Apr 17, 2014

Waiting for Lily Bloom

FIVE great big STARS!

I was privileged to read this book before it was submitted to Pelican. Kudos, Pelican, for knowing a great story when you read one! 

Jericha Kingston plunges the reader into the hardscrabble life of dustbowl-era Oklahoma where James Bloom has been patiently praying for a wife. Someone to share his life with. Someone to talk to on the long, lonely evenings on the farm.

Lily Driggers is a big city girl on a visit to her aunt and uncle. She doesn't expect to meet a handsome farmer - or to get caught in one of the worst dust storms in history with him.

Sparks fly and misunderstandings abound when Lily's aunt and uncle find the pair together in his house after the storm. Can love bloom amid the dust and doubts?

I highly recommend this book!
Available at Amazon

Apr 12, 2014

A Plain Man

A Plain ManA Plain Man by Mary Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A slightly different angle on an Amish story. We first met Caleb Beachy in Mary Ellis's story "Sarah's Christmas Miracle." Now he's done with the Englisch lifestyle and has moved back to his parent's home. But it's not easy. Earning the trust of the community he left is difficult - or maybe impossible.

Josie Yoder is happy to see Caleb return. Besides being her best friend's brother, he's still the handsome man she remembers. Against the wisdom and wishes of her family, she and Caleb begin to see each other.

There is plenty of conflict to build this story on. The characters are fresh and interesting and easy to relate to. Not many of us have escaped our growing up years without a few scars - some visible but most not. Nice little twist at the end that I particularly liked. But no spoiler here!

Apr 5, 2014

The Pelican Bride

The Pelican Bride (Gulf Coast Chronicles, #1)The Pelican Bride by Beth White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love finding out-of-the-ordinary historical settings that include a great story. This one nails it! Set in what is now Louisiana back when it was under French control, the story starts with a young woman fleeing from Catholic France and the persecution of the Protestant Huguenots. Bound for New France to outrun her secret, Genevieve Gaillain knows she's expected to marry a man she's never met when she arrives. Better that than being executed in France, as her father was.

Tristan Lanier has already lost one wife in the boggy swamps of New France, and he has no intention of choosing another from the women who arrive aboard the Pelican. But he didn't foresee a woman like Genevieve.

The twists, turns, and intrigues that weave between the French, Canadian, and Native Americans will keep the reader guessing what happens next - and who the bad guys really are! Thank goodness this is book one of a series, because it's only whet my appetite for more historical fiction set in this place and era.

Apr 4, 2014

Courting Morrow Little

Courting Morrow Little: A NovelCourting Morrow Little: A Novel by Laura Frantz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By far the best book I’ve read this year. I could not put this one down. A gripping tale with characters you’ll never forget.

Morrow Little was five years old when Indians killed her mother and younger sister, and took her older brother captive. She and her father, a preacher in a Kentucky wilderness settlement, carried on as best they could. Pa survived through forgiveness and befriending the Shawnee. Morrow grew bitter and fearful.

Morrow Little seems a most unlikely character to survive on the frontier. Small, fearful, and uncertain, she is anything but a stereotypical pioneer woman. I like that deviation. It made the story much more interesting. I found myself rooting for her to rise above it.

Laura Frantz does an excellent job of portraying the frontier from both sides. So many authors want to portray the Native Americans as only victims or the American frontiersmen as only cruel aggressors. Frantz portrays them more realistically; the good, the bad, and the ugly. They were human and, as humans, each sector included all of the above.

I'm not giving any spoilers away, because while some of the story line was predictable, there were some interesting and intriguing twists too. It didn't end like I expected it would - in one respect - and I like being wrong when I think I know exactly what's going to happen.

Mar 31, 2014

Wedding on the Rocks

Wedding on the RocksWedding on the Rocks by Rose Ross Zediker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one started slow. I actually started it a few months ago and set it aside. I decided I'd give it another shot and I'm very glad I did! It picked up steam and turned into charming romance.

Jennifer Edwards worked hard to get away from the ranch she grew up on in South Dakota. With her father recovering from a stroke, she heads back to temporarily run the ranch. But in her heart, she's all about getting back to Chicago and her big city life.

Brett Lange has loved Jennifer since high school, when she didn't have the time of day for him. He grew up in the town of Faith, wishing for her life on the ranch near the fossils that he loved to dig. Now an archaeology professor, he's back digging on her ranch and living at the house.

Thrown together, old misunderstandings surface and sparks fly. Some of those sparks lead places Jennifer doesn't want to go!

Mar 26, 2014

Head in the Clouds

Head in the CloudsHead in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Impulsive and determined, Adelaide Proctor sets out to get what she wants, a husband. But when that doesn't work the way she planned, she takes a position of governess to a sheep rancher's daughter. Adelaide channels her determination into helping the mute little girl overcome the trauma in her life and find her voice once again.

Gideon Westcott needs a governess for his adopted daughter, but he never expects to fall in love with the tiny woman in yellow who fills that position. Threatened by the child's natural uncle - a dangerous man who wants her fortune, not his niece - he finds himself trying to protect two females he's grown to love.

Mar 23, 2014

Taming the Sheriff

Taming the SheriffTaming the Sheriff by Cynthia Hickey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun romantic romp with a spunky school teacher and a handsome hillbilly sheriff. Charlotte Nelson moves to the hill country of Arkansas to teach school. Her first teaching position,and her first experience in a backwater part of the country, she expects challenges. She doesn't expect them to be a handsome sheriff raising three unruly nephews.

Asher Thomas has his hands full with a 3-generation family feud and three feisty young boys whose father has gone missing. Between keeping the peace and searching for his brother, the last thing he has time for is a dark-haired beauty who thinks she can change the hill people. But if he can keep her alive, she's going to change his mind.