Book Review: Falling For You, by Becky Wade

From the Back Cover

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is reveling in the peace and quiet of her hometown right up until the moment she comes face-to-face with her ex-boyfriend, Corbin Stewart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow is concerned. He’s never been able to forget her, but Willow makes it crystal clear she’s unwilling to risk her heart again.

When a decades-old mystery in Corbin’s family brings them together, will the heartbreak in their past and the complications in their present keep them from falling for one another all over again?

About the Author

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Christy Award, a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and an INSPY Award. Learn more at http://www.beckywade.com.

My Thoughts

As usual, Becky Wade wrote an awesome book. I have read several of her books and they never disappoint me. Falling For You is the second of A Bradford Sister Romance. It is the compelling story of the eldest Bradford sister, Willow.

I have to say this story kept me engaged and entertained from the very first page. I didn’t want to put it down, and I was sad that it had to end. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

If you are looking for a new contemporary author, you should definitely check out Becky Wade. Her Porter Family novels are excellent as well.

Bethany House provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: The Accidental Guardian, by Mary Connealy

From the Back Cover

She’s the Only Witness to a Wagon Train Attack. Keeping Her Safe, Though, Means His World Is about to be Turned Upside Down.

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes an attack by the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he’s finally carved out a home and started a herd–while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail. He’d hoped the days of driving off dangerous men were over, but the latest attack shows otherwise.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace becomes an accidental guardian when he offers the only shelter for miles around and agrees to take them in until they can safely continue their journey. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling–yet enticing.

Trace and Deborah find themselves drawing ever closer as they work together to bring justice to the trail and help the group survive the winter–but every day closer to spring means a day closer to leaving the mountains forever.

About the Author

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Learn more at http://www.maryconnealy.com.
My Thoughts:
Mary Connealy does it again with this fairy-tale-like story, with a real life feel. With a mixture of tragedy and joy, this story keeps your attention from the first chapter.
I enjoyed the story very much. It was interesting to read and learn about life in the Sierra Mountains of Nevada in 1860s.
The struggles that the main characters had to deal with were entertaining without being ridiculous.
As usual, I enjoyed Mary Connealy’s story and can see where the next book might possibly flow right out of this one. Looking forward to it!
I give this book a five out of five stars.
Bethany House Publishers provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Book Review: A Most Noble Heir, by Susan Anne Mason

From the Back Cover

Will Gaining the World Cost Him Everything He Holds Most Dear?

When stable hand Nolan Price learns from his dying mother that he is actually the son of the Earl of Stainsby, his plans for a future with kitchen maid Hannah Burnham are shattered. Once he is officially acknowledged as the earl’s heir, Nolan will be forbidden to marry beneath his station.

Unwilling to give up the girl he loves, he devises a plan to elope–believing once their marriage is sanctioned by God that Lord Stainsby will be forced to accept their union. However, as Nolan struggles to learn the ways of the aristocracy, he finds himself caught between his dreams for tomorrow and his father’s demanding expectations.

Forces work to keep the couple apart at every turn, and a solution to remain together seems farther and farther away. With Nolan’s new life pulling him irrevocably away from Hannah, it seems only a miracle will bring them back together.

About the Author

Susan Anne Mason‘s historical novel Irish Meadows won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA as well as the Christian Retailer’s Choice Award for Debut Novel. A member of ACFW, Susan lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children. She can be found online at http://www.susanannemason.com.

My thoughts:

Susan Anne Mason is a talented writer. I enjoy her style and character development for the most part. I think that because she is a good writer that I was intrigued by the story and found it difficult to put down.

With that said, there were a few things that bothered me about the story. For one thing, Nolan, the main character was almost following in his father’s footsteps (ie. falling in love and marrying someone beneath him in station), but his father had absolutely no empathy for him. And I thought the story kind of dragged a little towards the end. These negative comments probably make you think that I really didn’t like the book, but that isn’t true. I did like it, but it just seemed a little unrealistic.

As I said, this was a well written book, and a real “page-turner”, and I would recommend it. I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

Bethany House Publishers provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Out of the Ashes, by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

From the Back Cover

Can the Majesty of Alaska Foster Hope and Healing for Those Who Need it Most?

