Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Story of Arthur Truluv - Elizabeth Berg -- 3.5 Stars!

This is the story of Arthur an 82 year old man who goes to the cemetary every day with his chair and lunch and he has lunch with his recently deceased wife Nola.  He meets 17 year old Maddie who has gotten thrown out of her Father's home for being pregnant, Her Mom died in child birth, she refuses to give the baby up or abort.  Maddie hangs out at the cemetary, she seems to feel comfortable there and that is where she meets Arthur..  Arthur has a neighbor named Lucille who bakes the most amazing cookies, etc., but he finds her irritating.

I've read only one other book by Elizabeth Berg, her first book which was fantastic!  This book was really hard to push through. I remember looking and my kindle said I was 44% through and I still hadn't enough information on the characters to see where the story was going.  She pulled it together after that and I was quite happy with the latter half of the book, but I just wish this book would have been been more interesting early on.

I received this book from in exchange for an honest review!

The description of the book as found on Good Reads: A beautiful, life-affirming novel about a remarkably loving man who creates for himself and others second chances at happiness.

A moving novel about three people who find their way back from loss and loneliness to a different kind of happiness. Arthur, a widow, meets Maddy, a troubled teenage girl who is avoiding school by hiding out at the cemetery, where Arthur goes every day for lunch to have imaginary conversations with his late wife, and think about the lives of others. The two strike up a friendship that draws them out of isolation. Maddy gives Arthur the name Truluv, for his loving and positive responses to every outrageous thing she says or does. With Arthur’s nosy neighbor Lucille, they create a loving and unconventional family, proving that life’s most precious moments are sweeter when shared.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Love So True by Melissa Jeagers - 4 1/2 Stars

David Kingsman has come to Teaville from Kansas to prove to his Father that he can take the factory and make it a money making concern.....his Father just wants it sold.  Definitely against the wishes of David who really doesn't want to return to Kansas at the time.  He somehow when looking for a place to have lunch his path crossed that of Evelyn Wisely who is going to see someone in the red-light district.  He doesn't realize that is where she is going until too late......he ends up joining her as they have a luncheon once a week for the kids of the district, and  they hope the Mothers will join them also.  They give them lunch, read from the Bible and invite the kids to join them at a home they have put together for the orphans from that area.  Evelyn tried to have a home for the ladies who wished to leave that district, but the men in the area won't have it, the women are against it also.  
David gets involved with Evelyn while trying to help her convince the men in the area to gain support for a home to help the women who wanted to leave the red light district.  David helps out by putting some of them to work at the factory.  He can't promise that will last forever, he puts a few of the orphans who are older to work there during the day.  He does promise to give funds to cover one lunch for the orphans per month.  

Of course David and Evelyn do get wrapped up with each other, although she doesn't want to leave Kansas, things have to change for these two in order to work things out for the home for the women, to keep the orphanage going, they fall in love with a little boy who lost his Mother to chicken pox.  They were really bad people died from them back in those days.  The book's characters are pretty involved I enjoyed the book immensely.  I enjoyed the Bible references as they applied to the story line at the time.

I received this book through Good Reads in exchange for an honest review...I'll be passing it on to the library my Mom works is the description as found on Amazon: Evelyn Wisely has a heart for the orphans of Teaville and works at a local mansion that rescues children out of the town's red-light district and gives them a place to live. But her desire to help isn't limited to orphans. The owner of the mansion, Nicholas Lowe, is willing to help her try to get the women working in prostitution out of the district as well--if she can gain the cooperation and support of local businessmen to go against the rest of the community. 

David Kingsman has recently arrived in Teaville from Kansas City to help with one of his father's companies in town. While he plans on staying only long enough to prove his business merit to his father, he's shown interest in Evelyn's work and is intrigued enough by her to lend his support to her cause.

They begin with the best of intentions, but soon the complications pile up and Evelyn and David's dreams look more unattainable every day. When the revelation of a long-held secret creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, can they trust God still has a good plan for them despite all that is stacked against them?

