Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Into Dust (Montana Hamiltons) by B. J. Daniels - A suspenseful tale with romance thrown in! I gave it three stars I liked it.

A suspenseful tale that turns into romance... I liked the book the action started right at the beginning. The plot was kind of full of intrigue and it seemed to bog me down a bit in the middle just as I was wondering how long all of this was going to go on, the book picked up and finished with you wondering if you would need to buy the second book to find out what really happens. Authors do that don't they? They lead into their next book and that is what I felt B. J. Daniels did with this book. Would have liked a little more romance and a little less intrigue I think I just learned something about my reading habits. I think I will stay with my usual genre's. I believe if you love suspense with a little romance thrown in than this book would be perfect for you. If you like books that don't end but start another book in the series than this book is for you also as the intrigue (not telling) will definitely be going on in the following book on the Montana Hamiltons.

As Found On Good Reads: The Montana Hamiltons, by New York Times bestselling author B.J. Daniels:

A Texas cowboy comes to her rescue but who is he really?

As the daughter of a presidential candidate, and an identical twin, Cassidy Hamilton left the Montana family ranch to escape the notoriety and live her own life. But when someone tries to abduct her off a Houston sidewalk, Cassidy longs for the cavalry. Which suddenly comes in the tall, dark and sexy form of cowboy Jack Durand. The gorgeous Texan doesn't recognize her, wants nothing from her and is determined to keep her safe. Cassidy's kind of man

As Jack takes Cassidy into hiding, he hates keeping secrets from the beautiful blonde. But Jack knows more about the kidnapping attempt than he's admitting. Forced on the run in the Lone Star State and Montana, Jack and Cassidy begin piecing together a jagged family puzzle, exposing a plot years in the making one that will either tear them apart or bring them closer together than ever.
This book was provided by netgalley.com in exchange for a fair review.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Last Woman Standing by Thelma Adams - Four Stars for this very engrossing novel!

Josephine Marcus the daughter of Jewish Immigrants, left her home where she lived with her parents to run off to Arizona, to be the wife of Johnny Behan!  Johnny did string her along terribly, until she found him in bed with another woman, he never would marry her.  She can't go back home her parents won't have her.  Well just when she thought she had met her end, hand sunk lower than she ever could, there was Wyatt Earp!  He had been keeping his eye on her, he had a woman he lived with more of a common law wife.....but he had really no relationship with her any more.  Josephine and Wyatt weren't able to marry right away because of her.......he often wasn't able to see her.  She was there and saw the shoot out at the OK Corrall in Tombstone Arizona, she was in a photography studio ducking under the gun blasts that seemed to come through the walls now and then when one missed someone.  Doc Holliday, all of the Earp brothers, all of the things this spunky woman lived through, she tells in this novel of her life. 

I gave this one four stars! I really enjoyed it and found out much that I never knew about that fight and about the Earp brothers!
I received this book from netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

Here is the description as found on Good Reads:
Two decades after the Civil War, Josephine Marcus, the teenage daughter of Jewish immigrants, is lured west with the promise of marriage to Johnny Behan, one of Arizona’s famous lawmen. She leaves her San Francisco home to join Behan in Tombstone, Arizona, a magnet for miners (and outlaws) attracted by the silver boom. Though united by the glint of metal, Tombstone is plagued by divided loyalties: between Confederates and Unionists, Lincoln Republicans and Democrats.

But when the silver-tongued Behan proves unreliable, it is legendary frontiersman Wyatt Earp who emerges as Josephine’s match. As the couple’s romance sparks, Behan’s jealousy ignites a rivalry destined for the history books…

At once an epic account of an improbable romance and a retelling of an iconic American tale, The Last Woman Standing recalls the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral through the eyes of a spunky heroine who sought her happy ending in a lawless outpost—with a fierce will and an unflagging spirit

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Bartender's Mail Order Bride by Cindy Caldwell / Four Stars!!

I found this book to be a fun read!  Sam is a bartender, he is the best friend of Nutmeg's brother so she finds out that Sam is putting an advertisement out for a mail order bride and what he thinks would be good qualities in a wife.  She has six sisters.  She has been quietly crushing on Sam for a few years and she decides to quietly answer Sam's advertisement.  She doesn't give her real name.  Sam has a real need to get a wife and quickly, he's been letting his Mom know for a few years that he had a great business and a wife.  She is coming to visit.  The entire thing is really set up to fail, but the entire town gets behind helping him out.  Nutmeg's Father says she can't marry Sam, but he is told she is of an age she can do as she pleases and she pleases to marry Sam.  I can't tell you anything more or how this works out, that would ruin the story for you!!  You really should read this book it is fun!
The description as found on Good Reads is: Nutmeg Archer has had enough of being invisible in a family of six girls—especially since the man she’s pining for doesn’t notice her, either. When she finds out he needs a mail-order bride in a hurry, she hatches a plan to get him to notice her, one way or another. 

Sam Allen gave up his career ambitions and left New York for Tombstone, Arizona, and a new start. He enjoys his job as a bartender—and is very good at it. But because he knew his mother would not approve, he told a white lie that he never thought would be found out. When his high-society mother unexpectedly decides to make a trip to visit, he needs to make that fib a reality—and fast. 

Sam is dismayed to discover that he has only one positive response to his ad—and to say that he is surprised by who it is is an understatement. It also presents him with a dilemma—what to do when the only person who will marry him is someone he shouldn’t be marrying? 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Little Paris Book Shop - A Novel - by Nina George - I gave it two stars - what a disappointment!

