Wednesday, September 17, 2014

First Impressions by Sarah Price - Review of the first book in the Amish Classics series




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Will Pride and Prejudice keep the Blank sisters from finding love?
With five daughters and no sons, Daed and Maem Blank are anxious to find their girls suitors who might eventually take over their family farm. When news arrives that Charles Beachey, the son of a prominent Amish farmer, will be returning from Ohio with his cousin Frederick, they are hopeful that the young men might be good matches for their daughters.

The oldest daughter, Jane, starts courting Charles, a well-mannered and very respectful young man, but her younger sister Lizzie is not interested in either courtship or Frederick. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him, finding him full of pride and disdain for her family's way of life. But in a community and culture where pride is scorned, Lizzie must learn that first impressions can be dangerous and people are not always who they seem to be.

The Amish retelling of the popular Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice is a beautiful take on the power of love to overcome class boundaries and prejudices that will win your heart.


MY  REVIEW
I must say that this was a wonderful story and the way Sarah tells it is really amazing. You will feel as if you are right there with the Blank family. Sarah made me stop and think about how many times I have had to change my opinion of someone after a first impression. As I get older I like to think that I have changed and try to give a person a chance before forming my opinion. Keep in mind that it works both ways on forming opinions, it isn't always thinking bad about someone and having to change your mind but beware of people you think will be trustworthy but turn out to be just the opposite.

I would recommend "First Impressions" to anyone that likes Amish stories, stories of faith and if you liked "Pride and Prejudice". The second book in the series, "The Matchmaker" will be out February, 3, 2015 and I'm anxiously waiting for it.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

All the Blue of Heaven by Virginia Carmichael - Review of the first book in the Colors of Faith series



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Eight years ago, Allie Hathaway scandalized the wealthy elite of Chicago when she ran away to San Francisco. Now a world-renowned portrait painter, her life is filled with laughter and friendship, including being a mother to her orphaned niece. Life is perfect, so why can't she forget her first love? Thomas Bradford has come a long way from being the Hathaway family's carriage boy. A veterinary degree, ambition and hard work have made him one of Chicago's most sought-after bachelors. If only he could forget those stolen moments with Allie, Thomas might be able to enjoy his success.

The Great Quake of 1906 stuns the nation and Allie's art studio burns to the ground, destroying years of valuable work. She's forced to return to Chicago with little Janey, the only spark of hope in a life reduced to ashes. Her faith is crushed by her tragic reversal of fortune.

Thomas knows better than to fall for the beautiful young painter again, but he's never been very wise around Allie Hathaway. The carriage man's son is all grown up and Allie doesn't expect a second chance at a love that was refused eight years ago. Her life is in shambles and she has a child to support, so why won't her heart accept the truth? Once their love was torn apart by circumstance, but Thomas and Allie must decide whether to forge a future of hope together.


MY  REVIEW
I found this book to be a slow starter but it did gain my interest. The characters have some emotional baggage to deal with from their past,so with that and over indulging mothers pushing them in opposite directions, they have to try to forge ahead with their future, be it separate or together. If you like to see faith return to a person once they seem to have lost it this would be a good book for you.

Tried & True by Mary Connealy - Review of the first book in the Wild at Heart series



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Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister--and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It's a risk--they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as "boys"--but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?


MY  REVIEW
Kylie and her sisters, through their father pushing them, have lived a lie for many years, in a time when it is almost considered a crime for women to wear britches. As the youngest and most feminine Kylie finds her family frowning upon the life she wants to live. Can she really become the woman she wants to be or will she find herself continuing to live her fathers dream?

Mary is still on her pedestal as a writer as far as I'm concerned. She has turned out yet another entertaining book for me, which means I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, "Now & Forever" and "Fire & Ice" both due out in 2015. I think I have read almost every one of her books and never been disappointed.

His Chosen Bride by Rhonda Gibson - Review



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This Texan Had No Intention of Becoming a Groom. . .
Until he found out he had a year to find a bride--or risk losing the family ranch. Any of the four mail-order brides recently arrived in Granite, Texas, would make a good wife. So why can't Levi Westland stop thinking about the one who refuses to have him? The marriage of convenience Levi offers isn't enough to persuade Millie Hamilton. Truth is, it's no longer enough for Levi, either. . . .

