12.02.2014

The Look of Love by Sarah Jio | Book Review



STATS:
Order Here
Author, Sarah Jio
Published, November 25th, 2014
Publisher, Plume
Kindle edition, 320 pages


DESCRIPTION FROM GOODREADS:
Born during a Christmas blizzard, Jane Williams receives a rare gift: the ability to literally see true love. Jane has emerged from an ailing childhood a lonely, hopeless romantic when, on her twenty-fifth birthday, she receives a card from the midwife who delivered her. Jane must identify the six types of love before the full moon following her thirtieth birthday, or face grave consequences. When Jane falls for a science writer who doesn’t believe in love, she fears that her fate is sealed. Inspired by the classic song, The Look of Love will utterly enchant Sarah Jio’s rapidly growing fanbase. 

MY THOUGHTS:
I am a HUGE Sarah Jio fan.  I have read all her books and follow her on facebook and instagram.  I might even be called a stalker.  Seriously - she never disappoints me.
This novel was a little different from her others.  All of her previous books work on a dual storyline. This novel is set entirely in modern day with the exception of the Preface.  There are mentions of the past and info given by others, but no dual storyline.  With that being said, it is still everything that a Jio fan could ask for.  Love, history, and mystery are still there for your enjoyment.
I read a lot of reviews that compare the plot to Love Actually.  In fact, it is a good compassion.  The story is mainly about Jane and her gift, but there are multiple love stories that are centered around her. Multiple loves stories and types of love.
I think that the basis of the book is great.  Jane having a magical gift that she was given at birth. The story plays out well and their is a true ending to each of the couples love stories.  And - - it was one of those books that I picked up and finished in one setting.  I started reading when I got in bed and the next thing I knew, it was 3 am and I was done.
If you are looking for a fast and easy read, be sure to pick it up.


I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

12.01.2014

Merry December!



I still can't believe that it is December!  Christmas is right around the corner.

Are you looking for a great Bible Reading Plan for December?  Good Morning Girls has you covered.  In fact - they have a plan to get you started on the entire Bible.  And it is guided but you can jump in at any time.  I even saw that it is a favorite of Candace Cameron Bure when she is traveling and away from her small group at her home church.

For the month of December, they are reading Psalms.  It is not too late to catch up and be on board for Psalms 8.  Plus - there is a printable workbook and bookmark!


Last year I did the Advent Reading Plan.  It was great.  I think that I will try to do it at least every two years, but this year I am setting out and working on Psalms.  If you need a great Christmas reading plan, check this one out.


11.28.2014

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen | Book Review


STATS:
Author, Sarah Addison Allen
Published, expected January 20th, 2015 (Pre-Order HERE)
Publisher, St. Martin's Press
Kindle edition, 304 pages
Series, Waverley Family #2

BOOK TRAILER:
DESCRIPTION FROM GOODREADS: From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells comes a story of the Waverley family, in a novel as sparkling as the first dusting of frost on new-fallen leaves... It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree... and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store. Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts. Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby— a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has. Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke? When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost. Lose yourself in Sarah Addison Allen's enchanting world and fall for her charmed characters in this captivating story that proves that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It’s where the real story begins. 

MY THOUGHTS: This book was great!  Sarah Addison Allen has quickly become one of my favorite authors.  If you are not reading her due to the "magical" element of her books, you should.  I steer away from those novels most of the time and have to admit that I came upon The Peach Keeper by accident.  But, Allen has a wonderful way of adding just enough magic that it enhances the mystery of the story without overtaking it. If you have read Garden Spells, you will be in luck since this is the second novel in that series.  If you haven't (like myself, but I will now) that is fine too.  This story can stand alone but if you like to keep books in order, there is plenty of time to read Garden Spells before First Frost is available. The dynamic of the sister and mother/daughter relationship is very honest and believable.  The story is about, Bay, a teenage girl trying to deal with growing up and being from "that" family in town.  Sisters Sydney and Clair are dealing with all the built up craziness that comes with the first frost of the season.  Throw in a mysterious stranger in town and you have a recipe for success.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

11.06.2014

Taken by Tuesday by Catherine Bybee | Book Review


STATS:
Author, Catherine Bybee
Published, August 12, 2014
Publisher, Montlake Romance
Kindle edition, 309 pages
Series, The Weekday Brides, #5

DESCRIPTION FROM GOODREADS:
Judy Gardner: College graduate Judy stands ready to conquer the world?if she can get a job. Hoping to transition from aspiring architect to famous architect as quickly as possible, the dark-haired beauty moves to LA, staying in the home of her celebrity brother, Michael Wolfe. But it's hard for Judy to focus on work when the sexy bodyguard she fell for last summer keeps showing up in her life and leaving her breathless.
Rick Evans: With his hard body, green eyes, and easy smile, Rick could have any woman he wants. But the Marine-turned- bodyguard only has eyes for Judy and her spitfire attitude. When a faceless villain attacks Judy, Rick will stop at nothing to protect the woman who opened his heart from the monster hunting her.


MY THOUGHTS:
This is another book in The Weekday Brides series.  I have not read these in order and while I think they would be great in order, they clearly can stand alone.  Also - I am still a little bothered that they are not written in day of the week order.  (Single by Saturday is before Taken by Tuesday)
This is a great romance between a girl and her bodyguard.  The chemistry is great and the fact that they both try to ignore what is happening is very entertaining.  This mixed with the fact there is a sense of danger with a stalker after Judy, leads to a great story.
But - I love the writing by Catherine Bybee and I will certainly read more by her and I recommend this series to anyone who likes easy to read romance.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

A June Bride by Marybeth Whalen | Book review



STATS:
Author, Marybeth Whalen
Published, May 27th, 2014
Publisher, Zondervon
Kindle edition, 64 pages
Series, A Year of Weddings

DESCRIPTION FROM GOODREADS:
It takes a reality TV show for Wynne to realize love isn't just a game.
Wynne Hardy never thought that she'd get engaged on a reality TV show, but when she met Andy on The Rejection Connection, the two of them hit it off.  Now he's asked her to marry him ,much to the public's delight and fascination.  They're all set to wed on live TV in a seaside ceremony at the height of the wedding season.  But just as Wynee thinks all her dreams are coming true, her ex-boyfriend walks back into her life at the worst possible time.  Steve broke her heart years ago, and she's still sorting through her feelings for him.  Her heart isn't as clear as her head that it's past time to move on - even though she's engaged to Andy.
At a local TV talk show apperance, Wynne meets Meredith, who won another reality TV show - - Marathon Mom - - proving herself nothing short of a superhero.  As Wynne's beach wedding plans spin out of control, Meredith offers to help, unknowingly stepping on Wynne's secret feeling...and exposing some secrets Meredith has been keeping to herself.  Can these two reality starts get real about their feelings?  Will Wynne go through with her televised wedding and be the perfect June bride the network is looking for?

MY THOUGHTS:
Reality television is such a big thing today and I thought it was a semi original idea to write and wedding themed book centered around it.  But, in the end, I think that the novella was a lost cause.  The novella itself was well written at times but had unresolved questions that lingered.
Wynne was not my favorite bride in this series.  She seemed to lack dimension and character development.  She was also very naive.
Since it was written from Wynne's point of view, we don't get to see what the other characters are really like or what they are thinking.  I think that their point of view would have been a huge help with the story.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.