The Little Paris Bookshop – A Novel - by Nina George / Simon Pare – Translater
I really had high hopes for this book, it was so disappointing I didn’t want to finish the book.  That is rare with me!  I wonder if something was lost in translation, althuogh there are many four and five star reviews, I wondr if they were reading a different book.  I guess I’m so spoiled by reading books that grab you from the first page and never let you go until you are closing the back cover of the book.  The author really let me down.  The book was written as a bookstore that had an owner who only sold books to people who needed something and that book was going to fill the void.  I’ve had so many books that did just that in my life.  This book though did not it only kept reminding me that I needed to finish it so that I could post the nteeded review.  I never post bad reviews I usually tell the author that the book wasn’t for me, and they prefer that I not post the review, just thank me for being honest and reading the book for them.  This book was all about a man who HAD A book store that could be pulled from it’s morings and could be floated down the river as the owner looks for a long ago closure to a romance he had with a married woman who gave him a letter and left him.  He never read the letter until something happened that made him find the letter again twenty years later.  He decides he needs to go to where she was last living…..He and an author who is having problems travel with the bookshop…….I can’t recommend this book.  I give it two stars. 

I received this book from “Bloggingforbooks.com”  in exchange for an honest review.
The Description as found in Good Reads:
“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people's lives.

Nina George
Goodreads Author
Born 1973 in Bielefeld, Germany, Nina George is a prize-winning and bestselling author (“Das Lavendelzimmer” – “The Little Paris Bookshop”) and freelance journalist since 1992, who has published 26 books (novels, mysteries and non-fiction) as well as over hundred short stories and more than 600 columns. George has worked as a cop reporter, columnist and managing editor for a wide range of publications, including Hamburger Abendblatt, Die Welt, Der Hamburger, “politik und kultur” as well as TV Movie and Federwelt. Georges writes also under three pen-names, for ex “Jean Bagnol”, a double-andronym for provence-based mystery novels. 
Born
Germany 
Member Since
May 2012
“Books are more than doctors, of course. Some novels are loving, lifelong companions;some give you a clip around the ear; others are friends who wrap you in warm towels when you've got those autumn blues. And some...well, some are pink candy floss that tingles in your brain for three seconds and leaves a blissful voice. Like a short, torrid love affair.” — 68 likes
“We cannot decide to love. We cannot compel anyone to love us. There's no secret recipe, only love itself. And we are at its mercy--there's nothing we can do.” — 34 likes


Monday, June 27, 2016

Ways to Win Books To Read / Reviews of Books I've Won!: Baby Doll by Hollie Overton - A Thriller I gave fi...

Ways to Win Books To Read / Reviews of Books I've Won!: Baby Doll by Hollie Overton - A Thriller I gave fi...: Wow this was a great read!  It started out with the main character Lily who was taken as a child and held by a trusted man, for years she ev...

Baby Doll by Hollie Overton - A Thriller I gave five stars to! Great read!

Wow this was a great read!  It started out with the main character Lily who was taken as a child and held by a trusted man, for years she even delivered a child, Sky, fathered by him while she was locked away.  The book starts with her finding out the forgot and left the house unlocked.

She runs out of the house, goes back for her daughter and  as she leaves the house, she finds how close she has been to her home all those years.  This book wasn't just about what happened to Lily while she was taken and held but is also about what happened to her Mother, family, twin sister the impact of this for years has taken a toll on many.  The book starts by telling how she gets away but more not only what happened to her while she was held against her will, but also what happened to each of the people in her life.  A fantastic read, a fast read you won't want to put it down.  I really loved the story!



Description as found on Good Reads:
Baby Doll
by Hollie Overton (Goodreads Author)

For fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, Baby Doll is the most tense thriller you will read this year.

Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.

This is what happens next...

...to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter...and to her captor

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Love is Come (Power of the Matchmaker) written by Heather B. Moore - Five Stars on this one!

I didn't know when I started reading this book that it was a part of a series.  It wasn't the first book in the series.  I never felt that I was missing any parts told in previous books which was great it says a lot about the book.  This book is set in the Victorian period.  Nelle Thompson has an idyllic life until her parents are both killed in an accident.  She has to find some where to go until she receives her inheritance.  She decides to go to the country and move in with her cousin and her daughter.  Her cousin tells her that she has to keep a ledger of every single expense she costs her, so that she can claim her money back when Nelle comes into her money.  That was a shock!  She finds later that her cousin is living barely within the means of those around her.  She really needs the money.  Nelle makes assumptions that change.  She sets off one day to go to town and she meets Matthew.  They hit it off right away.  He helps her find her way to town and she ends up meeting a woman by the name of Pearl.  (I see from other notes on this book that Pearl was also in the first book).  Pearl is a matchmaker.  Nelle has no idea what Pearls roll is in things beyond having an unusual shop where she gives Nelle some powdered tea.......The book just goes to show that they were living in much simpler times back then.  Life wasn't ever easy though if a young woman was on her own without a husband or parents.  Nelle ends up falling for Matthew only to find that he is the man her cousin has been planning to marry for years.  I won't spoil it for you!  The book is a fast read and I liked the authors writing.  

I received the book in exchange for an honest review.  I really loved this book! 

Description found on Good Reads: **Amazon Top 50 in Victorian Romance** 
“I have to remind myself to breathe—almost to remind my heart to beat.” —Wuthering Heights 

From the Power of the Matchmaker series: LOVE IS COME 

Nelle Thompson lives a life of privilege during the turn of the century New York City. When her parents are killed in a terrible accident, she’s forced to live with her aunt’s family in a small town in Connecticut, and treated as a poor relation with no financial independence. Broken hearted and riddled with insomnia, Nelle’s health begins a downward spiral. When a locked part of her heart blossoms around her cousin’s fiancĂ© Mathew Janson, Nelle doesn’t know if she can endure one more heartbreak. Miss Pearl, owner of the local apothecary shop, becomes a mother figure to Nelle, but a fateful summer day has Nelle questioning everything she's ever believed and wondering if she’ll ever love again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn - A fast read!

This book was a fast read.  The characters were very real and the story was believable.  I enjoyed reading it.  It kept me involved in the story line.  I wanted to find out what happened to the characters.  A soldier who marries a girl whose best friend thinks he is her soul mate but it wasn't she he chose to marry.  Then when he is off fighting, serving his country, his wife finds that she can't take care of the children on her own.  She asks her friend for help which she willingly gives her at peril her own home and work.  She gives up much to help her friend and each year brings another child and the man goes off to fight or work for the military. He has no idea why this girl is always at his home when he comes home.   He doesn't treat her very well so she leaves the house and the kids that have become very like her own, they have her heart as does he which he doesn't know.  The wife dies in an accident and the man has no one to watch his children.....the story goes on! 

