Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review: Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher

Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher
Zondervan, September 24, 2013

 Diana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took off for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word of him for seven years, Diana's infatuation with her dashing husband died an ugly death, and she is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.

 But when her husband returns, supposedly a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom. He agrees with one condition----she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.

Robin Lee Hatcher is a new author to me and she didn't disappoint! Trying new authors can be scary but it is often rewarded when you find one that you enjoy. This is my second book to read by this author and what an engaging read it was.

This is an emotional story of love regained for one person and love found for the other one. Tyson and Diana have so much to overcome that is almost seems impossible. They need a miracle and they get it! For me Diana was a complicated heroine. She had been burned so badly by Tyson before that she could barely stand to look at him. Every thing he does from the moment he reentered her life she views with suspicion. 

Tyson on the other hand knows just how badly he hurt Diana. So many times throughout the book when they've made some headway; something ugly from his past rears it's head undoing all the ground that has been made. Tyson is trusting God for his wife, but Diana isn't trusting God or Tyson. Slowly she works her way through the issues and finds the peace and love shes always craved.

I loved this book and am eager to read more from this author.
  
Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this novel for review.  I was in no way obliged to give a positive review.


Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

American Adventure Part 1

Well, the much anticipated USA trip has been and gone! Eleyna and I loved our time in America visiting friends and getting to meet a very special lady named Carrie!


I'll start with the basics. We left Australia on the 17th March, took a 13.5 hour flight to San Francisco and then took another 4.5 hour flight to Washington D.C.  to arrive at 10pm on Monday the 17th March! I was so proud of my little girl - she's only 3 and she coped so well with all that travel ! We arrived to 8 inches of snow on the ground along with light snow falling! These two Aussie girls have never seen snow so this was very special for us.

Having my friend Michaele and her brother meet us at the airport was heavenly!

Museum of Natural History
 Some first week highlights:
  • Seeing, touching and playing in the snow! What a fantastic experience! Eleyna loved building her flat snow castle!
  • Going to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History - Eleyna loved the dinosaur bones!
  • The grocery store - I know who would have thought? The range of choice Americans have is so much more than here in Australia. I was overwhelmed with the choice at the deli that I couldn't physically make a decision. As the holiday continued, I found myself saying to my friend: Is this a 50 million decision thing? She would say yes and would ask her to make the decisions for me. 
  • The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus - the kids were mesmerized! So loud but lots of fun! 
  • Going to a Cherry Blossom Festival event for the kids. 
  • Going into a Pharmacy (called chemists here in Oz) and seeing an aisle called Hardware - that is unheard of in Australia! 
  • Reading some of my favourite authors on American soil and getting the references - finally! 
Catching up with my friend Michaele was a great joy for me. Seeing our two little girls playing together was so much fun. How different they were as 20month old of age when they last saw each other to two vibrant and imaginative 3.5 year old little girls!

I haven't forgotten about Carrie...I'll save that for my next post. Stayed tuned for Yorktown, The White House, George Washington's home and my love affair with American junk food and lemonade.



Cherry Blossom Festival Event...i have no idea what the balloon figure is supposed to be!



Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Book Review: Caught in the Middle by Regina Jennings

Caught in the Middle (Ladies of Caldwell County Book #3) by Regina Jennings
Bethany house Publishers, April 1, 2014

She Wants the Freedom of the Open Plains.
 

He Wants the Prestige of a Successful Career.
 

Neither is Ready for What Comes Instead.
The train to Garber, Texas, is supposed to bring life's next victory to Nicholas Lovelace. Instead, it gets held up by robbers who are thwarted by the last person Nick ever expected--Anne Tillerton from back home in Prairie Lea.

Anne's been hiding away as a buffalo hunter. She's only in town to find their runaway cook, but the woman flees--leaving Anne with her infant son. With Nick the only person Anne knows in town, the two form an unlikely team as they try to figure out what to do with the child.

But being in town means acting and dressing for polite society--and it's not going well for Anne. Meanwhile, Nick's work is bringing new pressures, and being seen with a rough-around-the-edges woman isn't helping his reputation. Caught between their own dreams, a deepening relationship, and others' expectations, can the pair find their way to love?


Regina Jennings is another new author to me and what a find! This book took me by surprise from beginning to end.

Anne Tillerton is a heroine not seen much in books. She's a woman dressing as a man, doing a man's job. She stubborn, deadly with a gun and not afraid to say it like it is. She also has a big problem with God and  submitting her life to him or anyone else.

Nicholas Lovelace is a man who likes nice things and wants his career to be more than successful. He has his road mapped out and when an train robbery throws Anne Tillerton in his path, his well ordered life gets thrown out the window.

