Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Montana Rose by Mary Connealy

I read Connealy's Lassoed in Texas series last year  (Lassoed in TX Review ) and immediately she went high on the favorite authors to read list.  I love cute romances.. spunky women... men who are men... and if you set it in the past and in the west, oh my... you have me!  Many of Connealy's works fit this bill, Montana Rose being one of them.

This is book 1 in the Montana Marriages series. Cassie Griffin is a woman of means and breeding and lives a spoiled pampered life... or so her neighbors think.  But then her husband dies, leaving her penniless, pregnant and presumably helpless.  It is impossible for a lady to live single in Divide, Montana and so Cassie finds herself the center of great attention after her husband's funeral.. single men fighting over who will get her!

Red Dawson wants no part of it. Oh he is attracked to Cassie, but a dainty frail woman is not what he needs to work his place and most importantly she is not a believer. He will not be unequally yoked. Watching al the men clamor.. seeing the fear in Cassie's eyes.. imagining her married to one of those licivious heathen, no he cannot stand the thought and so going against everything he feels, Red impusively offers to marry Cassie.

In a matter of hours Cassie looses one husband and gains another.. trades one lifestyle for another... will she survive?  Will Red?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Wedding Caper by Janice Thompson

This is book 1.. I actually bought book 2 first and have it in my "to read" stack.  The cover art for book 2 is what did it for me. There is a dachshund on the front. I am a HUGE dachshund fan and felt certain any book that included one would be a good read.. especially since the front also proclaims "A Cozy Mystery".. I like cozy mysteries almost as much as dachshunds.

After purchasing book 2, I went in search of book 1.. and found it.. The Wedding Caper.. and guess what, there is a dachshund on the cover to this one too! :-) I believe Ms. Thompson and I are becoming fast friends!

Even if you are not a fan of dachshunds.. or even dogs in general.. this is a cute book.  $25,000 is missing from the night depository of the local bank... Annie's husband, who works at the bank, shows up with the much needed money for 2 upcoming weddings (yes 2! Both daughters are engaged!).. one day he had no idea how they would pay for the weddings.. the next day he had $25,000.. in cash. Oh my!  What else could Annie think? Her normally rational, upstanding, banker husband has gone off the deep end and stolen from the bank!

Annie goes into detective mode.. no she has no training or expertise, that is why she subscribes to a "learn to be a detective via email" program! She is determined to prove someone else did it or to accept that her husband has turned to a life of crime.

With her faithful, albeit crazy at times, side-kick, Sasha (the cover dachshund), Annie sets off on her quest. Her lists of suspects grows and grows and grows.  While snooping and pondering, she learns a great deal about herself... her faith... and her lack there of.

Definitely a cozy mystery ... one of the coziest... laughter, tears, crazy women, misunderstandings, lunacy.. you name it, it is all here with a doxie throw in to boot!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Stuck in the Middle by Virginia Smith

This is book 1 of Smith's Sister-to-Sister series.

3 sisters.... Allie is the oldest.. married to a great guy, baby on the way.. the American Dream.. Tori is the baby of the bunch.. supermodel gorgeous with a fantastic career and life... and then there is Joan.. plan ole Joan in the middle of these 2.  Joan who lives at home with her mother and grandmother.  Joan who has never left her hometown, but instead manages a rent-to-own furniture store.  Joan, whose life is humdrum and boredom personified.  Does she want more? Is there more for her?

In walks a handsome young doctor.. right next door!  While the attraction is evident, Joan is put off by his "religious" talk. This guy doesn't just do church.. he lives it out.  Does she really want to spend time with a fanatic?  Or is he not so "out there" after all?

Stuck in the Middle is a fun, cute, sweet romance and it is also a look at a Faith and how our perception of God can be tainted by events in our lives, tradition for the sake of tradition and those we love who let us down. It is about surrendering your life and accepting all God has for you.

Very fun read.... wonderful characters.... the story does not end when the book is done, so no doubt the sequels will be read!

I got this as a freebie from Amazon for my Kindle. As of today, it is still free!  Go here for more details:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fancy Pants by Cathy Marie Hake

What a FUN book!  The cover is too cute and definitely caught my eye.. as did the title.  Great marketing! Fortunately the story lived up to my expectations.  Don't you hate to pick up a book that looks good and sounds good only to find it is a dud? Kind of like when you go to a movie and find out the only funny scenes were the ones in the trailer.