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review!


Here is the information as found on Good Reads: What do you do when your soul mate marries your best friend?

If you're Kate Evans, you keep your friend Rachel, bond with her kids, and bury your feelings for her husband. The fact that Shane's in the military and away for long periods helps-but when tragedy strikes, everything changes.

After Rachel, pregnant with her fourth child, dies in a car accident and the baby miraculously survives, Kate upends her entire life to share parenting duties. Then on the first anniversary of Rachel's death, Kate and Shane take comfort in each other in a night that they both soon regret.

Shane's been angry for a year, and now he feels guilty too - for sleeping with his wife's best friend and liking it . . . liking her. Kate's ability to read him like a book may have once sent Shane running, but their lives are forever entwined and they are growing closer.

Now with Shane deployed for seven months, Kate is on her own and struggling with being a single parent. Shane is loving and supportive from thousands of miles away, but his homecoming brings a betrayal Kate never saw coming. So Kate's only choice is to fight for the future she deserves - with or without Shane. .

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Remember The Ladies by Gina L. Mulligan -- A Fascinating Read

Wow!  The book starts out with Amelia Cooke growing up in an orphanage, and how she follows a man she met who works as a lobbyist and followed him around until he finally gave in and listened to her she wanted to do what he did.  She had learned as much as she could and she had a knack for never forgetting people's names or the names of their wives or children.  That helped him a lot so he took her in and started training her, later in the book, he has died, and she was hired by the National Women's Suffrage to lobby for them to convince all of the voting Senators to vote for women to get the right to vote.  How she went about doing what she did for them, and descriptions of how the men did things in this book,  I can see how it is probably true that men and women in the Senate now probably do things the same way.  I found the book engrossing, following Amelia from a small child until she was one of the only female lobbyist's who wasn't always welcome among the men.  I think most anyone would find the story very interesting and it is definitely a fast read!  Loved the book.

Description of book as found on Good Reads: Growing up in an orphanage prepared Amelia Cooke for the high-stakes role of a female lobbyist surrounded by the egos of the 1887 Congress, a time before women had the right to vote. Her success in the isolating male arena comes from using the tactics she’s learned from those who oppressed her. So when she’s hired by the National Women’s Suffrage Association to help pass a proposed constitutional amendment granting women’s voting rights, Amelia feels empowered to at last win a place for herself and give all women a voice in the world. What she doesn’t foresee is the charismatic and calculating Senator Edward Stillman who threatens to ruin her hard-earned reputation and end her career.

Ways to Win Books To Read / Reviews of Books I've Won!: Dead Running by Cami Checketts - A Thrilling Novel...

Ways to Win Books To Read / Reviews of Books I've Won!: Dead Running by Cami Checketts - A Thrilling Novel...: Wow!  I couldn't put this one down.  It had me from the first page....all the way to the end.  I really love Cami Checketts writing, t...

Dead Running by Cami Checketts - A Thrilling Novel! Five Stars!

Wow!  I couldn't put this one down.  It had me from the first page....all the way to the end.  I really love Cami Checketts writing, this is the second book of hers that I have read and I can't get enough!
I read a lot of romance books, all types, this was a change from those although there was some romance in it. There was also suspense, danger, surprises, lots of characters, the gal Cassidy Christensen doesn't get the names of everyone she calls them descriptive names and they stick, like "Hot Redhead" she didn't like that gal, she was annoying and always in the way.  In addition to two hot men pursuing this gal, and some bad men she couldn't seem to shake at times.  There were many characters and they were really all a part of a well woven mystery that came down to Cassidy Christensen's family her Mom and Dad who had been killed.  They were a part of why they had been killed and what they had been doing in Mexico, it wasn't what Cassidy thought they went there to do.
Seems everything that she knew about her family members was all messed up.  Secrets to be revealed when you buy this great book and read it!
 
I received this book through a drawing I believe the author sent it to me in exchange for an honest review and she knew it would be going to the little library where my Mom volunteers her time when I was done with it.  Two benefits in one!
 

Here is the description of the book as found on Good Reads: Cassidy Christensen is running. Running from the mercenaries who killed her parents. Running from a scheming redhead intent on making her life miserable. Running from painful memories that sabotage her dreams of happiness. With two very tempting men competing for her attention, she hopes she'll finally have someone to run to, but can she trust either of them? When secrets from her past threaten her family, Cassidy decides to stop running and fight for her future. A light-hearted suspense with a side of PG-rated romance, Dead Running will have you lacing up your running shoes and impatiently waiting for the sequel. "Dead Running was everything I was hoping it would be, captivating, invigorating, and a page turner that I could not, would not, put down! Cami Checketts writes books that will make you think, and make you feel. She captivated me with The Sister Pact, and doesn't lose speed with her newest "must read," Dead Running." Sheila DeChantal Book Reviewer - Book Journey "Brilliant characterization, edge-of-your-seat suspense and a touch of humor make Dead Running a rare treat..." Wendy Davy Award winning author of Deadly Chase

Monday, May 30, 2016

Ways to Win Books To Read / Reviews of Books I've Won!: The Memory Of Us - A Novel by Camille Di Maio - Gr...

Ways to Win Books To Read / Reviews of Books I've Won!: The Memory Of Us - A Novel by Camille Di Maio - Gr...: I received this book through NetGalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review which I am happy to do.  I loved this book!  The story w...

The Memory Of Us - A Novel by Camille Di Maio - Great book!

I received this book through NetGalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review which I am happy to do.  I loved this book!  The story went places I thought ah I know what is coming next, didn't happen, not the predictable.  It was happy and it was sad.  At some points it just made me feel so sad for the characters.  I wanted more when it ended.  Great read.  You won't want to put it down. I don't want to say anything more about the story than you find below as I don't want to give you hints as to where the story goes.  The characters are so real, they are fully presented, you feel you know them. 

