Category Archives: Book Reviews

“The Girl in the Road” Should Stay There

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Ok, first let me emphatically state that I am not a prude. I’m not offended by sex in novels (although I’d prefer it to be less graphic than more graphic) and I’m not particularly picky about the gender mix of the adults in said novels. I mean, I may not be inclined the same way but it’s not my place to judge. I draw the line, however, at sex with children being portrayed as anything but abuse. There are not one but two scenes in this book where an adult has a sexual encounter with a younger person and one is portrayed as an 8 year-old initiating a sexual encounter with a 20 year-old. For that reason alone, I feel this book is a total waste but that’s not really all that’s wrong with it.
In addition to this obvious flaw, the setting is murky and unclear. I mean, sure, it a post-apocalyptic setting but initially you struggle to figure out where on the space/time continuum you are. While the language is pretty good, there is no sense of clear plot or resolution and I finished it with a sense of “Well, that was a waste of my time,” and a strong desire to wash my hands.
All in all, I’d suggest that “The Girl in the Road” be left there to be run over by a truck.
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, obviously, are my own!

“Love Without End” is a Solid, Satisfying Romance

51va5+qEE9LKimberly Welch lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. In the aftermath, she lost everything else when the secrets of her husband’s finances were revealed. Now, she and her daughter are living with her old friend in the small town of Kings Meadow and her once delightful daughter is becoming a sullen teen.
Chet Leonard’s wife left him with two sons and a ranch to run after their oldest son died in an accident. He’s still stinging from the double loss but that doesn’t keep him from agreeing to help when someone offers to give Kimberly’s teen a horse of her own. Now that Nana Anna has returned to Kings Meadow to bring some feminine wisdom back to his home and a grandmother to his sons will Chet find by her example that love can come at the most unexpected times?
Robin Lee Hatcher delivers a solid, warm and loving romance that reminds readers that life can go badly awry and still come out with a satisfying conclusion. If you love a good romance with realistic characters (including sometimes grumpy teens) go ahead and grab a copy of “Love Without End.” It may not be life-changing “Literature” but it’s a nice, heartwarming read.
This book was provided for my by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

“Furry Logic” is a Sure-Fire Smile Maker!

furry logicNeed a little lift to brighten your day? Do you have an animal-loving friend who needs a little extra smile power? Then pick up a copy of Jane Seabrook’s “Furry Logic.” Jane Seabrook has been delighting people for years with her adorable animals paired with fun, funny or thought-provoking captions. Each entry in the 10th Anniversary Edition of “Furry Logic” is sure to bring a smile. The book starts with an irritable-looking owl peeking out with the caption, “Smile first thing in the morning. Get it over with.” It is filled with lovely watercolors of animals ranging from chameleons to penguins (including my favorite…cats!)
If you know someone who needs their day brightened, or your own day needs a pick-me-up, pick up a copy of “Furry Logic.” I guarantee there are smiles waiting in it for you!
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

“Doctor Who – The Blood Cell” Will Delight Whovians!

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The Governor doesn’t know what to make of Prisoner 428. Ever since he arrived on this remote asteroid prison, he’s been bent on escaping. Then there’s the girl who shows up to visit him, without any apparent means of transportation. The Governor thinks that all of Prisoner 428’s stories are just nonsense…until the killing starts. Unsure who to trust, the Governor must decide if he should put his faith in the prison system or one of the prisoners.
“The Blood Cell” is a rollicking good time told in true Doctor Who fashion. Fans of the series will truly enjoy the book which features the characters of the Doctor and Clara as played by Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman. This a quick read with fast pacing suitable for middle grades and up. Whether you’ve been a Doctor Who fan for years or decades, “The Blood Cell” will make a nice addition to your Whovian Library and is just the thing to give you a nice visit with the Doctor while you wait for the next season!
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

Jane Kirkpatrick Brings another Forgotten Chapter of Women’s History to Life in “Light in the Wilderness”

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Letitia Carson was born a slave in Kentucky and suffered unendurable hardships before being granted her freedom. Even as a free woman, life was rife with dangers. Unscrupulous patrollers have no respect for freedom papers and even the family who freed her doesn’t necessarily treat her as anything more than a slave. When they leave for Oregon, Letitia decides to stay behind and cast her lot with Irishman David Carson. She embarks on a journey which will end in the Oregon courts with a landmark case.
Jane Kirkpatrick is a master of historical fiction with an incredible talent for finding the unsung female heroines of the past. With a poet’s flair for language and an excellent talent for research and facts, Jane delivers consistently strong and accurate historical fiction. I can’t possibly recommend her books strongly enough. I consider them a must-read in the area of historical fiction. If you haven’t read any of her books, treat yourself to one…you won’t be sorry!
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

