Book Review: The Duchess by Susan May Warren

Book Review: The Duchess by Susan May Warren

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I was lucky enough to receive this book from a contest on Susan May Warren’s blog. Yesterday it came in the mail, and by today, I have it finished. All I can really say is wow. This was a really good book, with enough twists and turns, intrigue to keep me captivated from the beginning to the end. It was torture to have to put it down at the end of my lunch hour today, but as soon as I took care of things at home, I sat on the couch and tuned out the world.

Basically, Rosie Worth is a movie star, in the golden age of Hollywood. She is in a loveless marriage, when she meets a man whom she had been destined to be married to years ago. But wanting the glamour of Hollywood, she chose her own destiny rather one chosen for her by her mother.

You experience Rosie/Roxy’s life as a movie star, her need and desire to make it big, then she goes to Europe for a year, for a movie of a lifetime. It’s there, where things get interesting…and where I feel I must stop.

Here is where you begin to be a part of Rosie’s life, as you experience her struggles and pain, her happiness and joy. And then finally love. She is a real person with real problems.

I would definitely recommend this book to read. It is one that I would put in the same category as the Stranger at Stonewyck and such (Stonewyck series was one of my favorites). However, the book will not leave you hanging, and wishing for more. Everything is tied up fairly neatly in the book.

In addition, apparently this book is part of a trilogy. The wonderful thing is, I didn’t feel like I was lacking or part of a story that I knew nothing about. I’m now eager to read the other books part of the series.

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Location Review: Hairbenders Intl. (HBI) – Chattanooga

Location Review: Hairbenders Intl. (HBI) – Chattanooga

I’ve gone to this salon several times over the years, hoping that the time in between each would be better. But each and every time I’ve been disappointed. The only thing that they usually do right is the color, and even that left much to be desired this time.

I have a friend who is always raving about Hairbenders, enough to the point that I was willing to give them another try. I had been going to Hair-a-go-go, but since changing jobs to work in Cleveland, I didn’t want to go on a Saturday to get my hair done. So, I liked the fact that I could get into Hairbenders at 5:30 in the evening.

During consultation, I explained to my hairdresser that I had a bad highlighting job done less than a year ago, and that my hair had been badly fried. So I was trying to get that to fix that. She nodded, and listened, made suggestions…so I assumed she heard what I said.

As she finished with one part of my hair, she called over her assistant to finish the rest of my hair. So as this young man, is putting color on my hair, I see her go over to her other client and finish with her other client.

This young man, had already mixed up a batch of color, but was apparently running out. So he calls over yet another assistant, to go ask my stylist if he (this new guy) should make the new batch or if she, the stylist should. She turns and tells the second assistant the color combination for another batch of color. 

After getting shampooed and washed, I go over to the chair where my hairdresser asks me stand beside the chair. Now I’ve had odd requests over the years, but this was truly the oddest. Because then she proceeds to cut my hair, while I’m standing up! Finally, I’m able to sit back down, and she finishes the cut, lopping off 1.5 inches of hair. It’s still below my shoulders, so I was satisfied.  She initially said that she was going to cut my bangs up to my eyebrows, but i had naturally curly hair, and any cut that was to my eyebrows would bounce up. However, I did want bangs and proceeded to show her the length on my nose as to where it would work the best, from my previous experiences.  She ignored me, because the bangs were still long. After blowing dry my hair, she has me once again to stand next to the chair so she can do some snipping here and there. Then I can go.

To be honest, it usually takes me actually fixing my hair to determine whether or not I had a good cut. I didn’t. It was horridly choppy, and nearly impossible to work with. With naturally curly hair, I tend to let it go natural. I can’t. These choppy layers spring out and create such an odd shape, that 95% of the time I have to wear a ponytail or headband to control it. The texture of my hair, is equal to what I received over a year ago at a cheaper salon. My hair is fried! My bangs, won’t even do anything because they are fried. They stick straight out, unable to go any direction because of the texture. I’ve even attempted trimming my own bangs, because I refuse to return to the salon.

Basically, this will be my last time to ever step foot in this salon. They will not be receiving any more money from me, and I will not recommend this place to anyone. I feel horrid wasting the money I did there.

