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 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 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 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.