Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Surrender the Heart

Raise your hand if you want to spend your days and nights on the deck of a large British warship, surrounded by smelly men, eating next to nothing, witnessing the atrocities of sea-faring life and wondering if you are ever going to get home?

What? No takers? Well...

Believe you me, that is exactly what you will be experiencing when you read this book, and you will LOVE every minute of it!

Book Rating: Best of the Best

Man, oh man, oh man! I am addicted. I really am. Tyndall is a brilliant author who can craft a brilliant story with brilliant prose. Have I mentioned the romance is brilliant? Oh...OK, I'll calm down a bit.

I think this book was written for me. This is when I LOVE reading Christian romance, because I know the author is following what God wants them to write. If anyone has ever felt ordinary its me. Amber Shmamber. Nothing special. But this book testifies that we are all special in God's sight and that NO ONE is ordinary to Him, and I loved that. If nothing else, you should read the book for the message, especially if you have ever felt ordinary.

Marianne feels very "unspecial". She is engaged to a man she can't stand. But she must marry him to unlock her dowery so she can pay for her mothers much needed medication. Soon, she finds herself on a boat--with her much despised fiance...and that's where all the fun begins!

In my opinion there isn't much to dislike about this "fiance" of hers, and Marianne soon comes to see that as well. Noah Brenin is pretty darn amazing, and what's not to love about someone who can command a ship? HELLO! I know, I know, I hear ya. Super dreamy.

It goes from fun, to exciting to "I-can't-put-this-down"!

I won't say much more, except that the adventure is wonderful. No lack-luster in this story. It filled every need in my drama-hungry heart, and I know it will do the same for you.

Happy Reading!
Buy it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Choices of the Heart

My first Laurie Alice Eakes. Pretty interesting.

Book Rating: Up All Night'er

As I've mentioned before, the good thing about so many authors in this world is that you are guaranteed to find someone you like. That also means you will find some authors who's style isn't really your cup of tea. That was the case for me with Easkes. As talented as she is, it just wasn't for me.

That being said, the story was fun and I can see why a lot of people enjoy her novels. This book, CHOICES OF THE HEART is the third book in her series The Midwives. I haven't read any of the others and seeing how I wasn't thrilled with this one (her style is mostly what I didn't care for) I'm not sure I'll be jumpin' the gun to read the first two.

Esther Cherrett is a midwife leaving a broken life behind her. Little does she know she is trading-in one set of problems for another! The story in itself was interesting and a fun plot, so in that respect, you will likely enjoy it.

As for leading men--this guy is great. Esther is actually caught between two guys and had to decide who she will love! Those stories are fun. *sigh*  Griff is a great, rugged, honest leading man. And the very end was so sweet--I loved it.

The spiritual aspect of the story was strong, for which this novel gets more brownie points. Overall, fun story, good read, just not my style. But you should really give it a try!

Lastly, thank you to Revell for giving me this book in exchange for my honest review!
Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Happy Reading!

Waiting for Spring

Hi, Drama Queen here.
News Flash: I like gobs of drama in my stories!! Oh. You already knew that? What gave it away...?

Book Rating: Best of the Best

OK, so the more I read Cabot, the more I love her stories. They will surprise you with their simple, heart-warming romances and real-to-life experiences.

WAITING FOR SPRING is book two in Cabot's latest series, and I have to say I  L-O-V-E-ed this story.

Charlotte Crowley is one of the best leading ladies I've read about in a long time. She was SO real. Her genuine nature, her strivings to be more like Christ, her devotion to her son and the love she carries for the leading man were all fabulous. She is carrying a horrible burden/secret (No! Really?! teehee, I know it seems a bit over done, but I just love it, and apparently I'm not alone...Right?). When Barret Landry comes along, her life begins to change in more ways then she can ever imagine.

