Thursday, April 13, 2017

Shine Like the Dawn Review

Shawn Like the Dawn was a book that I greatly enjoyed, largely due to the plot and the two main characters, Nathaniel and Maggie (although I liked Nathaniel better). A large part of the plot focuses on the "accidental" death of Maggie's parents and older sister; it doesn't take long for Maggie to come to the conclusion that their deaths were not accidental at all. This leads Maggie, and eventually Nathaniel, on a search for the truth. In the process, old secrets are dug up and revealed, bringing a dark spot to Nathaniel's family name.

My only real complaint with this story was Maggie's initial attitude toward Nathaniel. Initially, she believed that right after her family's deaths, Nathaniel had abandoned her, despite their strong childhood friendship. When she runs into Nathaniel as an adult, she still harbors a strong grudge against him for this supposed offense. However, it was her unwillingness to even explain to him why she was angry that frustrated me. Rather than at least point out why she didn't want to associate with him, she acted childish and refused to reconcile for a long time, until finally the two realized the misunderstanding that had occurred. Other than that, The plot was strong and I enjoyed the story.

I received this book from the publisher for free; I was not required to write a review, nor a positive one.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Wildwood Creek (Moses Lake, #4)

Seems like it's been a very long time since I read a book all the way through, let alone reviewed it with the busyness of planning a wedding, having said wedding, moving 1,500+ miles, and getting settled in. Despite all that and being out of the swing of it, once I arrived at my new home and began reading this book, I finished it quickly. It was an easy read for the most part. The story of Wildwood Creek is divided into two time periods--part of the book is told from the viewpoint and time period of Allie Kirkland in present day Texas, while the other part is told from the viewpoint of Bonnie Rose in 1861 Texas.

I usually like split viewpoints, with one flashing back to a past time in the same location. My only problem with this one was that some times it was difficult to get through Bonnie's chapters due language barriers. Bonnie and some of the slave characters were at times difficult to understand because of their poor grammar. Don't get me wrong, it was completely understandable and true to the time...it was just difficult to read through sometimes because it didn't flow smoothly whenever a patch of dialogue hit. Other than that, the duel time periods/characters worked pretty well to communicate the story.

I liked the story line, plot, and characters. Bonnie's chapters had an eeriness to them that made me shy away from reading it at night or when I was home alone. I did feel like the romance in the story could have been developed a bit better over a longer period of time, but it wasn't terrible. I would recommend it. I bought this book, and therefore was not asked nor required to write a review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Delilah: Treacherous Beauty (Dangerous Beauty, #3)

I really wasn't sure what the expect when I began reading this, but it was a surprisingly good take on the biblical story of Samson and Delilah. I was glad that it did not twist the actual biblical account, but only speculated on what may have potentially gone on in the details which are not stated in the biblical narrative.

For example, the first chunk of the book is focuses largely on the events which broke Delilah and brought her to a place where she met Samson, and eventually needed him, fell in love, and betrayed him. It was interesting to see Hunt's take on what may have motivated Delilah to betray her lover--I also appreciated that in this fictional take of the true story, Delilah is shown to actually love Samson, rather than solely manipulating him purely for money. Rather, her love for her son and her need for vengeance are what bring her to the point of making the decision to betray him.

I thought Hunt did well with her take on the potential details which may have surrounded the story, and what may have motivated Delilah to do as she did. I would recommend this book in the future. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

A Heart Most Certain (Teaville Moral Society, #1)

It's been a while since I've been this emotionally invested in a book. A Heart Most Certain was an awesome novel centering around Lydia King, a morally upright woman who at first does not realize she is not helping the poor or morally astray nearly as much as she thinks she is through the activities of the town's church moral society. Co-starring the novel is Nicholas Lowe, who at first glance appears arrogant and self righteous, as well as incredibly stingy and unwilling to give to "worthy" causes.

First off, I really loved the name Nicholas. I don't know why, I just did. I guess I don't see that name very often in books, and it's an attractive name. Okay, I really just loved his whole character. Although he ended up turning out better than Lydia first thought when she met him, he still had character flaws and made mistakes, which made him realistic. Plus, they both had to work for their happy ending.

I would certainly recommend this book, and will likely read it again in the future. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Little Paris Bookshop

I was kind of clashed on my opinion of this book. On the one hand, it focuses on a man who had a relationship (including sexual) with a woman who was married. While it was stated on numerous occasions that Perdu knew that the relationship should not have existed at all, I didn't feel that the book really ever condemned it or significantly resolved the wrong that had been done.

Outside of the morally wrong relationship between Perdu and his married lover, I thought the book was well written. Each character--even the secondary or briefly mentioned--was well rounded and had a story all their own. The focus of the plot, it seemed to me, was on Perdu and his journey though grief when he realizes 21 years too late that his lover did not abandon him at all, but rather died with the entire story untold to him merely because he refused to read her parting letter.

It's a sad story, but not the kind that makes you cry--more like the kind that makes you feel super mellow and maybe a bit depressed. And rather frustrated over the amount of sex involved in the story. If I were to recommend this book, it would most certainly be to adults due to the relationship dynamics. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Back in the Saddle (Double S Ranch, #1)

This book was an interesting read for me. When I first picked it up I knew that I had not read many western's or western set books; it was only when I finished it and began my process of reviewing it that I realized I actually had never read one which was actually labeled as western. So really, I do not have much experience with westerns on which to base this review. However, despite my lack of exposure, I still really liked this book.

As far as plots go, I felt that this one was original and intriguing. I had no problem reading through it in a few days, and definitely enjoyed it. I really liked the characters. They felt very real, more real than in most books. My one negative thought on the characters was that at the very beginning, there was one section in which Noah did not sound as young as he was supposed to be. Other than that, all the characters were great and interesting, each with their own twists and backgrounds. 

Overall I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Worthy Heart (Courage to Dream, #2)

A Worthy Heart was one book that was so much better than I had expected it to be. Okay, maybe that sounds incredibly cynical of me, but I'll be the first to admit that I pick books based on their covers. I know, it's a terrible practice, but I'm attracted to pretty/interesting covers. I try not to let my eyes decide whether to give a book a shot...but it happens anyway. Anyway, I'm getting off-topic.

I really did like the cover of the book, which led me to give it a shot. However, I was initially a little hesitant for some unknown reason. I think I was just expecting it to be very similar to many of the other books that I have already read (you know how sometimes they all start sounding the same?). Despite this, the book was quite original and very well written. I loved the tension in the book between characters, and the very real insecurities and emotions going on between the main characters. I also liked the risks the author took in what happened to my favorite character (I won't spoil it by going into details). Honestly, some authors are just scared to put the favorite character on the line, but this wasn't the case with this one. Which only made me love it more.

Overall, it was a fantastic story with very real characters and circumstances. Definitely recommended! I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.