Description as found on Good Reads: Julianne Westcott was living the kind of life that other Protestant girls in prewar Liverpool could only dream about: old money, silk ball gowns, and prominent young men lining up to escort her. But when she learns of a blind-and-deaf brother, institutionalized since birth, the illusion of her perfect life and family shatters around her.

While visiting her brother in secret, Julianne meets and befriends Kyle McCarthy, an Irish Catholic groundskeeper studying to become a priest. Caught between her family’s expectations, Kyle’s devotion to the church, and the intense new feelings that the forbidden courtship has awakened in her, Julianne must make a choice: uphold the life she’s always known or follow the difficult path toward love.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Wedding Sisters by Jamie Brenner - Couldn't put this book down!

I didn't have the exact dates that I read this book was due to losing a computer and having to wait before I could put up a review.  I received the book in exchange for an honest and fair review!

I loved this book!  It was written about three sisters, who are named after Louisa May Alcotts, "Little Women".  Their Father had studied a lifetime the books of this author and wrote one on his own, he a professor at the local Collage.  Meryl Becker is the Mom and she finds that within a very short time in one year all three of her daughters are engaged to very wonderful men.  I loved reading about the three sisters they were each so different!  I couldn't imagine putting together one wedding for all three at once. That would be a nightmare!  Well that is what the Mom was faced with, her husband loses his job, and they are going to not only lose their income but also their apartment.  They can't afford three weddings. So Mom convinces each girl that the best thing they can all do is have a triple wedding.  Now getting the parents of each of the families of the fiance's to agree is next to impossible.  She Mother of the Brides makes them bend to her daughters wishes before it is over!  I can tell you I started reading this book and I carried it where ever I went so that I could finish it.  I loved the book and wanted more when it was over, I think you will too!  Great woman's book!!

Description as found here on Good Reads: Meryl Becker is living a mother's dream. The oldest of her three beautiful daughters, Meg, is engaged to a wonderful man from one of the country's most prominent families. Of course, Meryl wants to give Meg the perfect wedding. Who wouldn't? But when her two younger daughters, Amy and Jo, also become engaged to celebrated bachelors, Meryl has to admit that three weddings is more than she and her husband, Hugh, can realistically afford.

The solution? A triple wedding! At first, it's a tough sell to the girls, and juggling three sets of future in-laws is a logistical nightmare. But when Hugh loses his teaching job, and Meryl's aging mother suddenly moves in with them, a triple wedding is the only way to get all three sisters down the aisle. When the grand plan becomes public, the onslaught of media attention adds to Meryl's mounting pressure. Suddenly, appearances are everything - and she will do whatever it takes to keep the wedding on track as money gets tight, her mother starts acting nutty, and her own thirty year marriage starts to unravel.

In the weeks leading up to the nuptials, secrets are revealed, passions ignite, and surprising revelations show Meryl and her daughters the true meaning of love, marriage and family. Jamie Brenner's The Wedding Sisters invites readers to the most unpredictable wedding of the year.

Mercer Girls - Five Stars - Author Libbie Hawkner

I received this book through netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I loved this book.  I have always loved reading about mail order brides, of which Mercer Girls were similar.  A man by the name of Mercer wanted to improve the city so he decided he was going to find brides for these men who were drinking and fighting and gambling, because there were no women to marry and have family's with, so he was going to bring back 200 brides.  He found the women through paper ads and they had to have money, quite a lot for that time in history, to pay for their fare by boat to get to where they were going.  The ladies who for each had a reason they wanted to leave Lowell, Mass., found that the problems they left, did find they where they were going.  Having a famous suffragette come to town was pretty much the salvation of them!  I loved reading this and finding that quite a bit was based on real history.  A fun read you can't put it down!

It’s 1864 in downtrodden Lowell, Massachusetts. The Civil War has taken its toll on the town—leaving the economy in ruin and its women in dire straits. That is, until Asa Mercer arrives on a peculiar, but providential, errand: he seeks high-minded women who can exert an elevating influence in Seattle, where there are ten men for every woman. Mail-order brides, yes, but of a certain caliber.

Schoolmarmish Josephine, tough-as-nails Dovey, and pious perfectionist Sophronia see their chance to exchange their bleak prospects for new lives. But the very troubles that sent them running from Lowell follow them to the muddy streets of Seattle, and the friendships forged on the cross-country trek are tested at every turn.

Just when the journey seems to lead only to ruin, an encounter with a famous suffragist could be their salvation. But to survive both an untamed new landscape and their pasts, they’ll need all their strength—and one another.

First Comes Love - A Novel by Emily Griffin - Four Stars

This book came to me from Random House in exchange for an honest review which follows:  This story was of two sisters and their relationships and lack there of, the family was divided and not really talking fifteen years ago when their brother Daniel died in an auto accident.  Fifteen years into the future and there is talk of a an anniversary, to go and see Daniel's girl friend from that time, and to recognize the brother that was gone.  The two sisters in the story have a very disjointed problematic relationship ever since the accident. They never compared stories between themselves or anyone else since the accident. Secrets finally come out of the dark as the book heads to the future where the sisters are fifteen years later.  Josie so wants a family and a child, that she finally gives up on finding a family, she feels she lost the one man she could have been happy with.  Will was that man and he surfaces in the story as his daughter appears in Josies first grade class.  Josie decides she wants a child and her clock is ticking so she starts looking for sperm doners, in the end she makes a decision that is kind of surprising!  Her sister married her brothers best friend and they have a little girl.  Meredith feels she may have just taken the path of expectation rather than the path that she may have been happier on.  She feels the only thing from her marriage that has gone right is her daughter.  She really can't see why her sister Meredith is doing what she is doing.  The sisters are so very different and the problems are very real, the sisters are characters that are fully developed.  The story is one you pick up and even though it may not be one of those cheerful romance novels, you keep turning the page as you want to find out what happened so many years ago, what has happened since and where are these sisters going to end up by the end of the novel.  A really good read, I think you would enjoy it.

