Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"Dangerous Illusions," by Irene Hannon

"Dangerous Illusions," by Irene Hannon
Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death--and puts Trish under police scrutiny--her world is once again thrown into turmoil.

Detective Colin Flynn isn't certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge--and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn't just dangerous . . . it's deadly.

This book has a bit of everything in it; romance, mystery, murder, suspense and great characters.  I love the way Irene writes and this book certainly kept you on your toes.  What was different though, was she kept feeding you information throughout the book, so it made it easier to figure out certain aspects of the story.  However, I was still left thinking; "well I didn't see that coming."

There were so many twists and turns in the book, that you had to keep on reading as you needed to know what was going to happen next.  This book is the first in the Code of Honor series and I can't wait to read the next one.

Stars out of 5 : 5 A really good book, that drew you in right from the beginning.  I didn't want it too end as I was enjoying it so much.  Well worth the read.

"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".

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"All She Left Behind," by Jane Kirkpatrick

"All She Left Behind," by Jane Kirkpatrick

Already well-versed in the natural healing properties of herbs and oils, Jennie Pickett longs to become a doctor. But the Oregon frontier of the 1870s is an unforgiving place--especially for a single mother. To support herself and her young son, Jennie finds work caring for an older woman. When her patient dies, Jennie discovers that her heart has become entangled with the woman's widowed husband, a man many years her senior. Their unlikely romance may lead her to her ultimate goal--but the road forward is uncertain. 

I am a big fan of Jane Kirkpatrick's books.  Add in the historical factor and it is based on a true story, I knew this book would be good.  One thing it brought to light for me was how women's views and rights were not taken into consideration back in the late 1800's.  It touched upon many subjects including dyslexia, domestic abuse and alcohol and drug abuse.  The details in this book make it more life like and you can visualize things so clearly with the way Jane has described everything.

I did find the story a bit slow going to start with, but once you got settled into the book it got more and more interesting.  I found the character list at the front of the book very useful and referred to it often.  The authors notes were really interesting as were the list of Jennie's herbs and oils, both well worth reading.  The story brought to light the hard life the people in the West of the United States had in the late 1800's.  

Stars out of 5 : 4 I found the book a little hard to get involved in at first, but once I was a couple of chapter's in the story got more interesting for me.

"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".

"These Healing Hills," by Ann H Gabhart

"These Healing Hills," by Ann H Gabhart

Francine Howard has her life all mapped out--until the man she loves announces his plans to bring home an English bride from war-torn Europe in 1945. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he's at a loss when it comes to envisioning what's next for his life.

When Francine's and Ben's paths intersect, it's immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.

As a huge fan of the Appalachia region and it's history I was really looking forward to reading this book and I was not disappointed.  The way Ann described the area, was spot on and the way she described the people of the region made you feel as though you were standing by them.  I had not heard of the Frontier Nursing Service, so that made the book even more interesting learning about them.

Add to that leading character's that you can relate too and all in all you have a super story and book too read.  It's not a hard read, but it does keep you interested with all that is going on.  Make sure you read the reader's notes at the end, very interesting. You can read more about Frontier Nursing Service here.  Also just in case you have forgotten how the song "Froggie Went A Courtin," the song featured in this book goes here is a link.

Stars out of 5 : 5 Loved this book, a bit of history, a bit of a love story and a lot of real living, my kind of book!!.

"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".

"The Proving," by Beverly Lewis

"The Proving," by Beverly Lewis

"Mandy, you are to inherit the farmhouse, including the business of the inn."

She could scarcely find her voice to respond. "
Ach, this must be a mistake," she told him, shaking her head as she talked into the phone, feeling befuddled. "The house . . . and everything related to the inn . . . shouldn't that go to Arie Mae?"
After five years as an Englisher, Amanda Dienner is shocked to learn her mother has passed away and left her Lancaster County's most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. What's more, the inn will only truly be hers if Mandy can successfully run it for twelve months. Reluctantly, Mandy accepts the challenge, no matter that it means facing the family she left behind--or that the inn's clientele expect an Amish hostess! Can Mandy fulfill the terms of her inheritance? Or will this prove a dreadful mistake?

I have read many Beverly Lewis books over the years and have generally enjoyed them.  They tend to follow the same pattern, beautiful settings, family secrets, and redemption.  This was no different in that it followed the same pattern but I will say it was one of Beverly's weaker novels. I knew what was going to happen before it happened in the book.

One of the highlights of this book was all the delicious food items that were mentioned.  It was a shame one or two recipes were not included at the back of this book.  The main characters soon became familiar to you and you could easily keep track of their individual stories.

Stars out of 5 : 3.5  I did feel as though I have read similar books by Beverly before.  It's an easy read with a pleasant story line.

"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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

More Things in Heaven and Earth by Jeff High

More Things in Heaven and Earth by Jeff High

Tucked away in the rolling Tennessee countryside is the charming community of Watervalley, whose inhabitants are quirky and captivating and more surprising than you might expect . . .

As an ambitious young doctor with a penchant for research, Luke Bradford never wanted to set up practice in a remote rural town. But to pay back his student loans and to fulfill a promise from his past, he heads for Watervalley, Tennessee - and immediately stumbles into one disaster after another. Will he be labeled the town idiot before he’s even introduced as the new doctor? 

