Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Amish Midwife by Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould

The Amish Midwife (The Women of Lancaster County, #1)The Amish Midwife by Mindy Starns Clark

(From Back Cover)

A deathbed Confession...
A dusty carved box containing two locks of hair...
A century-old letter about property in Switzerland...

Nurse-midwife Lexie Jaeger's encounter with all three rekindles a burning desire to meet her biological family. Propelled on a personal journey of discovery, Lexie's search for the truth takes her from her home in Oregon to the heart of Pennsylvania's Amish country.

There she finds Marta Bayer, a mysterious lay-midwife who may hold the key to Lexie's past. But Marta isn't talking, especially now that she has troubles of her own following the death of an Amish patient during childbirth. As Lexie steps in to assume Marta's patient load and continues the search for her birth family,  a handsome local doctor proves to be a welcome distraction. But will he also distract her from James, the man back home who lovingly awaits her return?

From her Amish patients, Lexie learns the meaning of the Pennsylvania Dutch word demut: "to let be." Will this woman who wants to control everything ever learn to depend totally on God? Or will her  stubborn determination to unearth the secrets of the past at all costs only serve to tear her new found family apart?

A compelling story about a search for identity and the ability to trust that God securely holds our whole life - past, present, and future.

I give this book ★★★★

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading "The Amish Midwife" so much that I couldn't put it down and so I finished it in one night. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who either likes Amish or historical books. It was very well written and a pleasure to read.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Psych: A Fatal Frame Of Mind - William Rabkin

Psych: A Fatal Frame of Mind

(From back cover)

Trained to be a detective by his father, blessed with astounding powers of observation and deduction, and cursed with a refusal to take anything seriously, Shawn Spencer has convinced everyone he's psychic. Now, with his best friend, Gus, he's either going to clean up...or be found out.

When the Santa Barbara art museum unveils its newest acquisition, the long-lost masterpiece by Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti isn't the only surprise behind the red curtain - the museum's curator is there too. Dead. And posed just like the figure in the painting.

The case has everything Shawn likes - it's bizarre, it's baffling, and there's a snack bar at the crime scene. But the investigation gets a lot less fun as Gus and he begin to realize that the clues are leading them toward a centuries-old cabal desperate to hide a terrible secret - and more than willing to kill the two detectives who are trying to reveal it. Shawn and Gus need to unmask a secret society as old as the Templars, as mysterious as the Rosicrucians, and as deadly as the yakuza - before they become its next victims.

I give this book: 3 Stars

My Thoughts:
If you like the television show you should find "Psych: A Fatal Frame Of Mind" somewhat enjoyable; otherwise, it's not that great. The three of William Rabkin's Psych books that I have read seem to place the focus more on Gus and very little, if at all, on Shawn. I find this very odd, because the show focuses the most on Shawn Spencer and very rarely on Burton "Gus" Guster or anyone else. So if you can't wait for more Psych, these books will help - but be warned they are not nearly as good as the show itself. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

A Hope Undaunted (Winds of Change, #1)

(From Back Cover)

What happens when the boy she loved to hate becomes the man she hates to love?

The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman---smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jack fits all of her criteria for a husband---good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face-to-face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever? 

I give this book: 5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Katie O'Connor is a spunky young woman with high standards for herself and the man she will marry. But when she breaks her father's curfew with Jack one too many times she finds herself punished for the summer. Her punishment is to work as a summer volunteer at the Boston Children's Aid Society, which she finds makes her childhood nemesis Luke McGee her boss.

I LOVED reading "A Hope Undaunted" and I eagerly await the next book in the series, "A Heart Revealed", which will be about Sean O'Connor, Katie's oldest brother and a confirmed bachelor.

"A Hope Undaunted" is the first book in the "Winds of Change" Series, which is the second series about the O'Connor Family. The first series is the "Daughters Of Boston", which is about Katie's three older sisters (Faith, Charity & Elizabeth) and their journeys to find love. I highly recommend both of these series, and I would love to know your thoughts on these books when you read them. So feel free to leave a comment!

Daughters Of Boston Series:
  1. A Passion Most Pure (Daughters of Boston, Book 1)
  2. A Passion Redeemed (The Daughters of Boston, Book 2)
  3. A Passion Denied (The Daughters of Boston, Book 3)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell

Pemberley Ranch

(From Back Cover)

Frankly, Mr. Darcy, I don't give a damn!