After the death of their father, Collette and Jean-Michel Langelier are no longer tied to post-war France. While his sister dreams of adventure, Jean-Michel is hoping to finally escape reminders of the horrors he faced in the Great Syrian Revolt of 1925. When an unexpected invitation for them to visit Alaska and the Curry Hotel arrives, it seems the perfect opportunity.

Young widow Katherine Demarchis is also traveling to the foot of Mt. Denali with her grandmother–a last trip before she retreats into a quiet and solitary life, finally free of the dangerous husband she was forced to marry. Yet when she encounters there a Frenchman from her past, her plans for the future are thrown into question.

Both haunted by the violence of their pasts, can Katherine and Jean-Michel rediscover the bond they once had? Or, when Jean-Michel’s nightmares return with terrifying consequences, will it be impossible to heal what’s been broken for so long?

About the Authors:

Kimberley Woodhouse is the best-selling and award-winning author of more than a dozen books. She is a wife, mother, author, and musician with a quick wit and positive outlook despite difficult circumstances. A popular speaker, she’s shared at more than 2,000 venues across the country. Kimberley and her family’s story have garnered national media attention for many years including ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, Discovery Health channel’s Mystery ER, The Hour of Power, The Harvest Show, and over 1,000 other TV appearances and radio interviews. She lives and writes in Colorado with her husband of twenty-five years and their two amazing kids.
Tracie Peterson’s love for history and research fuels the bestselling stories she writes. She is the author of more than one hundred novels and the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award. Tracie and her family live in Montana.
My Thoughts:
This was a nice second story in the The Heart of Alaska series. I enjoy Tracie and Kim’s writing. I did read (and review) the first book, and it was enjoyable to read more of the stories of the characters from the first book as well as meet new characters.
The authors paint a lovely picture with words, and one can almost see the wonderful scenery of Alaska.
The only things that I didn’t care for in the story were the struggles that the main characters had. Without giving a spoiler, they just seemed a little too much and drawn out a bit. Also there was a tiny hint of a mystery that in the end seemed to fall flat. But other than those two small issues, I liked the book.
I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
Bethany House provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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Book Review: The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, by Julie Klassen

From the Back Cover

Return to Ivy Hill as friendships deepen,romances blossom, and mysteries unfold . . .

A gentlewoman in reduced circumstances, Miss Rachel Ashford lives as a guest in Ivy Cottage. With her meager funds rapidly depleting, she is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. Her friend Jane Bell and the other village women encourage her to open a circulating library with the many books she’s inherited from her father. As villagers donate additional books and Rachel begins sorting through the volumes, she discovers mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but both find more than they bargained for.

Rachel’s hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and finds fulfillment in managing her girls school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what–or whom–has captured each man’s attention? The truth may surprise them all.

About the author:
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. She worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her novels have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. Her book, The Silent Governess, was also a finalist in the Minnesota Book Awards, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards, and Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She and her husband have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.
My thoughts:
Overall, I enjoyed the book. The writing was good and the story mostly engaging. I enjoy a book that shows you what life was like in another time without dragging you down with all the details.
There are a few things about the book that one might consider before reading it. First, it is the second book in the Tales From Ivy Hill series. While it could be read and enjoyed as a stand alone, I think that it would be better enjoyed read after reading the first book, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill. Most definitely you wouldn’t want to read the first book after the second as it is a continuation of the first.
The book also has a little bit of a slow beginning, and I was left wondering for a while what exactly, and who exactly, this book was about. There was some resolution to some of the threads at the end, but not the strong ending that I prefer, but obviously she needed to leave some things unended so that readers would want to buy the third book in the series.
I would give this book a 3 out of 5 stars.
Bethany House provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Book Review: Troubled Waters, by Susan May Warren

Troubled Waters (Montana Rescue Book #4) by [Warren, Susan May]

From the back cover:

Billionaire Ian Shaw can have everything he wants–except a happy ending. Or at least that’s what it feels like with his fortune recently liquidated, his niece, Esme, still missing, and the woman he loves refusing to speak to him. In fact, he doubts she would date him even if they were stranded on a deserted island.

