Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm (Review)

Libby Kelting had always felt herself born out of time. No wonder the historical romance-reading, Jane Austen-adaptation-watching, all-around history nerd jumped at the chance to intern at Camden Harbor, Maine’s Oldest Living History Museum. But at Camden Harbor Libby’s just plain out of place, no matter how cute she looks in a corset. Her cat-loving coworker wants her dead, the too-smart-for-his-own-good local reporter keeps pushing her buttons, her gorgeous sailor may be more shipwreck than dreamboat — plus Camden Harbor’s haunted. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, Libby learns that boys, like ghosts, aren’t always what they seem.

I GIVE THIS BOOK:3 stars

MY THOUGHTS:
Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink was a fun and lighthearted read. It's not a very realistic book. One of the most unrealistic things was when they put a high school age girl and boy who just graduated last spring in the same room, I don't believe that anyone would have done that without getting her parents permission.

There were many funny scenes that had me laughing out loud, so that was nice. And it was really nice getting little historical facts while keeping the story light.

Ashling had to be the most annoying character, but at the same time she was really key to the story - she added a lot of humor just by being the way she was.

There is some foul language used in the book, just letting you know so if that's something you try to avoid.

Overall, a fun book, but I would recommend borrowing if possible before purchasing. There's another book about these characters, Confederates Don't Wear Couture (Pilgrims #2), which I will probably end up reading sometime, just not sure when.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!


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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

CFBA: Pattern for Romance by Carla Gade (Review)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Pattern for Romance
Abingdon Press (August 20, 2013)
by
Carla Gade


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carla Olson Gade has been imaging stories most of her life. Her love for writing and eras gone by turned her attention to writing Inspirational Historical Romance. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Writers, and the Maine Fellowship of Christian Writers. She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary.

Her publishing credits also include a variety of newspaper articles, newsletters, and web content. She also enjoys developing discipleship materials for women. She has been a book judge for the Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest (RWA), and ACFW's Genesis Contest.

In addition to writing, Carla is a freelance website designer and webhost and an advocate for adult literacy. An experienced event and program planner/promoter, Carla designs marketing materials for her writing group, women's ministry, and other functions. Carla has also spoken at several women's events and facilitated many workshops and classes through the years.

An autodidact, creative thinker, and avid reader, Carla also enjoys genealogy, web design, and photography. A native New Englander, she lives in beautiful rural Maine with her "hero" husband and two young adult sons, and a new grandson.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Honour Metcalf’s quilting needlework is admired by a wealthy customer of the Boston Mantua-maker for whom she works. In need of increasing her earnings, she agrees to create an elaborate white work bridal quilt for the dowager’s niece. A beautiful design emerges as she carefully stitches the intricate patterns and she begins to dream of fashioning a wedding quilt of her own. When Honour is falsely accused of thievery and finds herself in a perilous position, merchant tailor Joshua Sutton comes to her aid. As he risks his relationships, reputation, and livelihood to prove her innocence, the two discover a grander plan—a design for love.

I GIVE THIS BOOK:1 star1 star

MY THOUGHTS:
The writing of Pattern for Romance is rich in historical authenticity, which made the story feel very real. I so wanted to love this story, as it held so much promise, but a lot of things were too unbelievable. How many times can one woman be injured or get sick? It seemed like for almost the whole book Honour was weak from injury or infection. How can everyone instantly take such a dislike to Honour and accuse her of thievery?

I also didn't care for the way things happened. I would be reading about something and wondering how it would be resolved, then turn the page and it would be days later in the story with the issue being resolved but not happening with the reader in the moment with the characters. This happened over and over again.

The characters were weak, in my opinion, I never felt any connection with them. The only character that was okay was Temperance, Honour's younger sister, and even she wasn't that great.

This book also had quite a few errors in it. Words would be missing from sentences, making them hard to read. Also the incorrect word was used a few times, such as "is" instead of "on".

I have enjoyed other books in this series, but this one was a disappointment. I don't recommend it.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Pattern for Romance, go HERE.


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Waiting on Wednesday (August 28, 2013)


Hosted by Breaking the Spine
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Emerald Green (Ruby Red Trilogy #3) by Kerstin Gier

Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is. She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along.

This stunning conclusion picks up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate.



Why I want to read this:
I have read and greatly enjoyed the first two books in this trilogy, Ruby Red & Sapphire Blue, and have been waiting for this one for what feels like forever!

Emerald Green will be available October 8th 2013 from Henry Holt and Co.


