Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Testing Guide (The Testing, #0.5) by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing Guide (The Testing, #0.5)The Testing Guide by Joelle Charbonneau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great teaser for the up and coming book The Testing. Besides giving us a glimpse of what to expect for the story, the eprequel also includes the first 3 chapters of the book.

I am happy to say I am VERY excited to read it and looking forward to this series by Joelle Charbonneau.

A free download can be found here: The Testing Guide

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Where Wildflowers Bloom by Ann Shorey

Where Wildflowers BloomWhere Wildflowers Bloom by Ann Shorey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Where the Wildflowers Bloom was actually a very enjoyable read. I know that sounds as if I was doubting it would be, well to be honest I was going into it kind of unsure as to how much I would like it. I've had some not so happy experiences with some of the last few Christian Fiction novels I've read.

All Faith Lindberg has left in the world is her Grandpa and his store,  which he has left her in charge of. And memories, painful memories that are around every corner of Noble Springs. She has lost both her father and brother in the war, her mother having died when Faith was but a young girl. Which is why she can not wait to get the store sold so they can make the move west to Oregon.

But things do not go as planed for Faith when she discovers the business isn't as successful has she was led to believe. In attempt to turn things around, many things take place to knock her back down.

I liked it, it was nice and sweet with enjoyable characters that never made want to toss my kindle on the floor. On top of that I never felt like I was being preached at. I find that some of the books of this genre are too in your face, and it spoils the story (for me that is).

I'm looking forward to continuing this series, as well as reading other books by Ann Shorey.

If you enjoy historical fiction that is mixed with romance and mystery then I recommend you check out this story.

Overall 3.5

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Before the Season Ends by Linore Rose Burkard

Before the Season EndsBefore the Season Ends by Linore Rose Burkard
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

*Waring Spoilers Ahead*

Before the Season Ends was an enjoyable read and it got much better as it went on but then it well, went downhill and made me mad.

I stayed up into the wee hours finishing this book, slept on it and now that I am awake again, I am still disappointed. This book held my attention and interest for so long and then I wanted to yell at it.

Ariana is sent to stay in London with her Aunt, for the season. Her Aunt being overly wealthy is a childless widow who wants to present her niece to society. This will benefit the three parties involved, her aunt's invitations are not as plentiful as they used to be, this will get her invited to more of the Tons events. Ariana will be able to intermingle with the best of society, perhaps find a husband and see some of the sites of London she has hoped to visit. For her parents they want to remove her from the ageing rector that has set his sights on her and her him, thinking it must be her lot in life.

At her first event, a picnic she meets Mr. Mr. Mornay. Mr. Mornay is a bachelor, who can make you or ruin you in the eyes of the Ton, he is very handsome and rich. Due to certain events that take place in the story, Ariana and Mr. Mornay are to spend much time together. Which is the good part for me in this book, the better part.

Now here comes my frustration, she loves him, yet she is unsure as to marry him. Why? Because he isn't a "true believer". So she sends him to stay with her father so he can learn to become one. I'm sorry but  that is ridiculous. I understand that this is Christian fiction, I've read a nice bit of this genre lately, and some of them a relationship won't work until they started going to church but this book, this book got me frustrated.

I see a lot of great reviews regarding this novel, and it was great book up until I wanted to yell and glare. Because of these frustrations I CAN NOT give it as high a rating as I had thought I would end up giving it.

So my final rating will have to be 2.5 stars.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Loving Liza Jane (Little Hickman Creek Series #1) by Sharlene MacLaren

Loving Liza Jane (Little Hickman Creek Series #1)Loving Liza Jane by Sharlene MacLaren
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Liza is the new teacher for Little Hickman, the fourth one in four years. Each one being made to leave due to the actions of some of the students. She doesn't have fear because she is confident that she will succeed where the others hadn't. There are some rules of etiquette Liza must follow,one of those are no contact with the opposite sex.

Ben is a widow, with two small children to look after. He is in need of a wife to take care of these young children of his so he can tend to his fields and other work. When he sees an advertising for mail order brides he wonders if this is something he should go for. But would he be able to marry some he doesn't even know or met? And does he want to now that the pretty new school teacher has caught his eye?

This story has much more between the pages then the blurb lets up. The banter between Liza and Ben is great, he is rather a charming fellow. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Blackmailed by the Beast (Unlikely Love, #1) by Sam Crescent

Blackmailed by the Beast (Unlikely Love, #1)Blackmailed by the Beast by Sam Crescent
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Boy wants girl
Girl get's forced into marriage
Girl eventually falls in love with boy.

