Wednesday, June 16, 2010

To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson ~ 5 stars + Favorite!

To Darkness Fled
Jill Williamson
Blood of Kings series #2
Marcher Lord Press
About the book:
They have no choice. Chased by an evil prince, Achan, Vrell, and the Kingsguard knights flee into Darkness. They head north, for Tsaftown and Ice Island, where they must free an army that can help them fight for Er’Rets.

Darkness sickens Vrell. How long can she keep her secret without being caught? Achan already suspects her of lying. If she is not careful, he will suspect her of treason as well. She hopes he will let his suspicions go until they reach her home.

Achan wanted freedom, but this new journey has bound him more than ever. Sir Gavin’s claims are so far fetched. First, that there might only be one God, and second, that this God chose Achan to push back Darkness, the magnificent curse of Er’Rets. Him. Achan. Barely a man himself.

Each setback Darkness brings seems minor compared to the one choice only Achan can make. What will he choose?

My review:
This is one of those books that leaves me nearly speechless, I loved it so much. Jill Williamson is a truly gifted writer. She has the ability to write a story that completely captivates you. She weaves her story lines brilliantly. It is so masterfully done that you never know what is going to happen next, but you can’t wait to find out what it is! I believe that Jill is one of my top 5 favorite authors of all time. In my opinion, this book (and the one that precedes it) should be moved to the top of your to-be-read list.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hearts Awakening by Delia Parr ~ 4 stars

Hearts Awakening
Delia Parr
Bethany House Publishing
About the book:
Two people in desperate circumstances. One unlikely proposal.

Life has left few choices for Elvira Kilmer. Her hopes for marriage and a family of her own have long since passed her by, and her arrival on Dillon's Island, nestled in the Susquehanna River, is not of her choosing, either. She needs work. And Jackson Smith needs a housekeeper.

Yet Ellie never imagined the widower would be so young... so handsome.

Jackson, on the other hand, has never met anyone quite so... plain. But he quickly comes to realize that Ellie's presence may solve his own problems--both the rearing of his young boys and the scandal that surrounds his first marriage.

When Jackson offers her something quite out of the ordinary, will Ellie look beyond mere necessity and risk opening her heart?

My review:
Hearts Awakening is a book that made me cry, scoot to the edge of my seat, growl in frustration, and, in the end, sigh. Ellie is the kind of woman that I try to be like: patient, forgiving, insightful, kind even when she doesn’t feel like it, and she puts others first. She isn’t naturally this way. She just tries her best because she knows it’s the right thing to do. Her determination to keep on loving Jackson, even when he sorely did not deserve it, emulates true love. She encouraged him to be better, by example and by word. The book itself was easy for me to get caught up in, but it was a little lacking in romance between the characters, in my opinion. All in all, I would recommend it.
Thanks to Bethany House for the reviewer copy of this book.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough ~ 4 stars

The Anonymous Bride
Vickie McDonough
Texas Boardinghouse Brides series #1
Barbour Publishing
About the book:
Three mail-orders brides arrive in Lookout, Texas, each expecting to marry the local marshal. But—he didn't order a bride. When a contest ensues to discover which bride will make him the best wife, there is a surprise fourth entry--an anonymous one. Mayhem occurs as the whole town tries to figure out who the anonymous bride is, and the mayor pressures the marshal to pick a bride or lose his job. Will Marshal Davis tuck tail and run for the hills? Or will he lose his heart and his bachelorhood?

My review:
I had expected this book to be pretty funny from what I had read about it, but, to me, it was more of a “funny-circumstances’ than a “laugh-out-loud-comedy” kind of a book. I really did enjoy it, just not in a “this book will crack you up” kind of way. The first and secondary characters were great and I loved them all. (I really loved how two certain scoundrel boys turned out to be so protective and caring towards Jack. LOVED IT.)

I liked how Vickie showed how important it is to forgive others in this book. Especially how she showed that the thing we are so angry about, might not even be something we should be angry about. We don’t usually know the whole story and we need to reserve judgment until we do. She wrote that theme into the book in a very poignant way. That lesson will certainly stay with me, and help me to be slower to anger towards others for their supposed wrongs toward me. Definitely recommended to people who like a sweet romance with a message.