Somebody's Baby by Donna Alward - 4 1/2 stars!

The book was a great read.  Oaklee hits a dog while checking her phone for a call.  She scoops the dog up as he's still living, and takes him to the local veterinary office.  Her childhood crush his big brothers best friend turns out to be the veterinary in the office when she turns up. She always had a huge crush on him.  He was told by her brother to leave her alone!  Bro code.  Rory is known as the ladies man about town, he takes the women out for one or two dates and then he's on to the next.

Oaklee never dates anyone, she fills her life up by donating her time to every committee every meeting, anything to fill her life up and keep her busy.  They both have dating problems, but the dog brings them together, and Rory talks her into taking the dog until the family is found.  She doesn't want to keep the dog.  Things go south after she falls in love with the dog, and the family of the dog turns up.  She's heart broken.  She had sworn to not be vulnerable and not let anyone or anything close to her heart, due to a past where her heart was trampled.  At least no one knew what she had to suffer through.  It happened while she was away at school. 

Both of these people have relationship problems, and the way they struggle through them to get to a place where they are comfortable in becoming vulnerable again, is really endearing and sometimes laughable.  The story is really a good one and I loved the outcome.  It was a fast read the characters pulled you in right away.

I was given this e-book in exchange for an honest review.  There was a good description found here on Good Reads: Veterinarian Rory Gallagher chose a different path from his brothers, both of whom became first responders in the lovely little town of Darling, Vermont. Rory's always had an affinity for animals--and the ladies. Known for his impressive track record in breaking hearts, Rory never meant to hurt anyone; he's just never been in a hurry to settle down. It's not as if he needs to pay a visit to the town's famed Kissing Bridge to magically find love. He'll know The One when he sees her. . .right?

Oaklee Ferguson is the kid sister of Rory's best friend--and, even now that she's all grown up, remains immune to the pet-doctor's charms. When she shows up at Rory's clinic late one night--devastated after hitting a stray dog with her car--Rory's so-called -bedroom eyes- are the last thing on her mind. Still, his care and kindness toward the dog, and his concern for her feelings, catches Oaklee by surprise. . .and soon the two (and rescued dog makes three!) begin to share a deep connection that neither could have ever imagined. Could it be that love has been waiting for them by the bridge all along....

Friday, May 19, 2017

Shacking Up! by Helena Hunting - this one was 5 stars - A very hot read!

Ruby Scott is a struggling actress.  She is three months behind in her rent and she has a huge audition and the night before she runs into a stranger at her friends engagement party and he kisses her and then coughs on her.  She doesn't get the job, she was throwing up!  She is going to be put out on the street and if that happens she may have to go and move back home and work for her Step-Mother at her Fathers company, the Step-Mom is four years older than she is.  Her friend comes up with a solution. Her friend has a male friend who has to leave town for five weeks and needs someone to care for and feed his unusual pets.  She sends Ruby to meet Bancroft Mills (a hotel magnate) to see if he will let her take on the job of caring for his pets for five weeks.  She goes, to see about the job, and he's the guy who made her sick (but he also is the guy that she thinks of as the "awesome kisser!)  

Bancroft feels really guilty that she lost her job due to his kissing her instead of his date who was supposed to be coming out of that bathroom door......he made her sick and she didn't get the job and she's lost her place to live.  He offers his huge condo to her for the five weeks so that she can get on her feet and get a job while taking care of his pets. It's the least he can do. In addition she loves his pet ferret and his spider.  He helps her pack her boxes up and move them to his penthouse apartment he goes over everything she could possibly need to know so that she can take care of his apartment and his pets.  He leaves money for her and has grocery delivery to the apartment so she has food and roof over her head.

Bancroft video chats with Ruby while he's gone to see how his pets are doing and the chatting and sexual innuendos are really funny and things heat up over the five weeks he is gone.  When he gets home things have really changed and nothing is as he expected it to be!!!  

