Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday HideoutHoliday Hideout by Vicki Lewis Thompson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am not much of a holiday person but in the past few days I have sure when watching my fill of Christmas movies (romances of course) and wrapping presents. To add to my little holiday self party I decided to pick up this anthology and read it in under 12 hours, now whether this was due to me hiding from my book club's next book or because it was so good we will probably never know. However I did truly enjoy these stories.

The Thanksgiving fix was super cute, and super steamy. I love the anti-marriage people coming together, bonding over their singleness and falling for each other, hard. Both of the characters were relate-able and I enjoyed it.

The Christmas Set-Up was also very good. I have been on a Jill Shalvis kick now for awhile, since I began the Lucky Harbor series, then read the Animal series and am now reading about the Wilder brothers. This novella was written in her typical style and I enjoyed it very much. Lately I have begun hating books where we start off with the guy being absolutely horrible to the girl but then they end up together, I really appreciate Jill not doing that and giving us two characters to root for the entire time.

The New Year's Deal was my least favorite of the three but still very entertaining. I am not big on communication misunderstandings or people jumping to conclusions so that was my biggest issues with this novella. I still enjoyed it though, but not in any rush to pick up any of her other works.

View all my reviews

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Not my favorite anthology, which I am sad to say. I read this right about completing Jill Shalvis' 2nd Lucky Harbor novel (as it goes together) and I was not overly fond of this short novela. Great Logan finds someone, I might have cared more if I actually liked Logan to begin with but he was not a great character in my mind.

The 2nd novela was my favoraite of the set, it was a cute little thing though it has no real ending. I kind of want to go read the books that go with it but I wanted to the sample chapters at the end of the anthology to be the 1st chapter, I do not want chapter 3 so I did not start it and have so many other books to read of my shelf I am not so in love that I want to run out and go buy them.

The 3rd novela. I hate to stop reading a book half way through and read something else but this story did not grab me at all and so I left in the middle. I finally went back and finished it. The ending was cute but I was just not impressed which sucks cause I wanted to be.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dry as RainDry as Rain by Gina Holmes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a book about life, marriage, family, happiness, lies, infidelity and a little bit of God.

It was well written and held my interest.

It starts with a couple who are seperated. There is an accident, some memory loss and trying to rebuilt a marriage based on not all the facts. There are lots of minor characters who at times have a place in the story and at others not really.

View all my reviews

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas in Sugarcreek: A Christmas Seasons of Sugarcreek NovelChristmas in Sugarcreek: A Christmas Seasons of Sugarcreek Novel by Shelley Shepard Gray

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Believe it or not I could not make myself finish this book. I have loved all the others in the series.

Maybe it is me and not the books.

View all my reviews
Three short stories - I enjoyed 2 out of three of them but for the most part there are not enough time in these short stories (about 100 pages each) there is not a lot of time to get invested.

The story by Susan Mallery is part of the Fool's Gold series that she writes, but we didnt' see or hear much about Fool's Gold.

Sheryl Woods was about San Francisco(and since I grew up there I liked reading about some of the places I used to visit)

The Susan Wiggs was didn't hold my interest.
The Christmas WeddingThe Christmas Wedding by James Patterson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am a huge James Patterson fan but I was not impressed with this one. I did read the whole thing though so that says something.

Gaby is hosting herself a Christmas wedding but she won't tell anyone (including the groom) whom she is going to marry. She gets all her children to come home for the wedding.

I just don't see anything special about this book.

View all my reviews
A Life of Joy (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #4)A Life of Joy by Amy Clipston

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the 4th book in this series.

!8 year old Lindsay is happy in the amish community she and her sister (who has gone back to the English world in a previous book) moved to when their parents died (book 1). She is considering joining the church and settling in when her parent's best friends called and ask her to come take care of her 'aunt' who broke her foot.

Lindsay travels to Virginia to help out and reconnects with old friends, and the english way of life (cell phones, education). Her sister continues to pressure her to continue her education by getting her GED and going off to college.

We now wait for the next installment.

View all my reviews
SEAL of My DreamsSEAL of My Dreams by Robyn Carr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I first heard about this book I was thrilled- I love romance and I love military men. Prior to my starting this book I looked through the authors and realized I have never read most of them so this was going to be a good starting point for me on some possibly new favorite authors.

My favorite novellas were the ones involving military dogs, I thought this was cute on the part of a few of the authors, I really enjoyed the animal aspect and learning some about what military dogs do and how their handlers respond.

Some of the novellas I had difficulty with due to them being an epilogue for other novels. Holding On by Stephanie Tyler was by far the hardest as there were too many characters and I never really understood who was who and what they were doing.

My favorite was Baby, I’m Back by Stephanie Bond. Not really sure why but the animal aspect is part of it. Others I just found it to be a good story. I will be looking up others from this author.

The last story, Letters To Ellie by Loreth Anne White was a horrible way to end this book I felt like. I read romance novels because I am a social worker in real life and have to deal with horrible stories every day and reading is my outlet. This story made me cry and pretty much hate life. I did not like the way this anthology ended, I mean the story was a great addition but I think order should have been shifted as I was left feeling very depressed at the end of it all.

I am glad I read it though, and am so proud to call myself an American after reading even fictionalized versions of our troops.

-The only easy day was yesterday

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Animal Magnetism (Animal, #1)Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I found Lilah and Brady to both be likable and relate-able, something that can struggle sometimes. Good humor throughout and I love how clumsy Lilah was, that I can relate to so much so watching her struggle with that was awesome. Overall, just a good fun read. I do not have too much to say about it but I enjoyed it which I think is the point. Cannot wait for the next one to arrive from the library.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Exclusively Yours (Kowalski Family, #1)Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started this book at a bad time, a time when I was trying to get into it with lots of distractions. I made it about 3 pages in before I decided I was not going to like it. But me being me opted to continue on for a least a little while longer. Boy, am I glad I did. I LOVED this book by the end. The story was funny and heart warming. The family drama was awesome to watch unfold. I liked that we did not just hear from Joe and Keri but also got narration from Terry and that we got stories from the others in the book as well. The language was a little difficult to bear at times, I am not a huge fan of profanity in writing but beyond that I really enjoyed this book and am glad I stuck it out. Cannot wait to read the second one now.

