Tuesday

Review: A Dangerous Legacy

A Dangerous Legacy A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved the story and the characters. Camden does a wonderful job with historical details that really add so many dimensions to her stories. This one won't disappoint!

I particularly enjoyed the inside look at news of the day in 1903, and the peek inside a sanitarium with the horrendous practices. (It isn't graphic, just horrifying).

Character development is really good, but one thing that was a bit reader shocking is the abrupt turn around at the end of the story. I get it, but it's still very abrupt.

Each character has a flaw that is even pertinent to today as well. Woven into the story these flaws take the characters out of the 2-D realm of paper and ink (or eReader) into full, lively color complete with smells and textures that you don't find in most stories these days.

It's a keeper, and a great, satisfying read.

Thank you NetGalley and publisher for giving me this copy to review.

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Review: The Essence of Malice

The Essence of Malice The Essence of Malice by Ashley Weaver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a story that you definitely need to read the previous stories in order to get any kind of character development for the main characters. But the other characters are developed quite well to the point that there were lots of characters to choose from to pin the murder upon. Keeps you guessing pretty well to the end.

Also, I was lost when I found out that the marriage had been troubled. Also, why in the world would someone love another person that was so secretive???? Not healthy.

Setting that aside, the mystery is very slowly solved. Achingly slow. It irritated me no end that husband was so secretive toward wife. I lost interest long before the end, and the characters did not leave a lasting imprint in my mind.

Disclaimer: I would probably have totally enjoyed this story if I had read the previous novels. I adore period mysteries and the early 1930's is quite a wonderful era for a mystery!

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Review: Crisis Shot

Crisis Shot Crisis Shot by Janice Cantore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story kept me interested until close to the end. The author missed an opportunity for a cataclysmic climax and missed it completely. Way too many points of view so it was very difficult to really care about the protagonist, not even sure which one was the protagonist. So I lost interest. The premise is pretty good, but I think there are lots of other small town, small county sheriff/police chief stories that have been done so much better.

However, the tiny details of police work were very interesting, and the management of the officers different personalities was great!

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Review: A Match for Melissa

A Match for Melissa A Match for Melissa by Susan Karsten
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Karsten does an excellent job with the historical part of this story. Great attention to detail. Her descriptions bring the era alive.

Characters are very well developed. Quite a good element of faith, and Melissa is adamant of marry in the faith. I found it hard to imagine that with that strong will to marry in the faith that she didn't see through several of the characters. Nonetheless, she perseveres and wins her man. Of course.

I found each page of the story to move the story along... none of the missteps that newbies generally make. She had an excellent editor to go along with her excellent story telling.

This is a keeper.

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Review: Crossing the Lines

Crossing the Lines Crossing the Lines by Sulari Gentill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here is an excellent venture into the mind of a writer and mind of a character interacting. I've actually had conversations with my characters before... but not like this!

Excellent writing, but not so great an ending. I felt very deflated and disappointed. I guess, if I had read any other of her books, I might have been prepared for this kind of ending. This was my first read of hers and I completely and enthusiastically enjoyed it all the way to the last chapter, maybe last 2 chapters.

The characters are so well developed the transitions seem to be transparent. Head hopping is not really noticeable. That is the mark of an excellent writer. Description is not overpowering, but so deft that the authors places you right in the scene. You're sitting on the sofa, or the in the garden, or in the car, or at the bistro drinking coffee while they story moves around you. In fact it gets to the point where you aren't sure who is the real deal and who is the character.

The plot is quite intriguing, and the murder really isn't a murder--or is it really murder? You'll have to read to find out.

This one is a keeper.

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Wednesday

Review: Loving Luther

Loving Luther Loving Luther by Allison Pittman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.

Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows—a choice more practical than pious—but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?


Well, we find out. I was amazed at how closely Pittman stayed to the historical facts, but filled in with era-accurate story. You really get to know Katharina and her friends in the convent, and your heart breaks with how these children are raised in the Catholic church.

