Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Naomi's Gift by Amy Clipston - Review

Naomi's Gift
by Amy Clipston

This book was so good I read it in one day, which is unusual for me. I have read the first two books, A Gift of Grace and A Promise of Hope, in the Kauffman Amish Bakery series, and liked them also. I don't have the third one yet, A Place of Peace, the fourth one comes out in January, A Life of Joy, and the fifth one, A Season of Love, is scheduled for June of 2012.

Caleb and Susie, his eight year old daughter, are returning to his home town, Bird-in-Hand, PA for the holidays. He lost his wife in a buggy accident two years ago in Ohio where they lived. The only family there are his wife's cousins and they don't live close, but he has no desire to Pennsylvania.

Susie insists on stopping at a Farmer's Market to take her aenti Sadie a pie. While there she see's a beautiful quilt, her Mother loved making quilts and had promised to teach her to quilt, and gets away from her daed to admire the quilt and talk to the lady that made it. Caleb is frantically looking for Susie when he sees her talking to someone by the quilts. They will learn that her name is Naomi King and his sister, Sadie, does not like her, she has plans for him to court her friend Irene Wagler. Sadie is quite the busybody, likes to be the first to know everything, doesn't know how to keep a secret, and thinks her ways/ideas are the only/right way to do things. She thinks she should take charge of Caleb's life since their parents are gone and he has no one to look out for him. Caleb does not agree with her ant tries to tell her to 'mind her own business' gently. You'll have to read the book to see if that works.

That's all I'm going to tell you, you'll have to read the book to find out if Caleb and Susie return to their home in Ohio or make a home in Pennsylvania, if they go to Ohio do they take Naomi or Irene with them or if they stay does Caleb remarry or not. 

This book is a definite purchase and read book, you will not be disappointed.

I won this book and was not required to read it or do a review, but I am so glad I took the day to read it an hope you enjoy it too.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall - Review

The Christmas Singing
by Cindy Woodsmall

This book really captured me, it shows to what extremes people will go to protect those they love and ensure the have a wonderful life. It also shows that even though they are willing to go to those extremes, it may not be what is best for those they love or for themselves. 

Mattie was the only girl in her family and when she was 16 her Mother was diagnosed with Lupus. This grabbed my attention because my best friend has Lupus, and if you know anything about it, it can be a devastating disease which you are finally hearing more about. Gideon, Mattie's best friend since childhood and now fiance, knows what she went through when they were given the news and he didn't want to see her go through that again when he got his diagnosis of leukemia.

Gideon met Ashley, an Englischer, while he was going through treatment, she had a better chance at beating her type of leukemia than he did. When Ashley came to him and told him her diagnosis had changed and she would soon die, Gideon naturally comforted her, that's when Mattie walked in and found them in an embrace. Gideon was so shocked by Ashley's diagnosis that he broke off his engagement with Mattie letting her think he was dating Ashley. He didn't want Mattie to know about his cancer.

Mattie moved to Ohio to live with her brother James, started a business baking cakes, Mattie's Cakes, and started dating again. Soon she was seeing only one man, Sol, a very quiet man that loved hunting. Things were going well until the day her shop caught on fire. She returned to Apple Ridge, PA to spend time with her parents while the insurance stuff was getting settled and her shop was getting rebuilt. Now she would be able to bake wedding cakes for relatives that were getting married, little does she know that Gideon is the one building her cousins house where she'll be spending some of her time to do the baking. Not only does she have to spend some time with Gideon, but she sees him with another Englischer, Ashley. It looks like he hasn't changed his ways over the years.

Unbeknownst to Matttie, Gideon and Sol met while she was in the hospital recovering from slight burns and smoke inhalation, but neither one bothers to tell her that they have met. You will have to read the book to see what happens between Mattie, Sol and Gideon. There are some twists so you won't know what happens until "The Christmas Singing".

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter - Review of the second book in A Big Sky Romance series

The Accidental Bride
A Big Sky Romance
(Second book in the series)
by Denise Hunter

Shay and Travis have a history, not a good history, and Shay wants nothing to do with him when he returns to Moose Creek, Montana. She's been successful in avoiding him so far.

Every year the town has a Founders Day celebration and they pick two residents for a reenactment of the founders wedding. This year they asked Shay to represent the bride, against her better judgement she agreed to it. Shay just knew the whole town would remember the first time she was seen in town in a wedding gown, it was when her and Travis had gone to Wyoming to elope. They got to the courthouse and they thought about rings, Travis decided he wanted Shay to have a ring so he dropped her off and told her to wait right there while he ran to K Mart to get a ring. Travis headed back to K Mart, got cold feet and just kept driving and returned to his first love, the rodeo. Shay did wait, and waited, and waited some more. She finally gave up and called her parents to come and get her, they refused since she was foolish enough to elope. She finally got home by taking the bus and it seemed like everyone in town was there when she got off the bus in her wedding gown.

