Saturday, April 23, 2016

FAIR PLAY a book review

Fair Play Deanne Gist
•°o•:*:•. PG-13 or higher .•:*:• o°•
Very disappointing.  This book seems to be trying to cater to two different audiences; Christian and secular. I kept expecting the tone of inspiring lust to change, but instead it continued to build.  It made me very uncomfortable to read.  I kept thinking about my best friend that I share books with, who then passes them to her teenage daughter.  I would never want her to read this book. 
Ch. 4 Pg., 32 “She would start her new job with a new gown, a new hat, new gloves, new stockings, and the most wicked undergarments she’d ever owned.” Her risqué undergarments get referenced repeatedly throughout the novel.
The story takes place at the 1893 World’s Fair, the same as the first book in the series, but only once do we “glimpse” the original characters from book one, so they are both stand-alone books.  Dr. Billy Jack Tate has hung her shingle in the exciting town of Chicago, and is pushing the odds to attempt to run her own practice.  She has an outstanding resume, but people are prejudice against female doctors. Hunter is a Texas Ranger on loan to the Fair.  The story is ripe for an enjoyable diversion, and exploration as they get to know each other.  Instead, this book delves deeply into the deplorable conditions of the west side tenements, the disgusting jails, where children are kept with men who have syphilis and half their tongues are missing, and hookers, and other criminals, while they all share the same cup for drinking, and trough for relieving themselves.  That’s just one example of the details shared!  The two main characters are constantly drawn to each other, and think about each other provocatively. Ch. 53 Pg. 404 “Shaking her head, she started soaping and washing her instruments…. He admired the view, mesmerized by the jiggling that occurred while she scrubbed.”  So much of this was throughout the book, it became an annoying distraction. In addition, there is rape, and murder of innocents.  Just because the author found these deplorable conditions in her research, does not mean we, the readers, want to sit back to enjoy a pleasant evening reading, and be slapped in the face with all of it.  I did finish the book, in order to give it my best effort, but I can not, in good conscience recommend this book.
H (1 star)
Read: 04/21&22/2016
I purchased this book from Christian Book Discounters (CBD) and my opinion is my own.
SERIES: World’s Fair Series
It Happened At The Fair –  Book #1 – April 2013
Fair Play – Book #2 – May 2014
Tiffany Girl – Book #3 – May 2015
Pressings Matters Publ. Co., Inc., - Howard Books

Thursday, April 21, 2016


NetGalley cover shown here. Click HERE
to go to CBD for more information & to purchase
Note a different cover is currently shown on CBD
as seen below.
To Love a Stranger  -     By: Colleeen Coble

To Love a Stranger
Colleen Cobble
•°o•:*:•.Diverting, but feels rushed .•:*:• o°•

April 1868
Bessie Randall is age twenty-six from a prestigious family in Boston.  She is the older, plainer and quieter sister to Lenore, who is beautiful, and toast of the town at age twenty-one.  On a whim, Lorna has decided to correspond with a handsome soldier, from Fort Bridger, Utah Territory, who is interested in marriage. She thought nothing would come of it, but the letters continued over six months.  She had used her older sister’s name, knowing her parents would never approve of her writing.  When he asked for a marriage by proxy, it sounded exciting, so she just did it.  Then she met Richard and changed her mind. She tells her sister, “I know you would like Jasper. And you’d make a much better soldier’s wife than I would”.  Bessie feels both betrayed, and bound to a promise made in her name.  Fearing her sister may even go to jail, she agrees to follow through on the marriage.
Jasper is smitten with the beautiful photo of Lenore, who he thinks is “his” Bessie, and feels connected to her through their many letters.  Knowing she craves adventure, he intends to surprise her with the fact his regiment is being reassigned to the untamed land of Arizona, filled with Indians, and other dangers.  When the real Bessie arrives, he feels duped and betrayed.  Bessie prays he will accept her and not send her packing. He has little choice when his timetable gets moved up.  Either try to deal with the situation along the way, or leave her behind, legally married to him.  They decide to wait until they get to Phoenix to figure out the best course.  Along the way, Bessie finds an Indian baby, destined to die in the dessert.  They immediately help care for the baby, and Jasper discovers there may be more to this tiny waif of a woman than he originally thought.  They encounter hardships together, and walk on eggshells with each other, constantly assuming and reevaluating things in their minds, as they muddle through their new relationship.  They finally agree to use the Bible as a road map for love, and try to figure out God’s direction for that.  FAVORITE QUOTE: The Lord called me as His own when I was ten years old.  I will do my best to raise my daughter in the ways of Jesus as we travel among my people to tell them of His love.” Thomas, Ch. 15
Because this book is only 224 pages, it felt quite rushed to me.  I would have liked things to develop at a more realistic pace.  It is well written, but also lacked the mystery element this author is usually famous for.  It is a nice diversion, and I easily read it in one evening.  I also noticed more than one cover.  I liked the one featured on NetGalley, but I did not care for the one I saw on Christian Book Discounters, which appears dated.

I recommend this book as a light read, and appreciate receiving an advance eCopy through NetGalley. My opinion is my own.
HHHH (4 stars)
224 Pages
Thomas Nelson Publ., scheduled for release June 19, 2016 UPDATE: THIS BOOK APPEARS TO BE A REPACKAGED BOOK FROM 2000, PER THE LINK SHOWN IN GOODREADS.
Read: 4/20/2016 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

From This Moment book review

•°o•:*:•. GRABS YOU BY THE THROAT! .•:*:• o°•

Seriously, this book does not let go.  I often found myself quite worked up with all of the injustice the characters were dealing with, which tells me the author was doing her job and really pulling me into the story.