The characters are very 3 dimensional and so well crafted that you wonder how they'll handle what comes next after you turn out the lights. Just wonderful writing. You experience the intrigue and questions, worship by rote, and the courage and fear the nuns feel as they read the treasured words from the Bible in their own language and not Latin. You tremble at the thought of stepping outside a comfort zone that is not so comfortable in the cold, hard halls of the convent.

Descriptions bring in all the senses. You feel the terrible cold to your bones, the bland food depresses appetite, the rough fabric scratches the skin, the needle pricks your finger as secret pockets are made.

Excellent detail in story. The love interest of Katharina [spoiler]who rejects her because he was a weak person ruled by his mother and whom she does not end up with[/spoiler] gives a poignant reason for her attraction and true love for Martin Luther.

If you do not know Katharina's and Martin's story, this would be an excellent book to read. Pittman does not delve into the reformation movement except for the intrigue in smuggling in the questions and Bible verses for the nuns to ponder. It's all told from Katharina's point of view, so we don't agonize with Luther over his reformation awakening or his excommunication. This is a tender and poignant story about a little girl growing up in a convent and a religion that could not answer her questions. It's how the answers she found gave her a maturity in God to be a truly helpful helpmeet for Martin Luther.

Exquisite.


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Review: On Love's Gentle Shore

On Love's Gentle Shore On Love's Gentle Shore by Liz Johnson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am usually the odd one out when it comes to reviewing books. I do have very high standards, and this one falls short. But I do have a very good reason.

After 15 years Natalie and Justin are just as hopping mad at each other as if they had separated the day before. Fifteen years after my divorce from a man that cheated on me with 2 prostitutes not once but twice, I had forgiven him and we were able to be friends. Mostly because we shared 2 daughters and grandchildren, but the searing anger was gone. I knew that God said to forgive. Period. I had to work hard at forgiving, but I finally did.

These 2 lovebirds were supposed to be Christian and yet had harbored vicious anger forever. I wonder if Johnson knows just how long 15 years really is. I wonder if she even thought about God's command to forgive.

I got fed up with the spitting venom, which was not funny nor was it a particularly pleasant reading experience. Having lived for 22 years in a marriage with that kind of vicious bickering and venom, it took me a little while to understand why I had such an aversion to this story. It was the anger. And believe me, Johnson does an excellent job in describing that.

So don't take my observations to much to heart. I can imagine a really cold simmering anger after 15 years, but not this hot, raging vitriol. It didn't make sense.

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Review: Heart on the Line

Heart on the Line Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an exceptional read! I loved it.

Karen Witemeyer has written a tale with just the right mix of romance, intrigue, mystery, and humor in a truly good story. I did read the 1st book in the series, but it didn't matter because these characters were developed on their own merits, not building on the characters in the first book. This is a good stand alone story.

Karen does a great job of developing her characters. They are intriguing and fun examples of the era. She did her research well, and it was good research. In the story that revolves around telegraph operators, the times of late 19th century shine in the idiosyncrasies of life in a town full of women and one man (except for the supply delivery fellow). She resists the temptation for worn jokes, but does poke a little fun at the culture of the day, all within the era--no modernisms, thank goodness.

The pace is fast, but not so fast you whiz by the romance. She makes good use of the anticipation factor so that when the love interests finally recognize their love, it's very satisfying.

You'll get to know all different types of women, and none are caricatures--it feels like they are real and could be your best friends if only you lived way back then.

Five of five stars and this book is worth every penny. It's a keeper for sure.

Thank you NetGalley and Bethany House for my eBook copy to review in exchange for an honest review.

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Monday

Review: Bread of Angels

Bread of Angels Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a good fiction read, but biblical details are not exactly correct. Let me get that off my chest first. It would help her story a lot if Tessa had studied a good bit of Jewish tradition and factored that in. The reason the women gathered at the riverside to worship, pray, and teaching (the Greek word means oratory), is because it takes 10 Jewish men to create a synagogue. There weren't 10 Jewish men to do that. Paul, in all his journeys, sought out the synagogue first to preach, and then took the Gospel to the Gentiles.

Philippi was a Roman outpost/colony, but it had myriad peoples there.