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Practice Makes PerfectPractice Makes Perfect by Julie James

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read it, I enjoyed it, but that's about it. It was an ok book, I feel like it jumped about in time sequencing. The secretary roles were cute, I did enjoy the supporting characters. The ending was priceless, I really enjoyed how it all came together. Not very memorable in my opinion, I am going to try a few more by her but I do not have too much to say.

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4)Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I speak for all of us Bridgerton fans when I say "yay Collin!" I have loved him as a supporting charterer in every Bridgerton novel (now mind you I read them out of order and this was the last one in the series I read). However, in this novel I find him a bit odd. I know we were trying to see a different side of him but I felt like he was mean to Penelope in how he thought of her as having changed. It was not my favorite of the novels and actually is probably my least favorite of the 8.

The best part of all of this was Lady Danbury though. Her relationship with Penelope was amazing real and frank and awesome. Plus I loved the part of the Smith-Smythe musical that takes place in Just Like Heaven being in this book. I love that all the Julia Quinn books intertwine and are just superb.

I look forward to reading the Lady Whistledown books, which are currently on my shelf. Thanks Julia for an amazing series and I look forward to beginning all your other novels.

View all my reviews
An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3)An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was not really sure what to expect when I opened Benedict's novel. He was the brother I felt least attached to and had the least knowledge of. However, his quiet strength and romanticism led me to fall in love with him as well.

I loved how this story mirrored Cinderella, if really made me want to go watch Ever After and cry my eyes out. Sophie was very relate able and a strong female character for someone living in those times. I enjoyed getting to know both characters individually and then together as they navigated the tricky London social scene.

The jail scene was about the funniest thing I have ever read. I really enjoyed this novel.

View all my reviews
Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor, #1)Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After I finished my last book I picked up 2 to take to work with me and read throughout the day. I started the other one, then when lunch came around I accidentally grabbed this one instead of the other one I had already started. I am not one to read two books at once but I figured I would give it a try and see which one I liked better.

I could not put this book down! Once I started I could not stop. I think I accidentally grabbed the wrong one on purpose. I loved the story line, I was able to relate to Maddie and his sisters so well. I think everything about this book was on track. I loved the real human response Maddie had to having been in an abusive relationship. The character development was great, I really was rooting for Maddie and Jax as well as supporting Maddie in her relationship with her sisters. I just loved it, cannot wait to get my hands of Tara's story.

My only negative comment is that I have a problem with people using the phrase "gave up for adoption." As a birthmother and a social worker I am trying to change the stigmas associated with adoption. The phrase we like to use better is "placed for adoption." Although we sing away our rights we are not giving the child away, we are placing them in a better situation. I really hope this does not bother me when reading Tara's story as I have had to leave series before because of careless language.

View all my reviews

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Christmas Wedding - James Patterson

The Christmas WeddingThe Christmas Wedding by James Patterson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am a huge James Patterson fan but I was not impressed with this one. I did read the whole thing though so that says something.

Gaby is hosting herself a Christmas wedding but she won't tell anyone (including the groom) whom she is going to marry. She gets all her children to come home for the wedding.

I just don't see anything special about this book.

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Summer Brides - Varies

Summer Brides (includes Fool's Gold, #2.5)Summer Brides by Susan Wiggs

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Three short stories - I enjoyed 2 out of three of them but for the most part there are not enough time in these short stories (about 100 pages each) there is not a lot of time to get invested.

The story by Susan Mallery is part of the Fool's Gold series that she writes, but we didnt' see or hear much about Fool's Gold.

Sheryl Woods was about San Francisco(and since I grew up there I liked reading about some of the places I used to visit)

The Susan Wiggs was didn't hold my interest.

View all my reviews

Friday, October 28, 2011

Christmas Singing - Cynthia Woodsmall

The Christmas SingingThe Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Short, amishish novel about Mattie Eash who has her heart broken and moves away. Tragedy stricks and she returns home to be re- connected with Gideon Beiler.

View all my reviews

A Stolen Life - Jaycee Dugard

A Stolen Life: A MemoirA Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I did this book as a book on CD and listened to it vs read it.

It was read by Jaycee.

I liked it - it did some skipping around and at a few points I was confused but over all the story that she told / lived was wild. Things that could never be imaged and lived through happened to her. I wish her and her children a 'normal' life!

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lead Me On (Tumble Creek, #3)Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read this book in under 24 hours. Usually my like of books go down the higher they are in a series (just like movies). However, this one was definitely my favorite of the Tumble Creek series. Very steamy, good read. I really enjoy these characters and can relate to the events in their lives and respect how they handle turmoil. Love it!

View all my reviews
Record TimeRecord Time by Beverly Brandt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's an ok book. I think I keep telling myself I like her books more than I do because once I start I remember that I am not a huge fan. Her story telling takes a long time and I still feel like I do not get the details I want to envision the scene. However, her humor is priceless and I did find myself laughing out loud during multiple parts in this book.

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lonestar Angel - Colleen Coble

Lonestar AngelLonestar Angel by Colleen Coble

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eden is about to be proposed to when what she thinks is her ex husband arrives and tells her a) they are still married, b) their daughter that they thought had died is still alive.

Eden and Clay leave her life behind and head to where they believe their daughter is. They get hired at a camp for foster children taking care of the age group of their daughter. They take DNA samples of all of the girls in hope of finding out which one is theirs.

As you can tell just from that - there are a lot of things that do not hold true in the real world but we read books to get lost in the unreal world.

I enjoyed this book, I tried not to think too much about what was 'way out there' and just enjoyed the read, enjoyed the little Christian push, the romance, the mystery.

View all my reviews

The Wedding Quilt - Jennifer Chiaverini

The Wedding Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts NovelThe Wedding Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel by Jennifer Chiaverini

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the 18th book in the Elm Creek series.

I have read them all and in order but I will admit when I started this one I was a little lost as so many years had past since the last one. Once I understood that I enjoyedhte walk down memory lane in this book, while learning some new pieces to the puzzle.

Sarah's daughter Caroline is getting married. This is the book of everyone coming back together for the wedding and as we do this Sarah has a few walks donw memory lane. To me it was sort of a remonder book of what has gone on in the past books and really I was grateful. I read a lot of books and as these only coming out yearly, it is hard to remember everyone and everything.

View all my reviews

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Survivor - Shelly Shephard Gray

The Survivor: Families of Honor, Book ThreeThe Survivor: Families of Honor, Book Three by Shelley Shepard Gray

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the third book in the Families of Honor Series.

