Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Somebody Like You by Donna Alward. 5 Stars - another favorite romance author for me!

Laurel returns to Darling (a very small town) which she left years ago, after a particularly nasty divorce.  She once kissed a boy on the towns kissing bridge at age five.  He is now the towns Sheriff Aiden.  She keeps running into him, especially after her new business is vandalized.  These two were also high school sweethearts for a minute.  The entire town is pushing for these two to reunite and get their picture kissing once again on the kissing bridge which is supposed to make your love dreams come true.  Many have.

People keep interfering with their lives, especially Lauren's who doesn't want anything to do with romance after just going through a divorce.  Town people and relatives believe the two should be together and they will push until it happens.

I love Donna Alwards books. She is a new favorite romance author for me!

I was given this e-book by netgalley.com in exchange for a fair review!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Pieces of Happiness by Anne Otsby - It was ok

I don’t know why this book wasn’t an easy read for me. I felt since I had promised to read and review it that I should finish it so I kept reading.  I wondered if it were because I had a day or two when I wasn’t feeling so well that I had put the book down, and maybe I hadn’t paid enough attention when reading the beginning but as I kept reading I don’t think this was the case.  I guess this book just wasn’t for me.  It was about five friends in their sixties, who decide to live together on a cocoa farm in Fiji, where one of the friends already lives and invites them to join her.  They leave their homes and move in there.  They decide to start a chocolate business, and it’s not so much about the chocolate business but about the things they discover about themselves and each other while spending all of their time together.  There were some surprises for me, I guess that was what helped me to keep reading.  I was kind of interested in the chocolate business but that isn’t as much described as the relationship between the friends, both past and present is discovered.  There was enough to keep me reading but I think I may have stopped reading it if I hadn’t promised the review.  I’m not the most fabulous writer, I can’t break down what went wrong with the book for me, for the writer. Maybe I should stick to romance novels……  My apologies to the author.

The e-book was given in exchange for an honest review from Net Galley:

Description as found on Net Galley: 
A novel of five lifelong friends who, in their sixties, decide to live together on a cocoa farm in Fiji, where they not only start a chocolate business but strengthen their friendships and rediscover themselves. 

"I've planted my feet on Fijian earth and I intend to stay here until the last sunset. Why don't you join me? Leave behind everything that didn't work out!" 

When Sina, Maya, Ingrid, and Lisbeth each receive a letter in the mail posing the same question, the answer is obvious. Their old high school friend Kat—Kat the adventurer, Kat who spread her wings and took off as soon as they graduated—has extended the invitation of a lifetime: Come live with me on my cocoa farm in Fiji. Come spend the days eating chocolate and gabbing like teenagers once again, free from men, worries, and cold. Come grow old in paradise, together, as sisters. Who could say no?
     Now in their sixties, the friends have all but resigned themselves to the cards they've been dealt. There's Sina, a single mom with financial woes; gentle Maya who feels the world slipping away from her; Ingrid, the perennial loner; Lisbeth, a woman with a seemingly picture-perfect life; and then Kat, who is recently widowed. As they adjust to their new lives together, the friends are watched over by Ateca, Kat's longtime housekeeper, who oftentimes knows the women better than they know themselves and recognizes them for what they are: like "a necklace made of shells: from the same beach but all of them different." Surrounded by an azure-blue ocean, cocoa trees, and a local culture that is fascinatingly, joyfully alien, the friends find a new purpose in starting a business making chocolate: bittersweet, succulent pieces of happiness.
     A story of love, hope, and chocolate, PIECES OF HAPPINESS will reaffirm your faith in friendship, second chances, and the importance of indulging one's sweet tooth.

Seeking Sarah - written by ReShonda Tate Billingsly - 5 stars!

After the death of her Father, Brooke Green discovers her Mother who was supposed to be dead since she was seven years old is very much alive!  She goes on a hunt to find her Mother, Sarah and finds she has been living in Atlanta with a great career and a brand-new family!  She is so filled with rage at her Mother who abandoned her that she goes about a very shocking plan of revenge on her.  How could she leave her at Seven years old, never came back and she got married and had another little girl a grown step son and a loving husband.  This story takes you on quite the jaunt and is shocking at how far this girl is going to go to ruin her Mothers perfect life!  Fast read, and you find out that revenge is not the best thing for your own peace of mind.