And it had Jewish women who worshiped God, not Roman idols, and they came together on the Sabbath day, not just any day of the week. This is where Paul went first. While it is possible that Lydia was a proselyte, I think she was actually Jewish because of the way the text reads.

Except for the few other biblical inaccuracies, the book was finely researched and well depicted. I enjoyed the fictional depiction of Lydia especially the way Tessa described life in Thyatria with the dominant Romans and Roman customs. I also appreciate the way Tessa manipulated it so a Roman woman could own and run businesses. Sadly, that isn't how it was. Female babies were often given the name Oncia (born 1st), Secundia (second born), Tertia (as you've guessed, third born) and so on down the line. Female babies were often put outside the gates of Roman cities as unwanted because they were not regarded as worthy. Although Roman women had a lot more freedom and worth than did Greek women who were considered property and were never allowed in public, in their own dining rooms when male guests were there, nor anywhere that they could be seen by any male person other than papa or husband.



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Review: Whispers of the Wind / The Scent of Magnolia

Whispers of the Wind / The Scent of Magnolia Whispers of the Wind / The Scent of Magnolia by Frances Devine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very enjoyable read. This is the first book by Frances Devine that I've read, and I'm glad I did. I'll let you read the other reviews for what the story is about. However, I must say that I can definitely tell that Frances did her homework. The research she did was in depth and articulated well without being teachy or lecture like. Very well done.

Characters are well developed, although I think the superintendent acted a bit out of character sometimes, but then we find out why later on, so the tweaks and quirks are forgiven when we find out.

Lily, one of the children, is well developed, but the others are such minor characters that it doesn't really matter that they aren't developed. But it feels like something is missing -- children -- when we're in a school and the children are weaving in and out of the story as children do naturally.

The plot is fairly good, too. The romance heavily uses anticipation which is quite delicious. I really liked reading this book. Highly recommend.

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Review: An Alien Perspective

An Alien Perspective An Alien Perspective by Roxanne Barbour
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm probably one of the most critical reviewers that you'll meet. I really don't know why this book averaged 1.5 stars when it is really an excellent read. The characters are extremely well developed for a YA story. There are no cardboard characters here. Admittedly the action is a tad bland if you want to compare this it to something like StarTrek or Star Wars. But if you do, you are missing the whole point of a very poignant story.

Why is it that teenagers are so resilient and so determined to rise above situations. Because they believe that nothing bad will happen to them. Oh, sure, something bad happens to other teens, but nothing bad will happen to me. Adults on the other hand will struggle and strive with each other, will jockey for power, will have trouble working in a team environment, and will [spoiler]act just like the second team found a day's walk from our original team.[/spoiler]

If you've ever taken some college communications courses, this would be a good study in small group communication and leadership.

This is a study in survival from teenagers' point of view. I'd say this would be an excellent read for 9-12 year olds.

I do recommend this book.

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Review: Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish

Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a must read for every author whether you've written 30 books or still working on your first manuscript.

Bell has packed so many great ideas into this one book that you can't sleep with everything whirling around in your head.

I can't put it away. I keep dragging it out and rereading chapters because every time I reread a few pages, new ideas pop in my head. This is one of the best books for aiming your writing in order to hit the target every time you pull the trigger. Well... that isn't a great analogy, but maybe you get the gist of what I'm saying.



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Review: Transitory

Transitory Transitory by Ian Williams
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

I just couldn't quite get into this novel. It moved a bit slow, and the characters were not well developed. After about half-way through, I realized that I just didn't care about the characters, so I quit reading.

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Tuesday

Review: A Tale of Two Kitties

A Tale of Two Kitties A Tale of Two Kitties by Sofie Kelly
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well, I have to disagree with one of the reviews here that it was a seamless knitting of previous story into this 9th book in the series. Frankly, I got lost with all the characters that seemingly had nothing to do with moving the story along.

I love the small town relationships, it's just that there were so many of them. It took forever to get into the mystery. I finally gave up.