I enjoyed it for the most part - but was a little disappointed as I don't think we got closer on all the characters by the end of the book / series.

Maddie, fianlly cancer free tries to refind her faith and love. She asks her best friend to find her an Amish gentleman to court her, he of course is crushed as he wants to be the suiter. Then there is Jenna, who dated Graham (the best friend) for a short period and finds herself pregnant and decides to tell everyone Graham is the father - although they never even kissed.

I just was left a little unsatisified when this book was done.

View all my reviews

Longing - Karen Kingsbury

Longing (Bailey Flanigan #3)Longing by Karen Kingsbury

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Longing is the third book in the Bailey series. Bailey has loved Cody since she was in high school and she is now in New York dancing in Hair Spray.We have watched her finish high school, go to college, film the movie Unlocked and move to New York. We have watched this relationship hit high points and very low points. In the last book (maybe it was the one before) Bailey started a relationship with Brandon Paul, a very popular movie star from Hollywood that she filmed Unlocked with.

So at first I go - hummmm this is just like the Dayne and Katie story. Been there done that - and after reading Longing I still kind of feel that way. I have been a team Cody fan from the beginning because I watched their love grow but after reading Longing, I might have to change my mind. I don't want to change my mind but I think Cody still has some grwong up to do to be worthy of Bailey's love. I also feel that Bailey is out of her league a little with Brandon. She is a small town girl who yes earns a spot in a Broadway musical but having a realationship with a major star?

But this is a book not to be missed - there is so much growth in the characters and the bonus of the Baxters showing up and being able to catch up with the going on's of their lives. Then there is the Bible Study group that Bailey started

What happens with Cody and Chey is just not to be missed. That is not to take away the magic of Baily and Brandon. It is just amazing to see how God works in all these situations and circumstances. I love how God speaks to their characters, I am not that lucky.

Can't wait for the final book!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Real Men Will (Donovan Brothers Brewery, #3)Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The third and final books of the Donovan Brothers series did not disappoint one bit. As I have said in the other reviews for this series, I have found a new favorite author. I am so thrilled with this book, her writing style and the series. Victoria continues to write witty romance with a a grounding in the real world. So often I read romance novels and think 'never in a million years.' With these novels, her characters are so real, down to earth and you know that if these situations were presented to you this is exactly how you would react. One of my favorite aspects of all this series is that the couples do not get married at the end, they do what most adults do- be in a relationship. So many novels have the couples get engaged or married as soon as they get through their "big issue." Victoria stays true to what society and most individuals do, which is date and get to know each other and one anothers' families. I just loved this entire series. And I look forward to reading her other novels (which are currently sitting on my shelf to be read).

View all my reviews

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hook, Line And Sinker: A Deep Haven NovellaHook, Line And Sinker: A Deep Haven Novella by Susan May Warren

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

First, let me say that I did not realize this was a novela and not a complete novel. That is probably the biggest factor that colors my review here.

With that being said, I really did not enjoy this book. I did not think there was enough character development to really get any enjoyment out of the characters. I never really liked Abigail, the heroine and Ross, the hero never really seemed to live up to that role. The story was so quick I never got the chance to become invested or involved. The big scenes where the couple declared their love was far too short with mo explanation and no build up. Furthermore, I understand that the auhtor wants to keep suspense by not telling us what happened in the past but there was too much suspense to enjoy the present story, it really detracted from the story line. From what I read in this novela I am not interested in locating any of the other in this set.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bad Boys Do (Donovan Brothers Brewery, #2)Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok so I have have found my newest favorite author. I loved this book just as much as the first in the series, which is rare for me. When I read the 1st book in a series I tend to attach to that person more and not favor the others, but this book really did allow me to like these characters just as much. I really enjoyed the contemporary feel of this book and it's believability. I would definitely recommend her and I have requested all of her other books from the library. i cannot wait for the 3rd one in this series. So great!

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Love Finds A Way - Wanda E. Brunstetter

Love Finds a Way: 3 Modern Romances Make Falling in Love Simple and SweetLove Finds a Way: 3 Modern Romances Make Falling in Love Simple and Sweet by Wanda E. Brunstetter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Love finds a Way is 3 short stories about finding love. I enjoyed that Christ was the center of all the stories, but with any short story it seems find of fast how they fell in love. They all made me feel good though and made me wish love was that easy to come by - but we all know with God all things are possible.

Blueberry Surprise was about a 30 something widow who decides to go back to school. On the first day a 'younger' man sits next to her and because of assigned seating sits there every day. He is looking for a relationship and she is not. She has many reason for not allowing this relationship to grow but Ethan and God won't hear of it.

Grandma's doll is about Sheila who travels back to where she grew up to pick out a chosen item from her grandma's house before the grandma sells the house. Due to circumstances the item she wants was sold to an antique dealer. Sheila winds up intertwined with an owner of a antique store. She is not willing to have a relationship because she is just visiting, God and Dwaine has different ideas.

Matchmaker 911 is about Wendy, a barber and Kyle a paramedic. Wendy's dad plays matchmaker and he met Kyle at the hospital and now calls him, during Wendy's lunch hour.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Good Girls Don't (Donovan Brothers Brewery, #1)Good Girls Don't by Victoria Dahl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. The plot was engaging, the characters likable and totally relate-able. I enjoyed the struggles of the heroine in terms of always wanting to control the situation. I think her actions were completely realistic reactions to her parents death at a young age. The scenes were believable, the plot was great. The only downfall I found in this book is the amount of profanity. I think this book would have been just as good without it. It seemed silly and superfluous and just profane. But I am very excited for the next one in the series, I hope to start it tomorrow. And in case I did not mention how good this book was I finished it in just a bit over 24 hours. Great read!!

View all my reviews

The Mercy - Beverly Lewis

This is the third book in Beverly Lewis' Rose Trilogy. I will have to be honest and say that it is not my favorite. I have been looking forward to this book since reading the first 2 but for some reason it just didn't sit right with me. I like that fact that there was not a major accident / illness in this book (maybe because it was in the previous books) but it seems to take a lot of pages to finish the stories of Rose and Nick, Hen and Brandon, etc. I am left wondering if things tie up like that. I will not say anymore and hope you will take the time to read the books and decide for yourself.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Running Around - Linda Byler

Running Around (And Such) (Lizzie Searches for Love, #1)Running Around (And Such) by Linda Byler

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I didn't like it - I waited a long time for book 1 and read it and will give 2 and 3 away instead of reading them.