Very quickly he faces some big challenges - from resuscitating a three-hundred-pound farmer who goes into cardiac arrest to not getting shot by a local misanthrope for trespassing. He expects the people of Watervalley to be simple, but finds his relationships with them are complicated, whether he’s interacting with his bossy but devout housekeeper, the attractive schoolteacher he consistently alienates, or the mysterious kid next door who climbs trees while wearing a bike helmet. 

When a baffling flu epidemic hits Watervalley, Luke faces his ultimate test. Whether the community embraces him or not, it’s his responsibility to save them. And he’ll soon discover that while living in a small town may not be what he wants, it may be just what he needs . . .

This book has a bit of everything in it and it will keep you entertained as well.  You are drawn into the story right away and before long you are laughing at the poor doctor and the silly things that happen to him.  The way the book was written you are also quickly drawn into the lives of the residents of Watervalley.

The book moves along at a fast pace but there is plenty happening so you won't get bored.  The mystery of the flu epidemic was a good read and again interesting.  This book is the first in the series and you can find out more information about the others here.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I have nothing negative to say about this book.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more in the series.

I purchased the book and all of the opinions are my own.

Vintage by Susan Gloss

Vintage by Susan Gloss

At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, Wisconsin, every item in the boutique has a story to tell . . . and so do the women whose lives the store touches.
Yellow Samsonite suitcase with ivory, quilted lining, 1950s
A small-town girl with a flair for fashion, Violet Turner had always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. But while she values the personal history behind each beautiful item she sells, Violet is running from her own past. Faced with the possibility of losing the store to an unscrupulous developer, she realizes that despite her usual self-reliance she cannot save it alone.
Taffeta tea-length wedding gown with scooped neckline and cap sleeves, 1952
Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect vintage wedding dress to Violet's shop, she discovers a world of new possibilities, and an unexpected sisterhood with women who won't let her give up on her dreams.
Orange silk sari with gold paisley design, 1968
Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her vibrant Indian dresses, remnants of a life she's determined to leave behind her. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears her best days are behind her . . . until she discovers an outlet for her creativity and skills with a needle and thread.
An engaging story that beautifully captures the essence of friendship and style, Vintage is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal, love, and hope when we least expect it.
The reason I bought this book was partly for the story and because I only paid a couple of dollars for it.  It is however a hidden gem of a book, with a lovely story too boot.
This story captures your heart right away and you will soon get involved with each of the characters and their stories.  One thing I do love at the start of each chapter there is a brief description of an item in the boutique telling you want the item is, what it is made of and the year and the source.  That I thought was a lovely way of introducing each chapter.
The way the author writes you feel like you are in the room with the characters and you can't help but get wrapped up in their lives.
Stars out of 5 : 5 Nothing negative to say. Loved this book, the story was easy to follow and it will capture your heart.
I purchased this book and all the opinions are my own.

Glory Over Everything, by Kathleen Grissom

Glory Over Everything, by Kathleen Grissom

A novel of family and long-buried secrets along the treacherous Underground Railroad.

The author of the New York Times bestseller and beloved book club favorite The Kitchen House continues the story of Jamie Pyke, son of both a slave and master of Tall Oakes, whose deadly secret compels him to take a treacherous journey through the Underground Railroad.

Published in 2010, The Kitchen House became a grassroots bestseller. Fans connected so deeply to the book’s characters that the author, Kathleen Grissom, found herself being asked over and over “what happens next?” The wait is finally over.

This new, stand-alone novel opens in 1830, and Jamie, who fled from the Virginian plantation he once called home, is passing in Philadelphia society as a wealthy white silversmith. After many years of striving, Jamie has achieved acclaim and security, only to discover that his aristocratic lover Caroline is pregnant. Before he can reveal his real identity to her, he learns that his beloved servant Pan has been captured and sold into slavery in the South. Pan’s father, to whom Jamie owes a great debt, pleads for Jamie’s help, and Jamie agrees, knowing the journey will take him perilously close to Tall Oakes and the ruthless slave hunter who is still searching for him. Meanwhile, Caroline’s father learns and exposes Jamie’s secret, and Jamie loses his home, his business, and finally Caroline.

Heartbroken and with nothing to lose, Jamie embarks on a trip to a North Carolina plantation where Pan is being held with a former Tall Oakes slave named Sukey, who is intent on getting Pan to the Underground Railroad. Soon the three of them are running through the Great Dismal Swamp, the notoriously deadly hiding place for escaped slaves. Though they have help from those in the Underground Railroad, not all of them will make it out alive.

I have to say I was a little disappointed that this book, didn't just carry on from The Kitchen House, but the more you read the book, the more you are hooked with this story.  It is as good as The Kitchen House, and although it says it's a stand-alone book, I do think it is helpful to read The Kitchen House first as some characters from that book pop up in this book.

It was a page turner and you had to know what was going to happen next.  The details that Kathleen wrote into this book made you stop and think and ask "why would they do that?"  There were some cruel people who ran those plantations.

Stars out of 5 : 5 Such a good read well worth buying or borrowing from your local library.  I wish I had read both books before we went away to Williamsburg on vacation.

I purchased this book and the opinions are my own.