Sunday, March 31, 2013

Agent Undercover - Lynette Eason





Summary:
What does little Alex know?

The traumatized six-year-old boy hasn't said one word since the unsolved murder of his single mother. And now, the killer is after the child —and the devoted uncle raising him, Dr. Dylan Seabrook. Working undercover in the boy's school, DEA agent Paige Ashworth is determined to find the murderer. But she can't tell Dylan her real identity, what she knows— or just how close to the case she really is. Dylan's strength and fierce love for his nephew soon have Paige longing to join their family. First, though, they must catch a killer who never wants little Alex to speak again.




About The Author:
Lynette Eason grew up in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and then obtained her masters in education from Converse College. Author of twenty inspirational romantic suspense books, she is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). In 1996, Lynette married "the boy next door" and now she and her husband and their two children make their home in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The Review:

I loved reading about the fierce love Dylan had for his nephew. He would do anything for that little boy. Even though he wasn't able to spend a lot of time with him, he's determined to be there for him now.

I also loved reading about the slow grow of the relationship between Paige and Dylan. The love grew gradually. I really like reading about those kind of stories. I don't much like reading about how all of a sudden their in love. That's unnatural.

I liked that the story started with suspense, ended with suspense, and there's suspense in the middle! Pretty much suspenseful throughout. I mean it started with Will almost getting run over!

I can't write about much, or I'll give away a lot! :P

Rating:


The next book I'll be reading is Texas Made Match by: Noelle Marchand.


Happy Easter! He is risen!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Petticoat Ranch - Mary Connealy





Summary:
Sophie Edwards is doing just fine alone, until a strange-yet oddly familiar-man rides into her life, insisting on rescuing her and her four daughters. Can she find a way to love a headstrong mountain man? When Clay McClellen discovers his brother has been murdered, he's bent on finding the killers and seeing them properly hung. But first his Christian duty demands that he marry his sister-in-law. After all, Sophie needs someone to protect her - right? Faith and love help unruly wed newlyweds find common ground and a chance at love on the Texas frontier.





About The Author:

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.


The Review:

I have to say I loved Sophie's character! She's tough and has a lot of spunk! I've noticed I like the strong, tough leading ladies. Maybe because I know I could be never be like that. I mean I'm tough in a different sort of way. But not like Sophie.

I liked reading Clays point of view on women. It was pretty funny. He stated that women are either crying or giggling. Which is pretty accurate. Except sometimes, we're doing both! Because we cry when we're sad, happy, angry, scared, etc. Any emotion really. :P Then he decided he was going to make some rules. Rule number #1: No crying. Really? A house with five girls. Four of them being under the age of ten. And you're going to make a rule of no crying? Insane!

Clay was constantly telling Sophie to stop doing "Mans work" and stay in the house with the girls and let him do the work outside. But she was use to having to do everything. Because her first husband Cliff was, pretty much useless. Except for bringing the girls into the world. Then he was quite helpful! ;)

