Friday, 23 June 2017

First Line Friday - Week 7

Happy Friday!
I was lucky enough to recieve an advance copy of Rachel Hauck's new book that releases July 11th.  Since I was blessed with this opportunity I decided I would share a sneak peak with you.
Today's book is: The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck  

"This should be her night of triumph."
Yep, that's all I am giving you… I know I'm mean! But trust me you will want to pick this one up find what happens. My review will be posted on July 11th.
Now it's your turn! Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. Then join in more First Line fun by visiting these blogs:

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Stormy Lake by L.D. Stauth

Series: A Campground Mystery # 1
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: Word Alive Press
Released: April 30,
329 pages

About the Book:

A camping trip with creepy spiders and menacing thunderstorms? Seriously?

Little did Maya realize those fears would be the least of her worries. Maya Montgomery is in desperate need of a vacation. When her best friend, Karly Foster, convinces her that a camping trip in Northern Ontario will be the remedy she needs, Maya is skeptical. After all, she has never camped a day in her life.
The moment Kerrick Kendall, park superintendent at Lake Williwaw Campground, lays eyes on the novice camper with the dancing freckles and large coffee-coloured eyes, he feels compelled to tell her his story. But is opening up old wounds worth the risk?
From frightening encounters with nature, to non-stop—often humourous—bickering between her friend Karly and an irritating park employee, the trip is filled with conflict.  But when Maya suspects she is being stalked, everything else that has happened pales in comparison. As danger escalates will Kerrick be able to protect the life of the woman who has captured his heart?

My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟  (5 stars)

“God does his best work when we are broken.”
This book was written by a local author that attends my in-laws church. This is her debut novel and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for her next one.
Ms. Stauth has done an amazing job of combining intrigue, suspense, and romance with faith lessons throughout. Maya is going on her first camping trip ever with best friend Karly. She is unsure about the whole thing at first and just as she is starting to get comfortable with her new surroundings strange things begin to happen. And then things take a turn even worse. Can the two park employees, which they have struck up a friendship with, provide the safety they need? Who can and can’t they trust? I did not want to put this down; I had to know what was going to happen next.
Ms. Stauth did a wonderful job of describing all the events, I found myself immersed the camp life with the girls and jumping at every sound. I was cheering for all four main characters and enjoyed the different bonds of friendship displayed. The banter between Karly and Blake was really entertaining and I laughed out loud throughout. Both Kerrick and Karly could put Blake in his place in different ways, but through everything he did Blake grew on me and I wanted him to be okay. Kerrick has a heart for God and feels God prompting him to share his story with Maya, but where that leads may take him on a path he is not ready for, but it will be the path that is best. The character I related the most to was Maya, I understood her out of her element fears, her naivety when it came to camping and I also can’t stand bugs, spiders or snakes. I would have reacted the same as her in many scenes. I enjoyed that there were many lighthearted moments mixed in with the heavier suspense filled ones.
“The thought of impaling a slippery, slimy worm in hopes of catching a slippery, slimy fish appealed to her about as much as getting another case of poison ivy.”

“He (God) can use everything that happens to us for our good, although we may not understand the good it will accomplish until we get to heaven.”

(I borrowed this book from my mother-in-law; opinions expressed
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

Saturday, 17 June 2017

All of You by Sarah Monzon

Series: Carrington Family # 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Radiant Publications
Released: May 15, 2017
336 pages

About the Book:

Maryland, Present Day
Jacquelyn Rogers can rebuild anything...except the shambles of her past. A restorer of vintage planes, she's worked hard to earn the reputation of being one of the guys. The last thing she needs is a former Navy pilot fighting his own inner demons stepping in to defend her from dangers she thought she’d outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone.

After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington’s dreams, as well as two limbs, he’s left with nothing but a fragile faith and a duty-bound promise to watch out for his friend’s baby sister. A promise she insists is as unnecessary as it is unappreciated. But when she turns the tables and begins to weld together the broken parts of his life, it may be his heart that is in need of protection.

England, 1944
With the world at war yet again, Alice Galloway rejects her father’s traditional expectations and offers her piloting expertise to the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be a woman in a man’s world, but when she overhears key intelligence, she must find the strength to transcend boundaries and her own fears. Or countless people may die.

Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future.

My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟  (5 stars)

“God was God, and he wasn’t, but he had to trust and believe that in
the end, everything was going to turn out more than just all right.”

Loved it! Story is told in a dual timeline style (a style I have really come to enjoy). Readers first meet Michael from the present day storyline and then we meet Alice from the WWII storyline. Both are pilots and you know their stories are going to connect eventually but how?

