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Archive for August, 2013


Things were going well for watch maker Mollie Knox. Carrying on her father’s tradition of hiring wounded soldiers make Mollie proud, knowing she’s employing men who otherwise would be lost to the world. Many of the employed men come from her father’s regiment, and Mollie deeply feels the responsibility for the 40 family her company supports.  IntotheWhirlwind

Zack Kasmarek is the hard-nosed lawyer employed by one of Chicago’s largest- and most influential- department stores. His reputation leaves Mollie on pins and needles every single time they meet, since he’s the one she deals with as part of her company’s exclusive contract with the department store giant.

Mollie has no idea of the feeling he’s harboring for her- at least not until the Great Chicago Fire that leaves her company in ruins and she and Zach spend the night escaping the fire together and struggling to get her company supplies- and themselves- to safety.

Once Zach confesses the feelings he’s hidden from her for the last three years, Mollie is swept up into the whirlwind.

As the she and the city struggle to rebuild, can she survive and come out ahead, and with her heart intact? Can Zach reconcile the shady dealings of his employer with Mollie’s company and still keep her heart, even after the famed Colonel Lowe comes to her rescue to rebuild her shop and courts her in earnest?

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I really liked this book. It is classically written- danger, murder, love won, love lost, two good men vying for the attention of a determined woman. There was not a single part of this book that I didn’t like.

I don’t know that I’ve read anything else by this author, but she’s on my ‘favorite author’ list. This book gets 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

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Submissive to her father’s will, Lady Leta of Aiven travels far to meet the future King of the North Country and a prospective husband she neither knows nor loves. Dragonwitch

But within the walls of his castle, all is not right. Vicious night terrors plague Lord Alistair. Whispers rise from the family crypt. The reclusive castle Chronicler, Leta’s tutor and friend, possesses a secret so dangerous it could cost his life and topple the entire nation.

And far away in a hidden kingdom, a flame burns atop the Citadel of the Living Fire. Acolytes and priestesses serve their goddess to the limits of their lives and deaths. No one is safe while the Dragonwitch searches for the sword that slew her twice…and for the hero who can wield it.

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Lady Leta is not happy, but knows it’s her duty to, well, do her duty. That means being shipped off to live in her betrothed’s home, in an effort to get to know him. It doesn’t take her long to figure out that she and Lord Alistair are not a love match. He is completely preoccupied and more or less ignores her.

What she doesn’t know is that he’s preoccupied with nightmares. Nightmares won’t let him rest. Nightmares show his impending death.

Add to this the illness of his uncle, whose estates he will inherit, making him King. Alistair, like Leta, will do his duty. Until he dies, that is.

Leta is bored. There is no love lost between her and Lord Alistair’s vain mother. To occupy her time, Leta seeks out the library, and soon begins to learn to read, under the tutelage of the midget Chronicler. As they form a bond, the rest of the world begins to unravel…………………

This is the fifth book in the series, but it is a stand alone title. I actually liked it, despite it being thoroughly confusing. Not having read the other previous books in the series, I have no idea if having read them would have helped.

There is a story within a story; the underlying thread being the legend that was woven into children’s stories {aka faerie tales} and known by everyone. As the gates between the worlds begin to open, all hell breaks loose.

This book is a thick one. And the font is small. Reading would have gone much faster for me with a larger font. Even with my glasses, it was a strain to read, so I couldn’t read consistently like I am used to. Things did become clearer at the end, although the ending did leave a bit hanging. If there is another book that continues the series or finishes this storyline, I really would like to read it.

Despite the confusion and complexities, I’m giving this one 4 stars. If I ever run out of new reading material, I actually would go back and read this one again, just to see if it made more sense.

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

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Widow Caroline Milburn realizes there’s nothing left for her St. Charles. With confirmation that her husband died in the Civil War after waiting years for word, she realizes she can’t remain living with her sister, her sister’s abusive husband, and their children. RipplesAlongtheShore

There’s a wagon train heading West, being led by Garrett Colishaw. Caroline feels that’s where her destiny waits. California needs teachers, and the widow feels called to reclaim her former career.

The wagon train- and former soldier Garret Colishaw,- however, won’t take single women. Caroline is determined to go. Can she claim her destiny?

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This is another novella in The Quilted Hearts series. If you’ve read the last one, Bending Toward the Sun, you’re familiar with the main characters in this title.

Here’s my beef: yes, it’s a novella. Yes, it’s a series. But finish a storyline within the novella! The storyline could be really good. But it’s not. I think it’s because it’s a novella.

Each one of these I’ve read could have been really good as full-length novels. These, though, just stink. The characters aren’t adequately developed, even after reading more than one part of the series, and the story lines have no meat to them. They COULD be really good.

I don’t know if this is the publisher or the author, but I really wish they’d just stop. Or finish a whole story within the novella.

And, there are too many characters and too many storylines going on for a novella. Ironically, one little snippet about another friend going west got resolved, with basically no character development or actual back story to the characters.

I was sorely disappointed in the ending. I hoped something substantial would happen, but it never did. Boo.

I have to give this 2 stars, and that’s being generous. Write something real, for goodness sakes! Make it worth the effort to read the novella!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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