This book was so different from those I've been reading lately, it is sexually explicit, it is funny, it will keep you up reading it until you are done and and you may lose some sleep after you are done with the book.  The characters and their dialogue are so great they some times have you laughing out loud!   I think I would read anything written by this author any time.  She's very entertaining.  

I received this e-book through net-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Description as found on Goodreads: Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long

Thursday, May 18, 2017

With You Always (Orphan Train #1) by Jody Hedlund - 5 Stars - A Christian Romance

There have been a few books written about the orphan train of the old days, none as well done as this book. I love to read a christian based book now and again to change things up, they make me think and reflect.  This story is about the daughter of some immigrants that come to New York, the daughters find themselves on their own with no way to earn a living and they come across a woman who runs a mission and finds work for the woman who stay there.  Most of the woman are those who were trying to get away from prostitution, although the same isn't to be said of Elise and her sisters.  They also have a two boys very young that they have taken under their wing and made a part of their little family.  They are working very hard to keep them all together.
The oldest daughter finally has to leave, as the great depression happens and the work for the woman stops.  She must find work so that she'll be able to put some money away to get a place to live for her little family and to be able to send for them.  She travels by train to a small town that is being built along the Illinois Train Line, the town of Quincy.  Two brothers (twins) are in competition to build up two new towns, and the must marry for love and do it all in six months the winner will be able to take over their sons massive fortune and businesses.  Both are romancing some women who are in New York women from rather well off family's.  Thornton though finds he is having difficulty developing feelings for his lady.  He's met Elise and he can't get her out of his mind.  Elise ends up working for Thornton in Quincy and she really messes with his mind!  He really goes out of his way to help her out. The book is a great read and has a lot of real history thrown into a very complex romance/story.  I lost hours while nursing a cold reading the book.  I really did love this book.  I received an e-copy of the book through net galley and Bethany Books in exchange for an honest review.

Here is the description as found on Good Reads: Riveting Look at the Orphan Train from Historical Novelist Jody Hedlund

When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She's had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children's Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn't want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance. 

The son of one of New York City's wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother's shadow and is determined to win his father's challenge. He doesn't plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though. 

The Garment Maker's Daughter - by Hillary Adrienne Stern / 5 Stars - A book that will leave you thinking long after you've finished it!

This was a very engrossing. The characters were very real. I did enjoy the book I had a hard time putting it down as I wanted to get to the end and find out if all of the problems that came up would be solved in the manner I thought they should. The characters in this book are working in a sweatshop sewing shirt waists.....they are locked in and there is a fire. Two friends go in completely different directions and don't see each other again until...........can't say it will spoil the ending. There is a boyfriend who is trying to get everyone to strike the factories, one character who is totally involved in the group of suffragettes of the time. History is woven into this story. I really enjoyed reading it and I did stay up really late one night trying to get to the good part at the end. If you like a good romance with history thrown in, this book is definitely for you. The characters are well developed and very complex. Great book! I did receive this book in exchange for an honest review!

Description of the book as found here on Good Reads: The Garment Maker's Daughter is a multigenerational saga of immigrant dreams and sweatshop realities, labor strikes and women's rights. It is the story of Lena Rothman, a shirtwaist-maker and active suffragette whose plans get derailed when she falls in love with her best friend's boyfriend; Jake Brenner, a passionate labor organizer determined to lead the shirtwaist-makers on a high-stakes strike; and Daniel Cowan, a brilliant and ambitious night-school student hobbled by a shameful past.

Fate draws them together. Emotions bind them to each other. But secrets will tear them apart. When a devastating blaze engulfs the shirtwaist factory, Lena must fight for her life. And in the chaos of the fire's aftermath, mistakes will be made with consequences that continue into the next generation.

Spanning the first half of the twentieth century, this is a story about unforgettable characters and the threads of friendship, love, betrayal, and redemption that form the fabric of their lives. The Garment Maker's Daughter is that rare novel you'll be thinking about long after you've finished it.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis - 5 Stars!