This was the story of Lizzie and her family. She was 15 when the story began and 16 when it ended. There was nothing interesting enough in this book for me to want to read the next 2 to see if she finds love.

Very disappointed.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Potent Pleasures (Pleasures, #1)Potent Pleasures by Eloisa James

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was overall ok but dragged a bit in places. It was over 400 pages and I felt like a lot of it could have been trimmed out. Also, the hero was pretty evil to the heroine at some points making me really not like his character and her docile acceptance of his horrible words and attitudes. In today's society that would be considered emotional abuse and completely unacceptable. This was my first book by this author, I am interested to try another but not sure now is the right time after I just finished that long one that did not leave the best taste in my mouth.

View all my reviews

Missing Max - Karen Young

Missing MaxMissing Max by Karen Young

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was my first book by Karen Young. I will admit the book drew me in rather quickly and held me for a long time. There were a few parts that I wonder - does it really happen like that?

But the characters made you love them and care about them and what to know what was next.

This is the story of a family - Jane, Kyle, Melanie and baby Max. Max is kidnapped while Jane, Melanie and some friends are sat Mardi Gras. All feel resposible for Max being gone and they all try to deal with it seperately vs as a family.

There is no way to figure out who did it as that person is brought in fairly late in the book and almost as an afterthought in my opinion.

This book really is about family and how they are all dealing with life, there is a little christian thrown in for good measure but not what I would call a Christian book.

I will not rush out and by another by this author but if one shows up on the sale table I probably would pick it up.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1)I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Little simple in terms on sentence structure and language, but what do you expect from a young adult novel. I read this after watching the movie and still managed to enjoy both.

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Time of Peace - Barbara Cameron

A Time for Peace (Quilts of Lancaster County, #3)A Time for Peace by Barbara Cameron

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the third book in the Quilts of Lancaster County series, what I liked about it is even if you didn't read the first 2 books you would be able to read this one and not be lost. Although this book was about the 2 previous couples from the other books.

I enjoyed this book but it was not my favorite, it followed the normal amish fiction of a miscomuication, a accident with someone getting seriously hurt, and the happy ever after ending.

Jenny, who was in the first book, is living her dream life but realizes something is missing. She has been married for a while know but is unable to get pregnant, because her husband is amish he believes in God's will to get pregnant.

Jenny's aunt falls and while taking care of her Jenny finds some letters between her grandmother and her dad. She realizes that they interfered in her life all those years ago and she starts to wonder what is, etc.

It is a good book but not the best, I feel the author could of given me more.

View all my reviews

The Wonder of Your Love - Beth Wiseman

The Wonder of Your Love (A Land of Canaan Series #2)The Wonder of Your Love by Beth Wiseman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the second book in the Land of Canaan Series. This is Katie Ann's story. Her husband left her in book 1 and also died. She has been raising her son alone with the help of family and a close friend.

She meets a relative of friends and they develop a wonderful friendship. Both want it to be more but are afraid. They are at different places in their lives, they live far away from each other, etc.

Over all a book I enjoyed and look forward to the third installment.

I do think a few parts could of been written better.

View all my reviews

1225 Christmas Tree Lane - Debbie Macomber

1225 Christmas Tree Lane (Cedar Cove, #12)1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Debbie did an excellent job of finishing up this 12 book series. As sad as I am to see it end, I love how she brought it all together and let us know how each and every family from the beginning, 16 Lighthouse Road, to the end 1225 Christmas Tree Lane will be ok and live on if we let them.

This was the story of Beth Moorehead and her family. She had divorced her husband after her children grew up and moved from CA to Cedar Cove. The children decide that their parents should spend Christmas together and work out a plan to get their dad to Cedar Cove, he arrives with a girl friend in toe.

Besides this story we have the puppies that Beth is trying to find homes for and the revisit of all the other cedar cove residents.

Great job of closing out the series, that will be missed greatly.

View all my reviews
Girls in White DressesGirls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

When Amazon sent me a recommendation for this book I was so excited. I am in that exact place in my life where I am single and going to all my friends' wedding and wedding showers (I went to two wedding this past month, really I am there), so I expected this book to be phenomenal and shed light into this difficult time in many womens' lives.

What I read in this book angered me beyond all measure. First of all even casually mentioning marijuana is inappropriate. You do know that marijuana is illegal in this country correct Jennifer? Having characters indulge in this "hobby" is horrible and setting a bad example. Also I do not think the main characters made it through one chapter without getting drunk. Can you say alcohol problem? And yes, I am saying this as a social worker, so I do have a point of view that is different from many. But still, the alcohol and drug usage in this novel angered me greatly.

Beyond that there were so many characters I cannot find a main character. I read this book over 2 days and in between the 1st and 2nd day I lost all semblance of remembering who these characters were and why I cared about them. I do not believe there was a single compound or complex sentence in the entire book. Chapters were divided into subsections that usually never even made it into a page of length, really? I can read better than that, you made it more confusing.

And finally I would like to sum it up with a message: Jennifer Close, I think you single handedly knocked women's rights about 50 years backwards. Women do not need a man to be happy, we do not need to settle, we can be happy on our own. None of your characters were strong female leads any girl would aspire to look up to. Horrible book, if I could I would give it 0 or even negative stars.

View all my reviews
Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My DaughterLove You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter by Jennifer Grant

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I come at this book from a very different perspective than most- I am not an adoptive parent, instead I am a birthmother. I am also a social worker with experience in the foster care system in this country. This is a unique and sometimes perilous point of view to have when starting single sotry point of view novels. I am not sure what I was expecting when I started this book but it was a lovely family story. I enjoyed getting to hear the perspective of an adoptive mother, especially one who is going through an international adoption, which is an area I know little to nothing about.

Now for the nitty gritty part. This story seems more like someone is telling you what happened, not that you are reading it. One paragraph does not always lead to the next and sometimes there are side stories I do not know why they are included. The writing was not difficult to understand but the story structure could be at times. I would have much preferred a chronological narrative not one that jumped from place to place. I believe this book was very cathartic for Jennifer Grant but I am not sure I got the point of sending it out to the general public.

Overall, it was a nice story but nothing I would recommend to the general populous. I am not sure it even really would open people's eyes to international adoption. It's cute but nothing superb.

