Monday, June 15, 2015

"A Perfect Ambition," by Dr. Kevin Leman & Jeff Nesbit

"A Perfect Ambition," by Dr. Kevin Leman & Jeff Nesbit
It's time for Will to forge his own path.
But the force that drives him to greatness could also destroy him--and his family.

As the firstborn son of an old and powerful family, William Jennings Worthington VI knows what it's like to be under pressure. Groomed from birth with the relentless message that he was destined for greatness, Will has always pushed himself to succeed--nearly as much as his never-satisfied financial tycoon father pushes him. Becoming CEO of the world's largest and most adventuresome oil company seems the next logical step on the success ladder. But when circumstances turn, Will finds himself staring down a road that leads to Capitol Hill. Can he trade the board room for the Senate floor? Or will family secrets keep him from his destiny?

Where do I start with this book?  I am so glad I chose to review this book despite it being about politics and big corporations; which are totally not my normal subjects of choice.

This is a meaty book, and it's one you will be sucked into right away and one you need to pay attention too, as all sorts of things happen and you have a feeling these things will come back and bite someone in the butt later on in the book....and it generally does.

The cast of characters we well thought out and presented.  One thing I enjoyed about this book it was up to date and mentioned things we would all remember.  Yes this is fiction, but it could be real...

This is the first book in The Worthington Destiny series and I WILL be reading the next one, as I need to know what happens next.  Although there were loose ends to tie up at the end of this book, It did answer a lot of questions that you do form in your mind throughout the book, so I actually enjoyed the ending.  Some books have a tendency to leave things up in the air, don't they?

Stars out of 5 : 5 I really, really enjoyed this book, it was a page turner and you needed to know what happens next.  There was also some interesting information about birth order secrets in the back of the book that are well worth reading.  I am the eldest of three children and I could see the traits of our birth order in what was written.  As I said before this book is well worth reading........

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite booksel
ler from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"Once Upon a Summertime," by Melody Carlson

"Once Upon a Summertime," by Melody Carlson
Managing the Value Lodge in her hometown was not what Anna Gordon had in mind when she set out in the hospitality industry. But it's a safe choice for a young woman starting out her career.

Then, out of the blue, she gets the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to reinvent herself and reinvigorate her career by moving to New York City. She applies for a management position at a stylish new hotel, The Rothsberg. But the city is full of surprises--not the least of which is discovering that Sean O'Neil, a once-upon-a-time crush, has applied for the very same position. 

This is a fun upbeat book about a small town girl, who leaves for the big city to find her dream job and finds love along the way.  It's very realistic and a very believable story.  All the characters seem true to life and the addition of the air stewardesses is a nice touch.  The description and details of The Rothsberg, make the place come to life.

All in all a lovely book to read in an afternoon or two.

Stars out of 5 : 4, I probably won't remember this book in a couple of weeks, but I am glad I read this one.  This book is the first book in the "Follow Your Heart," series by Melody.  There is a sneak peek at the next one in the series at the back of this book and that will be released in the Summer of 2016.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite booksel
ler from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"Love's Rescue," by Christine Johnson.

"Love's Rescue," by Christine Johnson.
When her mother dies, Elizabeth Benjamin heads home to Key West, determined to transform herself into the perfect Southern belle her parents always wished her to be. But nothing goes according to plan. Her brother resents her, the servants do not obey her, and Rourke O'Malley, the dashing man she vowed to forget, refuses to relinquish his hold on her heart. Worst of all, it becomes painfully obvious that her father is not the man he appears to be.

As family secrets come to light, Elizabeth is faced with a difficult choice: to perform her duty and abandon her dreams, or to leave her life of privilege behind to chase the man her father sees as little better than a pirate.

This is another one of those books that can be read in a day and is perfect for a day on the beach or a day in front of the fire.  You don't have to concentrate to hard to keep up with the story, but there are twists and turns in the book to keep you interested.  It's no surprise the outcome, but there are one or two surprises along the way to get there.

This is the first in the series "Key's of Promise", and there is a sneak peek at the second in the series at the back of this book and it too seems like it will be well worth reading.

Stars out of 5 : 3 I will probably not remember this book next week, but it passed an afternoon or two reading it .  As books go it was okay.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite booksel
ler from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"A Worthy Pursuit," by Karen Witemeyer

"A Worthy Pursuit," by Karen Witemeyer
A teacher on the run. A bounty hunter in pursuit. Can two enemies learn to trust each other before they both lose what they hold most dear?

Stone Hammond is the best tracker in Texas. He never comes home empty-handed. So when a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, Stone eagerly accepts.

Charlotte Atherton, former headmistress of Sullivan's Academy for Exceptional Youths, will do anything to keep her charges safe, especially the orphaned girl entrusted to her care. Charlotte promised Lily's mother she'd keep the girl away from her unscrupulous grandfather, and nothing will stop Charlotte from fulfilling that pledge. Not even the handsome bounty hunter with surprisingly honest eyes who comes looking for them.

When Miss Atherton produces documentation that shows her to be Lily's legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he's been led to believe. Is she villain or victim?

Then a new danger forces Charlotte to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone vows to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he's ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte's heart.

As a fan of Karen Witemeyer's book, it's not surprising that I enjoyed this book.  It's not a long book, ideal for reading while on vacation or on a wet Sunday (like I did).  It doesn't over tax the brain and you can be thinking of other things, as the story isn't hard to keep up with.

Enjoyed the added detail of the children's "talent's" it added an extra depth to the book.  Stone of course was the perfect rugged cowboy hero, but Charlotte held her own.

Stars out of 5 : 3, good book to while away the day, but one I will probably forget about next week.  Well worth reading though.

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".