The writing is very good, the characters were already developed in earlier books so I missed out on that. But the kitties were a delight. I just love the premise of these books. I'll have to go back and read from the beginning so I'll know what's going on, I guess. Anyway, this is a good, clean story and the way Sofie Kelly tells the story is excellent. If you've read something of hers before, then you'll love this one just as much. If you haven't read anything of hers before, I strongly suggest that you purchase an earlier book and then come to this one just because there are so many characters to keep track of that you might get lost like I did. I said "might", not would.

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Monday

Review: The Silent Corner

The Silent Corner The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been a die hard Koontz fan for decades (I won't say how many because that would date me:). This book did not disappoint me. It's a bit different, but such a great read. I read the ARC, so some of his wordiness had not been edited out. However, his descriptions have hit a new high. Reallly good, very poetic. In fact so poetic that some of them were a little distracting.

The story premise is very good and extremely frightening. Scary because technology can reach this peak, and who's to keep some corporation from doing this very thing? Koontz's mind is a scary place for sure.

Jane Hawk is a marvelous character. She's the only person who realizes what's going on, and she doesn't have anyone she can trust. I felt her frustration, her fear, her courage, and her patience-end. I cheered and I shivered. There are times when I got aggravated with Koontz's plot twists. After all, a hero needs her sidekicks!

Received the ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: prepared to die

prepared to die prepared to die by Peter Dudgeon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really like books from UK authors. This one didn't really hold my attention because there were so many different angles and points of view. I really hate this kind of jumping around, and seeming disorganized plot. Somehow the author gets to the end, but I'm bumfuzzled as to how. The language gets foul at times that doesn't add to the plot or give any kind of impact.

This is not an Agatha Christie type of mystery that is well thought out and all the characters are well developed. The, I think, protagonist is a bit introspective for me. But there are so many different characters whose heads we pop into and out of that it's hard to keep track.

The premise is good. The writing is also fairly good. It's the editing that needs a lot of improvement.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: No Easy Target

No Easy Target No Easy Target by Iris Johansen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! I really like how Iris Johansen draws you into a story and gives the old brain lots of twists and quirks. How neat to have a protagonist that can talk to dogs. What an interesting beginning to have her talking to a tigress!

This is a wild ride. The story doesn't stop escalating, and the stakes keep getting higher and higher. Love this story, the premise, and the characters. I really cared what happened to all of them!

The characters are very well developed, and they do surprise you. How a person can endure what she endured and then [spoiler alert] walks right back into the horror she escaped from!

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Review: Lockdown

Lockdown Lockdown by Laurie R. King
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book has way too many points of view from way too many characters. I couldn't get interested enough in a character to actually care what happened to that character. Even trying to skip forward and focus on one character didn't help. If this is the way that publishers are going to edit and publish books -- thank goodness for indie publishing!

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Review: Sherlock Mars

Sherlock Mars Sherlock Mars by Jackie Kingon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was intrigued by the book blurb. How fun to have a sci-fi murder mystery. Well, in a way it was fun, but very complicated. You've got about 4 storylines rolling along in this book and it's difficult to keep up with each one. My favorite was the prejudice problem with androids and humans. It could have been the mystery -- but that got lost in all the puns and wedding and wondering who was who.

This would have made several good books if the storylines had been separated, but then the characters weren't developed very well so the storyline would be the only thing holding it all together. Perhaps, it would have helped if I had read the first one? But if it was just like this one, I doubt I'd spend the time just to sort it all out.

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Wednesday

Review: Fringe Runner

Fringe Runner Fringe Runner by Rachel Aukes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book as one of the few sci-fi novels that was good from start to finish. A lot of them have really poor writing, character development, and other problems. This one had none of that. Oh, a few typos, but nothing seriously wrong.

It's fast paced. It has an excellent storyline and a good beginning for the series. It is not a cliffhanger ending, but you get a sneak peek at the next books so you don't feel quite so deprived. This is going to be a great series and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books.

It does have foul language, but it isn't every other word, jam-packed with them. No taking the Lord's name in vain, which is a show stopper for me. I didn't get an allergic reaction to them.