Fancy Pants is full of fun and grit and so much more!  Lady Sydney Hathwell is on the run from an ill-suited suitor who won't take no for an answer. When she contacts her uncle, she is surprised at his reply to his "nephew."  Syd decides to embrace the mistake and travel west as a young man.  Once she arrive at Forsaken Ranch, she will reveal the mistake to her uncle.

But as is often the case, the plan goes differently.  Syd's uncle is away and his partner is determined to make Lord Hathwell .. a.k.a. Fancy Pants.. into a real man. Syd decides to take the challenge and keep her true identity hidden.  This masquerade lends itself to awkward situations and hilarious encounters.

But when the truth is made know, what will happen then? Will Syd loose the friends and family she has come to admire and need? Will she be tossed out to fend for herself? Has she gone too far in her quest for freedom and independence?

Friday, February 3, 2012

1105 Yakima Street by Debbie Macomber

Book 11 of the Cedar Cove series which is coming to an end... sad day!  But I did receive an email from Macomber recently that she is starting a new series that is a bit of a spin-off from Cedar Cove and will occasionally have appearances from CC characters. Hopefully that will take provide me with a CC fix and keep my CC Addicton in tack!  :-)

1105 focuses mainly on the Peyton family. Rachel is pregnant, but has moved out and is living with a friend.  Bruce cannot seem to grasp the severity of the situation... the need for family counselling... the destructive selfishness of his preteen daughter... and so they remain apart.

Elsewhere Linc Wyse is striving to build his business and take care of his family,  but his father-in-law has other plans... namely to ruin Linc's name and breakup the marriage.  His schemes do cause marital strife.. but not for his son-in-law and daughter.. for himself and his wife!  Backfire!

And poor Charlotte's forgetfulness is increasing to the point of being dangerous. Olivia and Will have decisions to make concerning their mom... decisions that no child wants to face.

Life is moving on in Cedar Cove.. drama and all!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Katheryn's Secret by Linda Hall

Linda Hall is a new-to-me author.  I received this book as a freebie from Amazon for my Kindle and was intrigued by description given.  Overall I enjoyed Hall's writing style and the story. It was a bit slow moving at first.. took a bit to get "into" but once I did I was hooked.  

Sharon Colebrook is a mystery writer who finds herself in the midst of a real live mystery... actually more than one, but they all connect together.  Sharon's beloved Aunt Katie has died and left her and her brother the family home.  Mystery #1.. where is Dean (Sharon's brother)? He left home 20+ years ago and hasn't been seen or heard from.  Throughout the years, Katie talked of a mystery that occurred at the family home.  Mystery #2.. what was it.  Then there is Little Mary... the sister who died in her teens, but is not buried in the family plot.  No pictures of her are to be found. No talk was ever made of her.  It is as if she disappeared off the face of the earth in a flash. So what really happened.. that is Mystery #3 (and once the digging begins there are several connected mysteries that pop up!).  

Sharon seeks to find answers.. and healing.. healing for herself and for her family.

This book is billed as Christian Fiction. It is made clear that Sharon is reared in a strict overbearing legalistic church and as a result she has run as far from God as she can.  I would have loved to have seen more of this struggle from the internal perspective, as well as her make a real move back to God and true faith and grace.  As it was, this was (to me) dealt with lightly.  Yes, Sharon has questions, but I never really saw a true return to God... more an acceptance of how things had been and a realization that others found a different type of Faith.

The one mar for me comes late in the book, and honestly, I believe was not pivotal or necessary in anyway.  It is found that a character is homosexual.  The problem I have is that it was readily accepted by the Christians in the books.. even those from the legalistic church. I find it difficult to believe that someone so staunch and legalistic would change overnight on this issue. And, because I know the Word and what the Lord says concerning this, I am bothered that the Christians portrayed (those not legalistic) also embrace the lifestyle with ease. I would not have wanted to see them ostracize the person or berate him etc. but I do not see this as being Biblical.  It did not ruin the book, but again did not really add to the story. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book and would consider reading others by Hall.