Posted in Book reviews, Books, Reviews

“Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations” by V.Joy Palmer ~ Book Review

Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations

“Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations” by V. Joy Palmer

Review copy from the author as apart of the launch team

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

 

Seventeen years after being orphaned, Apryl Burns and her twin sister Courtney have their own expectations for life. While Courtney continues to shine at everything, Apryl holds fast to the mantra that as long as her potato chip stash remains intact, then she’ll be fine.
But when their beloved grandmother ends up injured and unable to manage her struggling antique store, Courtney makes it their mission to revamp the business and save what’s left of their family’s legacy. Despite rampant doubts in her abilities, Apryl finds herself trapped under the weight of family loyalty as they transition to a wedding venue decorating service. Soon she’s forced to ask (translation: blackmail) their grandmother’s renter/handyman, Chance McFarland, for help, an arrangement that is made even worse by the fact that Chance is her former (ahem, and current) crush.
Chance knows a few dozen things about family loyalty, which is why he begrudgingly agrees to Apryl’s insane plan. While Apryl claims they’re archenemies, the girl Chance only glimpsed in their teens starts to emerge, stealing what remains of his heart. 
But expectations are a powerful thing. Amidst the glamorous weddings and swaying willows, can those old expectations be revised into something new?

 

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My Thoughts:

 

This was a truly fun and enjoyable book. I really liked Apryl, and Chance was amazing.
I also liked how we got to see Courtney’s story play out as well – this wasn’t just a one-character’s-story book. Yes, Apryl was the primary ‘star’ but we got to know Courtney as well, and that aspect was really nice! Having Chance’s POV in there was a great piece of the book too!
Twins, Apryl and Courtney take over their grandmother’s antique business while she recovers in the hospital. To keep the business from failing, they revamp it into a wedding decorating venue, and I loved this clever aspect of the story. It was unique, and fun, and I loved seeing each wedding that they decorated come together and how each one painted a vivid picture for me to see in my mind’s eye.
Returning to the topic of Apryl and Chance though…  I loved these two so much! They could be oh-so frustrating (though I can see why XD) but they were so fantastic, and quickly became beloved characters to me! And I loved the faith message in this book. I could relate to Apryl’s feeling like a failure and not worth it, etc. but the truth she received at the end was beautiful. And same goes for Chance’s journey! I loved how each grew separately AND together.
I was curious to see if this book would have some sections that felt a little too over-the-top witty like I found the first book to sometimes contain, but the included sarcasm matched Apryl’s character perfectly, and I loved it! (Which is not to say that I didn’t like the first book – I very much did! You can find my review on goodreads.)
Apryl really had a vivid character and I so enjoyed getting to know her, and Chance too. (I may have developed a little crush on him myself. And also, this book made me really want potato chips….).
All in all, a delightful story! Looking forward to more from this author!
Quotes:

 

“Yeah, he’d always liked Batman.”

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“I’m not perfect either, much to my dismay. I’ve tried to be. I’ve tried to have the perfect grades, the perfect job, the perfect life. I can’t do it. Our love will not be perfect. It will be filled with mistakes. But perfection isn’t love, it’s a cage. And with everything that’s happened with Gram and the shop, my identity can’t hang on my career, my accomplishments, and that elusive perfection. It’s defined by God and the way I love.”

 

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publishers. I was not required to write a positive review.  

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book reviews

Book Review: “Dying for Love” by Cara Putman

Dying for Love (Hidden Justice) by [Putman, Cara]

“Dying for Love” by Cara Putman

A novella/prequel to Hidden Justice series.

Review copy from the author

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:


Things were business as usual for family law attorney Ciara Turner, until she walked into her mentor’s office to find the judge had been murdered. To make things worse, the emotional moments were witnessed by Ciara’s nemesis, opposing counsel David Evans—the man she once thought she’d spend the rest of her life with.

David can’t walk away from the murder investigation. Judge Palmer was the only one who believed in him enough to give the boy from the wrong side of the tracks a fighting chance. But his amateur sleuthing keeps him crossing paths with Ciara and he can’t help but admire her passion for her clients, even if they are often at odds across the judgment table.