Toss in blackmail, a hateful family, and a little twist. You have Blackmailed by the Beast.

The boy in this case, Wayne is an older man who is filthy rich. The girl, Lily, is much younger and treated like crap by her family. Forced to do the cooking and cleaning while they still go out spending money they don't have and going more and more in debt. They treat her like a slave and call her down constantly because of her size.

In order to clean up the family money problems and outstanding debt Wayne offers to pay all of it off and keep them comfortable if Lily agrees to become his wife. And if she doesn't he will see them ruined.

Very quick read, great for anyone who doesn't have much time to spend on getting invested in a story.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

This Girl (Slammed, #3) by Colleen Hoover

This Girl (Slammed, #3)This Girl by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How do you put into words these feelings.

I laughed...
I cried...
I fell in love...
I took comfort...

This Girl is book three of Colleen Hoovers Slammed series. It starts where Point of Retreat leaves off. Will and Lake are on their honeymoon, she wants to know how he felt during moments in their relationship. So she asks him to tell all, the good and the bad. We've all done this to a significant other at some point, "tell me what you thought/felt the first time we met/kiss/etc"

It's a recapping of the events in Slammed. But it's HIS side of the story, his thoughts and feelings. Because every tale has two sides and in life we normally only get to witness the one.

On top of seeing his view on their relationship, we get his story out side it and other key moments in his life.....we get to know Will. We get his turmoil, his inner war that takes place.
We are given the chance to see his struggles, his heart ache and wild string of emotions.
I kiss her.
I kiss her like it's the first time I've ever kissed her.
I kiss her like it's the last time I'll ever kiss her.

We get to fall in love with Will Cooper all over again.

I read a lot of books, I've loved a lot of books, I've cried at a lot of books. I cried a lot during this book.

There are so many wonderful moments in this book, it really is hard to even say what I like most of all. I think I'll have to go with all of it.

I've praised Colleen Hoover up so many times on social media sites and in both of my reviews of Slammed and Point of Retreat. And well time to do it some more.

Yes I've said I've cried at other books but it's different with this series, there is something magical about Colleen Hoover. Her writing grabs a hold of me and I am engulfed in a sea of emotion. She truly is a wonder, her words, her style is such a gift and I am so SO grateful that I have gotten to experience them.

*Copy provided for review by Atria Books via NetGalley*
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Friday, May 17, 2013

The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden

The Lady of Bolton HillThe Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Daniel and Clara have been best friends since they were children, both coming from different backgrounds but brought together from a mutual love of Chopin. Always playing music together, known pieces and scoring their own, something other then friendship started to bloom. Even if it was not noticed between the two.

Clara was to be sent to London to live with her Aunt. Under the guise of her pursuing her dream of writing, not realizing her father was purposely keeping her from the budding romance he could see happening even if she never.

After a lifetime away in London, Clara returns home to Baltimore a journalist, a rarity for females, wondering what happened to Daniel after all these years. Was he still the same boy, even though now a grown man, that she used to know?

For the first half of this book I was thinking this will be a four star book. I was enjoying the story and the characters, I loved Daniel. I loved the playfulness between both he and Clara, the friendship still strong even after all those years and distance between them.

As the story continued on into the second half, this is where one of the stars faded away. With out spoiling the story for others, things happened that for me I couldn't wrap my head around. Not saying it couldn't happen just that it seemed to soon and sudden. A little far fetched.

Over all I will give it 3.5 stars, because I did enjoy the book and characters, just not the outcome of some things.

I leave you with Chopin's Nocturne No. 4

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Shooting Stars (A Surah Stormsong Novel, #1) by H.D. Gordon

Shooting Stars (A Surah Stormsong Novel, #1)Shooting Stars by H.D. Gordon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*Spoilers ahead*

Absolutely fantastic!!

5 shooting stars out of 5

A common country boy and a princess, an unlikely pairing. But they have a connection, there is a tale between the two. Is it written in the stars?

Princess Surah and Charlie have met just once before, a life time ago, and the secret they share if found out, could get them both in trouble.

  "This could get me in big trouble if I'm caught, Surah," he said
One side of her mouth lifted. Then don't get caught, Charlie"

Now a member of the highborn has been murdered and the Black Stone has been stolen. Surah, as the only remaining child of the king is to investigate the murder and theft. Which places her face to face with Charlie, someone who she never thought she would cross paths with again.

