Thursday, September 26, 2013

Starry Night by Debbie Macomber

Starry Night by Debbie Macomber

Title: Starry Night
Author: Debbie Macomber
Pages: 240
Year: 2013
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Note: I received a free Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

     A very entertaining romance!

     When I first received the email offer to sign up and review this book I thought of all of the wonderful romantic comedy Christmas stories that Debbie has written. When it arrived in the mail I started by reading her note at the beginning. She explains that this novel is a departure from her previous Christmas stories in that it is a simple romance without any of the comedy aspects from earlier works. It is exactly what she said it is, a fantastic romance.

     Carrie Slayton is trapped in writing the society-page column at a Chicago newspaper. She decides to resign from her job unless she can get a more challenging assignment for the paper. Her editor hands her a challenge: she can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores an interview with Finn Dalton.

     Finn Dalton has written a best-selling novel. He refuses to do any interviews and in fact no one has been able to locate him. He lives in the remote Alaskan wilderness. Will Carrie even be able to locate him much less get him to give her an interview?

     Debbie has done a marvelous job of developing these two very different characters. They are both easy to like and understand. I was drawn into the story very quickly and was rooting for them to be able to work out their differences and come up with a compromise that they can both live with.

     I give this book a 5 star rating. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano

A Most Peculiar Circumstance

Title: A Most Peculiar Circumstance (Ladies of Distinction #2)
Author: Jen Turano
Pages: 344
Year: 2013
Publisher: Bethany House

     Before I start on my review of this book I’d like to explain how I first became interested in it. I had picked up the Novella that Jen Turano wrote to introduce her writing to the public, “Gentleman of Her Dreams” for my Kindle. It was free so why not try a new writer. I then saw that Jen was doing a Book Banter through Facebook and decided to get on and see what she had coming out. When she started talking about the main characters for this book (the one she was discussing) I knew that I had to get it. The hero is Theodore Wilder. With my husband’s name being Ted Wilder I couldn’t pass it up. I’m glad I didn’t.

     A very funny romantic comedy!

     Two members of New York’s high society meet in Gilman, Illinois in 1880. Miss Arabella Beckett has been traipsing around the country, on her own, in support of the women’s suffrage movement. She finds herself in a bit of trouble as she attempts to help another woman out. All she can think to do is pray asking God for help. Much to her frustration help arrives in the form of arrogant, narrow-minded, Mr. Theodore Wilder.

     Mr. Wilder is a private investigator extraordinaire who set out to do a favor for his good friend Hamilton Beckett. Mr. Beckett simply wanted his sister, Arabella, located and brought home in time for his wedding. The simple favor quickly became a lengthy assignment as Mr. Wilder had to chase her across the county.

     The story is filled with many hilarious antics as many of the members of high society seem to never stay out of trouble. The characters are well developed and very enjoyable. I loved learning how Theodore’s grandparents met. Naturally there had to be some villains to defeat. How else can the hero rescue the damsel in distress.

     If you are looking for well developed and accurate historical lessons in novel format you will be hugely disappointed. If on the other hand you are looking for a light entertaining comedy to put a smile on your face then this is the book to read.

     I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it! I give it a 5 star rating.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Traces of Mercy by Michael Landon Jr. & Cindy Kelley

Traces of Mercy, Mercy Medallion Trilogy Series #1   -     
        By: Michael Landon, Jr. & Cindy Kelley

Title: Traces of Mercy (The Medallion Series #1)
Author: Michael Landon, Jr. & Cindy Kelley
Pages: 334
Year: 2013
Publisher: David C. Cook
Notes: I received a free Advanced Reader Copy through a Goodreads, First Reads giveaway for my honest opinion.
          Excerpt used with permission. Copyright © 2013 David C Cook. Traces of Mercy by Michael Landon Jr and Cindy Kelley.

     This is an absolutely incredible Christian fiction novel!

     At the very end of the Civil War a young woman suffers an accident that leaves her unconscious and alone. When she awakes she has no memory of who she is so she takes the name Mercy for the mercy medallion found around her neck. She’s left having to decide if it is more important to discover her past or to forge a future for herself.

     This is a very brief description of the basic storyline. The authors have done a fantastic job of developing the characters and delving into the confusion that comes from having amnesia as shown in this brief excerpt from when she first wakes up.

     “Let’s start with the very basics. What’s your name?”

     She automatically opened her mouth to reply with the answer. Surely she knew her own name. But trying to retrieve the memory in the deep, black chasm of her mind was like trying to catch the wind. There was nothing. Not a shred of anything to grasp and unfurl like a sheet where all the minutes, hours, days, and years leading up to this moment might be hiding. With frightened, heart-pumping adrenaline, she whispered her answer.

     “I don’t remember.”

     I was very fascinated to see where they took the story and how they had Mercy, as well as the people that entered her life, at this trying time deal with this troubling condition.

     I don’t know if the next book in this series is going to continue with Mercy’s story or if it will be a completely different group of characters. I do know that either way I am looking forward to the day that it will be released. Michael Landon, Jr. and Cindy Kelley are a wonderful writing team. I will be looking for their other books. I highly recommend this book. I give this book 5 stars!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano

Change Of Fortune [Paperback]

Title: A Change of Fortune (Ladies of Distinction #1)
Author: Jen Turano
Pages: 318
Year: 2012
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

     The most fantastic romantic comedy I’ve read yet!

     Lady Eliza Sumner has lost everything. After losing her family, her fiancĂ©, and her faith, the disappearance of her fortune is the last straw. What is young lady of the nobility from England to do in 1880? Of course she must masquerade as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess-at-large, find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London. Will New York City ever figure out what hit it?

     Mr. Hamilton Beckett, widowed now for 2 years, has become the focus of much of the female members of society in New York City. Of course they have decided for him that he must remarry, whether he has any interest in doing so or not. His focus instead is on keeping his business afloat and raising his two children alone.

     When Eliza and Hamilton first meet, sparks instantly begin to fly. Then at their second meeting they discover that they have a common nemesis, causing them to join forces. Let mayhem ensue.

     Jen Turano has done a marvelous job of creating an enjoyable group of characters for this novel. I had so much fun reading this book and trying to follow all of their antics. I never knew from one moment to the next what they were going to try next. It was very amusing to see what all situations that Eliza was able to get herself into simply because she had given up on God and was trying to do things her own way. The characters were all so well developed. There was only one character that I found to be truly annoying. That was simply because he refused to listen to what he was told. He had made up his mind and didn’t want to budge.

     I’m looking forward to reading the other books that Jen has written. I’m sure that they will be just as light-hearted and entertaining.

     I loved this book so much it has to get a 5 star rating.

Gentleman of Her Dreams by Jen Turano


Title: Gentleman of Her Dreams (A Ladies of Distinction Novella)
Author: Jen Turano
Pages: 81
Year: 2012
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Note: This title is only available as an eBook.

     This novella is a fantastic introduction to a new author.

“New York, 1880
     Miss Charlotte Wilson had made a decision.
     She was going to marry Mr. Hamilton Beckett.
     The fact she’d never actually made Mr. Beckett’s acquaintance was a bit concerning, but . . . she had a plan.”

     So opens this delightful romantic comedy. When a girl has a plan and she needs help to carry it out, who can she call on? The only option is her best friend since childhood of course. So enters Henry St. James.

     Jen Turano has a wonderful talent for developing colorful and memorable characters. She has written an incredibly amusing story. There is a nice flow to the plot. I enjoyed it very much and look forward to reading more about these characters in the rest of the books she has and will write in this series.

     I definitely give this story a 5 star rating! I highly recommend it to everyone who is looking for a light-hearted tale to read.