Description as found on Good Reads:

From the national bestselling and award-winning ReShonda Tate Billingsley comes this gripping and emotional exploration of the complex bond between mother and daughter.

From the time Brooke Green was seven years old, she has lived with the pain of losing her mother. Her father has done the best job he could in raising her, but a piece of her always felt empty. On the day of her father’s funeral, her grandmother breaks the shocking news: her mother, Sarah, is very much alive. She abandoned her family because she claimed she wasn’t fit for motherhood. After doing some research, Brooke discovers her mother is living in Atlanta, enjoying a great career…and a brand-new family. Stunned, Brooke doesn’t know if she wants answers or revenge against the mother who abandoned her. When she meets Sarah’s husband, Tony, Brooke sees the perfect way to make her mother pay. But her plan for revenge just may leave everyone in danger, and end up costing Brooke more than she ever bargained for. 

No One But You (Silver Springs #2) by Brenda Novak (Goodreads Author) - A must read - 5 stars!

I loved this book!  Great read. I picked it up at a garage sale for a $1.  Best $1 spent.
This is the story of Sadie Harris who is going through the nastiest divorce from Sly her mean and cruel ex husband.  He does everything he can to make sure that she won’t be able to make it on her own, with their little boy Jayden, (who he doesn’t’ seem to care about).  This guy things he’s all that as he’s wearing an officer’s uniform he feels he can get away with anything.
As she knows she needs to find another job other than waitressing, to be able to afford living on her own with her son.  He does nasty things by going everywhere that a job has been posted and warns everyone don’t hire my wife!  He doesn’t get it that she isn’t going to come back even if she has to leave town.
She finally gets hired by Dawson Reed who stood trial for the murders of his adoptive parents, the entire town believes him still guilty even though the charges showed him being innocent.  He wants Sadie to help get the house in order so that he may bring his special needs sister home from the place where she has been taken care of since the murders.
Sadie was almost afraid but she finds that he is nothing but an admirable guy, innocent of any killings, who is working so hard to take his sister home.  He even starts helping Sadie with the things her husband has been doing to her or trying to do to her.
Eventually they start to have feelings for each other even though the entire town sees him a murderer.  What lengths does Sly go to, you’ll have to read the book and see.  I was surprised at what the author was able to think up and put into the book.  She must have researched this type of thing well.  I gave this book 5 starts!  Absolutely pick it up!

Description of the book as found on Good Reads:

New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak welcomes you to Silver Springs, a picturesque small town in Southern California where even the hardest hearts can learn to love again

Struggling to make ends meet after a messy divorce, Sadie Harris is at the end of her tether. Her waitressing gig isn't enough to pay the bills let alone secure primary custody of her son, Jayden, a battle she refuses to lose. Desperate, she accepts a position assisting Dawson Reed the same Dawson Reed who recently stood trial for the murder of his adoptive parents. Joining him at his isolated farm seems risky, but Sadie is out of options.

Dawson has given small town Silver Springs plenty of reasons to be wary, but he's innocent of the charges against him. He wants to leave his painful past behind and fix up the family farm so he can finally bring his dependent sister home where she belongs.

As Sadie and Dawson's professional relationship grows into something undeniably personal, Sadie realizes there's more to Dawson than the bad boy everyone else see she has a good heart, one that might even be worth fighting for.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Smallest Thing by Lisa Manterfield - Very engrossing read - 5 Stars

Wow!  I didn’t remember the description of this book. I opened it on my kindle started reading and had problems putting it down when it was time to go to bed!  I had to pick it up when I got back up.  I’m recovering from back surgery so I can read more often than usual……good thing because this book is just really hard to put down.  I haven’t read one like this before loved the premise, loved the book.  It pulls you in makes you love the characters and has you wanting to know what will happen to them, where this story is going to take you!  Fast moving story of a young girl living with her Father working for him in a very small village, who is planning on taking off with her boyfriend and moving to London.  Doesn’t help the boyfriend is from a family hers has feuded with for years.  Then the doctor in the village dies, and others stat getting sick.  The government forces a quarantine of the village.  Great story, pick this one up!
Description as found on Good Reads:          
The very last thing 17-year-old Emmott Syddall wants is to turn out like her dad. She’s descended from ten generations who never left their dull English village, and there’s no way she’s going to waste a perfectly good life that way. She’s moving to London and she swears she is never coming back.
But when the unexplained deaths of her neighbors force the government to quarantine the village, Em learns what it truly means to be trapped. Now, she must choose. Will she pursue her desire for freedom, at all costs, or do what’s best for the people she loves: her dad, her best friend Deb, and, to her surprise, the mysterious man in the HAZMAT suit?