This is so much more then a love story, it is a story of magics and sorcery of old with a modern feel at times, a kingdom torn and in need of change. It is one deception,darkness and hate but it is also one of hope, loyalty, and friendship.

  "How much do you love her?"
"More then the moon loves the night and the sun loves the day."

Well written with characters you are able really have a connection with. I completely loved this story, it isn't like any other I have read and I will happily recommend this book and author to others. I'm looking forward to reading book 2 when it is released!

I haven't read any other works written by H.D. Gordon, and I am honored that I was given the chance to do so when I received a copy for an honest review. So with this being a first for me, I did not know that this book was connected to another series written by her, The Alexa Montgomery Saga. A series that I will be reading, very soon!

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Reaper's Novice (Soul Collector, #1) by Cecilia Robert

Reaper's Novice (Soul Collector, #1)Reaper's Novice by Cecilia Robert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off I would like to say I was given a copy of Reaper's Novice for an honest review.

Secondly I LOVE the cover!

If you where given the chance to have your family back would you take it? What if it meant trading your soul for it? Turing you immortal and being owned by death for eternity?

Ana's family is falling apart, her parents are fighting all the time, and she takes it up on herself to mend the pain and put it back together. She figures a holiday would be a great place to start. Except things don't go as planed and rather then a bonding family trip she comes face to face with death himself or Ernest as he would rather be called, and saves her family in a whole other way.

Ana is what the title of the book states, she is the novice for death. For thirteen months she will takes lessons on soul collecting. After those are up if she passes her final test she will move up from novice to soul collector.

I found this story to be very interesting, there is so much more going on then blurb gives. There are many great characters that we get to meet, Ernest is not the typical Grim reaper. He lives in a castle and enjoys the dinner parties and dances of old. Zig, a collector who looks to Ernest as a father figure is suave flirt who can charm the pants off of anyone. He's a hot as hell and he knows it, a tad cocky.

Many questions are left unanswered, but that's how it is suppose to be with this series I think. We are suppose to grow with Ana has she discovers more and more information regarding who she really is and what she has been preordained to do. She has been and will be faced with many choices in this journey, will she be able to pick what is best?

I really liked this story and I can not wait to see what happens in book 2. I think this is going to be a great series.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Affectionate Adversary (Miss Pickworth Series #1) by Catherine Palmer

The Affectionate AdversaryThe Affectionate Adversary by Catherine   Palmer
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Am I ever glad to be done. I actually thought about DNFING it. At one point I was going to post this:

and say so long, then I noticed I had less the hundred pages left and said, fine I'll finish it I've already spent my night reading it and it's getting too late to start something new, might as well not have my book reading night be a total loss.

I could not stand these characters. Sarah is too stubborn and set, I wanted to say enough already. Charles, I just wanted to shake and say just walk way, please you fool. The sisters *cringe* I know they are members of society and well they are "above" people, but these people were very snob like. There were to many things that I found annoying, I enjoy Christian romance/fiction but this book was just coming on too strong for me, too in your face.

I won't be recommending this book. I didn't enjoy this book someone might and I see people have. It wasn't for me. What drew me in was the cover, I thought it was very pretty. The blurb was also interesting. I think it could have been much more enjoyable with some tweaking.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Desire by Design by Paula Altenburg

Desire by DesignDesire by Design by Paula Altenburg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*ARC copy from publisher, Entangled Publishing.*
4.5 Stars
Expected publication: May 13th 2013

Eve is the project manager for the new city hall, she has worked hard to get where she is. Harder then most being a female in the field without a proper degree. Hoping to get her name out there she is also the designer of the final draft. Or at least she had planed and hoped she would be until Matt Brison enters the scene.

Matt, an internationally known architect has been asked by his uncle the major if would come and work on the design plans for the new city hall, hoping he would modernize the building and move Halifax in a more forward direction.

Not knowing what he was getting himself into when he agreed to do so, a feisty, spirited "bully" with "hot chocolate" eyes was definitely not it. He definitely hadn't thought he would be remotely attracted to her, she is nothing at all what he typically looked for or is looking for in a potential wife and eventual mother of his future children he wanted to have. There is nothing domestic about Eve.

Eve has made mistakes in the past, ones that have completely changed how she trusts men, especially the handsome, charming,well educated ones, and Matt was definitely all three. She's been down that road before.  She doesn't want to feel like she's lower or stupid, she doesn't want to be someones possession either.

