Monday, June 30, 2014

The Yielding

There isn't....

I can't begin to....

How can I even....

Uh.... apparently there's only one way to describe this book.


Book Rating: Best of the Best

This is your brain:

This is your brain on Tamara Leigh:

As a reader, you will seriously not be the same. This second book, The Yielding was beyond even my cloud-nine expectations. And considering how much I enjoyed the first one (you read my review of The Unveiling--you know the considerable gushing that took place) I didn't think I could realllllllly like this book as much as I liked the first one. I mean, how can you get better than 100% fabulous? Well, the Age of Faith series has a standard, and I'm gettin' the idea that its met every single time.

This book follows the story of Lady Beatrix, Garr's younger sister. (Hold on a sec did some one say Garr??) Yes, I did, and I know its difficult, but try to keep yourself together. Anyway, Beatrix is accused of something she didn't do and the man who wants to see justice done, ends up getting a lot more than he bargained for! We'll get to Dr. Dreamy in a second but first I want to talk about the heroine....

BLESS MY SOUL! As much as I loved Annyn (she is still one of the best heroine's I've ever read), I think Beatrix is even "more awesomer"! The perfect balance of courage, conviction, faith and femininity. You know those Rambo-esque heroines where they're so tough they scare you? Or the ones that are so blasted stubborn you feel like wringing their little necks and screaming, "Jeez girl, I don't know why he's into you, you're crazy!" Well, enter Lady Beatrix. Beatrix was brave and very courageous, but with all the class of Audrey Hepburn. She stuck to her convictions without once being annoying--IN FACT, I was inspired by her quiet determination and faith that more than once I found myself sighing in awe of her. Her trust in God was so real and so deeply rooted, I determined I want to be more like that.

As with The Unveiling, this story has an incredible spiritual thread. I haven't been so touched by a Christian message in a long time, but this one--of yielding to God--struck me. There was nothing in-your-face or preachy at all. Which, of course, is another one of the reasons why I find Tamara Leigh so out of this world. She is able to weave this thread that is so powerful and makes me want to improve myself without once making me feel like she did it on purpose.

Before I go on, I NEED to talk about our beloved hero, Dr. Dreamy, i.e, Michael D'Arci. This man is Fab. U. Lous! FABULOUS!! *shudder* Not only does he have muscles on top of his muscles (think Chris Hemsworth) and the sheer magnetism of James Bond (Sean Connery, Daniel Craig--take your pick), his spiritual transformation made me literally fall in love with him--like, really in love. There's a scene in this book--oh my word!!--with him in his armor when he and Beatrix... Oh, I can't give anything away, but let me just tell you. I cried. And for me, that's really rare. It was so touching and sweet and so romantic, I mean I nearly died. But I had to stay alive to keep reading...... so..... *wink*

Have you gotten book one yet? Have you let your house go to pot while you blissfully get lost in the world of the Wulfriths? There's still time to repent... go by these now and I won't tell anyone it took you so long. *teehee*

Happy Reading!
BUY IT!!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Unveiling




I was spell-bound, seriously, DRUGGED by this book's amazing-ness. I Could. Not. Put. It. Down.

Book Rating: Best of the Best

I have been told by many of you, "Amber, will you please grab half a clue and READ TAMARA LEIGH!"

Fine already!!! *hehehehe*

All kidding aside, I eventually took your advice and let me tell you.... it was angels and visions of glory for every blessed PAGE!! This woman knows how to WRITE! I mean, let's be honest, you and I read these books like their goin' outta style. We know there are good books, and awesome books, and Best of the Best books.........

and then there are HER books.

I don't want to.... you know.... over do it and say that this might just be my new favorite HCR (even though it is!!!) because that might lead some people to be skeptical. "Come on, Amber, really. I mean I'm sure it's good but it can't be THAT good."

Oh yeah?????

There are so many AH-mazing things about this story I honest-to-goodness don't know where to begin. The plot (ANGEL CHORUS!!!), the writing style (BLOW YOUR MIND) and the characters (PERFECT!! Did I just say that.....?) And just in case you didn't know, the hero's name is Garr and you spell it: L-O-V-E.

Before we go any father can we just all take a moment and sit down, and talk like civilized adults? UM NO! Because Garr will make any woman start running around and screaming like a fifteen year old at Donny Osmond concert. (That's for you Jenny 'ol girl...) Only this hero is waaaaaaaaaaay more amazing than any pop star. I mean, he IS a knight. As in knight-in-shining-armor. As in that is just about the hottest thing ever. As in I just swooned. Again. For the hundredth time. BUT not only is he strong and super good looking and could kill a bad dude with his pinky finger--he is gentle and righteous and romantic and a really great kisser and .... hold on, I need to stand in front of the fan for a sec...

Anyway, you get the point.

