Book Review: Avenue of Spies by Alex Kershaw

Book Review: Avenue of Spies by Alex Kershaw

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The book is about an American doctor who lived in Paris with his Parisian wife and young son. He stayed in Paris to word at the American Hospital, then had an opportunity to get involved with the resistance in France. This was a story of an American’s resistant efforts in a nazi-occupied France.

With high hopes for this story, I eagerly began to read one night, anticipating a great story. With the back cover sharing quotes by other newspapers, such as “A true story that reads like a thriller” by the New York Post, who couldn’t help but be excited?

Unfortunately, I never was able to achieve the type of thrill that other readers seemed to obtain. The first chapter was rather difficult to dive into. I felt as though I was tossed into a sea of words which made sense to the author, considering he knew the story. But for me, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know Summer Jackson prior, and then to be thrown around useless information (at this point in the book) was overwhelming. Over time I found out a few facts about the doctor, such as he was from Maine. But those details came much later in the book, even then were sparse and left me wanting for more.

I also wish, that the way the story was written it left me hanging as to the outcome of Dr. Summer and his family’s end. The way it was worded in the first few chapters had me realizing that Dr. Summer had to have died at some point. This was one of the few books that I actually went to the back to find out what happened, rather than reading through and finding out for myself. But even by going to the back of the book, it still didn’t say how Dr. Summer died. I was left with a gap of wondering.

I could see this perhaps as an interesting article in a magazine, but to have been created in a book form, I found it tedious. I had such high hopes for this book, but was left felling flat.

However, on a positive note, I thought that the book cover was designed creatively and it captured my interest in selecting the book to read it. Oh and there were a few pictures in the book near the end.

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

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Book Review: To Have and To Hold Novella Various Authors

Book Review: To Have and To Hold Novella Various Authors

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At one time I really didn’t like novella’s, but reading a few over time has allowed me to appreciate them. They are just the perfect length for those days you want to read a story, but you don’t want to either put it down, or spend all night finishing it. A novella is the way to go.

This trio of stores are all centered around weddings, although in this case the wedding is not for the main character of the book.

Love Takes the Cake, by Betsy St. Amant is the first book of this series. I loved the idea and plot of this story. A baker has a secret crush on a man who shows up at her bakery like clock work and asks for two snickerdoodle cookies. It definitely helps that she finds him quite attractive.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book is that it seemed to have lacked details and moved way to fast for me. This is a story that I believe would have been outstanding in a regular length novel, in which the characters would have developed a little better and I wouldn’t have felt like rushing through the book. Great idea for a story, but perhaps better written as a longer length story.

The Perfect Arrangement, by Katie Ganshert is the second book in this novella. Amelia is the owner of a flower shop and has agreed to provide flowers for her brother’s wedding. While at a wedding of an exboyfriend, Amelia hits the car in front of her by accident. Not wanting to be seen spying on her ex, she hurridly gives her information to the man and drives off. Nate, contacts Amelia, more or less to tell her that there was no damage done to his car and that she was not to worry about. From there on, they correspond by email as she shares the struggles she has with the belief that her future sister-in-law is seeing someone behind her brother’s back.

This story out of all of them to me was just okay. I didn’t really like how it would switch from email to story. There are some stories that I’ve read that do well in that format, but typically the stories are much longer. Plus, the situation between her and her brother’s fiancé just seemed a bit odd, contrived. Other than that, the story did read well and the author did a great job in writing.

Love in the Details, by Becky Wade is the third book in this novella. I’ve read Becky Wade before and know of the way she writes, which is perhaps why of the three this one was my favorite. Holly is prepared she thinks for the arrival into town of an ex-boyfriend, the one boy whom she loved. But after he goes off to college, she breaks off the relationship. Now years pass, and Holly is face to face with Josh, who nows owns a multi-million dollar technology company. His home base is in Paris, but he arrives into town for his best friend. Together they seek out venues for the wedding while at the same time they each wonder if there is a chance in the future.

Of all the books in this series, I think this one came together the best as a novella. The story was finished and for the most part I wasn’t left with very many (if any) questions about why the character was doing what they were. I enjoyed this particular story and thought that all the pieces came together.

I believe what this set of novella’s were missing was the Christian perspective. There was just enough words of Jesus and church thrown in that the non-Christian reader may be okay with it. But for someone who is used to reading books in the religious genre, it was lacking in that realm.

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

Book Review: A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna White

Book Review: A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna White

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This is the last book in the series of three for Ladies of the Manor.

Ella has a secret and that is that she knows about the tiger eyes rubies. She wants to help out so she does her own way by researching about the jewels. In the mean time, she is developing a friendship with the neighboring lord whom Brook cannot stand. But the two have a common goal and find that they have an interest in one another.

The only problem I had with the book, was the last chapter. It gave an end to things, but it almost seemed farfetched after thought to the book. I understand the purpose, but I almost think it was overdone and didn’t really fit in with the feel of the rest of the book.

This is a book where you will most definitely need to read the first three books in this series to truly understand the undercurrent of drama occurring. The characters and their rolls within the unraveling plot. Even though it has been within the last year that I have read The Reluctant Heiress I still found myself struggling to place situations that Ella referred to in her story. And Lord Cayton? I recognized him prior but couldn’t figure out why. So yes, please read the first two books of this series before finishing it up with this one.

All in all, I thought the book was well written and kept my attention. It ended with me wanting to hunt down the first book of the series to reread. Needless to say, I’m hoping I haven’t loaned it out, because if that’s the case… I don’t know who has it!

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall

Book Review: Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall

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This is the second book to the series The Summer Grove series, the first book being The Ties that Bond. You really must read the first book to understand what is happening and why, in the second book.

In this book, Adrianna must exchange places with Skylar, the girl who was raised in the English world despite being born of an Amish family, while Adrianna has been raised Amish, while being born with an English family. Both girls having been switched at birth, have a year to spend in the birth family.

Both girls have it tough, although Skylar finds it a bit more challenging. She is having to fight the demons of pill possession and to be honest, she’s not really sure she wants to let go. While Adrianna is faced with a daunting list of items by her father, to make sure she lives the life she was meant to be born.

I thought the book had an interesting story and found it interesting to be following along with the decisions each girl along the way. And of course, the story ends just as the next interesting chapter comes along. I truly hope that the series ends with these two girls in the next book. I really dislike these continuing stories!

All in all, I did enjoy the story.

I did get this book complimentary from the publisher with Blogging for Books.