Description as found here on Good Reads: In this dazzling new novel, Emily Giffin, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & Only introduces a pair of sisters who find themselves at a crossroads.

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired. 

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.

Emotionally honest and utterly enthralling, First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Fading Starlight a novel by Kathryn Cushman - 4 Stars

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review - which follows:

I love the cover of this book it sets up the story of a dress designer before the story even begins. There are Christian comments here and there in the book but I don't mind they are there as they are part of the story in that Lauren the main character has an inner struggle, should she do the right thing or the first thing that is presented which may get her out of the problem she has gotten herself into, rather she has gotten into due to a very selfish young startlet who alters a dress she has made for her so that she can have a wardrobe malfunction so the world will see her as an adult. She sets things up so that Lauren loses her job at the designer house and has got black marks all over the place and she barely is able to get a job working in secret in a cabin that has to be cleaned from top to bottom and she is not to tell anyone about the starlet who hasn't been seen in years and is very private about her present and past. Lauren is really struggling working costumes for a play, really having to take the job as no one will hire her after the problem with the dress she designed. A reporter contacts her and waves a solution under her nose one that will clear her name, in exchange for information on the actress holed up in the place next door to her. She knows that this isn't the right way to go about things. this isn't the christian way, but she really wants to get her name cleared, you'll have to read the book for the answers!!!

Here is the info as found on the book here on Good Reads: A Tale of Unexpected Friendship and Old Hollywood Glamour

Lauren Summers is hiding. Her fashion house internship should have launched her career, but a red carpet accident has left her blackballed. The only job she finds is unpaid, but comes with free lodging--a run-down cottage in the shadow of a cliff-side mansion. Unsure of what comes next, she's surprised to be contacted by a reporter researching a reclusive former Hollywood ingEnue who lives in the nearby mansion.

Kendall Joiner wants Lauren's help uncovering the old woman's secrets. In return, she'll prove the red carpet accident was a publicity stunt so Lauren can regain her former job. With all her dreams in front of her, Lauren's tempted by the offer, but as she and the old woman get to know each other, Lauren realizes nothing is quite as it seems.

The Soldiers Bride written by: Rachelle J. Christensen - Loved The Story - So Will You! 5 Stars

I thought this was starting out about a young wife of a WWII Soldier, he goes off to war and she finds she is pregnant, only he is never to know as he doesn't come back. She receives word that he has died, his entire group were gone, and he is never to know he was to be a Father. He gave her a music box, with a haunting tune and a dancer that goes around to the music. I thought this was to be just her story, of her heart ache and her eventually finding life again....but the story was oh so much more than that. The music box changes hands several times, and each time it does it has a message put into the lining by the previous owner that ends up being a very profound message to the next person who finds it. We do end up hearing more about the beginning story of Evalyn and Jim but it would be very bad if I were to tell you that part, it would ruin the surprise. Ah, ah, ah.....don't even go there because you would be wrong. This book is full of surprises and they aren't even some that you would guess at. A really great yarn that I couldn't put down. I was reading stirring pots, in bed, a few minutes here and there until I got to the end. Loved the story! So will you!

The description as found here on Good Reads: As WWII ration cards and battle scars become commonplace across America, it seems to Evelyn that even love is rationed out. When she finds a message from her late husband tucked inside a music box, Jim’s words have the power to change her life: Don't die with me.

Words written out of love, long-lost but never forgotten.

Grief stricken, Evelyn is unsure of how to honor his request, but she finds the courage to keep on living. Jim’s note urges her to give the music box away to unlock the secret within, and although it breaks her heart again, Evelyn trades the music box for a cradle to hold her infant son. Thus begins the decades-long journey of the music box, mending broken hearts, reuniting lost loves, and giving people the courage to heal themselves along the way. This romance crosses battlefields and time as the music box touches the lives of two soldiers, a broken father, a crippled child, a struggling farmer, and a woman once called the soldier's bride.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Liz: The Montana McKennas (The Montana Ranchers Book 7) I gave this one five stars!

I always love to read Jan Scarbroughs books!  I just discovered her lately as an author and I do like reading her books. I am going to have to read some of the other books in this family of books.  I haven't read the other books in this group, I have to say this book stood by itself just fine.  It was a fast read, I liked the characters, It was nice to read a novel about someone who is in their 50's because I am, she thought her romantic life was over as she had lost her husband of so many years.  Her daughter writes a book about the family and the man who comes to stay on their ranch which is always full of visitors during the summer months that is how they make their money, but this is off season and she is told he needs to get away from Hollywood for a break.  What she isn't told is that the book her daughter wrote which she hasn't' read yet, they are hoping this screen writer sees their ranch as a hopeful sight for movie rights.  Liz is not very happy about that and decides she better read the book. The screen writer is her age and happens to be very good looking and a really nice guy.  Of course they have sparks flying between them before long, how could a romantic book be written without that?  Read the book to find out how things evolve.  It's a fast read and leaves you wanting to read more of the books in this group!

Description as found on Good Reads: She'd had the great love of her life. Was she foolish to want another one? 

Liz McKenna’s dreams died along with her husband. Now she’s become the keeper of dreams for others. She’s done everything she can to keep the McKenna ranch running and to move on with her life. She'd learned to knit and play the piano. Distracted herself with hobbies. And yet, there was no avoiding the deep, unspoken unhappiness. Was it the burden of running the dude ranch? The responsibility of keeping her husband’s dream alive? At fifty-five, was she put out to pasture, too old to have dreams of her own?

Producer and scriptwriter Chaz Kingston is burned out by the ruthlessly competitive world of Hollywood. He’s tired of the empty celebrity lifestyle of his ex-wife and her daughters who are only famous for being famous. He’s tired of a life chasing the next hot trend, the next hot script. And he’s mourning the senseless death of his brother. Then he’s offered the chance to write a script based on a real life feel-good family novel about a dude ranch in Montana. Maybe blue skies and open spaces are what this silver fox needs. But he never dreamed his R&R would include a beautiful widow. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ways to Win Books To Read / Reviews of Books I've Won!: Lessons In Loving by Peter McAra - Great read!

