Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Loki reads

Monday, February 10, 2014

Love's Sweet Beginning...Review

About the book:
It wasn't Cassie Haddon's fault that she had managed to reach the age of twenty-five without possessing any useful skills. Until the war, she had always had servants to wait on her. Since then, she and her widowed mother had moved from place to place, relying on family to care for them. Now she's forced to find work to support them both. What isn't in her plans is falling for Jacob West, a local restaurateur and grocer. She needs a job and he needs help. But what they both need is love.

With her signature sweet romance, Ann Shorey weaves a tale of two people from very different backgrounds finding common ground and the hopes of a bright future together.

Raised to be a lady and with servants to wait on her, Cassie never learned life skills.  After her father's death and the end of the Civil War, Cassie and her mother moved from place to place, relying on family and friends to take them in.  Searching for her uncle, they return to Noble Springs. Never wanting to be a burden, Cassie finds a job in the town grocery/restaurant as as she learns to work and to become self reliant, she also finds herself drawn to Jacob West, her employer.

I liked Cassie when I first read about her in Where Wildflowers Bloom and When the Heart Heals.  I loved getting reacquainted with her here and discovering her spunk.  Jacob had his own secrets and while I was frustrated with the way they always assumed the worst of each other when a difficult situation arose, they learned about love and communication.  The supporting characters were delightful:  Wash, Becca and Jenny.  Loved them.

I hated her mother.  Truly.  What a mean, selfish woman.  I didn't like her in any of the previous books and I liked her even less here. Her inability to listen to her daughter or acknowledge her daughter's needs/wants and life were ridiculous.  Once her past came to light and we learned why she was desperate to be a lady, there was still no sympathy for her.  None.  I appreciated that Cassie learned to stand up to her.

The story is compelling and one that I read in an evening.  A sweet romance and one that I can easily recommend.

Third in the Sisters at Heart series, the novel stands alone just fine.

Thanks to Lanette at Baker Publishing for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Ann Shorey here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Secondhand Murder...DNF

About the book:
Spunky and outspoken Eve Appel moves from Connecticut to rural Florida intent on starting a new life, free of drama, and more importantly, her soon-to-be ex-husband. The rural Florida town of Sabal Bay, situated only an hour from West Palm, proves to be the perfect spot for her consignment store. Thanks to the recent economic downturn, Florida’s society matrons need a place to discreetly sell their stuff and pick up expensive-looking bargains. But Eve’s life, and her business with it, is turned upside down when a wealthy customer is found stabbed to death in a fitting room. As accusations fly and business slows, Eve decides to take things into her own hands. With the help of an unlikely bunch of friends—including her estranged ex, her best friend, a handsome private eye, and a charming mafia don—she struggles to find answers and save lives. Through a maze of distorted half-truths, dramatic cover-ups, and unrequited passions, Eve learns just how far the wealthy will go to regain what they have lost. A Secondhand Murder is Book 1 of the Eve Appel Mysteries Series.

This book has been in my TBR pile for far too long.  I missed the original posting date and I apologize for that.  I have tried several times to read this and it's just not one I'm connecting with.  I just didn't love the main character, which is a bummer because I do like cozy mysteries.  Most of the reviews I've seen for this book, however, have been well received and positive and you can see some at WV Stitcher, Celtic Lady's Reviews, Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks, and Community Bookshop.

Thanks to Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Lesley A. Diehl here.  You can purchase your own copy here.  You can see other reviews and tour stops here.


Monday, February 3, 2014

For Love or Loyalty...Review

About the book:
Can Malcolm MacGregor exact his plan for revenge, even if he dooms an innocent woman in the process? To atone for her father’s evil, Lauren Campbell agrees to help Malcolm MacGregor. By the time she realizes she’s the bargaining price to free Malcolm’s mother from indentured servitude, it’s too late.

Malcolm MacGregor only wants to free his family and exact revenge against Duncan Campbell. As the pride and joy of Duncan’s life, his daughter Lauren is the perfect answer, but during the voyage to America, her faith continues to witness to Malcolm. He becomes enraptured with her, and upon their arrival, discovers he’s sold her into a fate worse than death. Now Malcolm has the dilemma: free his family or rescue Lauren? Time is short and with little means, he needs a miracle.

I will admit that this one took a bit of effort to get into.  I nearly set it aside.  Part of that was the fact that there isn't much back story to explain why Glenn Campbell kidnaps and sells the MacGregor women.  Malcolm's anger is understandable, but I never did really understand why Lauren's father was so suddenly and uncontrollably angry, even as some questions were answered in the end.  He was a true example of how unfettered hatred can destroy a person.

Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel.  Full of terrific characters and a Scotland to South Carolina setting, this was a captivating story.  Lauren's faith is strong and her ability to recognize her father's wrongdoing and forgive Malcolm for his part in wanting revenge is admirable.  Her faith strengthens his resolve.  When Lauren herself is kidnapped from Malcolm's care and has her own faith tested, Malcolm is the one to help her regain it.  Malcolm's mother and sister have such different experiences with indenture. I have always been fascinated by the practice of indenturing and how at the end of their indenture, people were able to gain prosperous lives of their own.

First in The MacGregor Legacy series, this was a compelling book and I look forward to more.

Thanks to Abingdon Press for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Jennifer Hudson Taylor here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/14

* * *
3/5 Stars