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Dec 17, 2014
The Devil In Pew Number SevenThe Devil In Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kara Hunt recommended this book to me, and I’m so glad she did. On the face of it, it’s a book about a series of tragic events that befall a pastor and his family. But at its heart, it’s a book about forgiveness.

This is not a comfortable read. It’s a true story of a family persecuted for years by a demented man … in their church. What this writer went through, as a very young child, is unthinkable. I had a hard time wrapping my mind around it. Thankfully. But it happened.

What makes this book special is how the family understood their role in God’s plan, and how they lived out their faith. Not only in the past, but even today. The ending surprised me, I didn’t see that coming. And that – always – makes a good story!

Highly recommended reading.
Dec 10, 2014
A Hero for ChristmasA Hero for Christmas by Jo Ann Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An entertaining romance set in the Regency era in England. With the background of Christmas approaching and halls decked with evergreens and holly, the story is well told and characters are engaging. A good book to help set the Christmas mood.

Catherine Meriweather had lost too much, her fiancé, her father, and her faith. Jonathan Bradby has been hailed as a hero, but only he knows the truth. Faced with the danger of smugglers in Sanctuary Bay, can the two learn to trust each other with their deepest secrets?

Dec 4, 2014
Mail-Order Mistletoe Brides: Christmas Hearts\Mistletoe Kiss in Dry CreekMail-Order Mistletoe Brides: Christmas Hearts\Mistletoe Kiss in Dry Creek by Jillian Hart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two stories that are just what you think about when you think about Christmas romance. The first one is good and the second one is even better. Curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and your favorite slippers for these.

Mercy Jacobs needs a husband to take care of her and be a father to her little boy. Cole Matheson needs a mother for his wayward daughter, but has no desire for another wife. Can Mercy bring joy to his house again?

Maeve Flannagan is running from her past and hiding a secret. Noah Miller has a bunkhouse full of men who need to be fed in an area where cooks are hard to come by. Can the copper-haired beauty actually cook? And is there room for her in his heart as well as his kitchen?

Dec 2, 2014
The Vigilante's Bride (Texas Rangers #1)The Vigilante's Bride by Yvonne Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The core story of The Vigilante's Bride is good. The hero, Luke Sullivan, is everything a western hero ought to be. Upright, honest, handsome, a little bit edgy, and a true cowboy. The heroine, Emily McCarthy, is sweet and spunky. All good stuff.

But I found the distraction of every western element thrown into this one story to be a lot to overcome. From mail-order bride, to cattle rustlers, to stage hold-up, to shootout in a bar, to Indians, to dishonest land barren ... it has it ALL . Everything. In one book. I felt at times that it was moving from one western cliche to the next without much rhyme nor reason. And it never really came around full circle to meld the beginning with the end, giving purpose to the journey of both main characters. It just ended.

Was it awful? No. Was it stellar? No. It was somewhere in between. A nice read for when you don't want to think too hard about what you're reading.
Nov 20, 2014
Stallions at Burnt Rock (West Texas Sunrise #1)Stallions at Burnt Rock by Paul Bagdon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lee Morgan was a lady working a man's job in a man's world. Raising horses on a Texas ranch was hard enough, but  at the end of the War Between the States, ex-soldiers roaming the land made it more dangerous. She and fellow horse rancher Jonas Dwyer decide to drum up buyers for their animals by staging a race. Their plan drums up a lot more than just horse buyers. Marshall Ben Flood has his hands full. This race will change all their lives.

If you like westerns you'll enjoy this story. If you know horses, you'll enjoy it. Love a western with accurate horse-sense in it! But the relationships between the characters just doesn't spark a lot of emotion, except between Lee and her ranch foreman, Carlos. The genuine friendship and respect between them comes through beautifully.



Nov 14, 2014
Where Two Hearts MeetWhere Two Hearts Meet by Carrie Turansky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First - this is two novellas published as one book. I didn't realize that when I picked it up. (My fault - it's clear if you actually read the cover.) The two stories are related, the heroines are sisters, but the second isn't a sequel to the first. Just so you know.

Allison Bennett runs a tea shop with her sister, Tessa. Things are financially tight and looking grim when in walks Tyler Lawrence. The past and the present clash when Tyler offers a helping hand with the business. Allison trusted him once, and he disappeared. Will he stay around and finish what he started this time?

Tessa Malone worked hard at the tea shop. She had to. Her husband, Matt, had led their family into financial ruin. Sure, he helped her around the house and with the kids and he had a job - one he hated. But when an elderly relative leaves him property across the country, how can he even think of uprooting her and their children again?

Good stories, worth reading when you want an uncomplicated story to relax with.
Nov 7, 2014
The Falcon and the SparrowThe Falcon and the Sparrow by M.L. Tyndall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I like MaryLu Tyndall's stories. This is the third of her books I have read. It's the first one I've read that she self-published. The story is very good and I recommend it. But it could have benefited from an editor. There are places where words are missing, where boots change to shoes and then back to boots again, where a minor character's name switches spelling a couple of times. Nothing that diminishes the story, but all things that jarred me out of it for a few moments. I wouldn't be surprised if she hasn't already corrected those issues in the ebook format, but I have copy that came out quite a while ago.

Dominique Dawson is meek, unassuming, fearful ... and a spy. Admiral Chase Randal is cold, purposeful, and determined to resume his life at sea. The daughter of Admiral Dawson, who Chase greatly admired, comes to be his son's governess. He's appreciative of the change Dominique brings to his son, and caught off guard by the change she begins in him. But if he ever finds out her real purpose in his household has nothing to do with his son ... she could hang.

Told in MaryLu Tyndall's style with plenty of drama and a swashbuckling sword fight - of course!



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