Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Heart's Appeal by Jennifer Delamere

Welcome to my post about The Heart's Appeal by Jennifer Delamere. This is a Christian Historical novel and the second in a series. I didn't read the first one but found out that they are linked but not enough to where you can't enjoy this as a stand alone. 

If you like historical fiction, I highly recommend this book. It takes place in London in a time when women are just starting to attend medical school to become doctors. Julia is one of those women. Her dream is to become a physician and travel to Africa to follow her calling. 

A subway accident brings Julia and a lawyer named Michael Stephenson together.  Julia helps Michael and then finds out that he is the lawyer whose client is trying to shut down the medical school Julia wants to attend in a libel lawsuit. 

Julia is undeterred! She approaches Michael a few weeks after the accident to see how he is. He, in turn, is so grateful that she helped him that he wants to repay her somehow. Julia asks for his help in Latin and the two begin weekly lessons. However, will Michael and Julia be able to stay civil in light of the lawsuit?

This sounds like it might be a simple story, but there are side plots and other interesting characters as well. I thought the story was well written and very interesting. It is written with enough but not too much description and, in my opinion, smartly written as well. It definitely made me want to read the first one and, even better, I found a new author I like!  

Thank you to Bethany House for the copy. No review was required. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

I don't even know where to begin with this. I stayed up late finishing this last night and I can't even tell you the last time I stayed up late to finish a book. I wish I could tell you everything about this book, but that wouldn't be fair. You need to experience this slow burn that ratchets up into a full blown four alarm fire. I hardly ever give 5 stars to books, but this one gets it on Goodreads! 

I have not had this much fun with a book in a long, long time. I also pick up books to read that promises a "twist" and never get them.  Not only THAT, but I would have bet money that I knew what was coming, with one part I did, but certainly not the other. This was my face when I finished the book: 


I really don't want to say too much because I don't want to give anything away, so here is the blurb from Goodreads:
The police say it was suicide. Anna says it was murder. They're both wrong. One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since. Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie… Okay, so there you have a synopsis without me blowing it. Three words: READ THIS BOOK!

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC. No review is required. 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Our House by Louise Candlish

Wow. That's the only word I can think of right now. Where do I start? This is a good wow by the way. Finally, a contemporary book that I found myself not being able to wait to get back to. I read a lot of books and sometimes they sit and I read when I go to bed usually. For this one, I was taking my Kindle to snatch pieces where I could, even in the car. I kept thinking, where is this going to GO?? 

Now, let me say it was not what I expected. It lured me in because the description said that when Fi (Fiona) came home one day, people she didn't know were moving into her house. What the what?  I had to find out. I thought it sounded quite original. 

I started it and was taken on a wild roller coaster ride. I thought there were enough twists to make this quite a satisfying read. I do not want to give any spoilers away about what happened and WHY it was going on, but did anyone else think of the Gift of the Magi by the time things were explained? 

Also, I always appreciate an ending where things may or may not be wrapped up too neatly. I want to admit this is my first Louise Candlish book and it will not be my last. I immediately went to Goodreads to find out what else she has written. YAY! There are other books by her! 

Thank you so much to NetGalley for this opportunity!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

This book's description really had me intrigued. It was supposed to be about friends who had a night around a fire to have a break from the kids and just chat and be social. Then, the next day, one of them is gone and nobody understands or knows where she might have gone. She has taken the kids, too. Or, is something else going on? Sounds exciting, right?

Well, it started off that way. I was really excited to see what was going on. However, in my opinion, it started to drag and get really predictable. The bad part for me was this was supposed to be a "thriller" and it just did not deliver on that front. 

There were other aspects of the story regarding the other women on the street. One has been through a traumatic experience herself, but you don't find out what until later. One of the others is running away from unrequited love and the other is dealing with a very precocious daughter who stirs up a little trouble on the street. Then, there are Rhoda and Randi, the couple who has a new baby and runs a shop in the small town. 

