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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!



View all my reviews

Oct 29, 2014
Believing the Dream (Return to Red River, #2)Believing the Dream by Lauraine Snelling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Return to Red River series. It picks up where the first book leaves off and sets up the third book. This series has a totally different feel than the original Red River of the North series. It reads more like a soap opera, with all the angst and personal emotional turmoil of that type of story. It lacks the gritty, deeper human struggle, the epic feel of the original series.

The characters are well developed and interesting. The history and setting are well done. The deeper historical issue of the railroads and unions is mentioned but not explored. The focus is much more on the love interests, making it more of a love story although not a traditional romance novel.

Oct 20, 2014
A Dream to Follow (Return to Red River, #1)A Dream to Follow by Lauraine Snelling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This series picks up several years after the first Red River of the North series ends. We find the children of the first series graduating and thinking about life after school. The same cast of characters from Blessing are there, plus we meet Elizabeth Rogers from Minnesota. They suffer another death, rejoice over another birth, and continue to farm against the elements of nature.

There isn't much new here. There isn't a lot of compelling conflict with these older versions of the Blessing characters. They certainly don't face the challenges that their parents did. I feel like this book is simply setting up the rest of the Return to Red River series. I'm already starting book 2, Believing the Dream, and hoping it deepens the story.

If you've read the series up until now, you'll feel like you've spent time with old friends.
Oct 14, 2014
Blessing in Disguise (Red River of the North, #6)Blessing in Disguise by Lauraine Snelling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent end to this series! Or is it? Lauraine Snelling completes the stories of the main characters while leaving the door wide open for several more books to follow.

Augusta Bjorklund comes to America to help her mother run the boarding house in Blessing. Against all the advice she gets, she refuses to learn English before she boards the ship. Once on America's shore, she realizes how large the country is - and how non-Norwegian. A mix-up with the trains lands her on a ranch in South Dakota, many miles from her family and anyone who can understand her. But Kane Moyer is more than willing to try.

I liked the way this segment of the series ended. There are so many story lines to pick up on, I'm looking forward to continuing with the Bjorklund clan in the other books Mrs. Snelling has written and will write.
Oct 11, 2014
Tender Mercies (Red River of the North, #5)Tender Mercies by Lauraine Snelling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Bjorklund family continues to branch out and fill the town of Blessing in what is soon to become the state of North Dakota. Besides following the well-known characters, we're also reunited with Mary Martha MacCallister, Zeb's older sister.

While Tender Mercies keeps the story moving, it doesn't rise to the level of the four prior books in the series. It ends very abruptly, and I recommend the reader have book 6 - Blessing in Disguise - close by and ready to read. It feels as if the story will finish there.