1897.  Stella West (aka Westergaard), has left the extravagant art world to come to Boston, undercover, in search of her sister’s killer.  The police have ruled the death an accident, but she has reason to believe otherwise.  As she follows the clues and her gut, she does more than just ruffle some feathers, and becomes the target of people seeking to silence her.

Romulus White, part owner of an esteemed scientific magazine, has been trying for years to lure her to Boston to come work for him, and finally push his advertisements to the next level.  When he receives a letter returned to him, listing her new forwarding address, IN BOSTON, he cannot believe his luck and immediately sets off to find her, landing himself smack dab in the middle of her investigation.  Romulus is a self-proclaimed bachelor, who enjoys frolicking about town with many beautiful women, and who will not entertain the idea of marriage until age 40.  An idea he came up with to fend off his many starry-eyed suitors, and keep the risk of getting hurt again at arm’s length. He has a keen fashion sense, far above most men in the city (I kept picturing Rupert Everett in the 1999 Rom-Com, An Ideal Husband).  Ch. 5 “Mr. Townsend looked stunned. “Did you run off and get married while no one was looking?” “Perish the thought,” Romulus said with a mild shudder. “If I ever get married, the entire city will know it, as my mother shall hire a choir of angels to sing from the mountaintops.”

TRIBUTE TO TEA (tea is my thing): Ch. 7 – One of the few tea moments in this book, and rather amusing… since even though he is quite vexed, Romulus still feels good manners are paramount. “I’m heading downstairs for a bite to eat,” he said. “Miss West is shamefully late.  If she arrives while I’m gone, please scold her for me, then offer her a pot of tea until I get back.”

This book is filled with strong characters and story line, great detail, art and subway history, danger and intrigue.  Romulus and Stella complement each other nicely and are able to help each other grow and shed some of their insecurities and flaws. Prayer and God are softly weaved into the story line as well.

I do recommend the book, and appreciate receiving an advance eCopy from Bethany House through NetGalley. My opinion is my own.

HHHHH (5 stars)
368 Pages
Bethany House Publ., scheduled for release June 7, 2016
Read: 4/18&19, 2016 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Reluctant Duchess Book Review

The Reluctant Duches – Ladies of the Manor- Book#2, 
Roseanna M. White, Bethany House Publ.

•°o•:*:•. RIVETING .•:*:• o°•

Really enjoyed this new-to-me author. In short, dangerous and faith filled, Edwardian romance, set in August 1912 Lochaber, Highlands, Scotland and further in Nottingham, England.

I enjoyed the strong Scottish dialect of Lady Rowena Kinnaird and her clan. She is so broken by life and family torment in the beginning, and she is brutally attacked by the man who she has given her heart to.  She becomes plagued by the nightmare of what happened to her, making it extremely difficult to move forward.  
Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham and most eligible bachelor in England, has his own share of troubles he is dealing with.  The Fire Eyes are rare diamonds he has been entrusted to protect form devious foes, Lady Pratt and her brother, Lord Rushworth, and he desires no distractions.  However, when he comes into contact with Lady Rowena and discovers he may be the only one who can protect her, he is faced with a moral dilemma.  He is an interesting character in that he continually prays and “listens” for the voice of God, which he DOES hear.  I love that he is so in tune with the Lord.
This story has complex twists and turns, and various villains will make appearances, which kept me interested. I definitely want to read book #3.

Scriptural Reference:
P.244 “Ye’ve read your Bible, Mr. Abbott, I ken ye have.  So tell me.  What do ye make of the fact that Saul went to a medium and called Samuel up from the dead”? “Or perhaps ye’d prefer a New Testament example, since ye’re all about the modern and enlightened.  So what of when the graves opened and the dead were seen walking about after our Lord’s death?” Or the way the disciples prayed over a handerkerchief and sent it to the sick, and they were healed – proving power can be put on an object, aye?” And so curses could be too. Why were they willing to believe in the one but not the other?”
**Now, I will say, this was the only scriptural reference I recall, save a brief reminder from the Lord (pg.294 “And Joseph was minded to put her away quietly…but an angel appeared to him in a dream-”} and the only mention of Jesus [our Lord’s death], which was well into the book and had me wondering up to that point.  Brice prays regularly, but you don’t really see people reading The Word, or referencing scripture in general.  The scriptures referenced above were meant to prove a point by Rowena who believes in ghosts and curses, fairies and spirits, common in her heritage and folklore.  I tend to believe that the devil will use anything he can to distract us from God and lead us astray.  I think it is important to acknowledge where things actually come from vs. believing in some mystical and mysterious folklore.  Darkness is encouraged by satin and the light is directed by the hand of God, our Lord and Saviors Jesus Christ.  I mention these things only for the Christian who looks for such detail in a review, and appreciates them like I do.  Further, the Bible is clear we are not to dabble in things such as mediums, fortune telling, witchcraft, etc. I also enjoyed the references about missionary, George Mueller, a man of great faith.  I do recommend the book.  It is a good and interesting story and it is my privilege to be included in Roseanna M. White’s Influencer List and I received this copy for no compensation.  My opinion is my own.

HHHHH (5 stars)
Read: 4/2&3/2016
SERIES: Ladies of the Manor
The Lost Heiress – Book #1 – 2015
The Reluctant Duchess – Book #2 – 2016
A Lady Unrivaled – Book #3 – September 2016
#1: The Lost Heiress   -     By: Roseanna M. White
Click here for more info.
A Lady Unrivaled #3   -     By: Roseanna M. White
Click Here for more info.

Hugs and a cup of tea,
Heather Elizabeth