books

Book Review: An Anchor on Heart

McKenna Nichols is a situation she never could have imagined. After having an autistic daughter, her husband can’t handle this difficulty thrown into their “happily ever after” and goes away for work indefinitely. The checks still come and they are still married, but she hasn’t seen or heard from her husband is two years. Enter Rudy Taylor, who naturally has the ability to love her daughter like she had always hoped her husband would.

An Anchor on her Heart pulls no punches and asks difficult questions. McKenna is married, a fact that both her and Rudy are honoring. And Rudy is in the unique situation to have the opportunity to try to convince her husband to come home to his wife and daughter. And that all does not play out how you would imagine.

What do we anchor our lives on? When everything else is swept away you are forced to ask that question and ask it honestly of yourself and this book focuses on that theme.

Note: I received this book as an advance pre-reader copy.

Book Review: Finding Love at the Oregon Coast

This, was a fun collection of stories. When I first heard this was a collection of novellas and not just  one story? To be perfectly honest I was kinda disappointed, I’m not a big fan novellas. But each story connects in such a way that it feels more like a new self contained chapter in the book.

Christina decides on her wedding day that she is making a mistake and standing there with makeup done and her wedding dress on cancels the wedding. She is supported by her three friends and bridesmaids and each following novella tells what happens next to each of the bridesmaids and concludes with Christina’s story.

First we meet Liz. Liz is a reporter who has lost her spark, and is feeling stuck at her magazine. Her life gets much interesting if she likes it or not when her old friend (and one of the groomsmen) comes to work with her. Next is Anabeth who takes this time to visit her mom and literally runs into a new friend…and meets his son. And last, Kadence, whose life is just crazy right now and looking for inspiration to write her next song. And finally coming back to Christina, who is starting over and seeing what her life will look like now.

I really enjoyed how each of these ladies had very different lives, in different parts of the country, and they were living their lives and careers and not just waiting for someone to come change their lives. They build each other up and are there for each other and we cannot have enough stories like that.

Note: I received this book as an advance pre-reader copy.

Book Review: The Genesis Tree

The final book in the The Tethered World series and I’m still torn over whether this is the best one. At the very least it’s a toss up between this book and the first book.
The Genesis Tree starts out with the threat of the Tethered World being exposed to the world up top. Very quickly things get complicated and our main heroes, Sadie and Brady get separated to go their own paths to help protect their friends and family.
The feel of this final book is very different from the first two. This story hones in all the growth and how far the characters have come so far and then throws a couple unimaginable variables at them. As I was reading the book I kept thinking to myself that I had no clue how the author was going to tie all this up. For the record, none of the versions in my head ended up being correct, but I did guess one of the plot twists. It’s been a while since I have be so much “along for the ride” and didn’t know where it would end up.
While this story clearly showed an ending to a specific chapter in the characters lives, the ending also felt like it could be the launching point to further stories. The Tethered World is too vast to be contained in just three books.
Note: I received this book as an advance pre-reader copy.

Book Review: Dreaming on Daisies

The fourth book in Miralee Ferrell’s Love Blossoms in Oregon series and the story swings back to a character touched on in the first book. Leah Carlson basically runs her family ranch while her father’s drinking spirals out of control. She desperately needs help and goes to the bank to ask for a loan, which is declined.

Steven Harding finds himself in a situation where he needs a place to stay. And he also would like to help Leah with her situation, so he presents an idea. Let him live in the ranch bunkhouse and he will help around the ranch. Everyone wins. While Leah is certain he won’t be cut out for the work, she is convicted to come let him try, and he is her friend’s brother after all.

I enjoyed that this book fleshed out a few of the sides characters from the previous stories and again presented a character who you would think would be the irredeemable one. But the greatest strength to this series is no one is irredeemable. This wasn’t my favorite book in the series, but I still enjoyed it. Both Leah and Steven learn how crucial forgiveness is, and how you can’t really move forward in your life until you no longer hold tight to that hurt.

Note: I received this book as a reviewer. 

Book Review: Wishing on Buttercups

Beth Roberts has secrets. Secrets that have defined her life and the parameters she is living by. She couldn’t dream that someone could see past her forgotten past.

Jeffrey Tucker is an aspiring writer who is just getting his feet under him when he realizes the inspiration living alongside him in the boardinghouse he calls home. And when he tries to get to know her better, wonders what he is doing wrong to get her to keep putting her walls up.

In this second book in Miralee Ferrell’s Love Blossoms in Oregon series, I figured out what I liked so much about this series. Each of our heroines aren’t just biding their time to be swept off their feet. They’re busy. They have businesses to run, careers to grow. And when they meet someone special? That person encourages them in their goals and builds them up. They don’t cast aside their personal goals and dreams just because they now have a significant other.

There is a secondary character in this book who completely out of the blue gets her happily ever after and I haven’t been that pleasantly surprised in a story in a while. I loved that little plot twist. I enjoyed this book and as of writing this have already started the last book.

Note: I received this book as a reviewer. 

Book Review: Blowing on Dandelions

Katherine Galloway is a widow in the 1880s who had her hands full running a boarding house and raising two girls before her mother moved in. Her mother, Frances Cooper, is a controlling, domineering woman who has zero respect for how her youngest daughter runs her business, or her family. Enter Micah Jacobs, a widower himself, and his son who move into the boarding house after their home and business burn down and tensions are near a boiling point.

Reading this book was dipping back into adventures into genres I don’t normally read. Blowing on Dandelions  is a historical romance novel, and a fine one at that. But it wasn’t the romance between Katherine and Micah that grabbed me, it was how Miralee Ferrell doesn’t take the easy way out. It would have been so easy to have Frances as only a source of tension and not seen as a person. But instead we get to see things from her perspective. Each of us are the hero in our own story, and this bitter old gradmother is no different. She honestly, truly, believes she is doing no wrong to those around her and watching her reason how she responds to the world made me want to read just one more page.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be reading more in this series.

Note: I received this book as a reviewer. 

Book Review: Finding Love in Park City, Utah

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CJ Lancaster is having a “Monday” of a day trying to get an interview she needs for her job at a tabloid. And it wasn’t even her job to start with. Running to catch a flight, it’s cold, and she misses her time slot for her interview. It just seems to be another chapter in a series of difficult times.

Sam Lake is acting as bodyguard for his actress sister in law when a reporter tries to flirt her way past him to get an interview. Her charm skills are not the greatest, but he promises to look up her work and get back to her.

This is my second favorite book in Angela Ruth Strong’s “Finding Love” series. There is nothing flat about CJ and Sam. Normally I would be like “umm really?” when characters fall for each other that fast, but it felt natural here. Both have their challenges, CJ is recovering from a recent divorce and Sam is a veteran working through PTSD. What I love about Strong’s writing is she tackles hard subjects, and while characters do get their “happily ever after” there is never a glossing over of the issues.

I dragged my feet finishing this book not wanting it to end, I look forward to future books by this author.

Note: I received this book as an advance pre-reader copy.