Monday, June 7, 2010

It Had to Be You by Janice Thompson ~ 5 stars

It Had to Be You
Janice Thompson
Weddings by Bella series #3
Revell Publishing
About the book:
Get ready for a double dose of wedding frenzy!

Bella couldn't be happier that two of her long-feuding relatives have finally admitted their love for one another and are getting married. Their forties-style wedding is sure to be a night to remember. But when the Rossi house begins to fill up with family from Italy--and an old mobster from New Jersey--life starts to get complicated. Will a friend from the past drive the happy couple apart once more? And will Bella ever have time to think of her own rapidly approaching wedding amid the chaos?

Full of humor, plenty of Italian passion, and a bit of Texas gumption, It Had to Be You will have you laughing out loud and wiping a tear from your eye.

My review:
Can you say “word from God”? This book is exactly what I needed to be reading right now. I’ve been struggling with taking too much stuff on, letting myself become stressed, and not staying in close connection with God. He comes first. Then family, friends, and work. Gotta get that right! I was completely able to relate to Bella. And, of course, D.J. is back and better than ever! He is a character that will melt your heart. Love him! He’s so thoughtful.

All the other zany characters from books past are back and still never fail to crack me up. There are even more hilarious characters added to the mix, and situations that will nearly make you bust a gut. Too funny. I’m sad to see the end of this series, but I thought that this was a great conclusion to the Bella stories. However… if we just HAPPENED to see Bella and everyone else again in some other series down the road, well… I certainly wouldn’t object. ;)

Available May 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The Bridegrooms by Allison Pittman ~ 4 stars

The Bridegrooms
Allison Pittman
Multnomah Publishing
About the book:
It Only Takes an Instant for Love to Strike

Tragedy hits the Allenhouse family on a hot summer night in Ohio when a mother of four vanished. Eight-year-old Vada virtually grew up overnight and raised her three younger sisters while her father lost himself in his medical practice in the basement of their home.

Now, Vada is a grown woman, still making her home with her father and sisters. Her days are spent serving as an errand girl for Cleveland’s fledgling amateur orchestra; her evenings with Garrison Walker, her devoted, if passionless, beau.

Dizzying change occurs the day the Brooklyn Bridegrooms come to town to play the Cleveland Spiders and a line drive wallops the head of a spectator. The fan is whisked to the Allenhouse parlor, and questions swirl about the anonymous, unconscious man.

Suddenly, the subdued house is filled with visitors, from a flirtatious, would-be sports writer to the Bridegrooms’ handsome star hitter to the guilt-ridden ballplayer who should have caught the stray shot. The medical case brings Dr. Allenhouse a frustration and helplessness he hasn’t felt since his wife’s disappearance. Vada’s sisters are giddy at the bevy of possible suitors. And Vada’s life is awakened amid the super-charged atmosphere of romantic opportunity.

My review:
The Bridegrooms will definitely keep you on your toes. I never knew who Vada was going to end up with until the last couple of pages. I did wish that the story had an epilogue or something that so that the final outcome of each of Vada’s sister’s stories could be told. I’m a little unsure as to my feelings about the book. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t dislike it. It is definitely an original story, and I do like that. Its just one that I like, but I’m not crazy about.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Very Delayed Status/Health Update

Hello my dear friends and readers!

This is an update on my condition, among other things.

First of all, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who prayed for me while I was sick and recovering from surgery. Your prayers meant so much to me, and I felt completely surrounded by love and support. <3

As to my condition now, I am back to normal. Feeling way better, doing everything I was before, and grateful for my health. :D

However, I am now VERY behind on reading, blogging, and school. Catching up is hard work especially since I was already a little behind before this whole fiasco. As much as it pains me, school has to come before blogging and reading. :’( I am trying to cut down a little on my work so that I will be able to catch up faster. Now, both my blogs will still be running, but I might take a while to respond to emails and some posts will probably be late.

I’m going to cut out the “Sunday Funnies” until I’m back to being caught up for a while. Also, I’m not going to be [always] posting 2 book reviews a week. Sometimes there will be more than two, sometimes less. I’m going to try to keep the “one book giveaway/author interview a week” thing going, but sometimes I might [like right now] not be able to.

In the meantime I greatly appreciate all your prayers for me to get caught up and all the grace you can possibly extend to me. :D I love you guys, and I want to bless you with my blogs. Thanks!