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just Like a Man By: Elizabeth Bevarly

Just Like a Man (OPUS prequel)Just Like a Man by Elizabeth Bevarly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Precursor to her "Male" trilogy. Not a great introduction to the other three in my opinion, I found the 1st in the trilogy introduced the situation and the bad guy better. Took a little while to get into this one but eventually turned out to be a good read. The 2nd couple had a slow start, did not really like them in the beginning but by the end their story outshone the main couple in my opinion.

View all my reviews

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Ring on her Finger, By: Elizabeth Bevarly

Different but good is how I would rate this book. The story was different than a lot of others I have read. I can't really explain and do justice but the characters were relate-able, even if the story was not always believable. Heavier than some of her other books and can drag at times but if you can get into it, it's worth the read.

Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats By: Angie Dudley

I have been making cake balls for awhile now but this book really helped me understand some new creative ways to make them and how to make mine better. The tips and tricks I learned in this book are very helpful, great for those making cake pops/balls at any level.

Room Service By Beverely Brandt

Rich girl suddenly becomes poor, isn't that the story line for a lot of books? Well this one did a good job of showing the reality of working of minimum wage and how the heroine had to develop a sense of self and develop her self esteem. I enjoyed this book I thought the hero and the heroine were well suited and the character development was good. The mystery throughout of who was sabotaging the hotel was a good addition to this romance novel. Good book, I would recommend it.

The Duke and I By Julia Quinn

1st book in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series. It's a good introduction to the family but it is not my favorite in the series. If I read this one first I am not sure I would have read the rest of the series. I did enjoy it, it's good historical fiction but some of her others are better.

The Viscount Who Loved Me By Julia Quinn

Second book in the Bridgerton series, focuses on the eldest son who had to take over the father role when his father passed away at a young age. Quinn did a great job of working through the psychological issues of the two main characters. Overall, the story was good, I feel like there was a lot more character development in this book, where we got to watch the characters work through their demons and learn to love and trust one another.

Just Like Heaven By Julia Quinn

This is the first novel in the infamous Smyth-Smith quartet series. From the back of the book I thought I was going to fall in love with this book from the very first moment, but in reality I didn't. Sometimes there is a little too much medical information or focus on one of the characters medical issues for me, this definitely had that. I liked the heroine and thought she did a great job of being the strong one in the relationship and watching the hero have to recover from illness and fall for his best friend's sister was a lovely story line. Overall, it was good, just not great.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig

I tried to read this book but could not get into it.  There were far too many characters, the stroy line made little to no sense and I got so lost I had to give up.  I made it through about 60 pages but could not convince myself to go back to this book that gave me a headache trying to understand all the intricacies. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Naomi's Gift - Amy Clipston

Amy does not disappoint in her small Christmas novella - she continues to allow us the join theKaufman  family and friends in Bird in a Hand, Pennsylvania. We were lucky enough to visit them in the Kaufmann bakery series: A Promise of Hope, A Gift of Grace and a Place of Peace.
 In this one Naomi, who has had trouble in love in the other books finally thinks God has brought her a husband. This is her story. Amy throws in a little Christmas cheer and an enjoyable read for all.

Bobby Flay's Bar Americain Cookbook

This was an enjoyable cookbook, one with recipes I would like to make when I entertain. The pictures were pretty, the recipes easy to follow.
Well done.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Learning - Karen Kingsbury

Karen is a great story teller. She has done another great job of sharing Bailey's life and struggles as she moves to New York to dance in Hair Spray. She touches on all our favorites from books past but makes sure if this is your very first KK book that you aren't lost. (not something to be taken lightly)
Bailey is struggling with life, love and growing up - haven't we all been there. She is lucky to be blessed with her mom being her best friend (not all are so lucky) and surrounded by Godly people that she can learn from.
I look forward to the next and hope that Bailey finds what we all want - belief that we are following God's path for our lives.
Thanks for another great book Karen.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Along Wooded Paths – Tricia Goyer

This book picked up where the last one, Besides Still Waters, ended. Marianna decided not to go back to Indiana and stay in Montana with her English / Amish friends.  This continues to be her story with other minor story lines interwoven.  She is confused about the difference between the English and the Amish and these shows throughout the book. Aaron Zook, the boy she loved back in Indiana, decided to travel to Montana to see Marianna.  Aaron has an accident on his way and ends up with a broken leg and having to spend many weeks at Marianna’s house, sleeping in her room while she moves upstairs.  Ben, who is Marianna English friend, decided to pursue his music career and we only get a small glimpse of that in this book., I believe there is more to come with this as more of Ben’s past is presented in this book.  There are so many people to care about in this / these books.  And it wouldn’t be a great book without a twist in the end that leaves you wondering and hoping the next book is already on the shelf.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beside Still Waters– Tricia Goyer

Marianna and her family move from Amish Indiana to a small town in Montana where the English and the Amish work together to make it work.  This causes a lot of questions for Marinna, who knew what her end result would be if she stayed in Indiana. She was going to get baptized and marry Aaron Zook and live happily ever after.  Being of age she has the option of going with her family or staying,  her father asked her to go for 6 months, Aaron asked her to stay, with her mother pregnant she decided to go help.  In these 6 months she starts to question if Amish is the only way. She meets many English folks who show her how to have a relationship with God during the week not just every other Sunday. They show her the English Bible vs the German Bible. She meets a man and is attracted to him, although she is English.  There are a lot of unanswered questions at the end of this book but the second one, Along Wooded Path is ready to pick up with this one ended.
I believe this is Tricia’s first book on the Amish and I love how she is writing it. She is doing a great job of keeping me interested and started to revisit my relationship with God.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On The Way to the Wedding- Julia Quinn

After I got this book I discovered it was the 8th book in a long running series.  Well as with most romance novels, you do not have to read them in order.  It's written in Julia's normal, funny prose.  I enjoyed this book, it takes a different route than most romance novels for the couple to get their happily ever after but it was well worth my time.  I am now hooked and am planning to read the 1st 7 as soon as I can get my hands on them (which probably means they will not be in order yet again).

My One and Only- By Kriten Higgins

This book was long, and by long I mean long with small print. 

From the synopsis on the back of the book I knew what to expect.  Two people who were once married reunite at a wedding, crazy antics ensue and they end up back together.  That is exactly what happened, except not as many crazy antics as I would have liked. 