“Prelude for a Lord” is Mid-Range Historical Romance

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Lady Alethea Sutherton is casually displaced from her home when the death of her brother, the eighth Earl of Trittonstone, leaves the title and all the property to her cousin. With no other options available, Alethea moves to Bath to live with her Aunt Ebena. Alethea’s eccentric behaviors give her aunt grave concerns. When Baron Dommick comes to Bath, a stranger begins to take an unhealthy interest in Alethea’s violin and their quiet life is disrupted by the arrival of 12 year-old orphaned relative, things begin to heat up. The book races to a dramatic conclusion complete with the love story one would expect.
Honestly, I ran a little hot and cold on this one. The premise was interesting enough for me to keep reading through several times where my historical-accuracy alarm starting ringing. While I wouldn’t give “Prelude for a Lord” strong marks for history, Camille Elliot concocts an entertaining and interesting tale that highlights some of the interesting social conventions of the era. After all, who would have thought that playing the violin would be considered scandalous? If you just like an interesting story and aren’t too fussed about your history, you’ll enjoy “Prelude for a Lord.” The characters make it all worth it.
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

“Let Us All Eat Cake” is a Sweet Addition to Gluten-Free Cookbooks

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Pastry Chef Catherine Ruehle knows first-hand how hard it is live without certain foods. Her cookbook, “Let Us All Eat Cake,” is a great resource for bakers of every skill level. From breakfast, snack and coffee cakes to classic two-layer cakes, this book is a treat for both the palate and the eyes. Ruehle also includes in-depth decorating instructions so that even an inexperienced baker could create a beautiful cake at home. Personally, I tried the very vanilla cake and it came out very well. This is one of those books where you can hardly wait for another celebration to try the next recipe! I’m already excited to try the Lemon Meringue Cupcakes and the Caramel Cream Cake. I’d recommend “Let Us All Eat Cake” for anyone with a fondness for baking and a need for allergy-friendly recipes.
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own.

“Becoming Bea” is a Stand Out Among Amish Fiction

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Beatrice Zook knows what she wants out of life and it’s not a husband, especially not that pesky Ben Rupp who has pestered her since school. Bea just wants a quiet life at home and when her sister surprises her with a proposed trip, Bea finds a way out of it by getting a job. What she doesn’t realize is that this job will take her closer to everything she didn’t even know she wanted. Will she be able to reach past her fears to grasp her future?
Leslie Gould creates a satisfying read in this fourth book in the “Courtships of Lancaster County” series from Bethany House. Unlike some authors, Gould’s Amish characters feel well-rounded and realistic. The plot moves along swiftly and carriers the reader along on a very rewarding journey. If you like a nice, light romance and enjoy an Amish setting, I think you’ll enjoy “Becoming Bea.”
This book was provided to me by Bethany House for this review. The opinions, however are entirely my own.

“My Irish Table” is a Feast for the Eye and the Palate!

my irish tableCathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn have compiled a cookbook that is a treat for both the eye and the palate. “My Irish Table” is a visual feast full of everything from Irish comfort foods from Cathal’s own Irish upbringing to recipes from the highly successful Restaurant Eve. There is truly something for everyone in this book. Recipes include vegetable dishes, main dishes, starters and desserts. The book is sprinkled with stories from Cathal’s personal experience which creates an intimate feel that usually isn’t found in cookbooks. There are, of course, whole sections dedicated to potatoes and Irish soda bread but beyond those staples are gorgeous, mouth-watering recipes that are certain to find their way into your family’s favorites list. I can’t wait to try the Cauliflower with Toasted Garlic and Black Pepper and the Irish Stew with Piccalilli!
“My Irish Table” would make a great gift book for anyone with a taste for travel or just a fondness for good food, beautifully prepared and presented. I’d highly recommend “My Irish Table” for its beauty, variety and clear, well-written instructions.
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

Historical Fiction Fans Will Love “A Triple Knot”

untitledJoan of Kent, cousin of King Edward III, knows that she is destined for a political marriage. Edward is engaged in a struggle for the French crown and plans to use Joan to further his goals. Joan, who has seen her father betrayed to his death by this same family, isn’t resigned to her fate as royal pawn and secretly pledges herself to one of the king’s knights. She struggles to remain true to her vow while the king continues to plot her marriage to another.
Emma Campion does an excellent job of capturing the political intrigue and manipulations that helped plunge England and France into the 100 Years’ War. The characters are vibrant and interesting and the court life is portrayed with a fine eye for detail. Joan of Kent’s story is a true one brought to life with skillful writing and excellent dialogue. Emma Campion has done her research and delivered an interesting side chapter of Plantagenet history. I believe that historical fiction fans will truly enjoy “A Triple Knot.”
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!