When the smoke has cleared from the battlefields and the civil war has finally ended, fervent Union supporter Beth Bennet reluctantly moves with her family from their home in Meryton, Ohio, to the windswept plains of Rosings, Texas. Handsome, haughty Will Darcy, a Confederate officer back from the war, owns half the land around Rosings, and his even haughtier cousin, Cate Burroughs, owns the other half.

In a town as small as Rosings, Beth and Will inevitably cross paths. But as Will becomes enchanted with the fiery Yankee, Beth won't allow herself to warm to the man who represents the one thing she hates most: the army that killed her only brother.

But when carpetbagger George Whitehead arrives in Rosings, all that Beth thought to be true is turned on its head, and the only man who can save her home is the one she swore she'd never trust...

I give this book: 2 Stars

My Thoughts:

While "Pemberley Ranch" was enjoyable to read, I didn't like much about it. The way Jack Caldwell changed the characters, you wouldn't even recognize them if it were not for their names being similar to those from Pride and Prejudice. I disliked the way the character of Will Darcy behaved (to me he seemed nothing like Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice), in fact he was so different that he seemed almost like George Wickham from P&P. The only character that seemed about the same was Mr. Charles Bingley but even he was changed a lot. All in all, I would not recommend this book.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Girl In The Gatehouse by Julie Klassen

The Girl in the Gatehouse

(From Back Cover)

Mariah Aubrey lives in seclusion with her secrets. Will an ambitious captain uncover her identity...and her hidden past?

Banished from the only home she's ever known, Mariah Aubrey hides herself away in an abandoned gatehouse on a distant relative's estate. There she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how---by writing novels in secret.

When Captain Matthew Bryant leases the estate, he is intrigues by the beautiful girl in the gatehouse. But there are many things he doesn't know about this beguiling outcast. Will he risk his plans---and his heart---for a woman shadowed by scandal?

Intriguing, mysterious, and romantic, The Girl In The Gatehouse takes readers inside the life of a secret authoress at a time when novel-writing was considered improper for ladies and the smallest hint of impropriety could change a woman's life forever.

I give this book ★★★★

My Thoughts:

I just love reading a book by Julie Klassen, because I know it will become a favorite. Her books are always enjoyable, excellent, exciting and very well written. When I read a book from Julie Klassen, I know it will transport me into the story that she tells so well. I loved the whole story of "The Girl In The Gatehouse" and I think you will love it too.

Other great books by Julie Klassen:

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Monday, March 14, 2011

The Matters at Mansfield (Or, The Crawford Affair) by Carrie Bebris

The Matters at Mansfield: Or, The Crawford Affair (Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries)The Matters at Mansfield: Or, The Crawford Affair by Carrie Bebris

(From Inside Cover)

After their recent adventures with hidden treasure and secrets from the past, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy are looking forward to enjoying a quiet spell at Pemberley with their new daughter, but their hoped-for peace is short-lived.

Darcy's aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, is eager to arrange a lucrative and socially acceptable match for here daughter, Anne. Of course, Lady Catherine has not taken into account such frivolous mattes as love or romance, let alone the wishes of her daughter. Needless to say, there is much turmoil when the young bride-to-be elopes.

In pursuit of the headstrong young couple, the Darcys speed to Mansfield Park - where the usually intricate game of marriage machinations becomes even more convoluted by lies and deception. The Darcys know that love and marriage can be a complex and dangerous business - one that can even lead to murder.

Anne's betrothal is further complicated by codes of honor, rival lovers, and mistaken identity. The Darcys must sort out the matters at hand in a manner that is quiet enough to avoid a scandal - yet swift enough to avert disaster.

The Darcys take center stage as the Regency era's answer to The Thin Man's Nick and Nora, searching for truth between teatimes, amidst the social whirl of Jane Austen's England.

This book is the fourth book in "A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery" series. 

I give this book ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My Thoughts:

I love how this series keeps getting better and I can't wait to read the next book. This story is focused on Anne de Bourgh, daughter of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. "The Matters At Mansfield (Or, The Crawford Affair)" was an excellent book and I would highly recommend that anyone that has read the others in this series would make sure to read this one. It seems that with every new book I read in "A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery" series from Carrie Bebris the more I look forward to the next one. If you haven't read any of the books in this series, you should definetly start at the beginning.

