Monday, 20 May 2013

Book Review: Duchess by Susan May Warren

About the Book: Book Three in the Daughters of Fortune series.

When her country needs her, will she have the courage to surrender her glittering world and her one true love?

The golden age of Hollywood is in the business of creating stars. Rosie Worth, now starlet Roxy Price, has found everything she's wanted in the glamour of the silver screen. With adoring fans and a studio-mogul husband, she's finally silenced the voices-and grief-of the past. Her future shines bright...until the fated Black Friday when it all comes crashing down. When Roxy loses everything, she finds herself disgraced and penniless. Her only hope is to join forces with Belgian duke Rolfe Van Horne, a longtime film investor. But Rolfe is not who he seems, and he has other plans for Roxy and her movies-plans to support a growing unrest in Europe, plans that could break her heart and endanger her life. Find out more about the series by clicking on these links. Heiress. Baroness.

My Thoughts: I previously reviewed both Heiress and Baroness, so I was thrilled to have the chance to review the third book in the series as well.  I love Susan May Warren's writing, and though this series is a pretty big departure from the style of previous works I've read by her, I've loved this one as well.

One thing I wish authors would do is provide a quick summary of the previous books in the series.  I've read them both but still felt like I didn't quite remember all the details, and I do think it adds more depth as you're reading to have that background firmly in mind.  

That being said, this book swept me away once again.  I didn't mind reading all about the golden age of Hollywood, but I really loved the turn the book took when it moved into Europe and I thoroughly enjoyed that part of the storyline.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with my complimentary review copy.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Book Review: Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn by Evangeline Kelley

About the Series: The Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn series (Guideposts Books) introduces readers to Caroline, Gracie and Sam as they gather for a vacation where they spent the summers as children, and follows their adventures as they fulfill their mother's dream of opening a bed and breakfast. As the sisters heal from their mother's passing, they bond in ways they never imagined and discover evidence of God's hand in the unlikeliest of circumstances.

A team of four authors come together under the pen name of Evangeline Kelley to bring the unique personalities of each sister to vivid life and welcome audiences to the charming and historic island of Nantucket, complete with cobblestone streets, quaint shops, ferries, sandy beaches and salty air.

About Seaside Harmony: Three sisters, a charming inn, hints of mystery and romance, and a gorgeous seaside setting. Summer reading at its finest!

When Caroline Marris joins her sisters, Gracie Gold and Sam Carter for a Nantucket Island getaway, she has no idea how it will change her life. The sisters stumble upon Misty Harbor Inn, the place their late mother loved so much, and Caroline talks her sisters into buying the beautiful but dilapidated inn. But can free-spirited Caroline stay focused enough to make opening the inn a reality? Hand-drawn old postcards draw the sisters into the mystery of Hannah Montague, the young widow of the original owner. Can the sisters uncover the fate of this woman who disappeared in 1880? As Caroline and her sisters work together to make their mom's dream a reality, they bond in ways they never expected.

About Sunflower Summer: Misty Harbor Inn officially opens, and Gracie Gold, the middle Marris sister, wrestles with an overwhelming decision. As the sisters learn the day-to-day workings of running an inn, Gracie counsels its first guests, newlyweds whose honeymoon seems to be ending before it begins. Meanwhile, Sam's discovery of a clue in a secret room sheds unflattering light on Hannah Montague, who vanished from the house more than one hundred years ago. And as Gracie and Caroline welcome guests to the inn, they are delighted to see how God uses it --- and them --- to deepen relationships and transform lives.

Meet Evangeline Kelley: Evangeline Kelley is the pen name for the writing team of Patti Berg, Pam Andrews & Barbara Hanson, and Camy Tang, the four authors who collaborated to create Postcards from Misty Harbor Inn. Each of them has published novels individually, but this is their first series together.

My Thoughts: I admit that it took me a little bit to get into the first book.  I'm not totally sure why, though I think it may have to do with all the main characters being older, and therefore, simply not as relatable in terms of life stages.  I enjoyed it more after the purchase of the inn, watching as they restore it to it's former glory, and work out their relationships with each other at the same time.

In Sunflower Summer I thoroughly enjoyed the additional characters of the guests of the inn.  They added a lot of interest to the storyline without taking away from the main characters at all.

Once I got into it, I really enjoyed these easy reads.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with my complimentary review copy.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Book Review: Darkness Before Dawn by Ace Collins

About the Book: Will grief push Meg over the edge?

On the same night she discovers she is pregnant, twenty-eight-year-old nurse Meg Richards's husband is killed in an auto accident caused by a drunken teen. James Thomas comes from one of the most influential families in the community. He's a star athlete and glamour boy at the local high school. But the accident he caused will change his life---and Meg's future---forever.

Angered by her senseless loss and facing life as a single mother, Meg blames God for what has happened and considers a decision that could change her life even further. Enraged by the brutal trial and the court's decision, Meg starts down a frightening path of retribution. When the opportunity for revenge comes unexpectedly, will Meg follow through? Or will the remnants of her faith lead her in a different direction?

My Thoughts: Ace Collins did a masterful job of presenting the extreme side of darkness, despair and hate that can overwhelm someone in the face of close personal loss.  It also shows how deep and all-pervasive that darkness can be if we give in to it, and how hate simply swallows up the ability to love in any area.  Bitterness and hate can quickly turn you into a prisoner of your own soul if you allow them to.  Revenge seems like a way for you to get back at whoever has hurt you, but the one who really ends up getting hurt, is you.

The book also showed how a shallow perception of the gospel will give you no foundation in the face of great loss.  God never promises an easy life for those who follow Him.  In fact, He promises that it will be hard, but that He will be with us every step of the way and that we can find our refuge in Him.

Thankfully, the book also shows that no matter how far into darkness we descend, God will always provide a way out, into the dawn.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with my complimentary review copy.


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