Monday, June 8, 2015

"Rosewater and Soda Bread," by Marsha Mehran

"Rosewater and Soda Bread," by Marsha Mehran
More than a year has passed since Marjan, Bahar, and Layla, the beautiful Iranian Aminpour sisters, sought refuge in the quaint Irish town of Ballinacroagh. Opening the beguiling Babylon Café, they charmed the locals with their warm hearts and delectable Persian cuisine, bringing a saffron-scented spice to the once-sleepy village.

But when a young woman with a dark secret literally washes up on Clew Bay Beach, the sisters’ world is once again turned upside down. With pale skin and webbed hands, the girl is otherworldly, but her wounds tell a more earthly (and graver) story–one that sends the strict Catholic town into an uproar. The Aminpours rally around the newcomer, but each sister must also contend with her own transformation–Marjan tests her feelings for love with a dashing writer, Bahar takes on a new spiritual commitment with the help of Father Mahoney, and Layla matures into a young woman when she and her boyfriend, Malachy, step up their hot and heavy relationship.

Filled with mouthwatering recipes and enchanting details of life in Ireland, Rosewater and Soda Bread is infused with a lyrical warmth that radiates from the Aminpour family and their big-hearted Italian landlady, Estelle, to the whole of Ballinacroagh–and the world beyond.

This is the sequel to "Pomegranate Soup,"  You basically pick up where it left off.  Still in the small village with the same cast of characters, plus the addition of a couple more, just to keep it interesting.  Dervla is still up to her spying from her bedroom window and gossiping when ever.  Father Mahoney takes on a new task, and a "mermaid," is washed up on shore.

It's never a dull moment that's for sure for such a small village.  As like the prior book, the description of all the dishes that are made in the cafe make them as true to life, that you can almost taste them when reading the book.  Plus again there are recipes at the back of the book.

My one big disappointment with this book is the ending.  I do hope there is another book in the series, as there is a lot more story to tell.  There are too many questions that need to be answered.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5, other than the ending a perfect book!  I did look on the author's site and there is no word if there will be another book to follow this one?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

"The Vagrants," by Yiyun Li

"The Vagrants," by Yiyun Li

In luminous prose, award-winning author Yiyun Li weaves together the lives of unforgettable characters who are forced to make moral choices, and choices for survival, in China in the late 1970s. 

As morning dawns on the provincial city of Muddy River, a spirited young woman, Gu Shan, once a devoted follower of Chairman Mao, has renounced her faith in Communism. Now a political prisoner, she is to be executed for her dissent. While Gu Shan’s distraught mother makes bold decisions, her father begins to retreat into memories. Neither of them imagines that their daughter’s death will have profound and far-reaching effects, in Muddy River and beyond. Among the characters affected are Kai, a beautiful radio announcer who is married to a man from a powerful family; Tong, a lonely seven-year-old boy; and Nini, a hungry young girl. Beijing is being rocked by the Democratic Wall Movement, an anti-Communist groundswell designed to move the country toward a more enlightened and open society, but the government backlash will be severe.

In this spellbinding novel, the brilliant Yiyun Li gives us a powerful and beautiful portrait of human courage and despair in dramatic times.

This is the book choice for the month of July for the book club.  What do I say about it?  It's a miserable book, and if the conditions of how the people live were like they were written in the book, gosh what a horrible life they lived.  I mean it was an eye opener that's for sure.

Just one day of drudgery after another, just trying to survive.  Each of the characters were touched in their own way by Gu Shan.  I honestly not sure what if anything I have to say in a positive way?  I did not enjoy this book at all, some parts were not necessary.

Stars out of 5 : 1  I would love to hear other people's opinions about this book, as all the people who wrote reviews on Amazon had high praise for it?  Me, I didn't get it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

"Sweater Quest, my year of knitting dangerously," by Adrienne Martini.

"Sweater Quest, my year of knitting dangerously," by Adrienne Martini. 

I think both knitters and non-knitters would enjoy this book.  It reminded me of a gossip magazine for the knitting world.  For the non-knitters out there, you will not believe some of the things that went/go on in the knitting world.  It does say if you enjoyed the movie, "Julie and Julia," this is the knitting equivalent; and I totally agree.  

The book is centred around the author who wants to knit a "Mary Tudor," sweater.  Now for those of us who is not in the know like I was, the first thing you think is how can someone write a whole book about a bloody sweater/cardigan?  However before you know it you are sucked right into this real life story.  I was also sitting with my mouth open at the story behind the designer of the sweater pattern Alice Starmore.  Oh, I hope to goodness she doesn't sue me for mentioning her name?  She is what I would call trigger happy when it comes to suing folk.  

If you enjoy looking up things on Google this book is also for you, as there are so many names, things and places I had to look up, just to see what's what.  Chapter 7 was of interest to me as the author travels to Toronto to meet with various knitting people, so more places and people to look up.  The author does kindly say, "Given that I don't live in Toronto, which is quickly becoming the center stitch in the modern knitting world......." that makes me realize I have a lot more learning and day tripping to do right on my own door step.

Obviously the one thing you have to look up at the end of the book, is the cardigan that the author ended up knitting.  It is a piece of art, you can see a photo of it here, that is also where you can read more about the author of the book Adrienne.  Make sure you click on the photos to see the detail, it is gorgeous, and no wonder people ooh and aah over it.

Here are links to other things mentioned in the book:

Virtual Yarns

New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck

Yarn Harlot - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Purple Purl

Amy R. Singer -

Lettuce Knit

The Knitter's Review Retreat

Camilla Valley Farms - super close to where I live.

There are many more interesting people and places mentioned in this book.

Stars out 5 : 5 Loved the book, very interesting.  Well worth the read even if you don't knit.

"The Tinderbox," by Beverly Lewis

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