Ways to Win Books To Read / Reviews of Books I've Won!: Lessons In Loving by Peter McAra - Great read!: Brenda Rupp's Reviews  > Lessons in Loving Lessons in Loving   by   Peter McAra   Brenda Rupp 's review  Apr 26, 16  ...

Lessons In Loving by Peter McAra - Great read!

Brenda Rupp's Reviews > Lessons in Loving

Lessons in Loving by Peter McAra
 
by 
2429900
's review 
Apr 26, 16  ·  edit

it was amazing
bookshelves: to-read
Read in December, 2015

I think I am not the first to note that this was a man writing historical fiction! I read so many books written by women. This book was about Kate, who had finished getting her teaching degree and she has been to hear the suffragettes speeches on how women should be treated in the work place, not just at home having babies. It is 1902 and Kate sees an advertisement for a governess to teach in Australia in a back woods sheep farm. She decides to write and ask for the position.

She does get the position money to travel there and told of places to stay until she arrives. She does arrive at the station finally to find that not only is she not to teach a child but she is there to teach the man who owns the farm. His upbringing really ended at age eight. His Mother died when he was eight years old she used to teach him at home and his Father died not too soon afterward. He learned all that he knows from servants really. He isn't close to a local town, so the way he talks, his knowledge of things is rather crude.

Kate finds herself living in his home having meals with him, teaching him, and she finds that she is attracted to him. Her job though is to teach him to speak in a more refined manner to help him with his manners, his reading, diction, etc. His Mothers wish for him was to marry a proper English woman and he has one he wants to marry but he must get himself up to snuff as it were so that he may even feel as if he would be considered. Laetitia really just put up with him because her father said she should. She was never considering him as someone she should marryf!

When next she sees him he speak differently, his manners are different his awareness of the world around him is totally different. She finds that she thinks him very changed and not quite so out of her league as she thought him at first. The ending of the story of course is pretty much as you might expect. Although the book was enjoyable, I did like the bits of history and info about sheep farming etc., that was included in the story here and there. It was a good story a fast read.

I believe I received this book through net gallery in exchange for an honest review. I would give this story four stars.

Here is the description as found here on Good Reads: Wanted: Governess. Properly qualified in English, to instruct male pupil in rural location.

Sydney, 1902. Desperate for a job, Kate Courtney travels to the faraway New England Ranges to interview for a governess position. She is greeted by wealthy landowner, ruggedly handsome Tom Fortescue, and is shocked to find that her new charge isn’t a small boy—but the grown man.

It was Tom’s mother’s dying wish that he find a refined, elegant, English bride to marry. But a country man with country manners can never win a lady fair. Tom needs Kate to smooth away his rough edges, make him desirable to the English rose he wants to marry.

But the more time Kate and Tom spend together, the closer they become, and Tom has to decide between the dreams of his childhood, and the reality that is right in front of him.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Atonement by Beverly Lewis - Four Stars

Brenda Rupp's Reviews > The Atonement

The Atonement by Beverly  Lewis
 
by 
2429900
's review 
Apr 25, 16  ·  edit

really liked it
Read from April 12 to 17, 2016

I'm a fan of books about the Amish as I see them so often in the area where my Grandmother lives. I've learned a lot about their culture through the books that I've read and Beverly Lewis is an author that I've read several times. This is more of a series book. You start off reading about Lucy Flaud a twenty-five year old woman who has a secret in her past. She can't get past that, she fills her days with donating her time for the plain and fancy in the neighborhood surrounding her family's farm. She is beyond the age of someone looking for a husband, and she doesn't take part in any of the singings, or other activities aimed to help the young people to get to know each other so that they may find a mate to marry.
Lucy has her days so full of helping others, that there is no time left for herself. She has a hole in her heart and she is trying to fill it so that she doesn't have time to think about her past, she hasn't forgiven her Father, she hasn't forgiven the young man that she was involved with and she hasn't found forgiveness from God. She finds ways to avoid being at church on the days that they take communion because her heart isn't ready for that.
I gave the book a four as it drags a bit, it just doesn't move along giving you the missing information from the first book, and it doesn't give you the information on Lucy's past. The book was hard to keep reading and it seemed after I got to a certain point in the book things started to pick up. The who family is concerned about Lucy and her Father starts attending a grief group out in the community, it isn't a part of the plain people's group. Lucy does attend with her Father after he asks her to attend but she just can't figure out why he is going, and she dosn't know that she can keep attending she isn't ready to discuss her problematic past. Her Father brings a young man from the group home so he can see how they set up their home and chicken coop up, he wants to start living off the grid. The young man does get involved with Lucy in helping a young woman in the community. Many in the community see this young man coming to their home as a mistake, they are judging Lucy and her Father, without all of the information. All is revealed eventually, the book is good although I believe I would have enjoyed it more had I read book one.
I do believe I received the book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Here is the information as found here on Good Reads: A Must-Have Novel from the #1 Name in Amish Fiction

The mistakes of the past haunt Lucy Flaud, who years ago stopped attending the activities for courting-age young people in her hometown of Bird-in-Hand. Now twenty-five and solidly past the age of Amish courtship, Lucy has given up any hope of marriage, instead focusing her efforts on volunteering in both the Plain and fancy communities of Lancaster County. Yet no matter how hard Lucy strives, she feels uncertain that she'll ever find redemption.

Dale Wyeth has a deep mistrust of modern-day "advances" and the dependency they create. The young Englisher's interest in living off the grid is fueled further when he meets Christian Flaud, Lucy's father. Dale appreciates the self-sufficient ways of the Old Order Amish, and Christian invites him to learn more about them by staying at the family farm.

As Christian and Dale grow closer, developing a father-son rapport, Lucy begins to question what Dale's being there might mean for her. Could God be testing her? Or is it possible that even the most unworthy heart--and two people from very different walks of life--can somehow find a new beginning?

The Wedding Sisters by Jamie Brenner - A really fun fast read!