There is way too much time spent going back in the past and reliving those scenes so you have no idea what is going on in the present.  Some of it drags on for a little too long.  The ending is predictable and somewhat bland.  Overall, it was an alright read but I would not read it again.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

One Summer - David Baldacci

This was my first book by David Baldacci, although it was an easy read it didn't thrill me or excite me but it did keep me interested enough to finish it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Already Home - Susan Mallery

Really Really liked this book.
Jenna moved back to her hometown from LA after her marriage didn't work out.

This is the story of her, her employee, her parents both biological and adpoted and how it all comes together.

I love how it brought in the chacter, Robyn from her other books. I am hoping  for more about both these stores and these people in future book.
A great read for sitting on the beach this summer.

Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride - Sandra D. Bricker

This is the second book in this series, the first being Always the Baker, Never the Bride.

Sherilyn moves from Chicago to Atlanta to work as a wedding planner at Tangelewood (see book 1), it just so happens that her finance is from there and willing to move back 'home'.

As she settles in things start going south as her wedding dress(es) go missing, her allergy to her fiance, old flames on both sides.

This is a fun read. A little Christian thrown in, a few surprises that you don't see coming, a few things that probably were not needed to make this book good but over all a very enjoyable read.

Looking forward to the next one.

Falling to Pieces - Vannetta Chapman

This is the first book in a new 3 book series.

It connects the English with the Amish.

Callie comes to town from Houston to see to her aunt's affairs. Her aunt Daisy owned a quilt shop in town before she died and Callie having suffered some heartache thinks a chance of scenery for a little bit might be healing. She is not interested in making friends – she is just there to sell the shop and move on – although she is not sure where she is moving on to. Life has hurt her deeply and she is trying to deal with is all – without God.

Deborah, an Amish wife and mother, asks Callie, to sell some quilts on EBay (which she pronounces wrong) to help out her friends. This story is really the story of friendship, acceptance, small towns and how they come together and there is even a mystery thrown in.  Deborah doesn’t seem to be looking for friends – she is looking help her friends, who have minor rolls.

Then there is Max, who doesn't love a story with a dog who takes on a large role.

 I enjoyed this book - there are some things that I am not so fond of, a few loose ends that I am still shaking my head about but liked it enough to want to read the second book in the series.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lilly's Wedding Quilt - Kelly Long

Lilly's Wedding Quilt is the 2nd book by Kelly Long's Patch of Heaven Series.

Lilly is caught in a rain storm and stops at a barn where a man she has secretly liked is hiding after stealing a horse and being shot. What comes next is their story of stretching the truth to save Lilly's reputation and the joy that comes out of the relationship between Lilly and Jacob.

A few side stories of depression, brotherly love, teenagers need for rebelion and a speical needs child are all touched on in a way that make you hope Kelly's next book will be about one of them.

Jonah - Priscilla Shirer

What a great Bible study about how God using interuptions as divine interventions in your life!

Have you ever felt like God interrupted your life? This book shows you how really these interruptions are invitations from God to do something amazing. Something God thinks that you are the best person to handle. (reflect on that a minute)

I have never studied the book of Jonah and I loved it!

Priscilla has a way that draws you in and you can't wait for what she is going to share the next day, I highly recommend the DVD series that goes with this but it can definately be used alone. 
Bring on the next one. 

Angel's Song - Sheila Walsh

This book made me smile. I enjoyed it very much.

It started out a little sad when Sarah dies right before she is going to graduate with her masters degree in social work (this is what my daughter will be doing in a few short months so maybe it hit me harder than some) but the growth of Ann(ie) throughout this book is great. I especially like Keith and the huge role he played in this book. It shows that children with Downs Syndrome are amazing children just like every child that God created is.
I loved Ethan and how true he was to God and his beliefs.

I know there are only a few short pages for a story to be told in a book but sometimes the quickness of people falling in love throws me for a loop because I don't see life like that.

Well done!

An Amish Christmas by Cynthia Keller

I very much enjoyed this book.
This was a book about when God shuts a door he opens a window.
Meg and her family were living high on the hog while her husband lost all their money through losing his job and some bad decisions.
This is the story of Meg, who is devestated by what her husband has done, stands by her man in front of her children and her parents and tries to make the best of a terrible situation.
This is a story of change, forgiveness and the kindness of the Amish (I hope non amish are this kind but I haven't seen it in a long time)
This is a story of bringing a family back together and now sometimes the simple things way out way the complex world

A Time to Heal - Barbara Cameron

 Time to Heal is Barbara Cameron's second book in the Quilts of Lancaster County series.

I very much liked this book, it drew me in from the very beginning.

Chris, comes to visit Jenny (one of the main characters in book 1, A Time to Love) and stays to help on the farm once they become short handed. This is the story of Chris, a wounded solider, learning to accept himself and others for what they are willing to share not what they can get out of it, and of course falling in love.
Chris starts falling for Hannah but because of his past he will decides to leave once he realizes that the bad things that are happening around the farm are because he is there. He decided the best thing to do is leave but before he can things go from bad to worse.
I love the strong faith in God throughout this book - even in Chris who is dealing with some demons from the war.
There are a few questionable moments in this book but overall I loved it.

Another Dawn - Kathryn Cushman

Signs of a good book- they make you laugh, they make you cry and they make you think. All these were accomplished in this book.
My only question,and it is a question as it has been a long time since I have had a 4 year old, is could he really of thought and said all the things that he did. Should the boy have been a little older?
This is a story of a mom who decides not to vacinate her son, unbeknowst to her he comes in contact with someone with the measles. He then gets the measles and passes it on to the babies in the church nursery on Sunday. This is the story of her learning to stay and fight vs running away, it deals with relationships of Father/Daughter, Sisters, Communities, old school friends, Man/Women relationships.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Her Best Catch By: Lindi Peterson

I really did not enjoy this book.  I read a lot of romance novels and just could not get engaged in this one.  Allison Doll, the protagonist is so unlikeable and whiny it was hard to read this entire book from her point of view.  For those of you watching and Bachelorette this season and cannot stand Ashley's continuously self deprecating talk then you will not enjoy this.  I can understand why the hero may not always find her attractive since she is always so negative. 

The first person point of view this is written from is overwhelming.  I would have liked to not be in Allison's head all the time and occasionally get the hero's point of view, or heck anyone else's.  Very predictable ending with no real surprises.  If this book has not have been free I would not have read it.