As David and Ciara get closer to discovering who killed Judge Palmer, their old feelings reignite. But the investigation takes an unexpected turn, can they trust each other enough to push for the truth? And will their rekindled relationship survive the aftermath?

 

My Thoughts:

This was an enjoyable novella, centered around the relationship between family lawyers, Ciara and Daniel, with a bit of a murder mystery woven between the pages.
The romance was sweetly done, and the mystery of the murder tied up swiftly in the short 9 chapters.
To be honest, I was a bit relieved that the main focus was on the romance and not the lawyer side of it, as I had recently finished a legal book that was a miss for me. But this novella kept my attention, and it was nice to see how their relationship wrapped up at the end! :)
Posted in Book reviews

Book Review: “Why Not?” By Debra E. Marvin

Why Not (A Valentine Matchmaker novella)

 

“Why Not?” by Debra E. Marvin

Part of the Novella Collection: “Valentine MatchMakers”

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

Love Puts These Two On the Edge!

Grand Canyon, 1914

Society girl Amber Wynott’s wintry escape to the Grand Canyon provides a chance to pursue her dream and prove she has what it takes to be a successful architect. It doesn’t take long to realize the incredible scenery can’t hide the simmering anger between ‘railroad money’ and the struggling locals.

Which side is master builder Stone Morrison on?

Amber has met her match in the handsome, hard-headed man. He’s been directed to keep an eye on her, but when iron meets iron—oh the sparks! As their unlikely old matchmaker tells them, pride goes before a fall, and this is a bad place to fall. Will danger finally knock some sense into the pair?

 

 

My thoughts:

 

A very cute little romance story – perfect for a Valentines Day read, as the collection promotes!
Amber and Stone both had very strong personalities, but blended really well together without diminishing the other one – that was pretty impressive. Usually when I read about a strong female lead, the man becomes less of a…well, a man, and backs down, losing his strong personality, but even though Amber was independent, she still came to rely upon him, and he didn’t back down, but also didn’t demean her either. It was a good match.
There was also a bit of mystery involved – always a fun thread to keep up with.
I think it would’ve been fun to have a bit more backstory – because it was a novella, it at times was a tiny bit rushed and I would’ve liked to get to know the characters more, but it was still a good read and well put-together. The romance was sweet, and you were rooting for the characters from the start. :)
The setting was fascinating, too – the Grand Canyon in 1914. And the unrest at the time – all very interesting! I enjoyed the touches this brought to the story.
So yes, a quick but enjoyable read. :)
I received a complimentary ecopy from the author. All thoughts are my own.
Posted in Books, For-Sale

Book Sale Updated

Hello again!

 

I just wanted to whip up a quick post to let you all know that my book sale page has finally been completed – all the books I have currently to re-home are listed. If I ever choose to add a couple more, I will do a post about it, but for right now, that’s it. There’s quite a lot there though, so take a peak!

I’ve got Biblical fiction, Suspense, Amish, Romance, Mystery, Historical, Fantasy, and Non-Fiction, etc.

Authors like Becky Wade, Katie Ganshert, Wanda E. Brunstetter, Ted Dekker, Jonathan Friesen, Angela Hunt, Jill Eileen Smith, Melody Carlson, and many, many more.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. :)

So yes, books! By the list you may think I’ve got none left on my shelf, but that is not the case, worry not. My bookshelves are still somehow full to bursting. :D This collection of books has been over a couple of years, so had to make room for new ones. :)

Anyway, go take a look and see if you can find a new read! :) And if you want to share about it on your blog, social media, or whatever, I certainly won’t mind. ;) I would love to get these out of totes and into happy hands. :)

 

Posted in Chuck Black, God's Lessons, Pinterest

All is Love

Happy Valentine’s Day. :) I don’t really celebrate this holiday or give it much ‘stock’ myself, but it does bring to mind ‘love’ and ‘romance’ doesn’t it?

Pretty much my life as a whole. Unless they want to hear about what book I'm reading.

Haha, I do like to joke about my single-ness, but in truth I am not actually worried about it. Because I want the right man, not just a boyfriend.