It didn't take long to like the characters. That is rather a rare characteristic in novels today. I can't read a story where I don't like the main characters. I especially like the girl pilot in the wheelchair. Her attitude is heroic. I like that a lot. So often there are stories that have characters that don't have any flaws. How boring. This book is anything but boring!

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Monday

Review: Fatal Gift

Fatal Gift Fatal Gift by Michael Frase
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Character development is top notch. You really get to know these characters, but in not in such a way that has you deeply caring about them. They have flaws; their emotions are raw; they make really bad choices; really bad things happen to them. Other than that its a rollercoaster ride for the reader.

I really really hate head jumping without transitions that ease the reader in a logical slide from one character to another so that connections can be made and distinctions between characters are drawn. Oh well... there are a lot of characters and it can get a bit confusing at times. This is more suspense than mystery.

This is a raw book, graphic, and void of much compassion. I get the feeling that the author didn't like even one of these characters. However, it is very vibrant. You can smell the grass pollen and dust and the fear.

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Review: From Ice to Ashes

From Ice to Ashes From Ice to Ashes by Rhett C. Bruno
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is not exactly riveting fare. Although it is interesting. It would be nice if the author realized that readers are not dumkaufs and can actually remember from page to page that the Ringers are long, skinny humans with very slender hands and not a lot of strength. Instead, we are constantly reminded. We are constantly reminded that germs are deathtraps to Ringers, and the cleansing process one must take moving from level to level is also drilled into the noggin. These constant reminders drag the story to a snail's pace. With some really good editing, this could truly be a riveting spacer saga. The language is coarse, but I've found that to be the case in almost all sci fi I've read lately. Sigh...

The reader can easily skip over the constant reminders and find a pretty good storyline. It's probably worth the eBook price.

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Wednesday

Review: Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've really enjoyed other books by Turano. The other books she's written have characters whom I grew to care about quite quickly. Caring about what happens to the characters, wondering what's going to happen next are prerequisites for an enjoyable read for me. This one didn't quite hit the mark.

For no apparent reason Asher is drawn to Permilla (obviously made up name, which people just didn't do back in previous centuries unlike now, which is a drawback for me because period works should stay in the era they depict). While I can understand great passion can arise just because a person likes the way another person looks, Permilla is described as pretty--but why is she a wallflower... oh! She can't talk to men... but, then why can she voice her opinion so eloquently about Asher to Asher?

When I got to the point where the two main characters were going to let someone else find out who the potential murderer was, I completely lost interest and put it down. So sorry Turano. This one flop (in my opinion) won't keep me from reading your books because they previous ones have ALL been really good. Everyone is allowed at least one backstep once in a while :)

It wasn't meshing for me. When I consider the high quality of previous books by Turano with this one, this one falls flat.

Got it from Netgalley exchanging for an honest review.

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Review: Inspector Hobbes and the Bones

Inspector Hobbes and the Bones Inspector Hobbes and the Bones by Wilkie Martin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I got this book because I really like Wilkie Collins' stories and the premise sounded wonderfully quirky. Let's just say that I'm allergic to certain types of language, and the dialogue in this book was limp and couldn't draw me into the story. I know this isn't because it's from across the pond. It's just that the writing did not appeal to me as a reader nor as an editor. I'm sure this must be because I didn't read any of the first 3 in the series. But on the other hand, I just couldn't get into the story. So much happened to poor Andy that I found I didn't really care about Andy. Any he's not like Mr. Bean who funny in the mishaps. Just didn't click for me, but I see that it does for most of those who reviewed it. Guess I'm the one out in the cold :)

Downloaded from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

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Review: My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille

My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille by Erica Vetsch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved this story. It had some great character development and the dialogue was very believable as well as pushed the story along. Head hopping was at a minimum, and for that I am very grateful. I truly enjoyed the children characters who were not as developed as the main characters. That was a bit of a disappointment because there wouldn't have been a story without the children. The narration and the dialogue were period- accurate. In other words, I wasn't jerked out of the 1800s into the 21st Century with the turn of a phrase. Good book, and a keeper! I give this 4 stars out of 5 stars because there were a couple of places that were a bit confusing that blocked the story flow for me. I know it was probably because this was an advance reader copy rather than the real-deal off the shelf. But, I call them as I see them, and I've read things off the shelf that have this same problem, so those stumbling blocks may still be there when you read the book. Just sayin'

