Saturday, June 8, 2013

"The Marriage Bargain," by Jennifer Probst

"The Marriage Bargain," by Jennifer Probst
A marriage in name only . . .

To save her family home, impulsive bookstore owner Alexa Maria McKenzie casts a love spell. But she never planned on conjuring up her best friend’s older brother—the powerful man who once shattered her heart.

Billionaire Nicholas Ryan doesn’t believe in marriage, but in order to inherit his father’s corporation, he needs a wife and needs one fast. When he discovers his sister’s childhood friend is in dire financial straits, he offers Alexa a bold proposition.

A marriage in name only with certain rules: Avoid entanglement. Keep things all business. Do not fall in love. The arrangement is only for a year so the rules shouldn’t be that hard to follow, right?

Except fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans . . .

This is the first in a series of books.  Will say you sort of know what's going to happen but it's still a fun book and it will keep you on your toes.  There is plenty of humour and the banter back and forward between the two lead characters.  It's a light read that won't tax your brain.  There is some steamy scenes but nothing too graphic.

Stars out of 5 : 3.5  One of those books which is a good one to pick up on a hot summer's day when you have nothing else to do.  I will look out for the next in the series at the library, as I'd like to know what's going to happen next.

(I purchased this book myself, and will be donating it to my local library)
"Ellis Island" by Kate Kerrigan

Sweethearts since childhood, Ellie Hogan and her husband, John, are content on their farm in Ireland—until John, a soldier for the Irish Republican Army, receives an injury that leaves him unable to work. Forced to take drastic measures in order to survive, Ellie does what so many Irish women in the 1920s have done and sails across a vast ocean to New York City to work as a maid for a wealthy socialite.

Once there, Ellie is introduced to a world of opulence and sophistication, tempted by the allure of grand parties and fine clothes, money and mansions . . . and by the attentions of a charming suitor who can give her everything. Yet her heart remains with her husband back home. And now she faces the most difficult choice she will ever have to make: a new life in a new country full of hope and promise, or return to a life of cruel poverty . . . and love. 

This is such a good book.  The story grips you from the very beginning.  Ellie and John are a match made in heaven, childhood sweethearts.  What I loved the most was how easily you are drawn into the story and how your emotions go up and down with Ellie's.  It's a story that I am sure a lot of people experienced in the early 1900's.

You are not sure what will happen and because of circumstances in both America and Ireland you are not sure how much each circumstance will win out and claim Ellie's heart.

I have just discovered that there is a sequel to this book City of Hope which will be released on June 26th 2013.  

Stars out of 5 : 5 It was a book I couldn't put down as I needed to know what was going to happen next.  Well worth buying or borrowing from your local library.

(I purchased this book and will be donating it to my local library)

Monday, June 3, 2013

"Deadly Devotion," by Sandra Orchard

"Deadly Devotion," by Sandra Orchard

Kate knows the truth is out there-but if she's right, that means a killer is out there too.
Research scientists Kate Adams and Daisy Leacock were on the brink of a breakthrough for treating depression with herbal medicine when Daisy was suddenly found dead. Kate knows that her mentor's death wasn't suicide or a careless accident-and she's determined to do whatever it takes to unearth the truth about what happened to the woman who changed her life.

Former FBI agent Tom Parker is finding it hard to adjust to life back in his hometown of Port Aster. Though an old buddy gave him a job as a detective on the local police force, not everyone approves. Tom's just trying to keep a low profile, so when Kate Adams demands he reopen the investigation into her friend's death, he knows his job is at stake. But despite his attraction to her, Tom thinks Kate may have something to hide.

As evidence mounts, a web of intrigue is woven around the sleepy town of Port Aster. Can Kate uncover the truth? Or will Tom stand in her way?

This was a super book with lots of whodunits and twists and turns.  I was like Kate going from one suspect to the next; I couldn't make up my mind who was the actual killer.  I loved the small town details and the actual job setting of this book, very different.  Kate is someone you could easily relate too and this was a book I couldn't put down as I HAD to know what happened next.  I did guess who did it but not until closer to the end.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I loved this book and I can't wait until the next in the "Port Aster Secrets" series book come out, (June 2014) as I am guessing it will be a good book as well.  This is a must read book, and one that will keep you on your toes.  I found the botanical references very interesting as well.  Mind you I think I'll stick with herbal teas that I buy from the store, rather than make my own, just to be on the safe side!!