I completely adored this story. It was cute and sweet and funny. Oh my how I giggled while reading this book. Author Paula Altenburg has done a marvelous job at creating these two characters.

I have one complaint to make, I wish it had been longer.

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Only Scandal Will Do by Jenna Jaxon

Only Scandal Will DoOnly Scandal Will Do by Jenna Jaxon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lady Katarina and her brother are attacked in their carriage. She is kidnapped and unknowingly brought to a brothel and put for auction. Up for sale for a night of pleasure, dark and twisted fantasies if the buyer is so inclined.

After being out of the country for a year due to scandal towards his family, Duncan, Marquess of Dalbury comes back home to London. He needs to find a wife and produce an heir. Deciding to check out the brothel with his friend he is transfixed on a hidden beauty with red hair. Upon purchasing her for the night things don't go as he had hoped.

I thought the story was great, both characters are enjoyable. Katarina is a spitfire, with some hidden talents up her sleeve. While Duncan, a rake who is smitten and is trying to win his way into Katarinas heart, and bed.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

The Shunning (The Heritage of Lancaster County, #1) by Beverly Lewis

The Shunning (The Heritage of Lancaster County, #1)The Shunning by Beverly  Lewis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Katie Lapp always knew there was something different about her, apart from her auburn locks. She was spirited and loved music, she often thought about the colors of dress she has seen on the "English".

She didn't want to disobey God, but she didn't really think she was. She tried to be a good daughter, listening to her parents. But there were parts of her always wondered if there was something else other then the Amish ways.

After a discovery in  the attic she is left wondering even more who she is and where is that she belongs. She walks out on her wedding day, realizing settling with out these answers would only lead to much regrets and what ifs.

I liked The Shunning, it wasn't the best of Amish fiction I have read but enjoyable all the same. A little predictable, a little frustrating, well a lot frustrating at times. Those times when I wanted to yell at my book and ask how you could do that to someone you love, and call them hypocrites.

I'll be on the look out for the next book.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Beautiful Lie by T.E. Sivec

A Beautiful LieA Beautiful Lie by T.E. Sivec
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Imagine being in love with your best friend but you can't do anything about it, because your best friend is going to marry your other best friend, the person who you've been friends with all your life, they are family to you. You step aside because you want your friend to be happy all because of these little words "I saw her first".

Imagine finding out everything you thought you knew about your best friends was a lie. That you never really knew anything. Secrets and lies.

Somethings can be looked over, something can be forgiven and understood. But sometimes you find out that you never really knew someone, a whole other person.

A Beautiful Lie was a great book that completely took me by surprise. The blurb dose not prepare you for everything that actually happens in this book. Great story, we have romance, heartache, action, suspense. It was frustrating at times when I just wanted to yell tell them to stop being stupid.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Prophecy Girl (Lacuna Valley, #1) by Faith McKay

Prophecy Girl (Lacuna Valley, #1)Prophecy Girl by Faith McKay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

..Spoilers ahead..

*Copy given for an honest review*

Sam is this supposed "Prophecy Girl", her dreams can give clues to future events. Her little sister Violet is what people have labeled a "puppet master" she prays/wishes for something and it happens. She is a key player in the events in this book. She can control things, the weather, actions, people. She can make someone do things against their will if she wanted. Their mother is trying to control her, and they pray together. Even though Violet doesn't always pray for what her mother wants her too.

The mother is pure hate, she is a such an horrible person. She treats Sam like she is nothing but worthless trash, while using Violets "prayers" to help her out. Sam can not wait until she is eighteen years of age, then she is free of her. But the thing is Sam doesn't think she'll make it that far because her mother will probably kill her first. If she doesn't there is still Violet to protect.

She is an evil woman who is in search of a magical orb. And because of this search they keep on moving from small town to small town. What she wants with this orb is unknown, what she could do with it, is terrifying.

We have Nick, the protector of the orb. He comes from a long line of protectors as the role is past on from one generation onto the next.  Who by the way made me think of Xander, whenever he spoke or did anything.

A little slow at times for me, as we got closer to the end I felt like things were dragging on and not really going anywhere. I just wanted something to happen and for the story to pick up. I didn't really like Sam some of the time, Nick I liked all of the time.

I found myself left with many unanswered questions at the end of this book. There is much more to this story and I can only hope my questions get answered as the series continues.

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