Book Review: Not a Sparrow Falls by Linda Nichols

Book Review: Not a Sparrow Falls by Linda Nichols

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This was a book that once I started, and got into the gist of it, all I wanted was to find out the rest of the story and finish it. To be honest, the first chapter almost made me totally skip reading it, but fortunately, I went past it and delved into the next few chapters. From there, I was hooked. At the end of the book, I understood then the purpose of the first chapter. But at the time, it distracted me from reading.

Essentially the story is of Bridie, also known as Mary. She’s been drawn into the meth business, but finds that she wants out.  Eventually she makes her break, and over a series of experiences, finds herself working as a nanny in the home of a pastor who is having difficulties with his church. It goes on to talk about the struggles he is facing, along with the death of his wife and problematic children. There were some areas that made me wonder, such as Bridie given full rein to basically redo the house, but I opted to ignore that, knowing it was for the best of the children.

The story of Bridie captivated me. And then how she was slowly able to draw in Samantha. It wasn’t your typical religious fiction book, it was better. It had depth.

The only part that threw me off was the Presbyterian talk. I’m not affiliated with the faith, so it almost felt as though I was reading a denominational book fiction book for their members. However, despite that, I was able to get around it and thoroughly enjoy the book.

I’d recommend giving it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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Pleasantly surprised. I like period pieces, especially those that are dealing with life out west. Something about cowboys, and the rough and rugged man. This one, however, was atypical to my usual western. Rather it was focused on a potential “heiress” and her care for her brother. The love interest in the story, wasn’t even a cowboy, rather a doctor. The dog, Magic, was well used throughout and didn’t leave me wondering what her purpose was in the plot. Well executed.

Basically, Molly has been caring for her younger brother after a tragic accident left him paralyzed. Totally dependent upon his sister, it’s up to Molly to find ways to make money and care for him. A fire in a town forces them to find employment elsewhere. Thus enters Miss Walker. She is looking for someone to leave the ranch to, and Molly answers the ad. Determined to make sure her brother is taken care of, and does her duties, she runs herself ragged. In the meantime, she has a new friend in the doctor, who wants to help Molly’s brother become more self-sufficient.

All in all, it was a good story. The initial chapter of the story, I can understand why it was there, yet I think it was unnecessary. It didn’t really play a roll later in the story, other than the fire in their previous town. That, and her previous occupation, wasn’t delved into very much.

A complimentary review copy was provided by BookSneeze on behalf of the publisher, Thomas Nelson, and the author, Margaret Brownley. Any opinions are my own.

 

Book Review: Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love

Book Review: Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love

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Upon reading other reviews, I discovered that this book is part of a trilogy. Which will probably explain why I felt very disconnected while reading it. The descriptions and details were great, but I never felt myself really falling in love with the characters. I spent much of my time, flipping thru the pages trying to find the “meat” of the book.

I believe, I am probably in the minority, but as I mentioned before, I had a truly difficult time getting into this book. The cover art drew me in, but then left me hanging. Little bits revealed in the story, I believe could have had greater suspense or reason for it being revealed (such as when Sophie learns of her heritage). Even the love story between her and Ethan was so predictable, that I became bored with it all.

I’m not really sure what I was looking for, other than wanting to fall in love with a story. It didn’t happen with this book. I put it down, and then promptly forgot about it.

I received this book in ebook format, from BookSneeze which is owned and operated by Thomas Nelson Publishers. All opinions are my own, and I am not compensated in any form for my opinion.

 

 

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This is my latest book to read, a trilogy by Karen Kingsburgy. This comes from the Waterbrook Mutnomah publishing company. Three novels in one. This will take awhile. 🙂

Book Review: A Sudden Glory by Sharon Jaynes

Book Review: A Sudden Glory by Sharon Jaynes

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I really tried to enjoy this book, but it is a book that I was forced to sit down and read. I’d carry it with me with the intention of reading, but I’d read a few pages and not feel it pull me in further to read. Maybe I just didn’t try hard enough, or perhaps my head was “cleared” enough to read it.

That said, the description of the book is what lured me in. I think as women, we all have an ache in our souls, and her description of the glory ache made me want to read more. But again, every time I’d pick it up, I’d find myself flipping pages, seeking a reason to slowly read, and delve into the book. But I couldn’t.

The cover art was nice, enough to make me select the book. I may try reading the book in the future again, hopefully then I can get more involved. Her stories were interesting, but I, was seeking more.