Saturday, January 7, 2017

All the Good Parts

All the Good PartsAt thirty-nine, Leona Accorsi is broke, single, back in school, and living in her sister Carly’s basement. She’s perfectly content being quirky Auntie Lee to Carly’s four children. That is, until Leona’s doctor tells her that if she wants to have a child, she’d better do it now.

Leona does want a baby. She always has, but the circumstances have never been right. Now she has a huge decision to make: face motherhood on her own or risk missing out on its rewards.

Unfortunately, she’s let her romantic life go stagnant. She barely even knows any single men. She has just a few prospects: a Vietnam vet and partial amputee, his intimidating son, the sweet but troubled man who tutors her niece, and a fellow nursing student she’s never actually met.
As Leona discovers more about each one, she realizes any of them could be the right man for the job. The more important question is, has she become the right woman?

Well, I sure hope this book isn't an indication of how my reading for 2017 is going to be?!?  I don't often give below a 3-star rating, but I just couldn't go any higher with this title.  I loved the cover of this book and the description was intriguing, but it was so unrealistic I had a hard time getting through it.  I liked Leona, the main character, and basically continued the book because I wanted to know if and who would father her baby.  Beyond that, I just didn't care.  The side characters and plot line were not believable and nor enjoyable.  I'm not really sure what else to say, I just simply did not enjoy the book and hate to say it but I would not recommend reading it.  

 * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

While You Were Sleeping

While You Were SleepingYou wake up to find the man beside you is dead.   He is not your husband. This is not your bed.  What do you do?  Tara Logan lives a quiet life with her husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer.  But her peace is shattered when she wakes in her neighbour Lee’s bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them. And worse – he has been stabbed to death.
Convinced she didn’t kill Lee, Tara stays silent, fearing the truth will rip her family apart.  But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara soon realises that someone in her life knows what really happened to Lee. She must get to the truth before they do.  Tara made a mistake … but will one night cost her everything?

This is one of those books that you just can't stop reading until it answers all your questions!  I needed to know what was going to happen, however there was just something that kept me from giving this book a five star rating.  While I wanted to know, I guess I didn't feel invested in the characters enough to feel connected to them.  I loved the twists and it kept me guessing, which is exactly what I enjoy and expect in a book like this.  I will continue to read title by Kathryn Croft because I have not been disappointed!  

              * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Fresh Out of Amazing

Fresh Out of Amazing: Opening Your Heart to God's Unexpected InvitationYou’re Invited to Savor Some Grace Today

What do you do when everyone expects you to be amazing…and you’ve got nothing left to give? It’s an issue all busy women share—that pressure to always be a go-getter when sometimes all you want to do is get going (and stay gone for a long time).

Join author and speaker Stacey Thacker as she walks you through God’s mercies and shows you how to identify what’s dragging you down so you can find the specific encouragement you need increase your trust in Jesus by learning practical ways to rest when you’re depleted accept the invitation to see God big when you’re fresh out of amazing Whether you’re short on time, energy, motivation, hope, or all of the above, only one thing can bring your weary spirit back to life: Jesus

I found this title to be enjoyable, but much of the content was ideas and thoughts I have heard before.  I could see giving this title to a new Christian or someone who has recently found their way back to Christ, but it just didn't give me any new insights so I wasn't blown away.  The writing style was easy to read and repetitive at times, but I think that was needed to bring the theme of the book together.  The writer is a blogger and it read like a blog in many ways, just wished for a bit more.    

            * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Word Writers: Philippians

Word Writers: Philippians: Experience the Bible . . . Writing Word by WordThe book of Philippians calls you to see beyond your present circumstances and discover the authentic joy awaiting you in Christ. Get ready to explore this uplifting book through the tried-and-tested inductive study method—with an added writing step to help you treasure each word!

In this exciting Bible study (complete with devotions, questions, and blank pages in the back), you will...

READ—Find out what these verses say.
REFLECT—Discover what these verses mean.
RESPOND—Apply these verses to your everyday life.
WRITE—Rewrite these verses to better remember them.

As you dive into Philippians you will learn what God's Word says about walking in humility and claiming your eternal hope.

 I must be honest in reviewing this book by saying that I enjoyed the actual devotional writing by the author, but after a few days of re-writing the scripture I gave that part up.  I found myself dreading that part and that's not how I want to start my devotional time.  While I understand the reasoning, I would have much preferred to write out a key verse or thought each day.  So while I didn't use the resource in the way the writer intended, I did find each day to be insightful and unique.  I appreciated the ways for finding deeper joy in each section because it was applicable to my life.  I plan to read the Ephesians study next.   

          * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed DoorsEveryone knows a couple like Jack and Grace.

He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. Though, you’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

This story made me sad.  Sad to think that there could be people out there in a marriage like this.  While this book is often compared to Gone Girl, I tend to disagree.  Gone Girl seemed a bit far-fetched, but this actually felt like it could happen.  It just made me think, is this happening around me and I have no idea?  I was amazed how fast I was able to read this book, it was smooth and effortless.  I found myself almost anxious at times for the place that Grace was in with no hope.  This is exactly the type of story I enjoy and I plan to seek out other similar titles in the future.        

 * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Light of Hidden Flowers

The Light of Hidden Flowers 
Book-smart Melissa Fletcher lives a predictable life in her hometown, working behind the scenes for her charismatic father in a financial career that makes perfect sense. But when her dad is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Missy is forced to step up and take over as his primary caregiver and the principal of the firm.

After her father’s death, Missy finds a letter from him in which he praises her for being a dutiful daughter but admonishes her for not taking any risks in life.

Devastated, Missy packs her suitcase and heads for Italy. There she meets a new friend who proposes a radical idea. Soon, Missy finds herself in impoverished India, signing away her inheritance and betting on a risky plan while rekindling a lost love.

This was a solid 4-star read for me.  In fact, I can't even tell you one thing that I would have changed to make it a 5-star, except to say that there was just a something missing for me to bump it up that extra star.  The writing was well done, I would say it was a little longer than it needed to be.  It was a beautiful story of different people finding their true self through life changes, heartache and exploration.  All this came together nicely and maybe it was just a little too nice.  I would highly recommend this novel to someone who wants more meat than the typical chick-lit provides.  Overall, I'm very glad I read this novel.
* I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Friday, October 21, 2016

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

I am back for my second round of Dewey's 24 hour readathon.  Like last time, the hubby is at work so I will get as much reading done as my 8 and 4 year old will allow!  I am not setting a specific TBR, other than finishing The Light of Hidden Flowers by Jennifer Handford.  I would like to start The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, but I just created a spreadsheet of all the Netgalley books I need to review and realized I better buckle down on those as well.  So, that's the plan at this point.  My start time is 8 am, so I'm putting the boys to bed late with hopes that they will sleep in and I will get an early start.  Last time I was able to read a little over 3 hours and about 300 pages, so I'd like to meet of exceed that if possible and I will call it a success!  Thanks again to all who dedicate their time to running this 24 hours.  My plan is to update here with totals as often as I can as well as on Twitter if I can do that without getting distracted.  Best of luck to my fellow readers!