Here is a scene that I found quite funny.
"Let's get this marriage over and done, Sophie," Clay said as he removed his stetson to whack some trail dust of f his pants. "Parson if you don't want to climb down, you can just do the pronouncing from where you're at."
"Clay!" Sophie hadn't really meant to yell, but her ears hurt just a little from the single word, so she supposed she had. The girls all froze and looked at her.
"I need to talk to you." Sophie started marching toward the house, but she didn't go in. She went around the side of the house and was almost out of sight when Clay grabbed her arm.
"We can talk later, Sophie. The parson needs to get home. Let's get this out of the way."
Sophie wrenched her arm loose and whirled to face him. "We will talk now, Clay McClellen."
"Sophie, there's nothing-"
"Not here," Sophie snapped. "In private!"
Clay narrowed his eyes. They were cold, blue, gunslinger eyes, and if she hadn't been so furious, she might have backed down and married him just to get him to quit looking at her so angrily. But she was furious, and it gave her the courage of a west Texas cougar.
"Back of the house. Now!" she roared. She jerked her arm, and he must have been agreeable to letting her talk, because she got loose, and she knew she never would have if he wasn't willing.
She marched around the house. He was right behind her. When she thought she was out of earshot of the girls, unless she started ranting of course, she turned. "Where did you get the outlandish notion that we were getting married?"
"Outlandish notion?" Clay's brows shot up. "We talked about it. You said yes. What do you think I went to town for?"
"The parson?" Sophie screeched.
"Yes," Clay answered in a sarcastic drawl. "The parson!"
"We have not talked about getting married." Sophie jabbed Clay in the chest with her index finger. "I think I would have remembered a proposal!"
"I asked you if you knew what we had to do."
"Yes, but I can't imagine how you got, 'Yes I'll marry you,' out of that brief exchange."
"I asked you if you were a God-fearing woman."
"And I am one." Sophie crossed her arms.
"Well, we have to get married!" Clay said tersely. "So that's what I meant when I asked you if you knew what we had to do. What did you think I meant?"
"I had not idea!
"Then why did you say you knew what we had to do?"
"I guess I thought you were telling me we had the usual chores to do around the place." She snapped her fingers and said, "That's right. I said, 'Of course I know!"
"And you said you were willing."
"'Of course I'm willing,'" Sophie said with vicious sarcasm, "
to do the chores. I thought you had a lot of nerve telling me that since I've been doing all the chores for two years now!"
"Why would I try to tell you to do the chores you'd been doing alone for so long? That would be stupid!" Clay bellowed. "Do I strike you as a stupid man?"
Clay's gunslinger eyes got even more narrower. "We talked about having the same faith."
"Okay, I guess you asked me that."
"And we talked about raising the girls. I know I said something about it being best if we raised the girls in a church-going household."
"Yes you said all of that. But I never imagined you were talking about..."
"It doesn't matter anyway, whether you've been asked proper or not. I guess I've heard of women who want fancy sweet talk and even rings and such, but I didn't take you for a woman who'd need that nonsense."
"Why doesn't it matter?"
Clay shrugged. "'Cuz we're getting married right now, whether you understood what I wanted or not."
Sophie opened her mouth to tell Clay to go try to talk a Texas sidewinder into marrying him, but her throat seemed to swell shut, and she thought for a humiliating moment that she might break down and cry. With a sudden rush of weakness, she wondered what difference it made. Why not marry him?
She shrugged. "All right. Let's get it over and done."
He took her arm and led her back around the house.
"So, what's the verdict?" the parson asked.
Sophie thought "verdict" was right. This was a life sentence. Clay looked to be a man who wouldn't die easily, unlike Cliff, so she was probably stuck with him.
Clay led her up onto the porch and said to the group waiting there, "We're getting married."
In her mind, Sophie heard a prison door slamming shut.


Emily's Rating:


My next book will be Agent Undercover by: Lynette Eason. I decided to take a quick break from historical and go for modern suspense.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Flora's Wish - Kathleen Y'Barbo






Summary:

May 1887—Flora Brimm is determined the fifth time is the charm. Back home she has a reputation as “Fatal Flora,” a woman whose previous four fianc├ęs died in untimely accidents. Flora is desperate to marry, because producing an heir is the only way she can keep her family’s estate. She’s confident this visit to Eureka Springs with her grandmother will help her land a husband.

Pinkerton detective Lucas McMinn is hot on the trail of Will Tucker, the thief who broke his sister’s heart. When he discovers the slippery fellow with Flora, he thinks they are in on the devious plot together. Will Flora be able to convince Lucas of her innocence? Will Lucas catch the elusive Mr. Tucker?

And, more importantly, will Lucas survive if he pursues Flora’s heart?