There was ONE small surprising thing and I won't spoil it here. The book kept me interested enough to finish it, but it was no big shocker and it certainly shouldn't be called a thriller. This is more like Women's Domestic Fiction, but not Chick Lit. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

Imagine your sister was kidnapped years ago and was never found. Now imagine you are consumed with finding out what happened to her and that you will stop at nothing to know. That is basically the premise to Paper Ghosts. 

Throughout the book, written in first person, you don't know the character's name. She is an adult now, but never got over her sister's disappearance. Who would? But, this woman takes everything to the extreme. She thinks she knows who may have taken her sister, but after year and years of research and planning, she thinks she's ready to prove it.  

She has her eyes set on an aging, semi dementia suffering photographer, Carl, who was acquitted of one major crime already. He is now in an assisted living home where she actually plots to get him out and travel around the country to different locations in hopes of jogging his memory of, not only her sister, but other missing girls she feels he may have had something to do with their disappearances as well. 

They travel to the locations where the other girls went missing and along the way, she can't figure out whether Carl is faking the dementia or if he truly is struggling. 

So the question here is, will she ever find out what happened to her sister and the other missing girls? Is she safe with Carl? Could she be his next victim? What else will she find out along her journey? 

My two cents: I thought the premise was a tad far fetched. You're going to scheme and be able to pull of taking a possible dementia patient out on the road in hopes of finding out what happened decades ago? Also, this took me way too long too finish. I love to read and this was one of those books on my Kindle where I would look down at the percentage finished, I was a little surprised wondering how much more could really happen.

Now, you might think I didn't enjoy this book. I actually did like it. I think it got better after I got over the halfway point. I did want to know what happened, but just thought the whole thing was just a little too unrealistic.  However, I think it will do well upon its release. 

I was so happy to get an advance copy from the publisher through NetGalley. Thank you to Netgalley and Random House. No review was required. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Plain Leaving

Disclaimer: I am a big fan of Amish fiction and don't find a lot that I don't enjoy. However, I absolutely loved this book and cannot wait for the next one in the series. 

This is a "time-slip" book alternating between present day with Jessica and back when Ruby, a descendant of Jessica's, is living during the Revolutionary War. 

Jessica left her Amish roots and became "Englisch" when issues were raised regarding the way things were being handled regarding her family farm and how she wanted to live her life.  She left behind her whole family and the love of her life, Silas, and headed from her Lancaster home to Harrisburg where she got her own apartment and job in the modern world. She started dating Tom and was content with her life.

However, a tragedy brings Jessica back home and she feels out of sorts. Dealing with the tragedy and her family who has shunned her, Jessica cannot wait to return to her life in Harrisburg. But, is that the life for her?

In Ruby's setting, she is also confronted with trials and tribulations and leaving her home for Canada and a better life with her betrothed, Paul. The neighbor's nephew, Duncan, moves in next door to help his uncle but ends up helping Ruby with the endless work to keep her farm running while her brother is in Canada starting their new settlement. Along with his sister, Isabelle, Duncan starts helping Ruby's start to see to new possibilities. 

Both Ruby and Jessica, generations apart are faced with life changing decisions. Can Jessica learn from Ruby's story? 

I just was in love with the settings and the characters in this book. It was one of those rare books that I didn't want to end.  Thank you so much to Bethany House for the copy. No review was required.  

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Gift of Christmas Past by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

I was so happy to get an advance copy of this book.   When I first found out it was a Cindy Woodsmall book, I immediately thought it would be an Amish book. So, in complete honesty, I was a little leery of it because I am not what you would call a "romance" reader. However, I was so pleasantly surprised. The story grabbed me right away. I was excited to also see that it was co-authored by Erin Woodsmall.

Hadley and Monroe are high school sweethearts but Hadley has a lot of issues and can't seem to keep her anger in check. When a crime happens, and Hadley is blamed, Monroe is forced, for reasons I won't post here, to walk away. 

Fast forward years later, Hadley and Monroe meet again. What will happen? You have to read to find out. 

I really enjoyed this story and read it very quickly. I was just saying to someone the other day that in this day of violence, and almost how things are so accepted in regards to explicit language and situations, it's so refreshing to read a good, wholesome story. I was glad I had the opportunity to read this. 

No review was required.