I really liked this story. It was very unusual in that it has a character, Sally Riehl who is Amish, almost 20, hasn't joined the church yet and is filled with wanderlust.  She gives up the trip she has saved for a long while to help a young man with the funds and has a trip to New Jersey to the seaside fall into her lap to work as a nanny for a 9 year old. She is free on the weekends, which is where the story gets even more interesting.  She meets a young marine biology student who is Mennonite not Amish.  He turns out to be someone she is attracted to unlike the young men back home.  The story just sucks you in, and I have never read of a an Amish person at the seashore.  Nothing like the usual Amish stories.

I received this book from  Bethany House through Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Here is the information on the book from Good Reads: When a well-to-do family asks Sallie Riehl to be their daughter's nanny for the summer at their Cape May, New Jersey, vacation home, she jumps at the chance to broaden her horizons beyond the Lancaster County Amish community where she grew up. Curious by nature, Sallie loves reading and learning, and she fears that her chances of making a good match with an Amish farmer will be hampered because of it.

Though she loves taking care of nine-year-old Autumn Weaver during the week, Sallie has free time on the weekends to enjoy the shore. It is there that she meets Edward Kreider, a young marine biology student who talks freely about all he's learning and asks about her interests, unlike the guys she grew up with. Sallie wonders if this is the kind of relationship she's been longing for. Then again, Ed isn't from her community--and he's Mennonite, not Amish.

Sallie is afraid of what her parents would think about her new friendship. But that's not all she's fearful of. When unexpected danger threatens Autumn, Sallie will have to put her fears aside. Will this be a summer to remember, or one to forget

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Baker's Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan - A Fabulous Read! 5 Stars

Wow I loved this book. It was engrossing, well researched, hard to put down!!  I really have to say I would read anything written by this author any time.  He was a journalist for over 20 years and won numerous awards for his work in the field before he turned to writing fiction. This is his third book, I really need to find his first two.

The Baker's Secret is about Emma, a young lady who was apprenticed to the local Baker.  She watched as he was taken away by the Germans, and then she was forced to make bread for them.
She lived in a small Normandy village.  After they took all of the Jewish people away, there were still quite a few villagers living there, then the Germans took over some of the homes, some of the woman had affairs with them.  The food that they were given with their ration cards, became less and less.  The people of the village were getting sick and some were dying.  Emma was getting flour to make bread for the Germans and she decided to use the clean straw in the barn, there were no more animals to use it.  She ground it up and mixed it with the flour, eventually making 2 extra loaves, that she hid from the Germans, and she gave those to people in the village.  She actually started trading things that some had extra or no need for, in exchange for things that they needed and eventually really became to the villagers a shining beacon of hope.  She was very smart in the way she was able to steal eggs and keep them warm so that they finally hatched and then she had six chickens to lay eggs for her to share with those who were in desperate  need.  You really have to read the book to find out more, it was just a wonderful read......
I received the book, an advance readers copy, from Good Reads in exchange for an honest review.  This is one of my favorites.

The description as found on Good Reads:

From the critically acclaimed author of The Hummingbird and The Curiosity comes a dazzling novel of World War II—a shimmering tale of courage, determination, optimism, and the resilience of the human spirit, set in a small Normandy village on the eve of D-Day

On June 5, 1944, as dawn rises over a small town on the Normandy coast of France, Emmanuelle is making the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days since the Germans invaded her country. 

Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

But in the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers. 

But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them.