To prove to the town that she was over Travis she married Garrett and they had a baby girl, Olivia. Garrett eventually left Shay and Olivia for his first love, music. So now it is just the two of them, Shay and Olivia, 12 years old, they are struggling with money and about to lose Shay's family farm.

She reluctantly gets dressed in the Prudence Adams's wedding gown expecting to see Riley Raines standing in for the groom. As she makes her way to the altar at Bridal Falls, she's looking for him but can't see him for the crowd. Little does she know that Riley refused to do the job because of his jealous girlfriend Miss Teasley. Instead, there stands the one person she wants to avoid at all costs, Travis!

After the ceremony Travis gets a marriage certificate in the mail showing that he and Shay are now married. How can that be, this was just a reenactment, they didn't sign any papers, and my oh my, what is Shay going to say about this? Sparks do fly in this book, angry ones and loving ones. 

Most of us do seem to live in the past when someone mistreats us, dishonors us, etc. and it's easy to say you forgive them, the problem is forgetting so we can move on and maybe even be friends again. Are Travis and Shay able to do this? Guess you'll have to read and find out which sparks will win out.

I received this book not doing my research and didn't know that it was the second one in the series, I now have to get the first book, A Cowboy's Touch, and find out about everything that did happen in the past instead of just the highlights.

This book is highly recommended by me.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, December 19, 2011

Snowflake Bride by Jillian Hart - Review of the fourth book in the Button & Bobbins series

Snowflake Bride
Fourth book in the Button & Bobbins series
by Jillian Hart
Ruby Ballard moved to town during her senior year and has lived a very hard life. Her Mother died when she was young and she wasn't able to attend school regularly because she stayed home a lot to take care of her Father and brother. She did get some home schooling but it wasn't enough for her to graduate with the rest of the class. Angel Falls, Montana was going to be a new start for them as they had fallen on very hard times and had to move in with her uncle for a while. Her Father had managed to save enough money for a down payment on the land and was now living his dream.
Ruby's was nicknamed Rags by Narcissa, a very rich "snob" in Angel Falls, even after Narcissa graduated she continued to make snide remarks and embarrass Ruby whenever possible. Ruby chose to ignore her and keep her feelings to herself, even her feelings about Lorenzo Davis. Lorenzo was the guy all of the girls wanted as their beau and dreamed about marrying, not only was he the handsomest man in town, but one of the richest.
Things have gotten hard for the Ballard family yet again, they are about to lose their land due to a new crop, and Rupert, Ruby's brother, has left home to find work and send money home. When Rupert loses his job, Ruby applies for a job as a maid at the Davis home. Walking to the interview, she loses the buttons on her shoes she'd gotten out of the clothes barrel at Church. As she's looking for her shoe buttons in the snow, Lorenzo, not believing his luck at seeing Ruby, pulls up and asks if she needs help. Ruby is so embarrassed but does eventually accept his offer of a ride so she can sew her buttons back onto her shoe, rather than having to do it when she arrives for the interview. Ruby gets her shoes repaired and is the first person to arrive for an interview, 20 minutes early even, thanks to Lorenzo. Selma, Lorenzo's Mother completes the interviews and sends Lorenzo to let Ruby know that she got the job and to be there Monday morning.

When Lorenzo is seen talking to Ruby, his Father tells him not to talk to her. He obeys his Father, but not completely and finds himself falling in love with Ruby. After slipping on the wet floor, Ruby ends up with a broken wrist but refuses to get it treated, she can't afford the doctor or to lose her job, and continues to work with it. Lucia, the head maid, tells on her for falling and Selma asks to talk to her alone.
Little does Ruby know that Lorenzo really likes her and has since her first day in Angel Falls. It's hard when the two of them seem attracted to each other, but she tries to push her feelings for Lorenzo away. She keeps telling herself that they live in two different worlds and she'd never be accepted into his world.
Life continues to get worse for the Ballard's, the banker comes a few days before Christmas to tell them he has to foreclose on the property but since it'll take a little bit of time they can live in the house until Christmas, now it's definite, they have to go back to her Father's brother's place to live. Ruby has to leave all of her friends, her job, and she will never see Lorenzo again.
This story will have you wanting to tell Narcissa off, pushing Ruby to accept Lorenzo's advances, and praying things change soon. Does Ruby get to keep her job, does Narcissa win Lorenzo over Ruby, and when they move will Lorenzo ever see Ruby again? I would definitely recommend this series to all Inspirational Historical Romance readers. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Calico Bride by Jillian Hart - Review of the third book in the Button & Bobbins series