As for the heroine, she is equally fabulous. Right now I would like to stand and applaude Tamara for writing a completely wonderful and beautiful heroine with SMALL BOOBS! I mean, we all know curves are awesome, but size C boobs do not a beautiful, endearing, hero-worthy heroine make! Can I get an amen?! Annyn is brave and tenacious, but she is also wonderfully feminine and sweet. GAH! I loved her. I decided we need to be best friends.

Uh.... before I continue this and run the risk of overdoing it here, I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone for pushing me on the Tamara path because it has changed my HCR life.

I need to get back to reading book two....


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Captive Maiden

Before I launch into this review, I'd like to just say my aforementioned "spidey senses" were off on this one. *slanted smile* Has that ever happened to you?

I was VERY excited, due to the beautiful cover and honestly believed I would love the actual story, however, as much as I tried to like it, I found it did not meet my expectations as I'd hoped.

(Disclaimer: I am a firm believer in the fact that not all books are for all readers, and I know that this author has a strong following and this story is generally well-liked, so this is in no way meant to dissuade anyone from reading this book--it is simply my opinion!)

Allow me to explain myself....

Book Rating: Here a little, there a little

The beginning of The Captive Maiden started off smashingly. I was drawn in and for the first few chapters, I couldn't put it down....

And that's when it started to crumble. The story itself had GOBS of potential which kept me reading, but by the half-way point (cue the ominous music "dun, dun dunnnnnnn"), I had a difficult time continuing--and not just because the plot slowed. The writing style of this author had me exquisitely puzzled. It seems almost as if it were written for a younger audience, because even though there were distinct points of view, I couldn't grasp the characters due to the prevalent passive "voice" and the many times the author spoon-fed me the emotions and situations instead of making turn into a "movie" in my mind. IE: "show, don't tell."

(Disclaimer two: There is nothing inherently wrong with writing that way, and she is obviously a very talented writer with a strong love of Christ and the scriptures which I greatly admire, so don't be hatin' on me! LOL I feel quite compelled to make sure I am honest in all my reviews.)

The other factor that made it difficult for me to love this novel, was the border-line preachy nature of the story. Don't get me wrong here folks--I love a great Christian message in stories like this--its one of the main reasons I read them, HOWEVER, this one seemed forced and drew me away from the story because it just didn't seem to fit. (Disclaimer three: refer to disclaimer two.)

Also, the plot didn't move forward after things got rolling. It almost seemed as if the characters were doing the same thing over and over--struggling to escape the clutches of the devilish villain.  I was soooo bummed that I wasn't able to love this the way I wanted.*sniff*

I might have had to give this book my lowest, rating but folks, IT'S CINDERELLA!! My all-time favorite fairly tale. Of. All. Time. ALL TIME!

I would highly recommend this book to younger readers or someone who just wants a simple, mild story.

Have you read this? What did you think? Should I give her other books a try?!?!

Happy Reading!
Buy it!!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fair Play

'Member when the teeny-tiny novella-ish teaser of this book came out last year? Oh man, that got me excited!!! I gave it Best of the Best!

Wish that excitement could have lasted *sniff* a bit more *sniff again*....

Book Rating: Here a little, there a little

Oh ladies, ladies. I had SUCH great hopes for this story, and as you well know I am a huge fan of Dee's, but this story fell kinda flat for me.

The hero and heroine were enjoyable to a degree, but there wasn't much to entice me to continue reading about Billy Jack and Hunter Scott. For me, the "fair" kinda did a number on the story, as it had done in the first book. It took too much of center stage for me to be able to sit back and just get lost in a story about a boy and girl, you know what I mean? Not that having great historical facts, settings, etc. are bad, but it seemed like a third wheel and distracted me from the story.

Also, the initial premise seemed to get lost as the plot continued and therefore my interest got lost along with it.

Now, please know that again, its a great clean story and its got some super cute scenes, (also some super sad ones...) and as always I encourage readers to give it a try and see for themselves if they will like it--because if you look at the Amazon reviews, its got a lot of good ones! This might fit your bill!

Did you read her first "Fair" story, what did you think of it? Are you interested in reading this one--or if you HAVE read it--what did you think?

I will continue to give Dee a try, even though her last few have been a bit of a bummer. Onward and upward!

(Thank you to the publisher for my free review copy!)

Happy Reading!
Buy it!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hope At Dawn

There are so many great things about this story--none of which have to do with the fact that Stacy wrote the hero to look like Chris Evans. Abbbbbbbsolutely nothing. ;)

Book Rating: Best of the Best

We were enjoying a few blissful days on the Oregon coast whilst I was savoring said book--such a perfect read for a vacation. I kept turning to my husband and saying, "Holy cow! This book is amazing!" And I meant it every single time. Not only does this novel have a gorgeous cover, it has a gorgeous story inside, as well.