Brenda Rupp's Reviews > The Wedding Sisters

The Wedding Sisters by Jamie Brenner
 
by 
2429900
's review 
Apr 25, 16  ·  edit

it was amazing
bookshelves: to-read
Read from April 22 to 24, 2016

What a great read! I picked the book up and couldn't put it down. Meryl and Hugh have three daughters Meg Amy and Jo. All three girls end up getting engaged and want to get married in the same year. Unbeknownst to them, dad Hugh has lost his job at the University. His wife is trying to handle everything, she doesn't want a wedding planner tells the Mother of Meg's fiance, who is very very rich and wants to control everything, Meryl won't have it.

After her second daughter shows up with a ring on her hand she starts to worry how will they pull these weddings off in one year with Hugh not working and the apartment they have lived in for years will no longer belong to them soon as it came with Hugh's job!

Jo's breakup with her girlfriend Caroline is devastating and she turns to her friend Andy for sympathy, and before she knows it, Andy is asking her to marry him. He has always loved her, and if she doesn't feel exactly the same that is ok. He knows she loves him, she isn't in love with him. She says yes, and now her Mom has to put together three weddings! The solution one wedding three brides. She has to get them all to agree, they do and then she is not only trying to put together a wedding for three brides.

Meryl's Mom starts having problems and is being kicked out of her apartment as she is disturbing the other residents. Mom moves home with Meryl and Hugh. No one knows that Hugh has lost his job! More and more problems crop up in planning this triple wedding. So many surprises many unexpected. Is Meryl going to get her girls safely to their "I do's"? You'll have to read the book to find out! Such a fast read you can't put this book down.

More as found here on Good Reads: Meryl Becker is living a mother's dream. The oldest of her three beautiful daughters, Meg, is engaged to a wonderful man from one of the country's most prominent families. Of course, Meryl wants to give Meg the perfect wedding. Who wouldn't? But when her two younger daughters, Amy and Jo, also become engaged to celebrated bachelors, Meryl has to admit that three weddings is more than she and her husband, Hugh, can realistically afford.

The solution? A triple wedding! At first, it's a tough sell to the girls, and juggling three sets of future in-laws is a logistical nightmare. But when Hugh loses his teaching job, and Meryl's aging mother suddenly moves in with them, a triple wedding is the only way to get all three sisters down the aisle. When the grand plan becomes public, the onslaught of media attention adds to Meryl's mounting pressure. Suddenly, appearances are everything - and she will do whatever it takes to keep the wedding on track as money gets tight, her mother starts acting nutty, and her own thirty year marriage starts to unravel.

In the weeks leading up to the nuptials, secrets are revealed, passions ignite, and surprising revelations show Meryl and her daughters the true meaning of love, marriage and family. Jamie Brenner's The Wedding Sisters invites readers to the most unpredictable wedding of the year.

Room For Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer - Absolutely Five Stars!

9780307731371 (125×187)  Room For Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer:

I absolutely loved this book!  It grabs you from the very beginning and you are hooked until the last page.  Neva Shilling runs a small store, Shilling Mercantile and cares for twins while her husband takes the wagon out returning with cash to restock the store.  He restocks the wagon and goes back out to the neighboring communities; at least that is what Neva believes he is doing.  This book takes place during the Great Depression; everyone has to do what they can to make do.  When the wagon pulls back in she believes her husband has come back home and rushes out only to find a deputy driving their wagon with a bunch of furniture in it and three children in the wagon.  She is told that Warren and his wife had died and his last request was that the children be taken to his sister and that the children be raised by Aunt Neva!! 
She is in total shock!  On top of that she finds out he had a mercantile in the town he lived in with his “wife and children” and all of the things there had to be sold to pay his debts there.  She finds out more and more about Warren that she never had any clue to.  There are many more surprises (if you can call them that), and she really struggles with her faith in herself and in her God.  How could this all have happened and how is she to get on with her life with five children looking at her for everything and how does she keep her children from learning the truth about their Father?  This is just such a great inspirational yarn, I loved the book.  I have to give this one Five Stars I loved this book
. "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

More Info:
In a desperate time, can Neva find forgiveness for a grievous wrong—and make room for hope?

Neva Shilling has a heavy load of responsibility while her husband travels to neighboring communities and sells items from his wagon. In his absence, she faithfully runs the Shilling Mercantile, working to keep their business strong as the Depression takes its toll, and caring for their twins.

When a wagon pulls up after supper, Neva and her children rush out—and into the presence of the deputy driving a wagon carrying three young children. The deputy shocks her with the news that Warren and his wife have died, insisting it was their last request that the three children go live with “Aunt Neva.”


Neva’s heart is shattered as she realizes that Warren’s month-long travels were excuses for visits with his secret family. She wants nothing more than to forget Warren, but can she abandon these innocent children to an orphanage? Yet if she takes them in, will she ever be able to see them as more than evidence of her husband’s betrayal and love them the way God does? 

More Information on Author:
About Kim Vogel Sawyer
Kim Vogel Sawyer is the highly acclaimed, best-selling author of gentle stories of hope such as When Love Returns and Room for Hope. With more than one million books in print, Kim has garnered numerous awards including the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. She lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband Don. She enjoys travel, quilting, and spending time with her daughters and their families.



Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Mapmaker's Children, A Novel by Sarah McCoy


The Mapmaker’s Children, A Novel written by Sarah Mc Coy


I was so excited to see this book come in the mail! The book was about one of the subjects that I really like to read about, The Under Ground Railroad, the people who traveled it and the people who made it work. This book was to be about Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown. She would draw maps with codes hidden in her map to help slaves get from one point to another. I kept hoping that the story would be more about Sarah and the people who got moved from one point to another all with the slave hunters on their trail.


There was an alternating story about Eden a modern day woman who so wants to conceive a child, and can’t. She moves into a house that was used for one of the points in the Underground Railroad. I didn’t enjoy reading about Eden, her life, she seemed to be all about carrying a child, and how miserable she was, and less and less about finding clues in the house that it was a apart of the UGRR.


