Book Review: The Courtship Basket by Amy Clipston

Book Review: The Courtship Basket by Amy Clipston

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Amy Clipston has written a story about Rachel Fisher who has faced heartbreak upon discovering that her boyfriend of four years is actually in love with her best friend. She starts a new job with her cousin, only to discover that one of her students is having difficulty. Soon she is sending home meals for her student and the student’s brother and father. A relationship somehow develops.

I really dislike having to leave a less than spectacular review, but sadly this book was not one of my favorites. For me, it was hard to enjoy the characters, often feeling like it was a book geared towards the young adult genre. Having read other Amish books in the past, this one just left me lacking. The main character, Rachel Fisher, I never developed an interest towards liking. Especially when at the beginning she would blatantly disobey a co-teacher in a job that she had held for only a week.

This is one of the few books that I started on the first few chapters, then skipped to the middle before flipping to the last few chapters to see how it was all brought together.

However, I did love the cover art and would contribute that as to my reasoning for selecting this book (and of course, the back cover synopsis).

This was the first time I had read a book in the Amish Heirloon Series, and hopefully my feeling lost (or lacking) wasn’t due to me missing the first book of the series.

I did received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Jilted by Varina Denman

Book Review: Jilted by Varina Denman

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This is the last book in a series of books centered around Trapp, Texas. The story about Lynda Turner, finishes up a story started by her daughter, Ruthie Ann Tuner, followed by Fawn and now Lynda. The stories of them are intertwined with one another, so to understand this book you must read the first two books of the Mended Heart Series, Jaded and Justified.

Jilted is focused on Lynda Turner and her struggles with depression after her husband left her years ago, alone with her young daughter. The struggles she encountered with the people of the town, the whispers and innuendos have been tough on Lynda and not without trauma. But love comes whispering into town offering her chance at love again, but only if she is willing to let go of the past.

I had a very hard time coming up to speed with this book. Although I had read the previous two books, enough time had passed where when I started reading this book I felt lost. It took a very long time for me to come back up to speed with everything that had happened in the previous two books, and it still wasn’t enough to truly understand the family dynamics within.

Ruthie who by now is married and an adult, is portrayed sometimes as a spoiled child. I know she probably isn’t, but again, the lack of keeping up to speed with the previous books left me floundering.

The above issues aside, I did enjoy the book. I found that it offered closure to issues brought forth from the previous books and I was able to follow along with Lynda’s growth and strength within.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Legend by Eric Blehm

Book Review: Legend by Eric Blehm

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Legend is about US Army’s Sergeant Roy Benavides, who risked his life to rescue a Special Forces team trapped behind enemy lines, written by Eric Blehm.

Typically I’m not one to read very many books on the war, although I have read my fair share of the experiences by the Jews during WW2. This one, however, I selected for my husband who to learn and watch history of previous wars. Many evenings I find him on YouTube watching footage from WW1 and WW2.

When I gave this book to him, he dove right into. A very good sign. I enjoyed the book, but I’m always curious about his take on the book. He found it easy to read, and very interesting. For two nights I would find him reading the book, with no prompting from me. It always helps to include pictures in a book, especially one that is a true story.

I myself found myself drawn into the book, and found it difficult to put down. It kept me interested, the same way a fiction book I typically read. All the parts of the book were counter-intuitive and necessary to understand the full story of the book.

All in all, I thought it was a most excellent book and most definitely would recommend it to others to read.

I received this book from the publisher of BookLook in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Dance by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

Book Review: The Dance by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

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Wow. Just wow. This book was awesome. It is set in modern times and is about a couple is in trouble with their marriage. The signs were there, but the husband missed out on recognizing them until too late.

Now normally I’m not very keen on books written by men because they seem to lack a certain amount of interest in their writing. This book was not the case. In fact, it wasn’t until I’m sitting here writing the review that I realize it was two men. But really, that doesn’t matter.

The story, as mentioned above, is about Marilyn and Jim Anderson. Married for 27 years, many people view them as the perfect family. Jim certainly does. They have all the right friends, going to the right church, with the right amount of societal presence. However, Marilyn isn’t happy and hasn’t been for years. Feeling unloved she has finally reached a point where enough is enough. So she leaves Jim, and strikes out doing things she has always wanted to do. Get a job and take a dance class.

The story weaves back and forth between Marilyn and Jim, providing relationship guidance along the way which are beneficial not only for the characters in the book, but very useful for those of us in a relationship currently. The story brought tears to my eyes and found that I absolutely loved the story and the overall message it brought forth throughout and to the end.

I downloaded this book from Amazon for my kindle and am so glad that I chose it.

Book Review: No Other will Do by Karen Witemeyer

Book Review: No Other will Do by Karen Witemeyer

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I was looking forward to reading this book, having enjoyed for the most part, the rest of the books written by Karen Witemeyer. This book is about a woman’s colony started by Emma Chandler, who was raised by her two suffrage leaning aunts. It is thru their influence that she believed there needed to be a town where women could live without the intrusion of men. Those who arrived were needing shelter from a man in their lives, and Harper’s Station was just the place to do it.

Unfortunately, trouble has appeared and there is someone who is desperate to run the women out of town. From troubling notes being delivered to the town being shot up, Emma realizes that she needs some “manly” help, so she calls upon her dear friend Malachi Shaw who was part of their family for awhile.