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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin (Review)

Lt. Georgiana Taylor has everything she could want. A comfortable boyfriend back home, a loving family, and a challenging job as a flight nurse. But in July 1943, Georgie’s cozy life gets decidedly more complicated when she meets pharmacist Sgt. John Hutchinson. Hutch resents the lack of respect he gets as a noncommissioned serviceman and hates how the war keeps him from his fiancĂ©e. While Georgie and Hutch share a love of the starry night skies over Sicily, their lives back home are falling apart. Can they weather the hurt and betrayal? Or will the pressures of war destroy the fragile connection they’ve made?

"With her signature attention to detail and her talent for bringing characters together, Sarah Sundin pens another exciting tale in her series featuring WWII flight nurses. Fans new and old will find in On Distant Shores the perfect combination of emotion, action, and romance.


I GIVE THIS BOOK:1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

MY THOUGHTS:
On Distant Shores is the second book in the Wings of the Nightingale series and it is a magnificently crafted novel. In typical Sundin style, the story's beginning overlaps with the previous book, so the first 70+ pages are a retelling of the last pages of first book, With Every Letter, but from a different perspective. I have to say that I love this a lot!

I wasn't sure how much I was going to like the book with both of the main characters being engaged, or nearly engaged, to other people, but I loved the way it was done.

Georgie and Hutch are both such likable characters and both of them have struggles and issues they need to overcome. I loved watching each of them grow and at the same time learning even more about this time in history.

One of the things I love the most about Sundin's books is how real her characters are. The situations they go through really tug on the emotions and this book had me teary-eyed many times.

Another thing I love is how she mentions song from the era in her books. A blogging friend of mine made a playlist of them to listen to as she read the book, which I thought was such a neat idea! When you do that it makes you feel even more as though you are transported back in time to that era!

I LOVED On Distant Shores and think it is a must read for any fan of WWII fiction, it is an absolutely amazing read! I have loved everyone of Sarah Sundin's books and can hardly wait for the third book in this series, In Perfect Time, to be released so I can read it.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!


“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

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Monday, August 26, 2013

The Icing on the Cake by Janice Thompson (Review)

Scarlet Lindsey’s aunt Wilhelmina may be Texas’s most popular cake baker extraordinaire, but she’s also getting on in years. When Scarlet decides to take on the role of cake decorator at her cranky aunt’s bidding, it’s just the beginning of a series of misunderstandings and mishaps that will lead her to compete in a cake challenge on national television-and might even lead her to finding true love. 

Fan favorite Janice Thompson is back with more wit, more weddings, and more of what her readers love best-bridal business drama. Bella and the gang are all here and readers will fall in love with the newest quirky characters straight from the creative mind of a fantastic storyteller.


I GIVE THIS BOOK:3 stars

MY THOUGHTS:
The beginning of The Icing on the Cake was great! I was fully expecting to love this book even more than Picture Perfect, the first book in the series. So I was shocked when after I got to the halfway mark that the story got to be so repetitive, which made it very boring to read. When I had to set it down, I kind of forgot about it and then, when I finally remembered about it, I really didn't feel like going back to it - which is pretty sad since I loved the beginning. I did eventually finish it but it took much longer than I thought it would.

Scarlet was a fun character. I loved her love of Lucy (from I Love Lucy), but I almost felt that it got to be too much. It was probably meant to be funny, and at first it was, but when it was constantly "What would Lucy do?" it seemed more like an obsession and I became tired of it. I didn't care for all the mentioning of Scarlet's weight, especially when she and her aunt would refer to her backside as her "sticky buns" - the first time it was funny, the second it just kind of funny, the third and on got to be a little much.

Scarlet's aunt Wilhelmina was...I don't even know how to describe her! She was both annoying and funny, which made me like and dislike her throughout the book.

I first met Armando in Picture Perfect, so starting this book I had a pretty strong dislike of him. I'm happy to say that after reading this book my opinion of him changed. I don't exactly love him and he's not one of my favorite characters, but I do actually like him now. I loved seeing a different side to him, not quite sure if there were actual changes from the first book to this one or if the true him wasn't shown, but whatever it is he's much more likable now. :)

I was a little sad that there wasn't much of Hannah in this book. References were made to her, but her actual character only appears twice - if I'm not mistaken.

I feel like all I've been saying is mostly negative, but this book overall is really a fun read. I think it's just that after reading the first book in the series my expectations were a little higher and this book didn't quite meet them. However, if you're looking for a quick, lighthearted, romantic read you should give The Icing on the Cake a try. You really don't have to read the first book to enjoy this one, both can stand on their own, but just know that some details would be spoiled for you if you read this one first.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”


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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 26, 2013)



What I read last week:

What I am currently reading:

What I hope to read this week:




What are you reading?





