrible carriage accident, there is a case of mistaken identity and she realizes she must keep up the farce to go rescue her baby who was left behind, being held by an unscrupulous caretaker until she can pay up.

At this point, things start getting ridiculous. I liked the unfolding mystery and the series of detailed memories that reveal different things, but the love triangle served no other purpose except to add unnecessary sexual tension. Both guys had a Mr. Rochester/Jane Eyre feel to them, which the author admitted was part of her inspiration for certain scenes. For me, it just made both guys unlikable. I kept thinking, is this really a Julie Klassen novel? It had Christian themes of forgiveness, grace, and truth, but the protagonist didn't match the ideals she claimed to want to live up to. I saw little growth in her character. She was not careful about her reputation or her amorous feelings, or how she allowed men to treat her, even after having just experienced the effects of having a child out of wedlock.

The setting was carefully researched and it was free from grammatical errors, but I did not really enjoy this and almost gave up on it about halfway through.