Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

Anna O'Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across a baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. She is thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, but her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help.

Luke Callahan was one of the nation's most powerful congressmen until his promising career became shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship.

Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglement with a member of Congress.
From the gilded halls of the Capitol, where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation's finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they've ever dreamed for themselves?

As I was reading this book, I was drawn to Anna and Luke.  Anna lost her father on the Navy ship Culpepper and was raised by her aunt and uncle.  Her uncle in a drunken rage pours lye down her throat and her throat it burned terribly.  Luke was raised by a father who when drunk was a very mean and abusive man.  Luke has trouble controlling his temper, which gets him into trouble more than once.  Luke’s first contact with Anna is when he requests map information from the Library of Congress where Anna works in the map room.  From there Luke pursues Anna.  Anna finds proof that her father’s ship didn’t sink in a hurricane as reported and enlists Luke’s aid to prove it.  They are thwarted at every turn.  Anna might seem like a meek person, but she is determined to find her answers no matter what.

I found the historical aspects of this book to be very interesting.  I could tell that the author did a lot of research on the political atmosphere of the time leading up to the Spanish American War. 

I am having trouble on how to rate this book.  I think I can only give it a three.  I enjoyed the book and will read more from this author.  But it was not one that I just couldn’t put down. 

I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Always on my Mind by Susan May Warren

After a failed dig in Honduras, aspiring archaeologist Casper Christiansen heads home to Minnesota to face his unresolved feelings for Raina Beaumont, the woman of his dreams. But when he arrives unannounced on her doorstep, he receives the shock of a lifetime: Raina is pregnant with someone else’s baby.

Heartbroken, especially when he discovers the identity of the baby’s father, Casper tables his dreams and determines to be dependable for once, helping his older brother, Darek, prepare the family resort for its grand reopening. Casper longs to be the hero of at least one family story, but a never-ending Deep Haven winter and costly repairs threaten their efforts—and the future of the resort.

Worse, one of Casper’s new jobs constantly brings him into contact with Raina, whom he can’t seem to forget. A tentative friendship begins to heal fresh wounds, but can they possibly overcome past mistakes and current choices to discover a future together?

This is the continuing saga of the Christiansen family.  Casper is the middle of the boys.  Big brother Darek is running Evergreen Lodge and Owen the former hockey star is still running.   Casper can’t seem to get Raina out of his mind or heart.  He feels betrayed by her and especially when he discovers her pregnant.  Raina doesn’t feel like she is loved by anyone especially doesn’t see how God could love someone like her.  Casper and Raina form a tentative truce when they work on solving a mystery of the disappearance of US Bonds long lost. 

I love Susan May Warren books and have been anxiously awaiting the next book in this series.  This is the fourth book in the series.  It is not necessary to read the other books, but it would be helpful as the other characters stories are continued in this book.   Now I am waiting for the next installment in the Christiansen family.

I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Bracelet by Dorothy Love

This story begins just before the outbreak of the Civil War.  Celia Browning is being raised by her father who is a wealthy business man in Savannah, Georgia.  Celia is anxiously waiting for Sutton Mackay to return from Jamaica, where he has been for two years.  She is expecting him to propose to her when he returns.  When Sutton returns he does propose and everything is fine until a newspaper reporter stirs up trouble implying that there were two murders at her home and the family has covered it up. Celia starts receiving threatening messages at home in regards to the murders.  Then she receives “the Bracelet”.  The bracelet has a very disturbing message.

I have read several books by Dorothy Love.  I am sorry to say that I didn’t find this book nearly as good as the others. It just seemed to drag.  I kept waiting for something to happen.  I figured out who was sending the messages about a third of the way through the book. (Spoiler alert) Which in itself isn’t bad, but the culprit seemed to get away with it.  Sorry to say I can’t recommend this book to someone who is looking for a good book to read.  I had to force myself to read it. 

I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Most Inconvenient Marriage (Ozark Mountain Romance Book #1) by Regina Jennings

The story starts with Abigail Stuart as a nurse during the Civil War. She is tending a patient who is not going to live.  He is quite insistent that Abigail marry him so that when he dies someone will look after his sister Rachel.  Abigail has nowhere else to go when the war is over so she agrees to marry this man, Jeremiah Calhoun. She goes to Jeremiah’s ranch in the Ozarks and introduces herself to his sister and mother as Mrs. Jeremiah Calhoun
Everything is going smoothly until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up at the ranch.  Abigail is floored.  Jeremiah is furious.  He thinks Abigail is after the ranch and he is having none of it or her. Jeremiah was shot in the leg during the Civil War and has to use crutches to get around.  Abigail knows she can help him if he will only let her. 
I found this to be a very good book.  It was amusing and soul searching at the same time. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a clean, language free book.  It was listed as a Christian book and that is exactly what it is, although there wasn’t much mentioned about God.
I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Surprised by Love by Julie Lessman

Megan McClare has always been a shy an unattractive person. Her very thick glasses have not helped her appearance either.  She spent a year in Paris for her senior year of school.  She took ill and lost a lot of weight and discovered the new invention, contact lenses.  Devon Caldwell is the boy who unmercifully teased her all through school.  She would come home sobbing because of all the unkind things he would say about her behind her back and to her face.  Megan accepts an internship with the DA’s office for the summer. She is shocked and upset when she discovers that Devon is also going to be an intern.

Abraham “Bram” Hughes is like family to the McClare’s.  He has been Megan’s best friend, confidant, and soother of feelings ever since she can remember.  When Bram sees the new Meg, he is left speechless.  Both Meg and Bram realize that their feelings for each other have changed.  But they can’t do anything about it because of Bram’s commitment to his father.

This is the third book in “The Heart of San Francisco” series.  It would have been very helpful to read the first two books to understand things that were referenced to in this book.  As I found this book boring, I will not be reading books one or two.  When I first started reading the book, I quit and read another book because I just couldn’t get into it.  By the middle of the book it started to get a little interesting.  It did have some twists to it I did not see.  I still found myself skimming some of it.  I judge a book on whether I will re-read it.  I will not be re-reading this book.  Therefore, I can give this book no higher that two starts.  The two starts are because the story line was good.  But there was too much repetition and how many times can you say that Meg was teased.

I was given this book by the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.