Sunday, March 24, 2013

Shattered - Dani Pettrey

Shattered is the second book in the Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey.  I didn't have the pleasure of reading the first one, but I was very impressed with this novel. 
As a reader of women's Christian fiction I don't often see contemporary fiction available.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, since I love historical fiction.  That said, this was such a refreshing change from the norm.  The author put together not only a unique setting but a killer plot.  It was fast-paced right from the first chapter with a CSI kind of feel. 
When Piper's brother is arrested and charged with the murder of his girlfriend Piper believes him when he says he's innocent.  The cop that is helping put him away takes a leave from work to research the case more thoroughly.  The more he finds out about the victim the more the murder seems like a mob job.  But is it?  For the sake of not spoiling the plot, I won't tell you. 
The book is extremely fast paced and there is a lot of data to keep straight.  It makes for one of the most exciting books I've read in the last twelve months.  Next time I want a thriller, I'll be looking up Dani Pettrey.  Thank you for a fantastic novel!
This book was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.

All in Good Time - Maureen Lang

I've read several of Maureen Lang's novels including Bees in the Butterfly Garden and Whisper on the Wind.  However, All in Good Time is by far my favorite!  The characters were real, the setting was fascinating, and I enjoyed both of the main male characters, Henry Hawkins and Turk Foster. 
The book is set in the red light district of early Denver, CO.  Dessa takes out a loan to fulfill her dream of setting up a safehouse for women who wish to get out of prostitution.  Funds are tight, and both she and the banker that lent her the funds are nervous.  When Turk Foster, a rake from the district, takes a personal interest in Dessa things heat up a bit.  As it turns out, he's not the only one interested in her - the cold-shouldered banker, Henry Hawkins, is too. 
The author did a fantastic job characterizing the girls finding refuge at Pierson House.  Every detail is in place.  I couldn't put this book down.  This is exactly the kind of book I look for when I shop for myself. 
It's rare that an author goes to the trouble of bonding the reader with more characters than the main two.  Here, I bonded with several.  Specifically, I would have liked to see more of Turk Foster.  My only recommendation is that a second novel be written about Turk's story, but I have a feeling that's not to be.  Nevertheless, if the author can capture the essence of his character and write another novel similar in tone to this one I will be first in line to get a copy.
All in Good Time is book two in the Gilded Legacy series, with Bees in the Butterfly Garden as number one.  However, I've read both and can't see any connection whatsoever between the two books with the obvious exception of the era.  I wasn't impressed with Bees, but All in Good Time is worth every minute of reading time.  Who knows?  I may read it again just for kicks. 
Once again, this is the best of Maureen Lang.  I can't recommend it enough. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Love in the Balance - Regina Jennings

As far as I could tell, Love in the Balance is a stand-alone novel... technically.  However, you'll enjoy it more if you read Sixty Acres and a Bride first.  I did have the pleasure of reading the books in this order, and I recognized several characters.  After realizing these two books were related the plot really started coming alive.
Molly's parents have high hopes she will marry a rich investor willing to save their mill.  Bailey doesn't have much to his name, but he loves Molly.  At the same time, a wealthy tycoon whirls into town and tries to sweep Molly off her feet.
Since in most romance novels the underdog wins, my expectations were that this would be a basic love triangle with Bailey handily coming out the winner.  However, Regina Jennings is more sober-minded, and this novel is not a lightweight romance.  I really felt like I was reading at least a two part novel.
My interest stayed focused on the book the entire time.  It was a thicker book, so I think you'll feel like you got your money's worth.  I do recommend it (along with Sixty Acres).  It's worth buying and putting on your "keeper shelf."
This book was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Graco Travel Lite Playard Crib - Luna

This Travel Lite has been a blessing!  We use it constantly.  It's small enough to wheel through narrow doorways, glides across the floor smoothly, and the ruffles are a beautiful aesthetic touch.  This is almost exactly half the size of a full size Graco play yard.  The height is equivalent to the height of our bed, making the bassinet our mainstay.  I can park this everywhere due to its compact size.  I even wheel it to our home office so I can have the baby beside me at the desk.  When the baby outgrows the bassinet feature, I'll continue to use it as a play yard.  We still have a full size Graco, but the Travel Lite is by far my favorite.  Props for the pleasant colors and cute print as well.
Available at Target.com.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Moonlight Masquerade - Ruth Axtell

I love Regency romance novels in the Christian women's fiction genre, and this one is perfect.  The author, Ruth Axtell, mixes exactly the right blend of mystery and romance in her new novel Moonlight Masquerade.  Axtell is an experienced writer with several books out, but this is actually my first chance to read one of her novels.  I loved it!
There are so many plots that begin with a maid who falls in love with the master of the house, but this was my first time ever seeing it backwards.  That is, the butler (who is really a government spy) falls in love with the mistress of the mansion he is sent to investigate.  And his primary suspect is the lady herself!
This will go down as one of the most creative spins on Regency romance novels I've seen yet.  It was refreshing to read something so different and well-written.
I lost hours of sleep reading through it, so keep in mind this would be a good one to buy and keep ready for a long weekend.  Enjoy!
This book was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.