Playing Dirty By: Susan Anderson

Susan Anderson sure knows how to draw you in.  This is the third book in a trilogy about best friends.  You get to know Ava is the past two books and learn about her insecurites but this book brings all of that to teh forefront and allows you to see her personal stuggles with her weight and how she must work through that in order to find her true love.
In the beginning you are lead to hate the hero, Cade, by the end you are rooting for him to succeed in his business as well as with Ava.  So many romance novels have the hero leave the heroine only to realize his mistake and return but what i love about this book is that it is the heroine who has to realize her mistake.  It is refreshing to see that side a man when he is so in love he cannot think.
The only slow parts are when we are looking at the situation from the bad guy's point of view.  They are neccessary to the story and luckily are short but they do seem to drag.  If you haven't read her first two in this series I woudl recommend you read them all!

Only Yours, By: Susan Mallery

This was by far one of my favorite Susan Mallery books.  I have read almost all of her novels and truely enjoyed this one. 
It continues the story of Fool's Gold residents and the Hendrix triplets.  Montana is just so relatable you cannot help but fall in love with her style and approach to life.  Her beau, Simon is a different type of hero than her normal perfect, stock men who has his own demons to conquer.
What really set this book apart for me was the stories that complement Montana and Simon's journey.  You get the story of Simon's patient on the burn unit as well as Montana's mother's forrages into dating.  Watching all these stories develop and intertwine makes this book a really great read.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

1105 Yakima Street - Debbie Macomber

This is the 11th book in this series. I feel like once a year I go on vacation to Cedar Cove and check in on everyone who lives there. It will be strange letting 'this family' go.
This is the story of Bruce, his daughter Jolene and her step mom Rachel. Jolene and Rachel had a wonderful friendship (see previous books) but Rachel and Bruce fall in love and quickly get married. This does not sit well with Jolene as she to learn to share both her dad and her friend. Jolene being 13 is not interested in the romance of Bruce and Rachel. Rachel decided to move out and this is the story of them trying to work their way to back other.
We also get the pleasure of checking in on other Cedar Cove families - Ben and Charlotte, who are aging and their children need to figure out how to become the parents vs the children. Grace and Olivia and their husbands, Will and his art studio. So many old friends are visited here.
A great read and I am both excited and sad to read 1225 Christmas Tree Lane where Cedar Cove will conclude.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Only Mine - Susan Mallery

Only Mine by Susan Mallery is the continuation of the Fool’s Gold Series that she started a while back.
 I love how I can pick up one of her series books and start reading new story while revisiting old friends from the past. This is Dakota’s story, she is one of the three triplets that was mentioned previously and we were hoping she would have a story.   Dakota has been asked by her boss, the mayor, to help oversee the production of the TV show Fool’s Gold or True Love. This is not the job that she wants but she embraces it. Finn comes to Fool’s Gold following his two twin brothers who are signed up for the show. His goal is to get the boys back to Alaska ASAP – of course this does not happen and therefore we get the story called Only Mine. There are some things that you see coming, a few surprises and quite a few smiles.  It is a book that when I was down to the last 100 pages I didn’t want to do anything but finish the book.   

Friday, June 17, 2011

Irresistible Forces By Brenda Jackson

This was a free Kindle book I got from Amazon and I can see why they are giving it away for free.  The plot is very bland.  Two people start a business arrangement just to have a baby but then fall in love.  Lots of sex scenes in this book that I could have done without.  It was a quick read but not something I wish to read again.  It turns out this book is in a series though and it did what it was intended to do which is make me interested in reading the next one.  However, I am afraid of getting the next one for fear of the same type of boring story writing and over emphasis on sex scenes.

Mr. Cavendish, I Presume By Julia Quinn

Follows very closely to the precursor novel (The Lost Duke of Wyndham).  Takes place over the same time period so you get a new perspective on the same events.  Overall, a good story, I would recommend this novel to others.  Easy read, fun if you enjoy period pieces.  The setting plays a larger part in this novel than some over her others in which you can forget the time period they are set.

What the Lady Wants by Jennifer Crusie

Not one of my favorites by this author.  The minor characters were unlikeable, the main characters were acceptable but not overly relate-able.  Not as much comedy in this novel as in her others.  I would not say this is one of her best, try Manhunting or Getting Rid of Bradley.

Simply Sexy by Carly Phillips

Very quick read, finished it in under 5 hours, in one day.  Great beach read.  There is some story line but heavy on the sex and occasionally light on making the couple realistic.  I read this out of order in the series but was still able to follow along.  Overall it was enjoyable but not the best novel.

Crazy for you by Jennifer Crusie

Very engaging and entertaining novel. A little slow to begin with but draws you in with the multiple story lines and leaves you rooting your heart out for the heroine. I really enjoyed this read. Little longer than some of her other books but it goes quickly. It is definitely a page turner and worth your summer reading time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lydia's Charm

I just finished Lydia's Charm by Wanda Brunstetter.
I have enjoyed her books over the years and this was was no exception. I read all 370 + pages in a little over 24 hours. Its a quick easy read.
This book is about Lydia King who moves with her son to Charm after her husband dies and she loves her job. Her mom and grandfather already live in Charm so she moves in with them. This is Lydia's story of change, love, loss, relationships.
My only issue is near the end of the book I think there are a couple of chapters that are unnecessary. I don't see the need as this is a stand along novel.
I enjoy the recipes in the back and I am planning on trying one very soon.

The Caregiver By: Shelley Shepard Gray

The Caregiver by Shelley Shephard Gray is the first book in her Family of Honor series.

Lucy is traveling by train from her home to the home of her cousin who is fighting breast cancer. It comes out fairly quickly that Lucy was being abused in her marriage and that those in her community chose to look the other way. Her husband has an accident and dies and she must learn to deal with all of this.
On the train she meets Katie and her brother Calvin who are traveling back home after visiting their Uncle John. Calvin left home to mend his broken heart of his girl falling in love with his best friend.
On their way to Middlefield they run into some train trouble and enjoy a few hours together - they have some fun, they have some misunderstandings and they part ways.
This book is thier (Lucy and Calvin) story with a side story of Maddie, who is fighting brest cancer. There are many other people mentioned some with big parts - some with little. On occasion I had a time time remember who all the small part people were and how they fit it.
I hope to find some closure to some unanswered questions as I read the second book, The Protector. 

