Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In His Eyes Anthology

Title: In His Eyes Anthology
Author: Katie Klein, Jessie Harrell, Ali Cross, Stacey Wallace Benefiel, S.R. Johannes, Heather McCorkle, Susan Kaye Quinn, Karen Amanda Hooper, Rashelle Workman, Cory Putman Oakes
Labels: Romance | Short Stories | Anthologies
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication Date: February 14, 2012
Recommended To: N/A
Contains: Some of the stories contains some profanity, and the like.

Buy It: Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: Available NOW, just in time for Valentines Day, The Indelibles bring you a one-of-a-kind young adult anthology! Sixteen original short stories, all from the point of view of our favorite male characters - some are old flames from our novels and some were dreamed up especially for this anthology. 
          Let these imminently crushable, swoon-worthy guys show you what romance looks like – in his eyes. 
          The contributors to IN HIS EYES include award winners, frequent “Top 100” placers, and hot 2011 debut authors.
          I'm not really sure how to go about this review since this anthology is chock full of so many stories by so many authors, so I guess I'm just going to go for an overall view. I liked this in the sense that I got to try out a lot of different authors--some of whose books I have been thinking of trying out--without committing to an entire book. Which worked out splendidly, since I found out I don't like some that I had been thinking of getting, while others I either discovered or confirmed my interest.

         It was interesting to see so many unique styles in one "book", so to speak. Each author has their own flavor and flow, which is cool. I got to see a little of each, and in the process found some authors I think I'll like a lot. Overall it was a pretty good read.

          I bought this book, and therefore was not required nor asked to write a review, nor a positive one at that. I was not compensated for this review.

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Stubborn Heart

Title: My Stubborn Heart
Author: Becky Wade
Labels: Fiction | Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Recommended To: Women, Adult
Contains: Occasional mention of female appropriate things.

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks Kate to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance, takes a leave of absence from her job as a social worker, and the two of them set off. 
          Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man her grandmother has hired to renovate the house. From the first moment
she meets Matt, Kate can't help but be attracted to him--he's got a combination of good looks and charisma that draw and tug at her. But she knows there's zero chance of a romance between them. Matt's in love with his dead wife, and even if he weren't, Kate realizes that she's way too ordinary for him. For Matt Jarreau is no ordinary guy. Kate discovers that he was once a great NHL hockey player who left the sport when his wife--an honest-to-goodness former Miss America--was diagnosed with brain cancer. Matt's been hiding from people, from God, and from his past ever since. Yet Kate is absolutely determined to befriend him, to try to reach him, to help him in some small way. 
          No, Kate's not looking for love. She knows better than that by now. But when the stilted, uncomfortable interactions between Kate and Matt slowly shift into something more, is God finally answering the longing of her heart? Or will Kate be required to give up more than she ever dreamed?
         I don't know what it is, but lately, I've been running into some incredibly talented authors--not to mention that they're debut authors! First it was Katie Ganshert, and now Becky Wade... Anyway, My Stubborn Heart has flown to the very top of my favorites list in the couple of days it took me to read it.

          Normally, I don't really go for the books with lead male characters who are ridiculously good looking....but I felt like it worked for this book. Not entirely sure why, but it did. The whole dark and brooding thing worked for Matt too--at least in my opinion. Wade's descriptions are vivid and imaginative, and the characters and story felt realistic. The book was funny, cute, and at one point almost (note *almost* :p) had me crying.

          The only thing that seemed slightly awkward was the repeated reference to people having "the hots" for other people. I'm still trying to figure out what that even means. Other than that I thought the book was good...really good. The cover is absolutely fantastic! I especially liked that despite the fact that Kate loved Matt and wanted things to work out so badly between them, she was willing to follow God's will even if it took her in the opposite direction.

          I'm eagerly awaiting Wade's next book. 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.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Miracles Are For Real

Title: Miracles Are For Real
Author: James L. Garlow & Keith Wall
Labels: Christian Living
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Recommended To: People who like examples.
Contains: N/A

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: Readers are fascinated with miraculous and unexplained events. In their signature style, trusted pastor Jim Garlow and writer Keith Wall tap into that fascination with biblical insights on miracles and accounts of God's work throughout history. The book clearly separates truth from fiction, fortifying readers' faith in God's power in their lives. The encouraging and inspiring stories make this a great impulse buy and gift.
          I guess maybe I've been reading too much fiction lately, but this book took me forever to read (quite literally) because, well, it bored me to death. I guess this book would be good for someone who doesn't really know a whole lot about miracles or needs a lot of convincing.

          Every chapter had example after example after example--I felt like the majority of the chapters were examples. Don't get me wrong, examples are important. It just felt like this book went a little overkill on the examples.

          Bottom line, I wasn't thrilled with this book. It took me a long time to get through it because it kept losing my interest. This is probably a good read for someone who likes tons of examples and cases, or someone who is seriously unsure of the reality of miracles. 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.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Skip Rock Shallows (Copper Brown, #3)

Title: Skip Rock Shallows 
Author: Jan Watson
Labels: Fiction | Christian | Historical
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication Date: May 18, 2012
Recommended To: Women
Contains: Zippo.

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: Lilly Gray Corbett has just graduated from medical school and decided to accept an internship in the coal camp of Skip Rock, Kentucky. Her beau, Paul, is doing his residency in Boston and can't understand why Lilly would choose to work in a backwater town. But having grown up in the mountains, Lilly is drawn to the stubborn, superstitious people she encounters in Skip Rock--a town where people live hard and die harder and where women know their place. Lilly soon learns she has a lot to overcome, but after saving the life of a young miner, she begins to earn the residents' trust. As Lilly becomes torn between joining Paul in Boston and her love for the people of Skip Rock, she crosses paths with a handsome miner--one who seems oddly familiar. Her attraction for him grows, even as she wrestles with her feelings and wonders what he's hiding.
          This wasn't quite the book for me. It took me a long, long time for me to get even mildly interested in what was going on. I never really connected with any of the characters and by the end I still wasn't super interested in how it would end.

          Besides feeling disconnected from the characters, I felt like there was too much telling and not enough showing. Yeah, I know, I'm getting a little nitty-picky here. But instead of feeling like I was following right along with the characters, I felt like I was just reading the words and watching from a distance. While descriptions were great, the story line was too slow for me to really enjoy.

          On the positive note, Watson did do a good job in making unique characters. Despite the abundance of characters interacting in this story, I did feel like each had their own unique personality. If you like books with very distinct characters, this would probably be a good book to read. 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.