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Friday, August 23, 2013

Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden (Review)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Into the Whirlwind
Baker Publishing Group (August 15, 2013)
by
Elizabeth Camden


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


A research librarian and associate professor, Elizabeth Camden has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in central Florida.




ABOUT THE BOOK

After her father's death, Mollie Knox takes over his watchmaking company and uses her head for business to solidify the good name of the 57th Illinois Watch Company. Her future looks bright until the night her beloved city is destroyed in the legendary Great Chicago Fire. With her world crumbling around her, Molly must do whatever it takes to save her company in the aftermath of the devastating fire.

Zack Kazmarek is an influential attorney with powerful ties to the political, mercantile, and ethnic roots of Chicago. His only weakness is Mollie Knox, a woman who has always been just beyond his reach. However, all bets are off after the fire destroys Chicago, and Mollie is in desperate need of assistance. Just as Zack finally begins to pursue the woman he loves, competition arises in the form of a hero from her past who can provide the help she needs to rise from the ashes.

While Mollie struggles to rebuild, the two men battle for her heart. One has always loved her, but the other has the power to save her. In the race to rebuild the city, can she survive with her business and her heart intact?

I GIVE THIS BOOK:3 stars

MY THOUGHTS:
I have read all of Elizabeth Camden's previous books and loved them! So I was anticipating great things when I requested to review this book, however I was slightly disappointed.

The story started off differently than I expected, it begins with the main characters trying to escape the fire. This was a different way to start it and, while I somewhat liked it, I would have preferred to have gotten to know the characters a bit first. It was so intense yet I felt disconnected from it. Thankfully, since the story goes back in time six days, the scene is somewhat repeated later on but by then I had so much time to think about why they were where they were and so it wasn't as intense for me as it may have been. I can't help it when I read something I like to try to figure things out before the book tells me...and I usually do to some degree. Now, don't get me wrong, the author does an AMAZING job of describing the fire - I felt as though I was right there and could smell the smoke and see the flames. The problem was more with my connection with the characters.

I liked Mollie a lot. I thought she was a great character, once I got to know her. The way she is keeping her family business going was wonderful and when the fire destroys her workshop I felt her pain. I also loved how the watch company employed many of veterans from her father's army troop and that her father said that any of the men from his troop would also have a job with his company if they wanted one.

Now for Zack. He is a character I am torn in my feelings. In the beginning of the story I LOVED him! It's sweet how he cares for his family, Mollie and even for people who need help. However, there was a point in the story where a certain thing is revealed, something he denied knowledge of but then we find out he lied, and it completely changed my opinion of him. Later on I could see a few good points to him, but that one issue really tipped the scales and made it really hard for me to care for him.

Overall, it's a good read about what it was like during and after the Chicago Fire, but I would recommend borrowing it first.

 ***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Into the Whirlwind, go HERE.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Guardians (Seers, #3) by Heather Frost (Review)




A vision of Kate's death causes Patrick to intensify his duties as Guardian. The Demon Lord is especially relentless now that Kate is the only Seer to ever escape his grasp. When Patrick discovers that Kate is the key to defeating their greatest enemy, he must choose between sacrificing the girl he loves or letting the Demon Lord win. You won't be able to put this final installment in the Seers trilogy down.






I GIVE THIS BOOK:1 star1 star1 star1 star

MY THOUGHTS:
With the way Demons ended I was curious how this one would go. I thought I knew how everything was going to turn out, but I was wrong - which was nice :) I hate when I can figure everything out early on in the story.

Guardians tugs on the emotions so much and is wonderfully written. I became teary-eyed so many times it was ridiculous - and let me tell you I'm not one to cry easily!

Toni and Lee were even better in this book, if that's possible. I just love these two!

The only reason this book isn't get 5 stars is because the ending just seemed to stray from everything the first two books set up. It felt like the author wanted the ending to be a certain way and with the way the second book ended it wouldn't have been possible. I just didn't like what the surprise was - it was kind of silly to me.

Overall, Guardians is a great conclusion to the Seers trilogy. If you've read the first two you'll definitely want to read this one.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

BOOK DETAILS:
  • Series: Seers - Trilogy (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. (July 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1462110355
  • ISBN-13: 978-1462110353
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Available to purchase at Amazon | B&N


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