Millie just needed a place to escape to. Now that she's paid Levi back his traveling expenses, she can forge her own way. If he knew the truth about her past, Levi's admiration would vanish. But the only thing harder than risking her heart may be watching Levi marry anyone but her.


MY  REVIEW
Oh yes, another book for you to run out and get, you won't be disappointed. Rhonda has done a wonderful job on this 'non-series' of books. Yes, I think these four books should be considered a series and not stand alone novels, lol, just my opinion. If you look at my three previous reviews you will see the titles that go along with this one. I hope you enjoy the books as much as I have. I'm also looking forward to reading Rhonda's new book, "A Pony Express Christmas", due out November 4, 2014.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Taming the Texas Rancher by Rhonda Gibson - Review



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Though he'd never planned to wed, Daniel Westland must marry and produce a grandchild before his brother does in order to inherit the family ranch. Leave it to him to pick a mail-order bride who insists on being courted! Yet every time Daniel wonders if Hannah Young is even suited to rugged living, the petite schoolteacher her gumption.

What ma;n sends away for a bride but doesn't really want to get married? Hanna came to Granite, Texas, hoping to find love and security, and she can't settle for less than a true partnership.  If the brooding, handsome rancher can just learn to trust in Hannah, their future could be as filled with promise as this bountiful land.


MY  REVIEW
As I am reading the books in this 'series', as I'm calling it, each one seems to get better than the last. I really enjoy Rhonda's books. This mail-order bride book does take a different story line than most I've read and I found it quite interesting. Another book I can happily suggest for others to read.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Groom by Arrangement by Rhonda Gibson - Review



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Eliza Kelly thought her humiliation was complete when she identified the wrong train passenger as her mail-order groom. She was only trying to tell Jackson Hart that the madcap scheme was not her idea. But now the stormy-eyed blacksmith has decided to stay, rumors are flying. And Jackson does the gallant thing--he offers the lovely widow a marriage of convenience.

Though he came to New Mexico to find his father, Jackson wonders if Eliza'smistake was his good fortune. Between caring for an orphaned youngster and protecting Eliza, Jackson feels whole again. If only he can persuade Eliza to marry him, her reputation will be saver...and so will their long-buried dreams of forging a real family.


MY  REVIEW
Another enjoyable book starts out by putting Eliza in a difficult situation and just continues when the marshal asks Jackson to take her back to Cottonwood Springs. I like the way Rhonda has them handle their 'problem' and she has written an ending that puts you on the edge of your seat for a short time. The truth that Jackson discovers will tear at your heart too.

Although these books are listed as novels and not a series I would suggest reading "The Marshal's Promise", "Groom by Arrangement", and looking ahead, "Taming the Texas Rancher" and "His Chosen Bride" in this order as they all deal with people from Cottonwood Springs. Thank you Rhonda for your mail-order bride books.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Marshal's Promise by Rhonda Gibson - Review




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Mail-order bride Rebecca Ramsey arrives in the New Mexico territory full of dreams--but they're shattered when she discovers her intended husband ha been killed. If it weren't for U.S. marshal Seth Billings's housekeeping job offer, she'd have nowhere to go. Rebecca loves tending to Seth's home, but the strong and silent lawman is harder to figure out. What secret is he hiding?

Caring for Jesse Cole's would-be bride is the least Seth can do. If it weren't for him, the young man would still be alive. Seth had promised to look after Rebecca--and to keep her safe from Jesse's enemies. Now if only he can keep his heart safe, as well....


MY  REVIEW
You have to feel sorry for a woman when her stepmother accepts her little sister but forces you to accept the offer to be a mail-order bride and sends you cross country on your own. I was impressed with the way Rebecca handled the hand that was dealt to her even after her arrival in Cottonwood Springs. This was a touch and go story that held my interest throughout. I'm looking forward to reading "Groom by Arrangement" next.