Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review: Rush of Wings by Kristen Heitzmann

From the online review again.

Though her panic is real, Noelle St. Claire is uncertain what danger she is fleeing. Fragmented images and slivers of memory have driven her to abandon her wealthy, sheltered life in New York for the hope of a haven—remote and safe.

Noelle's arrival at the Rocky Mountain horse ranch owned by Rick Spencer and his brother Morgan causes more than a little stir. Beautiful, vulnerable, yet strangely secretive, Noelle is an enigma the two contrasting brothers seek to unlock. But as their attentions breach the wall she hides behind, the past becomes a menacing threat from which Noelle can no longer hide. 

I liked the book and I give it a 3.75 ⭐️ If that's even possible. 
1: The characters were brilliant. Such deep emotions the whole way through. Definitely want to read the others   
Things I didn't care for are 
2: A little language that I don't care for. Things I wouldn't say but a lot of people don't see them as bad. 
3: It was really about adult subjects. Probably not a good choice for young teens. (abuse and drugs but not explicitly)
4: I think it was Catholic. Not sure but it felt that way. 
5: I could absolutely done without the alcohol  

Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer

This is the description from the back of the book as I don't believe I could do justice to the story. United by blood, divided by time, will three orphan train siblings ever find one another again? Orphaned in a tenement fire, three Irish immigrant children are sent to Missouri to be adopted. Despite eight year old Maelle's desperate attempts to keep her siblings together, each child is taken by a different family. Yet Maelle vows that she will never stop searching for her brother and sister . . . and that they will be together one day in the future. Seventeen years later, Maelle is still searching. But the years have washed away her hope . . . and her memories. What are Mattie and Molly doing now? Where has life taken them? Will she ever see her brother and sister again?

Absolutely a 5⭐️  

1: This is the first Kim Vigel Sawyer I've read simply because I hesitate to branch out. I loved her style. It intrigued me from the get go   

2: I like the way it was Christian with just elements of romance and mystery. But it really wasn't either. 

3: I like how the ending gives finality without a huge bow tying it up with unrealistically ideal endings for every character ever in the whole book. 

4: The families who originally got the kids did love them each in their own way. Even though Mattie's family had to take him back. I love that the Standlers kept Molly's Bible. 

5: Maelle (such a pretty name) never gave up. Gods perfect timing 😍😍😍😍

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Review: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

This classic follows the life of Molly Gibson as she aquires a new stepmom and stepsister. She grows awfully close to Sqire Hamley and his family and is with Mrs. Hamley as a companion for months. Mrs. Hamley comes to look at Molly as a daughter and when she becomes delirious near the end of her life even calls Molly by the name of her dead daughter. Molly unwittingly falls in love Roger Hamley but he falls in love with her stepsister Cynthia. Osborne Hamley is looked at as the protege but he falls from grace because of a secret that only Roger and Molly know. And Cynthia has secrets that Moly gets dragged into that end in the rumor mill for both of them.

4⭐️ For this

1: It is excessively long with sometimes unnecessary details. It slows the story down and makes it harder to understand the first time through.

2: There is no ending!! Elizabeth Gaskell died one chapter short of finishing the novel. We obviously can guess the missing content but still.

On the other hand, good points include

3: Aimee works so hard to be accepted and Molly is such a good friend to her.

4: Molly puts on no pretenses. She tells it like it is. She's honest.

5: Hyacinth is very annoying but also crucial to the advancement of the story.  Sometimes.

Review: The Pattern of Her Heart by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

The third Lights of Lowell book. Nolan and Jasmine are celebrating Alice Ann's fifth birthday. Bad news comes soon. An epidemic has swept through the south and Jasmine's father and brothers are dead as well as many of their neighbors. The estate is left to Jasmine and her only surviving brother, McKinley. They agree to set the slaves free but cannot find a good buyer. The slaves have been          
stolen, the house is burned, and Prissy is keeping secrets about the father of her child. And why is McKinley rushing the sale so much?

This is another 5⭐️

1: It shows a healing, a movement and growth of character throughout the story.

2: The bad guy is absolutely horrendous. But he does his job in the story very efficiently.

3: The eccentric old cousin is brilliant. An element I enjoyed immensely.

4: The storyline of Eleanor and Justin and Reggie is so sweet it makes me want to cry. I love the way they interact.

5: Paddy gets a sweetheart. Kiara has another kid. The Irish storyline is a great addition to the story and the trilogy as a whole.

Review: Deadly Aim by Patricia H. Rushford

This is the first of the Angel Delaney mystery trilogy. The story is about a drug showdown. Cop Angel is in the thick of it as she sees a gun pointed at her. She takes aim and shoots once into shoulder flesh, enough to wound but not kill. Then the victim dies.  Three bullets were found, and Angel's gun is taken, all the officers take a GSR, and all is locked in an evidence locker that Angel no longer has a key to. Then all the evidence goes missing. Who took it?

It gets a 4.5⭐️Even though
1: It is a well written mystery that keeps you going without dragging

2: It has good characters that are well rounded

3: The lawyer is great as are Angel's siblings

4: Callen😍😍😍 enough said
5: The lost half star is probably because I hate Brandon. And that is no fault of the author. It's just my personal feelings.