Calico Bride
Third book in the Button & Bobbins series
by Jillian Hart
Lila Lawson and most of her friends have graduated, Meredith is engaged to Shane and has left town for her first teaching job, while the rest of them are still in boring Angel Falls, Montana. As she is writing to Meredith and telling her how boring her life is, excitement practically falls at her feet in the doorway of the mercantile that her Dad owns, where she works. The new deputy is injured from a gunshot wound as the thieves are high tailing it out of town after robbing the bank. She's attempting to save his life when the Dobbs, the Sheriff, comes in and pretty much tells her to let him die, he's useless. When the deputy sees the sheriff coming in he slips her a Range Rider badge and asks her to hide it for him. Eunice, Lila's step-mother comes into the store and demands that she keep track of everything that is used to tend to Shane, the Sheriff says that he will not pay for any of it, with a sense of humor Shane asks Lila to put it on his account.

Things get worse when Lila's Father is attacked while making his deliveries. He is beat, they steal his horses, and the wagon full of supplies being delivered to his customers. When he is able to go to the Sheriff and file a report, the Sheriff and Shane both refuse to take him seriously and imply that he's mistaken about what happened. Then Lorenzo's Dad, a friend of Lila's that graduated with her, loses some cattle and gets the same response from Dobbs and Shane as her Father did. 

While everyone in town now despise the Sheriff and Deputy and feel that they are part of the problem, Lila falls more and more in love with him. Lila's Dad has ordered her not to talk or have anything to do with Shane and to add up the bill for the supplies she used to tend to his wounds. She eventually quits working for her Dad and step-mother in the mercantile and takes another job which includes a room for her to live in.

When Shane takes her on a picnic, they are captured by the Cheever gang. The leader is a childhood friend of Shane's and Shane used to belong to the gang. Olly Cheever tells how many men Shane has shot and/or killed in his past.

What will she do now, she's left home, is in love with Shane but he has claimed he's a "lone wolf" and will never marry? He has left town now, and what about him being an outlaw and shooting men, how will she process that information?

I have really enjoyed this series and started the last book, Snowflake Bride, already. Jillian really did a good job of keeping me interested in this series. This book had more action than the other ones, so it moved along a little faster. 

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes Inspirational Historical Fiction, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman - Review

Stealing Jake
by Pam Hillman

This book really surprised me, I got totally drawn in and found myself near tears several times. Pam did a wonderful job of telling the story of Livy O'Brien, homeless children, and Jake Russell. I am bad about judging a book by it's cover, and this one did not really catch my interest nor did the title, but once I started reading it I couldn't put it down.

Livy, known as "Light-Fingered Livy" in Chicago, has made a new start in Chestnut, IL thanks to widowed Mrs Brooks. They take in orphans and have lived there for some time before Livy meets deputy Jake Russell. Livy sneaks out at night to deliver food, clothes and blankets to homeless children hiding out in Shantytown, she knows the town better than most people that have been born and raised there, she studies it by day so she doesn't get caught at night. She tries to talk Luke, a homeless boy about 10 or 12 years old, to bring his friends to the orphanage but he refuses. He's looking for his little brother who was brought in a crate to work in a sweat shop making gloves. The people of Chestnut have no idea this is going on.

Jake has just recently become a deputy to help the sheriff out and get some extra money for his family in case the have a bad crop next year. He, and the three co-owners of Black Gold Mine since the cave in two years ago and all but two people died, one of the survivors was Jake, one of the killed was his Father. After the town begins experiencing break-ins and things being stolen other than food and blankets, Jake discovers that Livy is sneaking around town in the middle of the night. Before long homes start getting broken into with personal things of value being taken. Jake, as most of the towns people, are blaming Luke and his group. Livy doesn't believe it is them and tries to explain to Jake without revealing her past. He doesn't believe her as much as he wants to, they are each trying to deny the feelings that seem to be developing between the two of them. The problem is that the kids are the most obvious thieves because there is no proof of anyone else needing the things that are being stolen.

It is a mix of happy and sad times also danger and love in this story with some mystery in it to boot. I feel it is well worth the money and time to get this book and read it. Great job Pam!

I won this book in a giveaway but was not required to read or review this book, but was very glad that I did read it.