Stacy Henrie has done a brilliant job with this first book in her Of Love and War series. Livy Campbell and Friedrick Wagner are so delightful and SO REAL that it made the story truly come to life for me. Their romance bloomed just like you would imagine real romances would--delicately, and faithfully over time and I believe that is what sold me on this from page one.

OK, hold on.... I take that back.....

I LOVED the setting as well!!!! I believe this is the first WWI story I have read and it captured my imagination and really got me thinking about a time in history I know so little about. (Then again I am a history nerd, so I get excited about that kind of thing...)

Livy lands a teaching job in a German community--and during the Great War, that was not something to be taken lightly. Soon, everything she thought she knew about family and love is put to the test. Especially when a strapping young German comes into the picture....

Friedrick loves his adopted country of America, though others in the surrounding areas refuse to believe so and continue to threaten him and his family. As his affections for Livy grow--and his for her--will they be able to keep each other safe amidst the turmoil, or will their hearts be broken as their world crumbles around them?

I can't recommend this book enough! I know you will love it--and please let me know what you think after you've read it!!

Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

For Such a Time

I remember when I first starting hearing the "buzz" about this story.....

Oh my!!

My, oh my, oh my.

I get it now. This book is just a litttttttle buzz-worthy. Just a little. *wink*

Book Rating: Best of the Best

You know how sometimes you just know before you even start reading a book that you are going to like it? My "spidey" senses aren't always "on" but they were in this case. I LOVED this book!!!

I can't summarize this well enough, so I decided to just include the blurb:

"In 1944, blond and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.

Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.

Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself? "

Oh my goodness! You're dying to read this aren't you!?!? Good! Because you will love it!

Right from the get-go you are hooked. The NEED to keep reading is overpowering. Breslin does an amazing job of keeping you on the edge of your seat--and making you cry! Due to the tender nature of the time and subject, I found myself weeping a time or two. Heartbreaking! Then, in the same instance, the beauty of the story and the faith and hope that is woven into the plot and characters is astounding.

The heroine Stella (Hadassah), was strong and yet vulnerable in all the right ways. I was rooting for her from the beginning and I knew, no matter how the story ended, that I wouldn't be able to forget her. The hero, Aric, was brooding and so dark at times that I wasn't even sure if I could like him--but in the end, he was FABULOUS! This book was not your typical story from Bethany. I haven't seen any historicals like this so far from them (not that I've read them all of course). So deep and heart wrenching-- and SO many STEAMY kisses! Hoo-ee! *fans self* Rest assured, everything was clean and appropriate, of course, but WHOA!

This is not a story that you can sit and read in a day or two. I mean, of course you could if you have that kind of time. For me, I took days to read this because I believed it deserved my time and attention. It almost commanded me to slow down and read every beautiful sentence.

Lastly, the ending clutched me at the throat and wouldn't let go until the last page. I literally thought, "Oh my word, I can't believe it is going to end this way!" Then, well.... I can't say any more, but I promise you will be smiling heartily inside and out!

I cannot recommend this book enough.

You. Will. Love. It.

Happy Reading!
Buy it!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

To Whisper Her Name


Wow, has it been a while--or has it been a while?! FEW! I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be able to review again! *sniff*

But, this forced hiatus has been GREAT for my TBR pile! It's only about three stories high now, as opposed to five. That's improvement, right? ;)

If you have followed me for a while you know that this book (TO WHISPER HER NAME) has taken me a looooong time to get excited about. I know, I know--its Tamera Alexander! She's amazing--what's the big deal, Amber?

I LU-HUVED her first books, but these newer ones..... I just can't get excited. Am I the only one that can't do any more post-Civil War stories--from the South?! After this one, I think I am done. At least for like twelve years. OBVIOUSLY, there's a huge market for them and I'm not who they are catering to.... but I digress...

I know this review won't be popular with the masses, but I need to "mine own self be true"...or however that saying goes.... *slanted smile*

Book Rating: Here a little, there a little

First, PLEASE let me say that I know in most circles this book is extremely popular and in truth, there is nothing inherently wrong with this story. It's beautifully written and the hero and heroine are well developed--which for me was the saving grace. Annnnnd there was some great romantic tension in parts, as well as a few FAB-ulous kisses. *wink, wink*

As much as I enjoyed Olivia Aberdeen and the likable hero, Ridley Cooper, I found most of the plot quite slow and in the end--there was nothing to compel me to continue reading. Not a super great sign--I like a book to consume me. If I have to stop reading to change the laundry over or break up a fight, I want to be gagging to get back to the book. It was just too easy for me to put this one down.

I know a lot of my reader friends out there found this one to be fabulous! So, I'd love to hear from you. Please tell me what it was about this story that you enjoyed!

Be looking for more reviews in the coming weeks!!!

HUGS and
Buy It!