About The Author:
Kathleen is a tenth-generation Texan and a mother of three grown sons and a teenage daughter. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University. Kathleen is a former treasurer for the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is a member of the Author’s Guild, Inspirational Writers Alive, Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild, and the Fellowship of Christian Authors. In addition, she is a sought-after speaker, and her kids think she’s a pretty cool mom, too…most of the time, anyway.

Thoughts:

I've read some other books by Kathleen Y'Barbo before and I really liked them.

This one was the same!

I LOVED Flora's character. The way she acted was hilarious! She was constantly doing things just because she knew Brimms' just don't so that! She danced in the rain on purpose because Brimms don't that. :D She constantly was defying her grandmother, well and Lucas too! Especially Lucas! But I also liked her sense of responsibility. She really wanted to marry for love. But since her first four fiances died. She thinks the best way to keep the family home, she'll just marry quickly, and quickly produce an heir. That's when she meets Will Tucker, who she thinks is the answer to all her problems.

Unfortuntely, Will Tuckers not all he says he is. Lucas McMinn is following Will Tucker, trying to get him arrested for his sister's sake. Catching Will Tucker is a personal vendetta for Lucas. Will Tucker was engaged to Lucas's sister, but he never showed up. His sister was so upset about that. I'm not going to say what happens next because it gives away a lot. :P

This is exerpt from the book that I found funny.

"Flora Brimm," Lucas said, "you need to turn around slowly and keep your hands where I can see them."
"Don't be ridiculous," she said.
"I've been called a whole lot of things in the commision of my duties as a pinkerton agent, but ridiculous isn't one of them."
"So now you're not just the law, you're a Pinkerton? If that's true, why didn't you admit to it last night?"
"Last night I had no reason to believe I needed to."
The lawman put hand on her shoulder and slowly turned her around to face him. "Get in the buggy. We're going t otake a ride."
"Not until I see a badge."
He regarded her with some measure of amusement. "You'll see a badge when I decide you're not going to take off and run\." One dark brow rose. "Remember, Fatal Flora, you're the one with the most to lose here."
"I demand you either release me or offer proof of your affiliation with the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Mr..."
"McMinn," he said as he peered down at her from uner the brim of his hat. "Lucas McMinn. Under other conditions I'd say I was pleased to make your acquaintance. The best I can do right now is tell you one last time to climb up into the carriage before I put you up there myself. Or I can put handcuffs on you and march you inside. The manager and a few of his employees have all confirmed my identity, and I'm sure they'll be glad to tell you that." He paused. "So will the sheriff for that matter. So do I pick you up and situate you in the buggy? Might cause a scene."
"You wouldn'y dare," she said, even though the expression on the rogue's face told her he would.
"Just like a fine lady like you wouldn't climb out a window to act as lookout for your boyfriend? Oh, excuse me. Your fiance. And you did. Last night. With me tailing you."


Emily's Rating:


My next book will be Petticoat Ranch by: Mary Connealy.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Love's Reckoning - Laura Frantz





Summary:
On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in York. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege's daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the others jealousy destroy their love?

In this sweeping family saga set in western Pennsylvania, one man's choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. "Love's Reckoning" is the first entry in The Ballantyne Legacy, a rich, multi-layered historical quartet from talented writer Laura Frantz, beginning in the late 1700s and following the Ballantyne family through the end of the Civil War.

About The Author:
I was born and raised in Kentucky, living first in Ashland, Mammoth Cave, Bowling Green, and then Lexington. But my heart has always been in Berea, Madison County, the place my family has resided since the 18th-century. I came to know Christ there at the age of 12, was baptized, and spent my childhood roaming through the woods and swimming in the rivers of my books.

My earliest memories are of the public library, standing in front of shelves filled with those little biographies of famous historical figures like Daniel Boone and George Washington and Sacajawea. I began scribbling stories at age 7 and thankfully never stopped. My passion then and now is history and all the wonders of past centuries.