Home On The Range (Double S Ranch book 2) by Ruth Logan Herne - I gave this book 4 Stars

This is a Christian Romance a change from the books I’ve read lately. I like to change up my reading now and again, and I was really hoping this book would be a great change for me. 
I almost always enjoy cowboy romance, and this one started well.  It centered around Nick Stafford who inherited the ranch, he had two young girls whose mother had walked out on them.  He was having a really hard time with the oldest she was acting out terribly.  The principal of her school refers him to a therapist, her sister as it turns out.  He doesn’t want to go, but he finally gives in and finds the woman in a very small house buried deep in the woods.  Turns out she was in hiding from her past.  She was convinced finally to work with his daughters.  Of course, eventually there is something there.  I can’t say anything more or I will give away the entire book.
I have no idea why but the book seemed to lag toward the middle for me.  I liked the story but it just didn’t seem to pull me in and have me connecting with all of the characters.  The quotes from the bible were always those that I had heard many times before and they did connect to the story.  Things picked up as I went through the book and I did enjoy the ending.  This book was part of a Trilogy, it was the second in the series. I hadn’t read the first book, it was fine as a standalone. 
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.   I received it through
About Home on the Range:
Can the brother left behind and a woman without hope work together for the good of two precious children?

Nick Stafford stayed in central Washington, working his family’s large ranch after his brothers left to pursue other passions—but his toughest job is being a single dad. As a child, he watched his father fail at marriage and parenting, so Nick was determined to show him up. He’d be a better husband, father, and ranch manager than Sam Stafford ever was. Despite that commitment, three years after Nick’s wife left him, he has a daughter in trouble at school and both of his girls are facing issues that force him to rethink his stubborn plans.

For Dr. Elsa Andreas, life fell apart when tragedy caused her to abandon her family therapy practice and retreat to the backwoods of Gray’s Glen. Her school principal sister believes Elsa can guide the Stafford girls and that working with kids will draw Elsa out of her protective bubble.

Summer on the Double S teems with life and adventure. Amid the bounty of God and land, will Nick and Elsa find the courage to build futures based on faith rather than fear?

About The Author – Ruth Logan Hernehas more than a million books in print, including eighteen Love Inspired contemporary novels and Back in the Saddle, Book 1 in the Double S Ranch series. Ruth is a founding member of Seekerville, a popular writing-collective blog. A country girl who loves the big city, Ruth and her husband live on a farm in upstate New York.

The Wingman by Natasha Anders - 5 Stars - Pick this book up I don't believe you'll be disappointed.

Daisy McGregor (who considers herself a wall flower) finds herself receiving attention from one hot man, Mason Carlisle and she knows something is up. She overhears his brother making a comment about his being his wing man so that he can get Daisy's beautiful and popular sister Daffodil's attention. It back fires and he's not happy. Neither is Daisy finding out she's been used for a hoax.
She decides to ask Mason Carlisle to make it up to her by being her wing man at her sisters wedding.
He accepts because he finds her wit fascinating and is strangely attracted to her. He tells her that they should have several dates before the wedding so that everyone can believe he is actually her date at the wedding. 

I can't say more about the book without spoiling it for you. I can tell you the book is a hoot to read, the sexual scenes are very much hot, I found myself laughing out loud and engrossed by the story. I read it in one day, I couldn't put it down. I love it when authors make a story seem so real that when something happens in the book that is funny they write it so well that it makes you laugh out loud. Pick this book up I don't believe you'll be disappointed.

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

Here is the description of the book as found on Good Reads: 
She was supposed to be his one-night distraction. But their attraction is undeniable.

Introverted Daisy McGregor is used to being a wallflower, but what she lacks in style, she makes up for with an acerbic wit, a passion for life, and a deep devotion to her family. So she’ll suffer through her sister Dahlia’s bachelorette party and accept the cloud of pity for going stag to the wedding.

Out at the pub, sexy bad boy Mason Carlisle is a reluctant wingman tasked with entertaining Daisy while his brother flirts with her oldest sister, Daffodil. When the plan fails and Mason’s true intent is revealed, he feels intense guilt—and a sensual spark of desire for the unlikeliest of women.

Daisy decides to use this unfortunate encounter to her advantage: to make it up to her, Mason will be another kind of wingman, playing the role of her boyfriend and wedding date. Will their ruse unravel completely—or will Mason and Daisy’s undeniable attraction ignite a scorching love affair that knows no rules?