Received this book from the publisher at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Monday

Review: From This Moment

From This Moment From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was intrigued from page 1. I do recommend this book for historical romance readers. I am also intrigued with the historical accuracy. However, Once again the era norms are ignored and the women are encased in 20th and 21st century ways of thinking. I don't find that very historically accurate so you've got a fine line to walk that as a general rule falls on the side of accuracy, but there are moments when you are jerked out of the 1800s and experience a 20th century smack-down. If that doesn't bother you, then you'll like this book.

I especially liked the scientific aspects, the tensions among the characters, which makes for good conflict without seeming like the author is trying too hard to create conflict. It just comes naturally among the characters. Character development is pretty good, too.

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Tuesday

Review: Deep Freeze Christmas

Deep Freeze Christmas Deep Freeze Christmas by Marian P. Merritt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well... I reviewed this book several weeks ago, but I haven't a clue what happened to it.

This story is very well written and has that authentic Cajun flavor that pours from Chef and the main character Leona Buquet. Also well done is the electricity that spark between Leona and Cameron. I like that peppering of faith that sprinkles the story. Not preachy... just good story writing. Excellent editing, too!

Well done White Rose Publishing! Kudos to you, too.

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Saturday

Review: Wed by Necessity

Wed by Necessity Wed by Necessity by Karen Kirst
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I tried and tried to get into this book. I really liked the premise, but the execution fell flat. I just could not care one way or another about the main characters. The animosity/attraction between the two main characters is far too heavy-handed in the beginning. If someone is aggravated by another person, they aren't interested in how broad his shoulders are. The beginning is just not believable in my opinion. This kind of writing goes way back to those kidnap-woman-fall-in-love books written back in the late 70s and 80s.

Some authors made the premise work because the story was about preconceived perceptions being wrong, lack of communication, and finally discovering the other person's true character. Classic Pride and Prejudice. This one does not work.



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Thursday

Review: A Hero's Homecoming

A Hero's Homecoming A Hero's Homecoming by Carlene Havel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Truly a captivating read. However, there are some holes in the storyline that constrict the story flow somewhat. The protag comes home to find his house sold, his bank account drained and his wife is nowhere to be found. Now... all those problems seem to just disappear when he finally makes it home to his dad's house. The reason I say it's captivating is because you seem to forget those problems as he gets closer to God and to the one woman who is actually worthy to love. I guess if your dad is as rich as Midas you don't have to worry that you've lost everything.

One thing that I really liked about this book is that the characters don't agonize over everything and the author doesn't constantly "bring you up to date" like you've forgotten the plot from one chapter to the next.

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Review: Christmas at Dove Creek

Christmas at Dove Creek Christmas at Dove Creek by Scarlett Dunn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great story, great character development, solid and believable external conflicts and then you get to the end and realize why there's very little internal conflict with both main characters. What I found wonderful was the authentic Cajun flavor of the dialogue, the story, the details even though it is set in Colorado. Great job by the author, the editor, and the publisher. Thanks for a good read!

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Review: Stars in the Grass

Stars in the Grass Stars in the Grass by Ann Marie Stewart
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The premise is very depressing. A child is killed in an accident and the family has to deal with the tragedy--all seen from the eyes of a 9-year-old girl. There are some sweet moments, and one or two places made me smile, but frankly the whole is gut-wrenching. I fight depression all the time, so this book was not good for me to read. The reason is there was no hope or ray of sunshine given at the beginning of the story. I need that to know that to latch onto because we can't count on happy endings anymore. There have been lots of books that end, and I feel cheated because the ending did not meet expectations.

It's very well written. It stays in the 70s with no oppsies from the 21st century, even speech patterns stay in the 70s. BUT readers need hope when faced with reading something so depressing. There has to be hope for the sunshine in a rainy week otherwise it becomes too oppressive.

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