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." 

Book Review - At Blue Bonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot

Publisher's blurb: Her life is set to warp speed. His is slowing to a crawl. But love has its own timing.

Marketing maven Kate Sherwood's world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is grind to a halt at Rainbow's End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country. Still, she cannot deny her ailing grandmother's request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week fifty years ago. There, Kate meets Greg, who appears to be the resort's unassuming handyman. But there's more to Greg than meets the eye--billions more, in fact.

Kate isn't looking for romance, but she can't deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate's long-sought promotion take her back to the big city?

Amanda Cabot invites you to step into a place away from the pressures of the day. You might be surprised by what you find at Rainbow's End.

My Review: This book wasn't bad - it wasn't great either. I found parts of it very interesting and others very unbelievable and/or annoying. There were some details that seemed to be added just to make the book longer as they did not add anything to the story. If you are looking for a quick feel-geed read, this will do.

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

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick

Publisher's Blurb: Three very different women. One dangerous journey. And a future that seems just out of reach.

Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause most white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read--as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.

Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband and she knows she will follow him anywhere--even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.

Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.

As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill. This multilayered story from bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick will grip your heart and mind as you travel on the dusty and dangerous Oregon Trail into the boundless American West. Based on a true story.

My review: I enjoyed this book. The characters were realistic and believable. The story spanning many years and much tragedy and triumph was never dull. I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

Book Review - The River By Beverly Lewis

Publisher's Blurb: She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna's death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.
A line I can't move beyond...
The River

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents' landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn't entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can't undo?

My review:   Oh what to say about this book...it was...BORING! I have enjoyed other Beverly Lewis books but this one has no redeeming features. All of it was boring! There is no better word to describe it.  I would tell others to not bother wasting their time on this one as you won't get anything out of it.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"