 "A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery" series:
  1. Pride And Prescience (Or, A Truth Universally Acknowledged) by Carrie Bebris
  2. Suspense And Sensibility (Or, First Impressions Revisited) by Carrie Bebris
  3. North By Northanger (Or, The Shades of Pemberley) by Carrie Bebris

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Plain Perfect by Beth Wiseman

Plain Perfect (Daughters of the Promise, #1)Plain Perfect by Beth Wiseman

(From Back Cover)

On the rolling plains of Lancaster County, PA., Lillian Miller is searching for her grandparents' house.... and so much more. After years of neglect and abuse, she's turning to a lifestyle of simplicity among the Amish to find herself.

As she discards the distractions of her former life, she befriends the young boy working on her family's farm and his attractive widowed father, Samuel Stoltzfus. Despite Lillian's best efforts to the contrary, her feelings for Samuel---and his for her---deepen. Will Lillian find her faith in Plain living, or will she be forced to return to her former life?

I give this book ★★★

My Thoughts:

I am a person that loves Amish fiction and while "Plain Perfect" was enjoyable, a part of me couldn't really get into the story. I thought the characters were underdeveloped and that the story line was predictable. The Amish books by Marta Perry, Amy Clipston and Beverly Lewis are much more enjoyable and very well written. I still plan to read the rest of a "Daughter of Promise" series, but if you are someone who only reads a few books I wouldn't recommend this one.

This is the 1st book of the "Daughter of Promise" series.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

North By Northanger (Or, The Shades of Pemberley) by Carrie Bebris

North By Northanger, or The Shades of Pemberley: A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy MysteryNorth By Northanger by Carrie Bebris

(From Inside Cover)

After the intrigues and excitements of their time in the city, the Darcys are more than prepared for a bit of peace and quiet at Pemberley. This is time that they can spend together as Elizabeth settles into her pregnancy. However, such serene solitude is not meant to be.

First, a letter from Lady Anne Fitzwilliam Darcy, long deceased, is discovered. The contents are both mysterious and prescient for the new Mrs.  Darcy. Then, a summons to Northanger Abbey involves the young couple in intrigues that threaten not just the Darcy legacy and good name, but Darcy's freedom as well. And to make matters even worse and more uncomfortable for the expectant mother, Darcy's overbearing aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, arrives on the scene to further bedevil Elizabeth.

Add to this rumors of treasure and past scandals, and it becomes obvious that peacefulness is not at home in Pemberley but secrets and spirits of the past are, and their revelations can have a most chilling effect on both the Darcys and their family to come.

I give this book ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My Thoughts:

Yet another great book by Carrie Bebris, I really have been enjoying reading the books in "A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery" series. I think "North By Northanger (Or, The Shades of Pemberley)" has been the best one yet. I loved that this had Lady Catherine de Bourgh in it and that quite a lot of the story took place at Pemberley. If you love sequels to Pride and Prejudice, these books by Carrie Bebris are best I have found. I cannot stress how much I LOVE these books. Read them, you won't be disappointed.

This book is the third book in "A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery" series. 

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Place of Peace by Amy Clipston

A Place of Peace (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #3)A Place of Peace by Amy Clipston

(From Back Cover)

Miriam Lapp, who left the Amish community four years age, is heartbroken when she finds out her mother has died suddenly. Traveling home to Gordonville, Pennsylvania, she comes face-to-face with the pain of her past, including the rift with her family and the breakup of her engagement with Timothy Kauffman.
Her emotional wounds are reopened when her family rejects her once again and she finds out Timothy is in a relationship with someone else. Miriam returns to Indiana with her heart in shambles, leaving her to question her place in the Amish and her faith in God.
Will her world continue to unravel? Will she find the love and sense of belonging she craves---or will her wounded past confine her to a painful future?

I give this book ★★★

My Thoughts:

After reading the first two books in the series I was eager to read "A Place Of Peace" but I was slightly disappointed in it. I thought the way Miriam and Timothy acted seemed very repetitive, almost to the point of being annoying. Besides that, the story and characters were very enjoyable. If there is to be another book in the series I will read it.

This is the third book of the "Kauffman Amish Bakery Series"

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