Barret is also totally wonderful. Throughout the story he deals with his own struggles as every character should, but what I cherished most about this story was the way their romance developed. Cabot usually keeps you hangin'...no kisses until the end, no real, deep passion between the characters for a while. In most cases I would say, snore. However, the way the relationship between Barret and Charlotte changes and deepens over time was SO real! I savored it! It was an enjoyable shift from the heavy drama that typically draws me like the pull of a sixty-ton magnet.

Should you read this book? Yes. Will you like it? I'm thinkin' you will. Do you need to read book one first? You don't need to but it might help, and if nothing else would be fun because that's a good book as well.

This book is available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Also, thank you to Revell for giving me this book in exchange for my honest review!

Happy Reading!
Buy it!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Just for giggles. . . part deux

So, I must credit my wonderful HCR friend Candy for bringing this to my much-needed attention. It is WA-HAY past time for a Just for Giggles post!!!! 

Batten down the hatches everyone, because here are your heroes:

1. Chris Hemsworth (next to my husband, the most dreamy guy on the entire planet!...well he and Hugh Jackman, which makes it a three-way tie...) is my pick for the leading man in UNENDING DEVOTION, Connell.

2. Chris Evans (of CAPTAIN AMERICA fame) is my pick for the fabulous hero in A HOPE UNDAUNTED, Luke. Mega yummy. *sigh*

3. Chris Pine (I think if I ever have a son I will name him Chris, because apparently that name automatically makes you drop-dead gorgeous) for the leading man in A PASSION MOST PURE, Collin.

4. I am reusing a man who I used last time, but why not, because he's a heart throb. Toby Stephens for Sean, in A HEART REVEALED.

5. For another hero from one of Lessman's fabulous stories is Kevin McKidd as Mitch, from A PASSION REDEEMED.

There you have it! Another round of awesome "dudes". Who would you pick for your favorite leading men? Let me know or better yet post pics on the FB page. LOL

Hope you all enjoy this and have pleasant dreams...I know I will. *wink*

Happy Reading!!

Scattered Petals

This ain't yer regular HCR.

Book Rating: Best of the Best

I just finished Amanda Cabot's SCATTERED PETALS. Wow. It is very good. And at the same time, it's very deep and very sad. But, the message of faith, hope and strength through trials is wonderful.

Priscilla Morton is on her way to Texas when tragedy strikes. A wagon robbery leaves her reeling from scars that are both physical and emotional. She blames God for not intervening--for not saving her from such a nightmare.

Zachary Webster wishes he could go back and make up for his past mistakes, but he can't. Now, with Priscilla needing help, he wonders if this could be a way to make amends for what he's done.

This story is long, and even might drag at times, but don't give up. The overall message is powerful and the characters are real! I know the Cabot has said this is the most difficult novel she has ever written--but I'm so glad she kept going, because I know it's got to be a strength to many people.

The romance is very sweet, is in all Cabot's book, but I wouldn't call it the grab-at-your-heart kind of passion you would get from other authors/stories. But that wasn't the intent with this one...If you are looking for something light, that you can read in a few days, that's high on romance and low on drama--you might want to look elsewhere.

Overall, I highly recommend this!

Happy Reading!
Buy it!

How's your self-esteem holdin' up these days?

All you have to do is walk down a grocery check-out line, and look at all this flashy magazines to feel our inner barometer drop to record lows.

Of course we know outer beauty isn't what matters, God has told us He "looketh on the heart". But with the way media pounds PERFECTION into our psyche, its hard to escape it.

Well, one of the reasons I have enjoyed HCR's so much is because I feel that I can enjoy an outlet (NOT television and movies) and not have this particular "beauty" image speaking to me with degrading subliminal messages.

However, those message are so ingrained in me that I have, on occasion  found myself even feeling bad about myself when I'm reading these stories! Some of these heroines are SO beautiful, with such PERFECT figures and smooth complexions that I find myself sinking farther and farther into the cushions of my couch....