Inspired by the historical story of the plague village of Eyam, this contemporary tale of friendship, community, and impossible love weaves the horrors of recent news headlines with the intimate details of how it feels to become an adult—and fall in love—in the midst of tragedy.

The Promise of Dawn (Under Northern Skies #1) by Lauraine Snelling (Goodreads Author) - 5 Stars - Wonderful Book!!

Beloved Author Lauraine Snelling Launches New Immigrant Series
I loved this book!  From the beginning I was sucked into the story.  It began in Norway with Signe and her husband Rune and their three boys.  They get a letter from her Uncle Einer and Aunt Gerd who have a farm in Minnesota.  They are in Norway where things have become rough as far as jobs, getting a home or land of your own jobs……
They travel to America by ship, go through Ellis Island, travel some more by boat, and by train and finally get to Minnesota.  They find the home in Minnesota is filthy and Gerd is in her bed unable to get up and help with anything.  Uncle and Aunt are demanding and loud and before long even the boys are doing a man’s day of labor.
Signe and Rune are run off their feet from morning til night and before too long Signe begins to think there is no God watching over them and they will never be able to have a home and their own land.
The author went into great detail telling all of the work of lumberjacks, using, original first washing machines, cooking stoves, sewing machines, working with animals on the small farm and life in general back in the early 1900’s.  I found the entire story fascinating, you are drawn in and can almost see the details of the story as described by the author.  I couldn’t believe how much work the women got done in a day and how hard they had to work at everything!  I really loved the characters of this book and really disliked the Uncle and his wife.  I found the story so very interesting!  I love historical fiction, and this one does have all of the bones of a great story.  I can’t wait until the next book comes out this being the first in the series, Under Northern Skies!
I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review I believe from Bethany House.
Description as found on Good Reads:
When Signe, her husband, Rune, and their three boys arrive in Minnesota from Norway to help a relative clear his land of lumber, they dream of owning their own farm and building a life in the New World. But Uncle Einar and Aunt Gird are hard, demanding people, and Signe and her family soon find themselves worked nearly to the bone in order to repay the cost of their voyage. At this rate, they will never have land or a life of their own.

Signe tries to trust God but struggles with anger and bitterness. She has left behind the only life she knew, and while it wasn't an easy life, it wasn't as hard as what she now faces. When a new addition to the family arrives, Signe begins to see how God has been watching over them throughout their ordeal. But after all that has happened, can she still believe in the promise of a bright future?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Marriage Season (The Brides of Bliss County #3) by Linda Lael Miller - I gave this one 4.5

Bex made a marriage pact with her friends Hadleigh and Melody.  She married for love but her true love died in a war, he never came home.  She is busy running her fitness club making a chain of them and absolutely not interested in another marriage in spite of the pact.

A new man comes to town with two young sons and she keeps getting thrown together with Tate because the sons have made friends with her nephew.  Her friends also like throwing her into the mix. 

Linda Lael Miller has been a favorite of mine for years.  I liked this book but it didn’t throw me into love with it.  I did read it pretty quickly.  It was the last of the Brides of Bliss County, and I’ll be holding out for her next book.  I give this one a 4.5.
I had back surgery and can’t tell you why I didn’t love this as much because I read it while on pain meds.  My apologies to the author. 

I did receive this book in kindle format through Good Reads in exchange for an honest review.  Not one of my best reviews but I put it off to0 long. 

 (Goodreads Author)
Description as found on Good Reads:
Will the marriage pact be fulfilled? Return to Mustang Creek, Wyoming, with #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller for more Brides of Bliss County! 
Since Hadleigh, Melody and Bex—the best of best friends—entered into a marriage pact, two of them have found (and married) the men of their hearts. But Bex doesn't think she'll be as fortunate as the others. Her own first love died years ago in a faraway war, and Bex has lost hope for a happy marriage of her own. She concentrates on her business, a successful chain of fitness clubs, instead. 
Then, when single father Tate Calder comes to Mustang Creek with his two sons in tow, who befriend Bex's eight-year-old nephew, she and the handsome, aloof newcomer are constantly thrown together. But is the marriage season over? Or can a man with doubts about love be the right husband for a woman who wants it all?