Monday, September 15, 2014

Tried and True - A Book Review

I was first introduced to Mary Connealy's books when I read The Kincaid Brides series and I became an instant fan.  Her next series was The Trouble in Texas series and I was a little disappointed with that series.  Now I just finished the first book in her new series Wild at Heart and let me tell you, she has captivated me again!  I absolutely LOVED this book and I cannot wait for the next book to come out.  From the very first page to the last I was intrigued with this well written and highly entertaining novel.  

Mary Connealy has a unique writing style.  Her books are all westerns and she has a lighthearted, comedic way of writing her stories.  There is also a lot of romance in them.  If there is such a thing as a wild west fairy tail then that is how I would describe the way she weaves her stories.  I loved all of the characters in this novel and there was plenty of page turning action and suspense!  This is surely a series you don't want to miss!

Kylie and her sisters disguised themselves as men and fought during the civil war, now the war is over and they have all claimed homesteads and are still disguising themselves as men in order to get their homesteaders exemption.  Kylie is not like her sisters though, she likes dresses and pretty things and dreams of a civilized life.  Her plans are to prove her homestead, sell out to her pa and then head for civilization. 

Aaron Masterson is a land agent and it doesn't take him long to discover that Kylie is really a woman.  When someone starts threatening Kylie's life in an attempt to run her off her land Aaron comes to her rescue time and time again, but will the only way to keep her safe be to marry her?  Will Kylie marry Aaron and give up her dreams of a civilized life?  You are just going to have to read for yourself to find out!  

***Thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest review.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bend Your Brain - A Book Review

Calling all nerds...okay, maybe you don't have to be a bonafide nerd to enjoy Bend Your Brain, but if you love puzzles and bind benders this is a great book that you are sure to love.

Once you pick up Bend Your Brain it is hard to put it down.  It is filled with 151 puzzles, tips and tricks that blow and grow your mind.  There are five sections - Visual Perception, Word Skills, Critical Thinking, Coordination, and Memory. There is a wide variety of puzzles ranging from easy to hard.   

I sat down with my 16 year old daughter and worked through a lot of the puzzles together and what fun we had!  Some of the puzzles were challenging, but that just gets your brain working all the harder.  

Since I am a homeschool mom these type of books always intrigue me.  I have purchased several "mind bending" type puzzle books through the years and I have to say this is the best I've seen.  The puzzles are new and fresh and unlike any that I have seen in previous books.  The directions are clear, examples are given when needed and the answers are in the back of the book in case you get completely stumped or just want to check and see if you are right.

The only negative thing I have to say about the book is that many of the puzzles require writing and once you write on the puzzle that's it.  I like a book that can last for several uses, so we used a pencil, wrote light and then erased so someone else in the family could try the same puzzle.  So it still worked, but that was the only draw back I found. 

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Honor - A Book Review

Honor is the first book in the Quaker Brides series by Lyn Cote.  I absolutely loved the story of Honor Penworthy, a young Quaker woman, who due to some unfortunate circumstances finds herself without a home, money or hope for a future.  All she has is her maid Royale, a black servant whom she has promised to free.  With no skills Honor's future depends on a marriage to Samuel Cathwell.  Samuel lost his hearing as a child, but has learned sign language and is a successful business man.  Despite his success he is withdrawn from the hearing world and feels like everyone sees him as a burden.  

Samuel and Honor along with Royale and a few other servants that they have hired, head west to start a new life.  Honor is very passionate about freeing slaves and soon becomes involved in the Underground Railroad.  Samuel knows that his wife is hiding something, but he is not sure what.  

Honor is such a brave character and is willing to risk everything to do what she feels is right.  The way the author portrays the feelings between Honor and Samuel is so realistic and I could relate to both of them.  I have a passion for deaf culture and have been learning ASL myself so I was instantly drawn to this book because one of the main characters was deaf.  It is so well written.  There is courage, suspense and love.  Honor is a true heroine and I was captivated from the first page to the last.  On top of loving the story of Honor and Samuel there were several minor characters that added so much to the story!  I can't wait to read the next book in this series.  

If you enjoy historical fiction I am sure you will love this book too!

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Making Marion - A Book Review

Marion Miller comes to Sherwood Forest to uncover he father's mysterious past.    She is looking for somewhere to stay, but instead finds herself on the wrong side of the reception desk at the Peace and Pigs campsite.  Despite her shyness, she promptly lands herself a job working for the big-hearted and irrepressible Scarlett.

It takes all of Marion's determination to come out of her shell and get to grips with life on a busy campsite, where even the chickens seem determined to thwart her.  Then an unfortunate incident with a runaway bike throws her into the arms of the beautiful, but deeply unimpressed, Rueben...

Can Marion discover her father's secret?  And will she find peace, and perhaps even love among the pigs?

I have to admit that the thing that first attracted me to Making Marion by Beth Moran was the cover.  Unlike most books I've read lately the cover looked fun and lighthearted, then when I seen that it was a Robin Hood story I was even more intrigued.  After reading more serious drama filled books I was ready for something fun.

I hate to say that I was disappointed with what I found within the pages of the book.  The story was just okay, but what bothered me the most was some of the language.  There was not a huge amount of bad words, but enough to turn me off from it.  I am very particular as to what I read and I would not classify the book as a christian novel and because of those reasons I could not recommend this book to others.  

About the Author:

Beth Moran lives in Nottningham with her husband, and three children.  When she's not writing, Beth helps lead a national women's network.  You can visit her website by clicking HERE.

***This book was provided to my by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.