Slowly both Anne and Nicholas form a truce of sorts which develops into a strong friendship. With Anne almost skittish when it comes to men, Nicholas faces a tough battle to win her affections. Anne disappoints him a few times because she expects him to disappoint her.

What I loved though about this book was the journey these characters had to take individually to be truly changed. Nicholas had to decide if following the God he professed to believe in was something he was prepared to do - no matter what. He is tested and I was proud of him. Anne is tested too, to put her trust in the God she doesn't want to trust. Can she give her all and will he still be there for her? Both these characters hurt in this book and they are there for each other as the journey gets hard. I loved that about these two. I loved that the author took them to hard places and brought them through that with grace and dignity.

I will be reading more from this author!

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this novel for review.  I was in no way obliged to give a positive review.



Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Book Review: The Heart's Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher

The Heart's Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher
Zondervan, May 13, 2014

A jilted bride desperate to save her family from ruin.

A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past.

An arduous trek toward justice--or redemption.
Silver Matlock and Jared Newman know traveling together is a bad idea. Bad for Silver's already tarnished reputation in her small Colorado town. Bad for bounty hunter Jared's secret, single minded mission for revenge. But Silver is determined to track down the rogue who left her at the altar and stole the last remnant of her father's fortune. And Jared's in a hurry to hunt down the murderer who destroyed his family--even if Silver is too distractingly beautiful for comfort.
 

The pair takes off over mountain and desert, past bleak homesteads and raw mining towns, hot on the trail of the two villains who took what wasn't theirs to take. Soon supplies dwindle, secrets emerge, and suspicion leave Silver and Jared at odds when they need each other most. To confront an enemy deadlier than desert rattlesnakes and rocky cliffs, Silver and Jared must learn to forgive and trust and face the question they haven't dared voice: What happens next?

I read this book whilst holidaying in the USA. I started it at about 9.30pm and finished it at 1am! I loved it and couldn't put the book down. It's a great adventure through the wild west, filled with characters who you want to ride around with. This was my first book by this author and it was lovely to read something well written, engaging and a pleasure to read. Well done Robin Lee Hatcher on a great book! I'm looking forward to reading more from you!

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this novel for review.  I was in no way obliged to give a positive review.



Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review: Life Support by Candace Calvert

Life Support by Candace Calvert
Tyndale, Feb 21st 2014


Nurse Lauren Barclay put her life on hold to keep a watchful eye on her troubled sister. It’s why she’s back in Houston. But that means confronting the brooding physician assistant who caused painful turmoil in her family—and left Lauren with memories her heart can’t forget.

PA and single parent Elijah Landry is no stranger to stormy relationships, including one with his father, who is threatening him with a restraining order. It won’t stop Eli from protecting his disabled brother—or from making peace with Lauren. He wants that and so much more.

But as Lauren and Eli draw closer, a powerful hurricane roars toward Houston. Survival instincts take priority and everything changes. Can hope weather the storm?


This book was waiting for me when I arrived in Washington DC at my friends place! It might have been midnight when I got there, but I was still excited to see this parcel from Candace Calvert herself! Thanks again for sending me a copy!

Okay onto the book. I enjoyed this book and found it engaging and I was immediately drawn into the action and drama of the story. After the first few chapters I was seriously wondering how these two were going to figure it out - they could barely hold a conversation as it was, and when they did, it wasn't good! Slowly though they are drawn together and forced to talk about their conflicts and differences. During this process finding that they actually hold similar views, they just go about expressing these in different ways. As they slowly figure out what they want regarding a future together; everything around them spirals out of control: Eli's brother's health, Lauren's sister Jessica becomes more erratic, the feud with Eli's father gets bigger and the storm heading towards them grows stronger every day.

The subject matters raised in this book might be difficult for some to deal with. Bipolar, depression, addictions and family feuds. However Candace deals with them gracefully, while still showing the realities of these issues. Having Lauren and Eli working through these issues with their families only makes them stronger as individuals and together. Lauren is a solid heroine, who for too long has tried to control situations by not acknowledging them, but mothering those around her. Meanwhile Eli acknowledged things so much that it caused a rift between him and his father. Both learn who is truly in control -  God and they also learn that being disssimilar is not always a bad thing.

I enjoyed this book a great deal and especially for the fact that I got to read it on American soil!

Finally I was very excited when I read the quote below from Life Support:

“I wanted to call you this morning, but things got a little complicated.” He frowned. “Family stuff I had to take care of. I should probably warn you: that sort of thing isn’t unusual. The Landrys could operate a fourth ring with Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey.”

Why would I be so excited about that? Well the day before I went to a Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus!! I was so excited to get the reference!

Thanks again Candace for sending me the book!


Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.