Saturday, January 30, 2016

Kissed by a Cowboy by Debra Clopton



Having lived through her parents’ endless string of “matrimonial bliss gone wrong,” Cassidy Starr knows when the odds are not in her favor. Divorced and humiliated, her faith on rocky ground, Cassidy is through with love. She’s been bucked off that horse far too many times. Instead, she returns to Wishing Springs, Texas, and the rundown farm she’s inherited from her great aunt Roxie. She’ll reopen the strawberry farm and a bed & breakfast and follow in her aunt’s footsteps, remaining forever-independent, happy . . . and single.
Rancher Jarrod Monahan’s hands are full running the ranch, looking after his ailing grandfather, and chasing down a group of rustlers on the loose. He’s pushed his longing for a family to the bottom of his list of priorities. Besides, he was in love once but ran scared and lost his shot at happiness. But suddenly, the biggest regret of his life has moved in next door with a wounded heart, determined to become a spinster . . . and that’s a challenge that Jarrod can’t pass up.
Jarrod sets his mind to breaking down the walls around Cassidy’s stubborn heart. How can he show her that a cowboy’s kiss lasts forever? For the good folks of Wishing Springs, falling in love has never been so much fun to witness.
Cassidy is returning to Wishing Springs with her tail between her legs.  Totally emotionally beaten by what her ex-husband has done and what she perceives as her ultimate failure.  She has no desire to ever get married again.  One thing stands in her way of that resolve.  His name is Jarrod Monahan.   Without giving away the story, Jarrod and Cassidy were attracted to each other years ago.  Jarrod is determined to win Cassidy back and she is just as determined to stay as clear of Jarrod as she can. 
This is the third installment of the Four of Hearts Ranch Romance Series.  There was humor along with the serious parts of the book.  There was even a little bit of mystery. The issues of heart break and divorce were discussed and what it can do to a person.  Also, some of the minor characters issues were wrapped up in this book.  I would recommend this book for a light enjoyable read.
I was given this book by the publisher for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey



In college, Griffin McCray and his three best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore Police Department, Declan Grey would head to the FBI, and Parker Mitchell would study to become a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world--and friendships--crumbled.

Now years later, Griffin has left the police and his friendships behind. Still trying to forget a case that went bad when he was a SWAT team sniper, he's living a quiet life as a park ranger at Gettysburg. Quiet until skeletal remains are uncovered near Little Round Top--and they aren't Civil War-era.

Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott discovers evidence pointing to the work of an expert sniper. When FBI agent Declan Grey steps in to take over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he'll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he--and those he cares about--are going to escape a downward spiral of crime, danger, and murder.

I loved this book.  There was just the right amount of mystery and romance.  The story was mainly about Griff and Finley.  Griff is running away from what he considers his cowardice when he was on the swat team.  Finley is trying to overcome her fear of an incident that happened several years ago.  She is a strong independent woman who won’t let fear dictate her life.  I liked how you were told what was going on in the heads of the characters.  It was not over done like a lot of books.  Declan and Parker was also introduced. They also had important parts in the story.  The mystery couldn’t have been solved without them.  I look forward to reading their stories in the books to come. 

I recommend this book to everyone.

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

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hannah's Choice by Jan Drexler



Hannah Yoder loves her quiet life on the banks of Conestoga Creek. In 1842, this corner of Lancaster County is settled and peaceful--yet problems lurk beneath the placid fa├žade. Hannah strives to be the one person who can bind the threads of her family together in spite of her father's worries, her mother's depression, and her sister's rebellious ways. But her world threatens to unravel.

When two young men seek her hand in marriage--one offering the home she craves and the other promising the adventure of following God's call west--Hannah must make a choice. Will she stay true to the faith of her family or defy her father and abandon her community?

Let me preface my review with the fact that I much prefer mystery books to Amish.  Amish books aren’t my favorite books to read.  So far I am the odd one out.  I didn’t really care for the book.  Hannah is conflicted about anything that disagrees with her Amish upbringing.  It doesn’t seem that God enters into it at all.  It is the Amish way.  Not God’s way.  I do understand her not wanting her sister to run off with her gentleman friend.  He seems to be a womanizer. SPOILER ALERT:   I also didn’t like that Hannah’s main gentleman friend for the biggest part of the book lost out in the end.  Those people that like Amish books would probably like this.  For me I stick with reading mystery.

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

With This Ring by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears



The Husband Maneuver
When ranch foreman Daniel Barrett seems ready to leave her life forever, Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins on their relationship. But to have any hope of maneuvering him into a proposal, she has to act fast or risk losing him completely.

This is the story of Dead-Eye Dan.  He was introduced in a previous book. Dan is the ranch foreman where Marietta or Etta as she is called is the ranch owner’s daughter.  She has been in love with Dan for years.  He is getting ready to leave and work his own spread. She will do anything to wrangle a proposal out of him before he leaves.  I found Marietta to be a little silly at times.  But I did enjoy this short novella.