"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".

"That Certain Summer," by Irene Hannon

"That Certain Summer," by Irene Hannon

Two very different sisters . . . an unexpected homecoming . . . one unforgettable summer
Karen and Val are family-yet they're anything but close. Karen has carried the burden of responsibility for her aging mother ever since her sister left town years ago to pursue a career in theater. But Val had other reasons for moving away-as well as a secret to keep-and coming home has never been an option . . . until their mother suffers a stroke.

Reunited in their hometown, Karen and Val must grapple with past mistakes as they care for their ailing mother. When two handsome men enter the picture, the summer takes on a surprising new dimension. As their lives intersect, can each of them learn how to forgive, let go, and move on? And strengthened by the healing power of faith, might they also find the courage to love?

I didn't realize Irene Hannon wrote contemporary romance books, I thought her books were all crime and suspense; which by the way I enjoy.  This was a great book and one that got you hooked right away.  I liked how she was able to incorporate all the characters into the book without over whelming you.  Sometimes I find if there are a few main characters, you can get confused, but in this case that wasn't the problem.

I also enjoyed the way all the characters ending up intertwining with one another.  Plus the mother Margaret was funny and very typical of some people I know.  Made me wonder if the author had someone like her in her real life?

Stars out of 5 : 5 A solid five, well worth reading and an interesting perspective on how different people cope with different illnesses and accidents in different way.  I would tell you it's a must read, especially if you enjoy Irene's work.

"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".

"Stealing the Preacher," by Karen Witemeyer

"Stealing the Preacher," by Karen Witemeyer

A cowboy who wants to be a preacher. An outlaw's daughter who wants to change his mind.

On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can't believe it when he's forced off the train by an outlaw and presented to the man's daughter as the preacher she requested for her birthday. He's determined to escape--which would be much easier if he could stop thinking about Joanna Robbins and her unexpected request.

For months, Joanna had prayed for a minister. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. But just when it seems her prayers have been answered, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett he ended up right where he was supposed to be?

I have often wondered where authors get their story ideas from and this one was one of them.  If you liked Karen's book "Short Straw Bride," you'll enjoy this one.   Crockett is one of the brothers from that book and he is the main character in this book.  Joanna is such a bright character and one with a lot of strength that she is the perfect match for Crockett.

Stars out of 5 : 4 I enjoyed this book, but it was pretty predictable.  It didn't tax the brain and is one of those books you can read without having to really think about it.  Will I remember this book in a few weeks time, probably not, but it is well worth reading if you have a couple of afternoons spare on a hot summer's afternoon.

"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".

"The Quarryman's Bride," by Tracie Peterson

"The Quarryman's Bride," by Tracie Peterson
Emmalyne Knox has always loved Tavin MacLachlan. But when tragedy strikes her family, Emmalyne's father declares she can no longer marry. Despite Tavin's pleas to defy the decision, Emmalyne refuses. In her act of obedience, she gives up the future she'd always dreamed of.

When Emmalyne's father returns to the quarry business years later, Tavin and Emmalyne meet again. And though circumstances have changed in both of their lives, they cannot deny the feelings that still exist. Can Emmalyne find a way to heal the decade-long wound that has fractured the two families...and change the hearts of those who stand in the way of true love?

This is the second book in the "Land of Shining Water," series by Tracie Peterson.  Again it was a great book that got you hooked from the very first chapter.  One of the things that I related most to in this book was how immigrants bring their traditions with them from their place of birth.  They might not have been overly important to them in their place of birth, but take on a very special meaning that cannot be broken in their new home.

I enjoyed the lead characters, especially Emmalyne.  Her devotion to her parents was gratifying to see, and her true faith in God was unbelievable.  I loved how she tried to see the bright side of things, even when most people would just give up. 

Stars out of 5: 5 I love Tracie's work and this was another book where you had to turn the next page to see what was going to happen next. This would be a great book to sit and read by the lake on a hot summer's day.  I would thoroughly recommend you read this book.  Can't wait for the third in the series, "The Miner's Lady," to be published in September of 2013.

"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".

"The Tinderbox," by Beverly Lewis

"The Tinderbox," by Beverly Lewis With her parents' twentieth anniversary approaching, eighteen-year-old Sylvia Miller find...