Despite her love for Ian, Sierra Rose knows he has no room in his life for her as long as the mystery of his missing niece goes unsolved. The only problem is, Sierra has solved it, but a promise to Esme to keep her whereabouts secret has made it impossible to be around Ian.

When the PEAK chopper is damaged and Sierra lacks the funds to repair it, Ian offers a fundraising junket for large donors on his yacht in the Caribbean. But the three-day excursion turns into a nightmare when a rogue wave cripples the yacht and sends the passengers overboard. Shaken up and soaked to the bone, Ian finally has a chance to test his theory when he and Sierra do indeed find themselves washed up on a strange, empty shore.

It will take guts and gumption for the PEAK team to rescue the duo. But it will take a miracle to rescue Ian and Sierra’s relationship.

About the Author

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels with more than 1 million books sold, including Wild Montana Skies, Rescue Me, and A Matter of Trust. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT and numerous Readers’ Choice Awards, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic suspense, thrillers, romantic comedy, and novellas.
My thoughts:
This book is quite interesting. Susan May Warren is a talented author. The story certainly was gripping and I really didn’t want to put the book down.
However…
There were quite a few things I didn’t care for.
1. There was too much backstory. I felt that too much had happened to the characters in previous books, and not having read them, I was a little lost.
2. Too many characters. I thought the book was supposed to be about Ian and Sierra, but there were numerous other characters with very deep problems and situations that were resolved, or not…
3. This story was so unrealistic. Okay, it is fiction and it doesn’t necessarily have to be realistic, but really? Almost drowning, being stranded on a deserted island (twice), surviving a hurricane…sorry if this is a bit of a spoiler.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad book. I think it deserves 3 stars out of 5.
Revell provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Book Review: The Lacemaker, by Laura Frantz

From the Back Cover

It is the eve of a new age of freedom in the colonies.
But can a proper English lady dare hope for her own independence?

Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson has nearly everything a lady of her position could want. Daughter of the British lieutenant governor of the Virginia Colony and a darling of fine society in a rugged land, she is anticipating an advantageous marriage. That her betrothed is a rake and love is lacking is of little consequence–or so she tells herself.

Though her own life seems in order, colonial Williamsburg is a powder keg on the verge of exploding, and her fiancé’s cousin Noble Rynallt carries the flame of revolution in his heart. Those with connections to the British nobility are suspected as spies, and Liberty soon finds herself left with a terrible choice. Will she stay true to her English roots? Or side with Noble and the radical revolutionaries?

About the author
Laura Frantz is a Christy Award finalist and the ECPA bestselling author of several books, including The Frontiersman’s Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Colonel’s Lady, The Mistress of Tall Acre, A Moonbow Night, and the Ballantyne Legacy series. She lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky.
My thoughts:
The Lacemaker sounded like an intriguing story and I was eager to read it. I was especially excited since I live in Virginia and had been to Colonial Williamsburg many times.
Honestly, when I first started reading the story my thoughts were along the lines of “Oh no, I’ve gotten a book that I’m going to have to force myself to read”, and “This feels more like homework than pleasure reading”. The author’s flowery descriptions, and use of colonial language and expressions was almost too much for me, as was her use of words that I had never heard of, and with no explanation in the context. Here is a small example from early in the book: “Restive, they began to move away just as she sensed Mamie’s resolve crumble. In the moments the rabble had returned to the garden. Elizabeth could hear the peacocks protesting as she stepped to the back door left ajar by the mob’s exit. Many of the men who were making merry at their expense were in their cups. She’d seen gentlemen intoxicated in a slurringly genteel sort of way, but never the outright debauchery of this horde. She felt besmirched by their very presence. Not once had Papa permitted such a one over his threshold. To think these were among those promoting the cause for liberty made her shudder.”
That being said, after the first half of the book, either I got used to her style of writing or she had toned down the floweriness, but the writing seemed better. The story was actually quite good and I no longer felt it was a chore to read. In fact, I was eager to find out how the story ended.
I would give this book a 3 out of 5 stars.
Revell Books provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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