Review: Too Many Secrets by Patricia H. Rushford

This is the first book in the Jennie McGrady series. Jennie and her friend Ryan need to find Gram, who has disappeared and sent strange messages to Jennie. But just when Jennie gets a chance to leave  for Gram's house her mom makes her go to a counsellor. Gloria is supposed to help Jennie accept that her dad was in a plane crash on an assignment for the DEA. Jennie believes he is still alive and Gram is the only person who can help her. Then mom brings home Michael and Jennie's world tailspins. Then she and her cousin Lisa hatch a plan to go to counseling camp where Jennie escapes and Lisa becomes Jennie.

I have to give this a five ⭐️

1: Jennie has such a strong belief that her father is alive.

2: Lisa is so loyal that she gets in major trouble just to let Jennie escape.

3: Each chapter is a cliffhanger and the storyline keeps moving. There is no lagging here.

4: You don't know who is a bad guy or who is a good guy till the very end.

5: Jennie is so brave but is a totally believable character who makes mistakes.

Review: Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

Little Men is the classic sequel to Little Women in which we follow the activities of Jo March Bhaer, who has finally gotten her lifelong dream of a school for boys. She has two children of her own, Fritz's nephews, who she treats as her own sons, Daisy and Demi, and many others including Nat, a new boy who starts the story off with his arrival.

This is a 5 ⭐️ For sure.

1: Not a good book for book reports though. It has a storyline of several stories within it.

2: I love the progression of Dan throughout the story. Mother Bhaer really becomes his mother. 😍

3: The Bhaers instill important life lessons in the children at Plumfield that many kids aren't taught anymore.

4: Polly the parrot was awful in Little Women but Jo loved her aunt so much that she kept the bird and even had it stuffed when it died.

SPOILER ALERT beneath the photo

5: I cry every time I read the chapter about John Brooks dying. It is so sweet and sad. 😭

Review: Mixed Blessings by Cathy Marie Hake

Marie, a widow, finds out her son Luke was switched at birth with Rickie ,the child of a man, Peter,who's wife has died. They meet and struggle with how to share their children. She has a disabled sister,Sandy, and he has an overprotective family.

This book is a 5 ⭐️ All the way.

1: Have I mentioned before that I love books with children? πŸ˜‰

2: I love the way they slowly fall in love but don't know that the other is falling in love too.

3: The characters are very well rounded and you can see growth throughout the book.

4: Peter cares about Sandy and provides for her as well as Marie. Plus she has a really sweet romance bidding for her two.

5: Marie and Peter end the story with a conversation kind of like the one that began the story and it's adorable

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Review: Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Bleak House is a classic. The tale centers around Esther, a girl who knows nothing of her parents.  She becomes companion to a young ward of the court Ada Clare and the two become fast friends with their guardian Mr. Jarndyce. Ada falls in love with Mr. Jarndyce's other ward Richard Carstone. Richard and Mr. Jardyce have a fight and that causes tension all the way around. Elsewhere the beautiful Lady Dedlock is bored to death with her life. She makes a startling discovery with the help of a law clerk. She is tormented by the mean lawyer Mr. Tullinghorn.

This book gets 4.5 ⭐️ even though it is one of my favorite books.

1: The reason it doesn't get a full five stars is because some chapters are so bogged down with details that they are nearly impossible to get through. Also there are so many characters that they all get jumbled in my mind.

2: On the other hand, I love how Esther loves her mother when
she finds her. How she respects her wishes and stays away even though it must kill her.

3: I love the bit of humor in Caddy and her family. Mr. Skimpole is also funny at the beginning but he gets tiresome very quickly.

4: Justice on Mr. Tulkinghorn huzzah !!

5: The split narrative was different and nice. ( split between Esther's first person and an omniscient third person narrative)

Review: In the Company of Secrets by Judith Miller

In the Company of Secrets follows the journey of Olivia Mott and Lady Charlotte Spencer. Olivia needs to get away from Lady Charlotte's family estate, Lanshire Hall. Lady Charlotte needs to leave before her parents realize she is expecting a child. Charlotte has a plan to get them both away. But when they arrive at Pullman and Olivia is hired as an assistant chef on a fake recommendation lies seem to be the only thing to cover up the unfortunate turn of events. When Olivia falls in love with Fred things only get more complicated as she struggles with the secrets she's keeping from him.

This book gets a 5 ⭐️ Rating because:

1: Although neither Charlotte nor Olivia is saved at the beginning they both come to see their need for Christ. ( Charlote not until book two in the series)

2: Chef Rene is outwardly gruff but a real softy inside.

3: Mrs. Devault is one of the most forgiving characters I've ever seen

4: Olivia doesn't fall in love with Mr. Howard ( hallelujah ). He's a rotten character, personality-wise. He adds a lot to the story line though.

5: Most chapters ended with enough of a cliffhanger to keep you reading on and on past the time you told yourself you'd stop.

Review: Whirlwind by Cathy Marie Hake

Whirlwind is a novel set 1892. The main character is Millicent Fairbanks, a nanny in England who moves to America when her wards are sent to boarding school. On the voyage over she becomes nanny to Arthur Clark. In order to enter the USA Millie must marry Arthur's father Daniel. I won't spoil the rest for you but I will say that a clash of wills occurs more than once between the couple.

This book gets a 5 ⭐️ Rating because

1: The romance is sweet and is there, but is not pushing boundaries
2: The characters are well rounded
3: The plot has some unexpected twists that keep you wanting to read more
4: I love books with children and I love the way that Millie becomes Arthur's mom. Adoption is the sweetest thing ever
5: The ending was super!!!!

Other books in this series: Letter Perfect, Bittersweet, Fancy Pants, Forevermore, and That Certain Spark. I have not read them all yet but am looking forward to it.