The book just didn’t keep my interest as much as I tried I would lie the book down more than I would pick it up. I had to force myself to keep reading. I kept waiting for more details on the part of the story I thought should be there. They never were. I don’t usually write reviews with negative tones, but I can’t seem to help it, I didn’t really enjoy the book. I was disappointed. I checked out other reviews and found I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. I don’t always like books that alternate from one story line to another unless they are really greatly fleshed out, showing how one couldn’t be there without the other. This book didn’t do that for me, I’m sorry to say. There were many who enjoyed the book and wrote positive reviews, if you want to read the b hook, don’t let my review keep you from it. 

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this honest review."





More about the book: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Baker's Daughter, a story of family, love, and courage
When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril. Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance.

Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


SARAH McCOY is the New York Times bestselling author of the 2012 Goodreads Choice Award Best Historical Fiction nominee The Baker’s Daughter and The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico. She has taught English writing at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. She calls Virginia home but presently lives with her husband and their dog, Gilbert, in El Paso, Texas.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Treasure Concealed by Tracie Peterson

I absolutely loved this story. Tracie has the talented writing skills she puts you right there in the scene or brings the story off the written page, I'm not sure which but I knew she wrote so well I felt I was there seeing some of 1890's Montana and the gold rush.  Emily Carver lives with her parents, her Mother is ailing she rarely gets out of bed, so Emily feels she must stay.  they stay in the poorest of places so that her father can keep panning for gold so sure he is going to hit the big time for once in his life.  Emily just knows she wants to have a permanent home a real home with the picket fence babies husband everything.  One thing her Mother has is faith and she raises her daughter with that, although Emily is really having problems with that.  Enter a young geologist, Caeden Thibault. He helps her father out with some things and then is invited to have a meal with them, he is summoned to meet Emily's Mother, she talks to Caeden and she tells him, I knew before I died God would send a man that would be my Emily's husband and he would make sure she lived and didn't follow her father for the rest of his life while giving up hers.  Of course Caeden didn't think she knew what she was talking about although he was drawn to Emily, he couldn't see it as he was traveling for a project he was working on for the group in Washington DC., he did his job by traveling Emily wanted to be settled some where permanent.  The story is written so well that you feel as if you are there with them.  I couldn't put it down.  I was drawn to this story. I have read Tracies' books before and I love her writing.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Here is the review as written here:
Bestselling Author Tracie Peterson Launches Exciting New Series Set in 1890s Montana
Emily Carver wants a home where she can put down roots instead of following her gold-hungry father from one mining camp to another. She also longs for tenderness and love, both of which are missing in her life. Yet when she realizes she's losing her heart to the intriguing new man in camp, she fiercely fights her feelings, afraid that love will only result in disappointment and heartache.
Caeden Thibault, a young geologist, comes to Montana to catalog minerals indigenous to the state. He's a serious and guarded young man trying to escape the pain of his past. He has avoided all romantic entanglements, fearing he might become like his abusive father. But something about Emily Carver has caught his attention, something he never expected. . . .
Will these two broken souls allow God to bring healing and hope to their hurting hearts?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Amish Sweethearts - Neighbors of Lancaster County Book Two - by Leslie Gould

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.   I always enjoy reading about the Amish, taken back in time to the simpler life, simpler but harder as living without the English use if electricity, phone's, etc. is a harder life.  I've read books by the author Leslie Gould, and expected a lot from this book. I did not read book one of this series, although the book stood on it's own pretty well.
Unfortunately I came down with pneumonia since reading the book and I have to do the review rather late, wish I  had gotten it done right after finishing the book.  I know why I didn't write that review immediately upon finishing the book.  I felt really torn as I always like to make sure to give a positive review when I receive books for free, and especially when they are from an author I am sure I have read before and enjoyed.
There was a drag in the story where things didn't come together for a story that flowed so well you felt the characters came off the page and  you couldn't wait to see how their relationships were going to develop by the end of the book.  I know I wasn't feeling well but I looked and there were some other people who were equally feeling something was slowing the story.
Zane Beck and his Amish neighbor Lila Lehman were friends from the time they were children.  No one had a problem with it even though he was English and she was Amish, they were children.  After high school though they had feelings for each other, which they spent a lot of the time in the book avoiding each other and not telling the other about their feelings.  I think that was the drag.  Lila is being courted by the Bishop's son which is what her father wants, she really doesn't have feelings for him.  When she turns her back on Zane he feels she does, that she will be married soon to someone else he takes himself out of the vicinity and joins the service, although he really doesn't have the stomach for fighting, and he is sent to Afghanistan.  The Amish are very much against war, violence and for Lila to have a relationship with someone English who also served in the war, well it really is the entire second half of the book as she fights her feelings and he fights his and he also feels after he is injured but is told to return to service he doesn't want to go back because he really doesn't want anything to do with killing or injuring anyone.  I did like the ending the book did come together and there seemed to be a lot of people who read the book and didn't seem to feel there was a slow start to it.  I would say give the book a chance, you would probably enjoy this book especially if you read the first book.  There were more than enjoyed the book and gave it five stars than those that felt there was something missing, and I was ill in between writing the review and reading the book.. I'm going to give it three stars which kills me because I know Leslie Gould the author is so highly regarded and the other books I have read of hers I truly enjoyed.  So it may just be me.  Give this one a chance.
Description of book as written here: Can These Two Friends from Opposite Worlds Find Love?

They've been best friends for years, but as high school ends, Zane Beck can't help but look at his Amish neighbor, Lila Lehman, with different eyes. Her controlling father sees only one future for Lila, though, and arranges for her to be courted by an upstanding young Amish man. When Zane sees the two together, his plans for the future crumble, and he impulsively enlists in the Army, following in his father's footsteps.

However, the passing of years and the distance between them isn't enough to halt their now hidden feelings for each other. If being together used to be difficult, it's now impossible, especially with the Amish opposed to war. Zane's service takes a dramatic turn when he's sent to Afghanistan. Being on the front line and the reality of taking a life has him questioning whether he can continue to serve or not. But all choices have consequences--both his and hers. With Lila preparing to marry another, will these one-time sweethearts ever find the life together that they both still long for?