Today I want to share something with you, doesn’t matter if you’re female, or male, single, or married, etc. This is for everyone:

You may be wondering why I am sharing The Articles of the Code (which is from Chuck Black’s books “The Knights of Arrethtrae” and “The Kingdom Series”) on Valentine’s Day. What does this have to do with love or romance? Well…quite a bit actually. I have this poster on my wall, and as I was reading it the other day, something hit me – these words are not only applicable to how I want to live my life, but what I want to look for in a future spouse. I want a man who will honor the King (our Lord) with his whole life and serve Him as God only. I want him to hold truth, justice, and honor as important. I want him to have a servants heart, always willing to serve, and ultimately living for the King above all else.  I don’t want him to abandon me – I want us to work side by side in all things. I want him to persevere in all fervency in knowing the Lord and fighting evil, and leading me and our family to do the same.

Every trait on that poster I want my future husband to have, and I also want to possess such admirable traits.

I am putting this to a spouse, but these traits can also be applied to our everyday life, no matter who we are, no matter what our situation is.

And any single young women reading this, I want to say to you: don’t give up. Don’t settle. If God wants you to marry, He will provide a way. Don’t be afraid if it takes longer than you would like – He hasn’t forgotten you, I give you my word! He will bring that right young man into your lives at the right time if that is His will. Be open to Him and He will guide you. He loves you more than any man ever will and will provide for you. If He wants you married, He will bring the right one to you. Trust Him. I know it’s hard. I know it can be scary, but please, wait for His best.

Also remember that no mortal man is perfect. God’s best for us will be perfect for us. That doesn’t mean he will be perfect – neither are we! But that he will be right for us just as we are right for them. :)

 :

May you all feel treasured by our Heavenly Father today and always!! His love is everlasting! <3

 

 

*First and third picture used from Pinterest; I claim no right to them

**The Articles of the Code belongs to Chuck Black, used here with permission. Please visit his website here: www.kingdomseries.com

The photo of The Articles of the Code used with permission came from this page where you may purchase your own copy: www.kingdomseries.com/page20.html

 

 

Posted in Book reviews, Tyndale House

Tyndale Book Review: “Paper Hearts” by Courtney Walsh

 

http://www.amazon.com/Paper-Hearts-Courtney-Walsh-ebook/dp/B00LPQOJVY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422484693&sr=1-1&keywords=paper+hearts

 

“Paper Hearts” By Courtney Walsh   facebook

Review copy from Tyndale Blog Network

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

About:

Could the loss of her dream lead to her happily ever after?

Abigail Pressman would never have guessed that love notes penned on paper hearts by an anonymous couple could restore her belief in love. As a business owner in a quaint town at the base of the Rockies, she’s poured everything into her dreams of expansion… and resisting the matchmaking efforts of the Valentine Volunteers, who gather in her store to continue Loves Park’s tradition of stamping mail with the city’s romantic postmark. When Abigail is unwillingly drafted into the Volunteers, she encounters the paper hearts, a distraction that couldn’t come at a worse time. A hard-to-read doctor has become Abigail’s new landlord, and he’s threatening to end her lease to expand his practice. As she fights a growing attraction to this handsome man who seems intent on crushing her dreams, Abigail is inspired to string the hearts in her store, sparking a citywide infatuation with the artsy trend. But when a new batch of hearts reaches the Volunteers, it appears something tragic has happened to the couple. Will uncovering their story confirm Abigail’s doubts about love, or could it rescue her dreams… and her heart?

My Thoughts:

This was a truly sweet story. A rather ‘heart-melting’ one. :) I wasn’t sure what I’d think of it, because I’ve read my fair share of contemporary romances, and most just aren’t so great, but I was pleasantly surprised with this one. It wouldn’t leave my mind when I wasn’t reading it, and there were some really, really sweet parts. I know I already said it was sweet, but that’s the perfect word for it. And the Christian theme was really well done too. I was very happy with that, and the outcome, and the healing, etc. All in all I really enjoyed this book! I really liked Abigail – right away; I could relate to her in some ways. And plus, she owned a book store – I love books. :)

The Paper Heart bit of it was just soooo lovely. So cute. And I loved how Abigail loved it secretly, how she poured over the hearts.

