Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wishing on Willows

Title: Wishing on Willows
Author: Katie Ganshert
Labels: Fiction | Christian | Romance
Publisher: Waterbrook Mutlnomah
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
Recommended To: Women, Ganshert fans, YA
Contains: Clean.

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa,  she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides. So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.
          As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own. With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances.
          One of the things I remember most about Ganshert's first book, Wildflowers from Winter, was the raw emotion in it. I loved it--every minute of it. It was probably one the most emotionally engaging books I've ever read. In Wishing on Willows, we get the same moving emotion, but it was different. Refined. While the first book was raw, leaving it all out there on the floor for you to recover from for the next week, the second was refined emotion that keeps bringing you back to the thought of it.
          I liked the plot line of Wishing on Willows. While certain details reminded me of Ganshert's first book, the plot wasn't quite what I was expecting. It kept me interested, engaged, and turning pages. At the end I honestly had no idea what was going to happen, but the whole thing still moved along smoothly and naturally.
          Katie Ganshert has yet to disappoint me. Her books are full of emotion, realistic situations, and crazy twists. Oh...and her guy characters are really cute...but at the same time, very human. I look forward to ready any and all future books from this talented author. 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.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Swept Away (Trouble in Texas, #1)

Title: Swept Away
Author: Mary Connealy
Labels: Fiction | Historical Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
Recommended To: Women, YA, Adult
Contains: Clean. Slightly suggestive of some marital occurrences, but in a clean way.

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn't all that upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they've ever done is work her to the bone. She prayed for a chance to get away, and then came the raging flood. Alive but disoriented, she's rescued by Luke unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.
Luke is heading home to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men who killed his father are working hard to ensure Luke doesn't make it alive. He has no choice but to keep moving. Still, he can't just abandon Ruthy, so she'll have to come along.
His friends--a ragtag group of former Civil War soldiers--take a fast interest in the pretty gal. Luke thinks that's rather rude--he's the one who found her. And the more time he spends around the hard-working young woman who is a mighty good cook, the more he finds himself thinking beyond revenge and toward a different future. For the first time in a long time, Luke is tempted to turn from his destructive path and be swept away by love.
          I'll be honest, this wasn't my favorite book that I've ever read, but it wasn't bad. For the most part it kept me engaged and interested. The characters were all unique, but at times I felt like they were kind of one dimensional. I mean, everyone had their reason for doing what they did, and an overall motive. But nothing ever really stood in the way of that one motive; nothing really challenged their way of thinking. I felt like none of the characters really had any conflicting opinions that got in the way.

          The plot was interesting, and I'll admit that there were two twists that I didn't see coming. One was good in the sense I wasn't expecting it, but even that wasn't as exciting as I would have preferred. The second twist was just plain funny. It was hilarious to read that section from a guys point of view--I got a kick out of the explanations and reasoning of the dude's head. Definitely made it worth the read.

          Overall, while it wasn't my favorite, Swept Away was a good read. It had it's corny, stilted moments, but the section of humor was all worthwhile. This is a book that definitely got better as it progressed. 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.