I was sucked into both storylines right away and each time the story switched between time periods I couldn’t wait to get back to the other one. Alice is a strong woman and I couldn’t help but be inspired by her strength and desire to serve. The way her story ended was amazing.

Michael has gone through a very traumatic experience that changes the course of his life, but he has not lost his faith in God. Yes he struggles and asks the question why, but does not turn his back on God, rather he asks God to show him the new plan for his life. The author does a wonderful job of describing his physical recovery and struggles. He meets Jack (who he will only call Jackie) when his teammate asks him to watch out for his sister while he is deployed. The two develop a friendship that leads to deeper feelings, but Michael is still dealing with the emotional challenges of accepting the changes in his life and feels that Jackie deserves much more than he can offer and tries to keep his promise of protecting her while still protecting their hearts. However Jackie sees so much more in Michael than he sees in himself and is determined to let him know this. Will Michael be receptive to this or will he stick with what he thinks is best?

The secondary characters of both their family members enabled readers to see more sides of Jack and Michael. The banter between the Carrington siblings was really entertaining and it was great to catch up with Trent & Summer from book 1. Ms. Monzon had me laughing, crying and swooning throughout. There were so many good parts, but one of my favourite moments was when Jack was bold and revealed her feelings. I was shouting you go girl! The ending felt perfect. This is a must read!

“Don’t be afraid to live the life you’ve been given. Some of us
don’t have the chance . . . Don’t waste yours.”
(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed in this review
are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

Friday, 16 June 2017

First Line Friday - Week 6

Happy Friday! Another one of my favourite author's is Susan May Warren. Earlier this year I reviewed the first two books in her Montana Rescue Series. Coming July 4th is the third book, which I have been lucky enough to recieve an advance copy from Revell. My brain can't decide what it really thinks about reading a book set in snowboarding season in June, on one hand it will definitely help you think cold thoughts when it is so hot outside but on the other hand my minds keeps saying wrong season. Does it bother you to read book set in a different season that it currently is?

Today's book is: A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

"Gage Watson blamed the trouble on the bright, sunny day."

 Can a bright, sunny day really be trouble? I love the sun so I don't think so, but maybe Ms. Warren will prove to me that yes it can be.

Now it's your turn! Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. Then join in more First Line fun by visiting these blogs:

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A Wedding for the Widower by Liz Isaacson

Series: Brush Creek Brides # 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: AEJ Creative Works
Released: June 13, 2017
149 pages

About the Book:

Former rodeo champion and cowboy Walker Thompson trains horses at Brush Creek Horse Ranch, where he lives a simple life in his cabin with his ten-year-old son, Michael. A widower of six years, he's just trying to provide a life for Michael that his late wife would've approved of. He's worked with Tess Wagner, a widow who came to Brush Creek to escape the turmoil of her life to give her seven-year-old son, Graham, a slower pace of life. Together, they run a cotton candy stand at the town's Heritage Festival every fall, donating the money they raise to the National Widows & Widowers Foundation to help those who've suffered the way they have.

Walker's boss and best friend, ranch owner Landon Edmunds, has encouraged him to start dating, and Walker looks no further than Tess. She's interested in him too, but neither of them wants to inflict more sorrow and suffering on the other than they've already endured. So when Tess confesses that her breast cancer has flared up again, Walker backs off. Way off.
In the end, he'll have to decide if he'd rather spend even a short time with Tess and Graham than not have them in his life at all. Tess wants to feel God's love and power, but she'll have to discover and accept God's will in order to find her happy ending.

My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟  (3 stars)

Walker was letting fear control his actions and Tess is living in survival mode, can these two find the faith to trust that God has a plan for them and follow his lead? Tess & Walker have a lot in common, both have young sons, both lost a spouse in an accident, both have faith in God. They have been friends for four years and their sons are friends but when they begin to see each other in a new light will their friendship end up ruined or better? Some heavy issues are discussed such as the loss of spouses and moving past grief. Walker uses his son as an excuse to allow fear to control him, but finally he finds the faith he needs to move forward and is there for Tess just when she needs him the most. My only issue with the plot was that I did not feel Tess fought for what she wanted. She gave in too easily. I also felt that their issues were not properly discussed before the climax scene and so what could have felt really right, felt rushed to me. Also what’s with the fascination of PB&J? Overall I enjoyed spending time in Utah getting to know these two characters and reconnecting with Landon & Megan but would have liked more depth to the story.

“Stunning? I wouldn’t describe Walker as stunning.
Maybe gorgeous, or handsome, or dignified. Exciting, maybe.
Sexy, sure. Strong, definitely. But stunning? Not sure it fits.”

(I received an ARC of this book from the author; opinions expressed
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)