I attended college at Denison University in Ohio and also in England, living in a manor/castle and studying the American Revolution from the British perspective. Shakespeare and 18th-century literature form the backbone of my English degree. Strangely enough, I only took one creative writing class.


Okay let me say this book, the summary makes the book sound SO much better than it actually is! I found myself forcing myself to finish. And that's only because I said I was going to on my blog.

Also this rating would have been on sooner but my health got in the way, and I was admitted to the hospital the day I was going to write it.

First of all I never in my life have said I hated a character. But with this book I said I HATED the character Elspeth! Because first she has a child, and she pretends he doesn't even exist. Also she is so selfish. She thinks only of herself and not of her family. She steals a lot of things from her sister Eden. I Also didn't much care for the dad character. He was so overbearing, and stern to Eden. The way he treated her you'd think she was a servant instead of his daughter.

I wasn't to fond of Eden's character either. I don't know, she just wasn't a character I overly liked. Neither was Silas. I just overly didn't like this book. It took FOREVER to get to the point of the story! Then like in the middle of it, the story jumped to nine years later! Most of the book I stayed confused. I'm pretty weary of starting one of her other books. I pray that her other books are better than this one!


Also this week I was able to attend my first birth as a doula! Welcome little Liam to the world!



Emily's Rating:


My next book will be Flora's Wish by Kathleen Y'Barbo.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Over The Edge - Mary Connealy





Summary:
Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he's never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he's gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever.
After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he's got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn't happy to find out Seth doesn't remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she's come to the Kincaid family's ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.
Callie isn't a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She's not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.
Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth's pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can't sort things out. It's enough to drive a man insane--but somehow it's all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.





About The Author:

Mary Connealy is a Carol Award winner, and a Rita and Christy and Inspirational Reader's Choice finalist.
She is the author of bestselling Kincaid Brides Series: Out of Control, In Too Deep, Over the Edge. Her work also includes Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, Montana Marriages Trilogy and Sophie's Daughters Trilogy.
She also wrote Ten Plagues--a romantic thriller, and The Historical Society Murders--three cozy mysteries, under the name Mary Nealy.
Mary is married to a Nebraska rancher and has four grown daughters and two spectacular grandchildren.


I read the first two books in this series Out Of Control and In Too Deep. I really liked them. But I've other Mary Connealy books and I liked them too. I like her writing style. She mixes romance, mystery, and comedy all in one!

I have to say my favorite character was Callie. But I've noticed I gravitate towards the strong women. Maybe cause I'm not exactly strong like Callie. I'm strong in another more internal way. She's tough, and she wears it like a dress. I'm the more internally, I can be strong. To most people I look weak, and I act weak a lot. But I've been able to handle a lot more than I myself thought I could. So has Callie.

She's had a rough life. She didn't have her mom growing up. Her brother decided to fight in the Civil War. Then gets injured. While she was helping in the hospital that her brother was in, she met Seth. Seth was injured as well, and was healing in the same hospital. Even though, Seth was half out of his mind, they had a STRONG chemistry. And they figured before it went any further they would marry. Although they were married only a couple days, and Seth had one of his episodes and he didn't remember where he was, so he just left. She thought her husband left her. That's when she found out she was carrying Connor Seth's son. Callie decided to hunt down her low-down skunk of a husband! (Quote from the book).

Emily's Rating:


My next book will be Love's Reckoning by: Laura Frantz.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blue Heart Blessed - Susan Meissner




Summary:
Left standing at the altar, Daisy Murien, a wounded but hopeful romantic, opens a secondhand wedding dress boutique, hoping to soothe her broken heart while giving doomed wedding dresses a second chance at love. Her predictable days take a sharp turn, though, when the retired Episcopal priest who blesses the tiny, blue satin heart she sews into each dress falls ill. When the priest's brooding and recently divorced son arrives with plans to take his ailing father away, a contest of wills begins between two stubborn--and hurting--souls. While fighting to keep Father Laurent close by, Daisy finally begins to understand why she has routinely convinced potential buyers "not" to buy the one gown that started her business--her own: She doesn't want to give up on the dream of a fairytale romance.