It makes sense that we want to read about a lovely leading lady, and a handsome man. That goes without saying! No one wants to read about a boney, chest-less woman with stubby eye lashes who's covered in moles! (Oh dear, I just described myself. Ouch. *wink*)

And yet, I keep reading. Because even though I'm tempted to wish I had things I lack, in the end, these stories aren't about beauty. That's not the single, solitary thing that attracts the hero to the lady. She is a woman of God who is--in one way or another--working to strengthen her faith, and become a more loyal follower of Christ. That's what the hero is really attracted to!

So, even if I have to read particular novels while working out or wearing tons of make-up to make myself feel better, I know what really matters. Tillie Reece and Charlity O'Conner aren't real. But I am. And God knows and loves me despite my flaws--He loves me, because He made me.

And God never makes mistakes.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Don't judge a book by its cover

Don't judge a book by it's cover.

Good advice right? Sure. But the truth is, we all do it.

Oh, no you don't--I can see you shaking your head and saying "Not me!", but you can't pull the wool over my eyes!! *wink* We all do it whether we know it or not.  Some covers are great and some are flops--but beauty is in the eye of the beholder is it not?

What are your favorites and why?

Here are my TOP 5...in no particular order. You might notice a theme going here.... *teehee* I can't help myself.

1. Adorable! One of the most gorgeous dresses on any cover EVER!

2. Beautiful! I love this dress too, since it IS in my favorite era...

3. Really. Need I explain? I don't think so.

4. Simple. Gorgeous.

5. Great Font. Great Title. Great Cover. Nuff said.

So, there you have it. What are your fav's?! I gotta know!!!  

Happy Reading!

Three books I'm most excited about (so far...) in 2013!!

Hi!!!! OK, here are 3 of the MANY books slated to release this year that look AH-MAZING!!!

Feast your eyes, ladies!
Now, I know I may have...in the past... (kindly) railed on covers with faces, but I can--with confidence--say that THIS cover does all right by me!!! * understatement* (Who is that guy!?) And, judging by how unspeakably fabulous Hedlund's books are, you are sure to LOVE this. I'm biting my nails with eager anticipation just thinking about it... *big grin* Read this blurb and tell if it doesn't sound good to you....

Recently widowed Annalisa Werner has the feeling her husband was murdered but can’t prove it. Alone with her young daughter in 1881 Michigan, she has six months left to finish raising the money needed to pay back the land contract her husband purchased, and the land is difficult to toil by herself. She needs a husband. With unmarried men scarce, her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.

For nobleman Carl von Reichart, the blade of the guillotine is his fate. He’s been accused and convicted of a serious crime he didn’t commit, and his only escape is to flee to a small German community in Michigan where he’ll be safe. He secures a job on Annalisa’s farm but bumbles through learning about farming and manual labor.

Annalisa senses that Carl is harboring a secret about his past, yet she finds herself drawn to him anyway. He’s gentle, kind, and romantic–unlike any of the men she’s ever known. He begins to restore her faith in the ability to love–but her true groom is still on his way. And time is running out on them all.

2. Love at Any Cost
Have you read every Lessman book? Are you DYING for another one? Well, die no more, my friends. Lessman's new book is coming out in April, and you know it's gonna be just as life-changing as the rest of them are!!! *sigh* (Side note: I NEED this lady's hat!!!  Why don't we wear amazing hats like that any more?!) This too is a great cover...makes me yearn for the good 'ol days.

You want to whet your appetite and be counting down the days til its release? Here's the blurb:

Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache, Cassidy travels west. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart. When Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than he is, Cassidy finds herself bucked by love a second time. Will Jamie discover that money can't buy love after all? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man?

3. It Happened at the Fair
All I need to do is look at (or if you wanna get real specific, smell from over a thousand miles) any cover of ANY Deanne Gist book, and I know it's gonna be good. Oh, yes, this cover titillates my senses and makes me wish I had a time machine to jump ahead a few months and read it now!! But, I guess I better learn patience, huh?

Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair’s Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.

The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?

I know what you're thinking. "We have to wait til WHEN!?" All these books are releasing in April...that's about 3-4 months depending on how you like to count. *wink*

Happy Reading!!!!