Times have changed and both realize that they have grown up and matured, in turn, realize that there is a growing attraction between the two of them. Unfortunately, Malachi is dedicated to his job in Montana, and Emma runs a town of no men. Plus, there is a madman out there determined to bring harm to the ladies of Harper’s Station.

Again, I was looking forward to reading this book but soon discovered that I had trouble connecting with the characters. I would start it, and then stop. Return to it after a few days, determined to find something worthwhile about the book to finish it. Finally, chapter 15-16 arrived, and I was hooked. There was drama, there was interest and a growth of characters that had me captivated to the very end. Would I recommend the book despite the slow start? Most definitely. Although the idea of a woman’s colony doesn’t make complete sense to me, it is direction of a plot that many authors have not explored. Would I want to read another focused on a woman’s colony? Probably not.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Kiss the Bride by Melissa McClone, Robin Lee Hatcher and Kathryn Springer

Book Review: Kiss the Bride by Melissa McClone, Robin Lee Hatcher and Kathryn Springer

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Kiss the Bride Three Summer Love Stories by Melissa McClone, Robin Lee Hatcher, Kathryn Springer

I found myself delightful pleased with this trio of stories in this collection. Each story has a theme of a wedding, and in turn I was introduced to two new authors. The one, Robin Lee Hatcher, I have read previous books by her and was pleased that she was part of the collection.

Front Matter is by Melissa McClone, and I have found myself a new author! Her story was about Jenna, a photographer who is working several jobs to pay off a wedding that was called off the day of several years prior.  Here were are introduced by her former fiancee, who discovers that the reasons that he called off the wedding were unfounded, but it’s too late for Jenna who has hardened her heart against him. Or has she?

I Hope You Dance is the book by Robin Lee Hatcher. In this one, Skye has a dance studio and she has been hired to teach everyone steps for the wedding. There is a lone cowboy who requires a visit separate from the others for instructions. Is there romance in the air?

Love On a Deadline is the last book in this collection and is written by Kathryn Springer. Yet another newbie author in my realm. This book was about Mackenzie Davis, the daughter of the high school football coach. Dreams of being a famous journalist keeps her going in the home town that she grew up in. A promised interview with a senator, leads her to write a story on a wedding on the local “money” family. And wouldn’t you know it, the boy she had a crush on is having to plan the wedding for his sister.

To be honest, I didn’t have much hope for these two new authors, but knew that Hatcher’s would be the best. I was wrong. I absolutely loved the books by McClone and Springer, and found that Hatcher’s story didn’t resound with me. Her character I found annoying and a bit to simplistic. Simple is good, but she just felt one dimensional. I didn’t really develop a likeness for her nor an interest in how she fared in her life. I found myself wanting to just hurry and get to the end, even if it involved skipping a lot of pages.

Now the other two authors, they kept me spellbound. Each story left me awake long after midnight, just so I could finish the story. Needless to say, these will require a re-read later to capture the missed details. Plus any book that can bring a tear to my eye deserves a round of applause!

I did receive this book from BookLook and it’s publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Beautiful Pretender By Melanie Dickerson

Book Review: The Beautiful Pretender By Melanie Dickerson

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The margrave of Thornbeck has been told by the king that he is to find a wife, and with only two weeks to find one, he allows his assistant’s to arrange the party. Ten noble ladies are invited to spend the following two weeks at his castle, to allow him to get to know them and know their characters. Supposedly, unbeknowst to them, they will be giving a series of test to see if they are able to pass them.

Avelina, a maidservant from Plimmwald, is sent in the place of the earl’s daughter, who ran off with her lover. Because the Earl hopes to gain an alliance with the margrave, he is willing to send this servant girl on to stand in for his daughter. His only instructions, do not allow the margrave to fall in love with her.

Unable to figure out the way to conduct herself as a lady, Avelina instead is herself. In turn, the Margrave finds that he loves this lady from Plimmwald. At the same time that their love is growing, there is a danger beneath the surface that threatens to bring harm to both of them.

My thoughts:

This, I believe was my first time reading anything by this author, and I found her attention to details to be spot on. The situation with Dorothea and her running away, especially with Avelina being willing to pick locks for her made me question her character. I mean, Avelina picked the lock to the jewelry case without any sort of regard to guilt in assisting Dorothea in her escape.

Despite that, I gave the book a chance and continued reading. Of the ten noble ladies, we only really get to know three of them. Of course the story is focused on these three, but it may have been a bit more helpful to have had the other seven ladies intertwined throughout the story in some form. Yes, two of them were equally snooty as the one focused in the book, but that was about it.

After the reveal of the servant deceiving the master, I thought this was where the book ended. But that was not the case, instead it took off with a breakneck speed to finish up the story in a most spectacular way. It was this part of the story where I discovered, I could not set the book aside and go to bed. I had to finish it. Right then and there, and finish it I did just after midnight.

I found the book to be a delightful read, with maybe the opportunity to read it again in the future to see what I missed in my hurried read in the end. I enjoyed it, but there were certain characters whom I just didn’t like, such as the maidservant chosen to be “Dorothea’s” to hide the secret. I felt it had so much potential, but fell just short of awesome.

I did receive this electronic version of the book in exchange for an honest review.