Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Book Review: A Most Inconvenient Marriage by: Regina Jennings

Publisher's Blurb: 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 review: While I found the scenario odd, I can see, due to the times, it playing out the way it did, with Abigail marrying her patient. I think she handles the uncomfortable situation, of finding out who she married was not Jeremiah, while still putting up with his demanding sister and helping the entire family, with grace and composure. I liked this book and would recommend it to others.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Book Review: Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund

Publisher's blurb: 1859 - Presque Isle, Michigan
What Is the Secret That Could Shipwreck Both of Their Lives?

All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she's left destitute and with no place to stay.

An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He's just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other's dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household.

Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife's death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters.

My review: I liked this book. It depicted a time when you just did what you had to do to survive. Most people today would consider having to marry a complete stranger absolutely barbaric, but I am sure things like this happened more frequently then we think. Emma's cooking skills add the right touch of humor to the book.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Book Review: The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen

Publisher's Blurb: Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister.

Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play...

The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor's past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.

This catches Abigail's attention. Hoping to restore her family's finances--and her dowry--Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn't the only one secretly searching the house.

Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past.

As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?

My review:  I enjoyed this book. As always, I got a bit annoyed at how woman were treated by men as well as other woman, for the era. I liked that I wasn't able to guess the twist as I do in many books. I'd recommend this book to others.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Book review: The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller

Publisher's Blurb: In the clay-rich hills of the newly founded state of West Virginia, two families tentatively come together to rebuild a war-torn brickmaking business.

Ewan McKay has immigrated to West Virginia with his aunt and uncle, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial help. Uncle Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, and it's Ewan's job to get the company up and running again.

Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he quickly feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Resolving that he'll make the brickworks enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Ireland, Ewan pours all his energy into the new job.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work is put in jeopardy. As his hopes for the future crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. Can she help him save the brickworks, and will Ewan finally get a shot at winning her heart?

My review: I liked this book. It was interesting and all the woman were not pushovers as in many books of this era are. The story flowed nicely and it had no boring spots. My only gripe is that the end seemed to wrap up too fast and leave unanswered questions that lead me to believe there is a sequel coming.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Book Review: Stolen by Katariina Rosenblatt PhD, Cecil Murphey

Publisher's Blurb: There is hope, even on the darkest of days

Katariina Rosenblatt was a lonely and abused young girl, yearning to be loved, wanting attention. That made her the perfect target. On an ordinary day, she met a confident young woman--someone Kat wished she could be like--who pretended to be a friend while slowly luring her into a child trafficking ring. A cycle of false friendships, threats, drugs, and violence kept her trapped.

As Kat shares her harrowing experiences, her ultimate escape, and her passionate efforts to now free other victims, you'll see that not only is sex trafficking happening frighteningly close to home--it's also something that can be stopped. Stolen is a warning, a celebration of survival, and a beacon of hope that will inspire you.

My Review: I think the main character's parents should have been arrested for neglect and child abuse. These things would not have happened to this child if, her father had not abused her, if her mother had a backbone, if she was taught to value herself, if anyone paid any attention to her at all. Honestly, I am not sure why I requested books like this because they bother me. I dislike seeing how the situation could have been rectified but wasn't. I really can't say whether I would recommend this book or not, it isn't badly written or anything, it is just a bad story.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Book Review: The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn

Publisher's blurb: An Ancient Island Holds an Ancient Secret . . .

Nick Hennessy, a young Texas journalist yearning for his big break, finds himself in Europe--his assignment, to investigate the alarming disappearance of invaluable Grecian antiquities. Nick has the credentials--and cover ID--to unearth the truth. And he knows just the researcher to help him...

Carey Mathers, fresh from her studies in forensic archeology, has accepted a job with the prestigious Athens Institute for Antiquities--a dream come true, really, particularly when the Greek isle of Patmos, where the Apostle John received his vision of the Apocalypse, was a particular focus of her research.

Dimitri Rubinos, for whom the Greek islands represent his life, holds on by his fingernails to the family charter boat business. But his country's economic chaos isn't the only thing that has turned his world on its head...

My review: The premise of this book sounded good. It is not hold up well though. Dan Brown, this author is not, but that is exactly who I have the feeling he was trying to emulate. I found this story disjointed and unbelievable. This could have been a good story with many edits from a decent editor. There were just too many oddities and unexplained issues for me to enjoy this book - I would not recommend it.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Book Review - Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer

Publisher's blurb: Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn't even consider those real subjects!

Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel's family, the girls' basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she's given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she'd expected.

My review: I didn't like the "old-fashionedness" (yes that is TOO a word :P) of this book. Not of the era but of the way the main character is treated just because she is a woman. I know it may be true of the time, but it annoys me none-the-less. I also didn't like how weak the male lead appeared to be either. Both characters could have been much stronger if they weren't being constantly run over by everyone else. The story-line was different. It was an easy read, but forgettable. 

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."