A Turn in the Road By: Debbie Macomber

A Turn in the Road is the newest Blossom Street Book by Debbie Macomber. Instead of a little bit about everyone on Blossom Street this book focused on Bethanne Hamlin. We have previously met Bethanne and this allowed us to get to know her a lot more.
Bethanne takes a road trip with her daughter and her Mother in Law from Seattle to Florida so the MIL could attend her 50th high school reunion. Bethenne's husband has decided he made a huge mistake and wants Bethanne back. This book explores her thoughts and feelings as she works through this tough choice. There is humor along the way and some surprises. What Debbie book doesn't throw in all these elements.
It is a must read if you enjoy either her Cedar Cove Series or her Blossom Street series.

Plain Proposal By: Beth Wiseman

This is the 5th book in Beth Wiseman's Daughters of the Promise Series.
To refresh your memories about the family tree -- there are five Stoltzfus siblings.  Samuel (Plain Perfect), Noah (Plain Pursuit), Ivan (several of the books, Katie Ann's husband), Mary Ellen (Linda's mother from Plain Paradise), and Rebecca.  Miriam is Rebecca's daughter, and she has been mentioned briefly in prior books.  Plain Proposal is Miriam's story. 
What a wonderful book, it has everything you would want in a good book.
Miriam Raber for years has been smiten with Saul Fisher and he with you but both seen scared to act on it. This is their story - even though Saul is rumored to be leaving the Amish community for the English world, Miriam decides to trust Derr Herr and see if they have a future together.
This is well rounded story with small minor stories included - some of it ties in the previous 4 books (people that I have come to know and care about). It is a book that you want to keep reading vs turning out the light and going to sleep at night.
Well done Beth!

Salad as a Meal By: Patricia Wells

This book was lovely. The pictures were wonderful, it was almost like I could reach out and touch them. The recipes were simple to understand and easy to follow, maybe a few out of the ordinary items but fixable with a trip to the store.
Besides being able to use this book to make dinner I think it makes a great coffee table book. As the pictures would be great conversation pieces.

Dining with the Dollar Diva By: Elizabeth J. Fisher

This is an average cook book to me, I didn't find anything that made me want to run out and buy this book for myself or a friend.

Simple Deceit By: Nancy Mehl

Simple Deceit is the 2nd book on a series about Grace.  In this book she has given up her life in Kansas and moved to Harmony to live in her uncle’s house. She also found love in book 1 and this one continues on her path of true love with Sam.  As with any good book there are some issues in that relationship along with issues happening in the town.
I enjoyed this book, she has left enough things dangling that I am anxious for the third one to come out. She covered most of the unanswered questions from book 1.  I will admit to some of the back story people I had a hard time following when they showed back up, that could be just my age showing though. 
I have not read any other Mennonite books so not sure if everyone in the Mennonite community is as different as all these people regarding electricity, etc but a book I would recommend.

Grace By: Shelley Shepard Gray

I so enjoyed this Christmas book about Katie, Annie and Winnie.  It was almost like coming home myself. It was so nice to see what the girls had been up to and getting to know the new charcters to name a few Melody, Leah, .
This is a book I would highly recommend to all.

Shared Blessings (A Place to Belong)

I enjoyed this book although after reading shared hope I was not sure that I was going to.
 This one like Shared Hope give you a title, a bible verse but then instead of a story, etc it talks about life and how to make the most of what God has given you.
For example: Overcoming Fear, 1 John 4:18, it talks about identifying fears and how to overcome them.
Maybe it depends on where you are at with your walk with the Lord when you read these books. I have read many similiar over the years and some I like better than others.
This one I just couldn't put down.

Missing Mabel By: Nancy Mehl

Just finished reading my first book by Nancy Mehl, Missing Mabel.
I enjoyed it. Light, quick Christian reading. A little mystery, a little romance, some humor. Can't ask for much more.
This is a story about a hair dresser who works with funeral homes to make the loved ones look the best they can before the viewing. She accidently gets involved in a mystery while fixing Mabel's hair and the book concludes with her solving the mystery.
Great job. Looking forward to her next one.

A Simple Amish Christmas By: Vannetta Chapman

This was my first book by Vannetta Chapman and I think she did a good job.
This was an enjoyable Amish fiction book,throwing christmas in there is a stretch for me as the book ended befor second Christmas, the amish celebration of christmas. It was really about the time before Christmas.
I loved meeting Annie's family and getting to know them all but there was lots of talk about a puppy for one of her sisters for Christmas and we never got to see that play out, we never saw the end of the unwed amish girl that Annie had met with a few times.  I just feel as there were loose ends that should of been resolved before the book ended.
 But I will read another one of her books when the opportunity presents itself.

Shared Hope By: Circle of Friends Ministries

I wanted to like this book more than I did.
Shared Hope is  a book about feel good short stories to help you with daily battles: Hope in Purpose, Depend on Him, Confident hope, etc.
Each one starts with a title- for example Hope in Surrender. Then it give you a bible verse: Romans 12:1 then one of many women write how  this verse and this title go together and how it can help you.
For me this book just fell short.

Simple Choices By Nancy Mehl

This is the 3rd book and final book in this series. It did not disappoint.
This was a great book to make you think about your christian life and how you should be living.
I loved how it came full circle with all the characters that were introduced, I didn't feel like there were too many that were brought in that were not needed, everyone had a good role and the character was developed. I didn't feel like this book was rushed or too long.
To me just a very well written book.

Count Down to Love by Julie Ford

For fans of the tv show the Bachelor this is a good read.  For those of you who follow the Bachelor religiously and know the workings of it this book can be seen as a stretch.  I started this book while watching the Bachelorette and did not always like the differences.  I know there must be differences but expecting us to believe the Bachelor cuts 13 people the first night is a leap.
Although written in first person I feel sometimes it took too much liberty.  There were places where we went into the main characters head and read her descriptions of locations or events that were not at all important to the story line leading to a drag in the story.  I believe it would have been better if we would have been able to get the story from the hero's point of view occasionally as many other romance novels do and not strictly read from the heroine's point of view.
 Some of the best seasons were left out of the book and then reminisced about later which I really did not like.  I think we should have been able to live through the moments with the characters.
Overall is was a cute, easy read but not the best.  The story was very predictable and the villain made the story occasionally unlikeable.  I would read other novels by this author but this book did not make it to my favorites list.