About The Author:
Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three. She spent her childhood in just two houses.
Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.

She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. When she is not working on a new novel, she is directing the small groups ministries at The Church at Rancho Bernardo. She also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with my family, music, reading great books, and traveling.


I have to say first off, this was NOT the book I thought it was going to be. I did not like it! It was SO weird! I found myself hurrying to finish it just because I didn't like it.

One of the things I didn't like about it and thought was weird, was that she wrote herself letters! No, not the typical read in the future type. Nope, she had like this alter ego thing, that she wrote to telling everything that happened that day. She even named her alter ego Harriet! Then she would answer her OWN letters as Harriet! Is that weird or what? I don't know what this author was on when she wrote it, but geez!

And Daisy was kinda selfish. When Father Laurent falls ill, and his son wants to take him to live with him, all she can think of is who's going to bless her blue hearts. Really? He's ill, first he had a heart attack, then he's diagnosed with cancer! And all you can think about is who's going to bless you hearts?

She's also somewhat stupid. She keeps dreaming of her ex-fiance wanting her back! She also tries everything she can to stop people from setting her up on dates. One time she got so mad at her mom for doing that. The entire time she was at the restaurant, she practically ignores the guy. Then when he calls her, she ignores his calls too!

I can't tell you much about Ramsey, the guy she finally falls for, at the END of the book. Because the book was in first person, so I only know really about Daisy.

Suffice to say this book is not getting a good rating.

Emily's Rating:


My next book will be Over The Edge by: Mary Connealy.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

To Win Her Heart by: Karen Witemeyer




Summary:
Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets...
Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.
Levi's renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she's finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian's affections?



About The Author:

CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. In 2011, her debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride, was a finalist in the Best First Book categories for both the prestigious RITA® award and the National Reader's Choice Award. Karen holds a master's degree in Psychology from Abilene Christian University and is a member of ACFW, RWA, and her local writers' guild. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.

I am really in love with Karen's books!

I liked Levis character. Yes, he was a prizefighter, but he's given that up and gave his life to Christ. He's looking to start over in a town that doesn't know him and his reputation. He found Spencer, Texas. Spencer needed a blacksmith and he learned all the tricks when he was young, watching his father. He wasn't looking to hide his past, he was just waiting till the right moment to tell.

Eden was hurt by a man years ago, when he wanted money more than her. Her father had tempted the guy with money to see where his heart lay and he took the money and ran. So Eden decided she was going to shy away from men and stay a spinster. She also abhors any type of violence. I have to agree with her there. I hate any type of violence. I shy away from it. I can't stand to hear or see anyone being hurt. But I also forgive people IF they have repented and vowed to never hurt anyone intentionally again.

I do have a hard time forgiving people who intentionally hurt people for fun, or to gain more appreciation with other people. Doing that is sick and I don't much like people who do. Just because you have such low self esteem doesn't mean you should put others down to help you. I'm sorry about that rant, but I feel very strongly about this topic.

Back to the book. Eden has a hard time forgiving people, and at times she was a bit of a hypocrite. She was all set against raising money to send Bibles to the prisoners in a jail close by. She thought just because they ruined their life doesn't mean she had to send them her precious money so they can have a change of heart. Then all of a sudden, because she started having feelings for Levi, (This was after she found out about his past.) she was so mad at people for discriminating Levi because of his past. Um? Hello? That's EXACTLY what she was doing for like half of the book!

I did like Duncan McPherson though! But, I'm biased I like any Scottish guys in books. :P I also liked Chloe. She had a I-don't-care-what-other-people-think attitude. She told you what she thought and you never had to wonder what was on her mind!

All in all it was a good book. There were parts I didn't particularly like, but that's in any book.

Emily's Rating:


My next book will be Blue Heart Blessed by Susan Meissner.