Yep, this was a cute and adorable book, well written, and very engaging! I really liked it. :)

I was sent a free copy of this book from the Tyndale blog program for the purpose of this review. All thoughts are my own; honest and unbiased.

Posted in Blogging For Books, Book reviews

Blogging For Books Review: “The Quilted Heart: Three Novella’s in One” by Mona Hodgson

http://www.amazon.com/Quilted-Heart-Omnibus-Novellas-Dandelions/dp/0307731146/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392306181&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Quilted+Heart+omnibus

Note: I wrote a single review after each novel, and then one whole review of all of them put together. :)

Title: The Quilted Heart; ‘Dandelions on the Wind’, ‘Bending Towards the Sun’, and ‘Ripples Along the Shore’
Author: Mona Hodgson
Number of Pages:354
Source: Blogging For Books
My Rating (0-5): 4.5 Stars

Book’s Description:

Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.

Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?

Dandelions on the Wind
When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?

Bending Toward the Sun
Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn’t have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

Ripples Along the Shore
Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone’s Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs?

My Review:

“Dandelions on the Wind”, The First Novella.

This novella was an easy, short read. The main character, Maren, was a well-built-up character and very likable.
Some parts of this book felt a bit rushed, but I did kind of expect that in a novella.
The story-line was good, if not a little bit predictable.
One of my main complaints in any romance novels set back in previous time periods, however, is the kissing. In most of the settings and times, kissing before marriage would have been a very big ‘no-no’. So that did bug me a little at the end. But otherwise this novella was good.
God was in the beginning, which was encouraging, but He seemed semi-forgotten in the middle, and then reincorporated at the end. The book was more Christian-set than some novels I’ve read, but I still felt like it could have included much more.

“Bending Towards the Sun”, The Second Novella.

So far, this novella is my favourite of this collection. Of course, I have not read the third one yet, but of the glimpses given into each of the main characters, I think that I found Emilie’s character the most relate-able for me, personally.
I wish this story could have been longer – I would have greatly enjoyed spending more times between the pages of this one! It was a bit rushed at the end, and ended a bit too abruptly, in my opinion. The ending was good, don’t get me wrong, it was just sudden.
But I really did enjoy the story line and characters. And the amount of faith, too, though some of it was a bit quick or rushed as well. However, the lessons learned are very good. Emilie goes through her own trials and conflicts, which makes her easier to identify with.
There was more “complication” in this romance, which I actually appreciated, because it was on the more realistic side.
There is a part in “Bending Towards the Sun”, where Mrs. Brantenberg talks about how our lives include all sorts of ‘scraps’ that make a whole quilt, and that part really stuck with me. It is a cool idea/thought. :)

Ripples Along the Shore”, the Third (and final) Novella.

At the beginning of this one, I was a little confused as to the setting, but that soon made itself clear, as it explained where it picks up from the previous setting.
That aside, I did like this story, though maybe not as much as the second novella.
Caroline was a “real” character, though – she had ways that just made her ‘alive’.
Even though this was the longest novella of the three, I felt like it left out a lot. You weren’t really sure about some things by the end of it.
The ending wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it was still good. It leaves plenty of room for exploring, though. I’m now curious to find out more…or finish it in my mind. :)

What I thought as a whole:

All three of these Novella’s were delightful, but definitely romance-y. And a slight bit on the predictable, as romances usually go.
But I did enjoy reading them, especially the middle one. That one was my favourite. :)
Each novella was well-written and kept your attention, which is a definite plus in its favor.
This book is one that is easy to read for multiple chapters at a time. It’s not one that drags on and on and you feel like it’s never going to end. :D
however, I will make note that I did not like the cover of this book. The ladies pictured were no fitted to the time-period – the models looked like todays ladies with maybe older fashioned clothing.
Other than that, I enjoyed these novellas quite a bit. :)

I received this book free from Blogging For Books, in return for my honest and unbiased review.