Her Dearly Unintended
Josiah Huckabee just wanted to make sure Katie Ellen Watson was safe, but when the only bridge to her farm is washed out, the two find themselves alone. Alone, that is, until a menacing stranger appears. Maybe by pretending to be newlyweds, they'll save their reputations--but can pretending to be in love turn into the real thing?

This was probably my least favorite of the four novella’s.  I just wasn’t very fond of Josiah or Katie.  They were too intent on arguing with each other to pay too much attention to the stranger that came into their lives.  I also didn’t like the stranger.  Especially after I found out what his profession was.  Without giving anything away,  he was uncouth. 

Runaway Bride
Hired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife, Big John Conroy never expected the job to interrupt his solitary Texas Ranger life. But now that he's promised to keep Carrie safe, he discovers he may just want to make a few more promises.

This novella was my favorite.  I have not read anything by Mary Connealy that I haven’t liked.  This  novella has characters from two of her series.  It’s not necessary to read either of the series.  But it might make some of the character references from other books a little easier to follow.  You would just plain enjoy the books too. 

Engaging the Competition
Harrison Gray and tomboy Charlotte Andrews have been rivals for years. With Charlotte intended for someone else, it seems they'll never settle their differences until an accident changes things completely. When Charlotte breaks Harrison's glasses--without which he's nearly blind--she must help with his teaching position, and working together forces these former adversaries to reconsider everything.

If I were to list the novella’s in order of favorites, this would be third.  Harrison might be nearly blind without his glasses.  But Charlotte doesn’t wear glasses and she can’t see what’s right in front of her face.  Of course everything works out in the end.

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

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Step by Step by Candace Calvert

Three years after a tragic accident left her a widow, ER nurse Taylor Cabot is determined to move on, checking off one item after another on her survival list. Her relationship with a handsome plastic surgeon even gives her hope for the last point—“fall in love again.” At least until crisis chaplain Seth Donovan steps back into her life, reawakening unanswered questions about her husband’s death.

While in San Diego to train community volunteers, Seth hopes to learn why Taylor is backing away from the crisis team and from their friendship. But nothing prepares him for the feelings that arise when he sees Taylor again . . . and sees her moving on with another man.

When a community crisis hits home and puts lives at risk, emotions run high and buried truths are unearthed. Will hope make the survival list?

I had trouble getting into this book.  The characters were ok.  It seemed every time I turned a page a new character was introduced.  Evidently characters from the previous book were in the book too.  I had trouble keeping who was who straight. 

Taylor was trying to overcome the loss of her husband so she moves to a different town and starts a new life there.  The only problem she had was she brought all of her baggage with her.  As she struggles to find her way, the handsome plastic surgeon is there to lend assistance.  Also there, is Seth the Crisis Team manager come to assist the new recruits in San Diego.  Of course Seth wants to help Taylor as well.  Sloan’s story seems disjointed.  I realize she had a part in Taylor’s story.  But there should have been either more information about her or less.  What we got was confusing to me. 

I have read other books by Candace Calvert and have enjoyed them.  I usually go back and re read books.  This will not be one of those books.  I would tell my friends it was an ok book.  Though not  one I would highly recommend. 

Visit Candace Calvert at http://candacecalvert.com/

I was given this book by the Tyndale House Publishers for an honest review.  I was not compensated in anyway.

 STEP BY STEP

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Where She Belongs by Johnnie Alexander



Shelby Kincaid is ready to move forward after the death of her husband left her devastated. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family's homestead, Misty Willow, so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories. But she has her work cut out for her.

AJ Sullivan never wanted Shelby's family homestead in the first place. His grandfather left it to him as punishment for not following his wishes, and he's let it fall into ruin. AJ's more than happy to unload it to this spitfire of a woman. But even after angry exchanges over the state of the house, he can't get her off his mind.

With writing that evokes a strong sense of place and family history, Johnnie Alexander deftly explores the ties that bind us to home--and the irresistible forces that draw us to each other.

This is the first book I have read by Johnnie Alexander.  It will not be the last.  I’m not sure what I was really expecting but I was delighted with what I found.  Shelby’s character was that of a widowed mother with two young daughters.  She was trying to bring back past memories of where she was the happiest.  At the home of her grandparents whit had been abandoned and left to fall down.  AJ Sullivan is just happy to get rid of the property his grandfather saddled him with.  There are family secrets on both sides that have been hidden for way too long.  Shelby had to learn that happiness wasn’t a place and AJ had to learn to forgive himself and his grandfather for what had happened in the past.  The ending had a twist I never saw coming.  The secrets that were revealed made the entire story. 

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