Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fading Starlight - Kathryn Cushman

"Fading Starlight" by Kathryn Cushman is beautifully written.  As a reader, you should know that this is not a typical Bethany House book.  Usually, Bethany House publishes women's historical romance fiction.  They do not often venture far from this genre.  Kathryn Cushman's "Fading Starlight" focuses more on the life and struggles of the main character than on her interactions with a protagonist, such as a suitor.  There is one character that fits this bill, but the focus of the book is not on the relationship.  This is perfectly fine - not all books need to be about relationships.  I do think it is important, however, to note so that when purchasing the book the reader's expectations are in sync with what the author is offering.
Furthermore, the plot has more of an even keel as opposed to several highs and lows.  It is not a roller coaster ride.  It is slow, easy going, and takes a relaxed approach.  The book is calming, and at no point was I panicked for the main character.
My personal preference does lean more toward volatile plots with strong romantic aspects, so this book wasn't for me.  That doesn't mean that it isn't for many, many other people.  The writer is talented, and her skill at the craft shines through.
The publisher provided this complimentary copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Lost Heiress - Roseanna White

In "The Lost Heiress," book one in the Ladies of the Manor series by Roseanna M. White, Brook Eden finds her long lost biological family with the help of her close friend - and duke - Justin.  It is a classic romantic novel with suspense and mystery intertwined throughout.  The author did a fantastic job with research.  She gets bonus points for incorporating Cockney slang into the book.  I would wager that few readers will recognize the slang as being an excellent time stamp for the setting of the novel.  Most authors tend to shy away from such minutia, but used here it really highlights the excellent detailing done by the author.
As I do when I love a book, I immediately pre-ordered the next in this series "The Reluctant Duchess," which is due for release in spring of 2016.  This book stars Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham.  I became attached to his likable, flirtatious character in the first novel.  The characters performed a handoff in the final chapter indicating to the reader that Brice will be the main protagonist of the next novel.  I couldn't have chosen better!  I am very much looking forward to meeting the woman able to tame this ladies' man.

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Noble Masquerade - Kristi Ann Hunter

Kristi Ann Hunter's "A Noble Masquerade" is the first in her Hawthorn House series.  The plot is similar to the movie You've Got Mail, but is instead set in the Golden Age.  I kept waiting for the main character to say "I wanted it to be you.  I wanted it to be you so badly."
Don't misunderstand me; this is not a copycat plot.  The plot was brilliantly well-crafted and enjoyable.  As a reader, I got plenty of time with the two main characters, which is a must in order for me to love a book.  Thank you, Kristi Ann!  Nicely done.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly (given that this is a romance novel) the magnetic pull between the two main characters is almost tangible.  Their attraction starts at the beginning of the book and doesn't stop.  The author pulled this off seamlessly and tastefully in a way that other authors could only dream of.
I promptly visited my Amazon Prime account as I always do when I read and fall in love with a new author.  Alas, it is not yet time to pre-order the next novel in this series.  I will stay tuned, though, as I hope you will be doing.
This book was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Not by Sight - Kate Breslin

"Not by Sight" was the first book I have ever read by Kate Breslin.  It was so amazingly good that before I had even finished it I had ordered "For Such a Time" through Amazon Prime.  I did this so that there would be no lag between finishing one book and starting the next.  I am grateful I did!
Kate Breslin does a fantastic job of developing her characters.  I grew very attached to the main characters in both books.  Generous details were given regarding the supporting characters as well.
"Not by Sight" was an excellent read - and I heartily recommend it - but it doesn't hold a candle to her debut novel, "For Such a Time."  There are some differences worth noting.  In the debut novel, the plot was far more complex and detailed.  Being set in the middle of the Holocaust, it was also considerably more somber.  The historical research evidenced in "For Such a Time" was memorable.  There were moments in the book that I grew deeply grieved by the situations depicted by the author.  In "Not by Sight" there was a lighter atmosphere.  There are still some serious parts, but overall the novel follows a more traditional romantic path.
I chalk these differences up to time constraints.  The author released her second book almost exactly one year after the release of her debut novel.  There is no doubt that the debut took longer to research and write.  Nevertheless, I highly recommend both books.  I recommend starting with "Not by Sight" and enjoy it as the Christian women's romance that it is, then open "For Such a Time" and enjoy it as well.  Afterwards, you will want to do as I did and make a mental note to pre-order Breslin's next novel.  She is easily one of the best authors that I have read in a long time.  I rank "For Such a Time" as being the best novel I have read in at least three years.  I promptly loaned it to my mom, who loaned it to my dad (true!).  These two books are definitely worth getting your hands on.
"Not by Sight" was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest - Melanie Dickerson

Pros: The language used throughout the book places the reader in the time period.  Well done.  I appreciated the age of the main characters.  I LOVE the medieval time period, and I send a shout out to the publisher that as a reader, I crave more medieval books.  The plot has fine detailing and is exquisite.  There is a message of redemption throughout the book that everyone can relate to.  Also, the author does a very good job of setting up supporting characters for future novels.  I identified four possible future main characters (Margrave Thornbeck, Mathis P, Rutger, and Kathryn).  If the author intends a trilogy, rather than a longer series, one of these main characters may be paired with Kathryn.  I look very much forward to reading her next novel "The Beautiful Pretender," which, as I hoped, stars Margrave Thornbeck front and center!  Finally, the cover art is a winner.  This book stood out to me among hundreds of other books on the same shelf in the bookstore.

Cons: Although I purchased this from the adult Christian fiction aisle of our local bookstore, it struck me as juvenile fiction from the very first page.  I checked the back of the book for the genre, but there was nothing on the back to indicate that it was for teens.  The content is squeaky (read: unrealistically) clean - even for Christian fiction.  Physical attraction is an important component of romance fiction, and I believe it can be done realistically without compromising Christian values.  My main concern with this novel is the question "Who is the intended audience?"  The G-rated content points to teen, but the intricate plot points to adult.  I left the book feeling confused as to whether I should recommend it to other adult women.  If the author worked in more of a physical relationship between the characters, the story would come to life more for adults (think PG or PG-13 rating) .  If the writing style matured just a hair, I would consider that a bonus.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fatal Trauma - Richard L. Mabry

This thrilling book by Richard Mabry is a good read for anyone who loves books with danger, excitement, and action.  I chose to review this book because I am in nursing school, and I was hoping to enjoy the medical aspect of the book.  It was absolutely fantastic!
Now that I have Fatal Trauma, I need to read Mabry's Prescription for Trouble series, Stress Test, Heart Failure, Rx: Murder, and Critical Condition.  All these books are available on Amazon.com.
This book was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.

Thrilling New Read from Richard Mabry | ‘Fatal Trauma’ and the Perfect Prescription Giveaway

Can Mark find out who the shooter is before he becomes the next victim? You won't want to miss the suspense in Richard Mabry's new book, Fatal Trauma. Facing an adversary whose desires are dark and efforts are ruthless, Mark finds himself under suspicion as a killer, yet still a potential victim. When he turns to his high school sweetheart, attorney Gwen Woodruff, for help, Kelly helplessly looks on, as she hides her own feelings for the good doctor.

Richard is celebrating the release of Fatal Trauma by giving away The Perfect Prescription Prize Pack!

fatal trauma - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 20th. The winner will be announced June 22nd on Richard's blog.

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