Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fire by Night by Lynn Austin

Fire by Night (Refiners Fire #2)


Book 2 of Refiner's Fire. The drama of the Civil War unfolds through the eyes of two very different Northern girls. Lovely Julia Hoffman has always enjoyed the carefree life of her well-to-do family, but when she fails to attract the attention of Rev. Nathaniel Greene, a fierce abolitionist, she determines to bring meaning to her empty and shallow existence. When she becomes a Union nurse, her eyes are opened to the realities of war and suffering. She also meets Phoebe, who has entered the army under false pretenses--and whose journey to understanding herself, as well as the tumultuous world about her, is revealed with sensitivity and drama.


My Opinion:

Do you ever read a book that is sooo... good that you just have to prolong it and take your time with it? And do you ever ONLY read the book at a certain time of day at your favorite reading place so you can hopefully get even more into it? NO? *Shrug* Maybe it's just me, but this one was THAT good.
I am loving the Refiner's Fire series. It is great! The descriptions are tremendous and the characters seem so REAL. I feel like I am actually standing there in the story, kind a like I'm a by stander just watching everything happen: The battles, the fighting, the healing, the restoring...Etc.
I thought this whole book was going to be about Julia trying to win Nathaniel's heart. Boring! Thank goodness it wasn't! Lynn Austin also added Phoebe to the story. So, I saw two different perspectives throughout the whole book. I saw how Julia and Phoebe met and how they came to be close friends, and the trials they faced during their everyday lives. On top of that lets not forget that both of them do meet more men on the way... good and bad which added to my interest in the book.
I saw their experiences/roles during the Civil War first hand. If you read the description above then you know that Julia signed up as a nurse and Phoebe enlisted in the war under false pretenses. So, I felt like I was I experiencing living in the woods as a soldier and helping with treatments for patients, including seeing mutilated bodies and surgery operations. I know that the Civil War was an extremely sad time for America, but reading about it is so great! I'm having fun while learning history!
Definite Recommendation!
Rating: 5 Stars

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fancy Friday- A Hope Undaunted Casting

Last week I was wandering pinterest and came across pictures of some celebrities and I was thinking that they really reminded me of a couple from some books I have read. So I thought that's what I would share today. The characters come from the book... A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman! Now this is a pretty cover, but to be honest this girl just doesn't give Katy justice. She is NOT how I picture her at all! 

A Hope UndauntedWhat happens when the boy she loved to hate becomes the man she hates to love?

The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman--smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jack fits all of her criteria for a husband--good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face-to-face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?

Here's a short description of what both characters look and act like , that I remember:

Katy O'Connor- 5'2". Short blonde bob hair style and pale creamy skin. Personality is determined and somewhat bossy as well. She does not like being pushed around.

Luke McGee- As a little boy he was scrawny with red tinted hair and freckles. He grew up to be a 6' something Hunk-O-Rama with a heart melting smile! He became tanned from hard work so his freckles became hidden and his hair was bleached to look like a very light blonde. He uses brilliantine to slick his hair back all the time for work. He is also Stubborn and bossy, so they butted heads A LOT!

Now here's my reveal for the characters!!!

Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon Bob cut. Nice, classy cut recommended for strong chin (heart shaped face). Note length is below jawline to draw attention away from chin. Reese Witherspoon's waves are a perfect way to disguise a growing bob haircut -- with style. Reese Witherspoon
Reese is 5'1 1/2" Which puts her at an almost perfect height. She looks beautiful with the Bob hairstyle and I can just see her being great at sassing someone. Also she is good at playing a determined role, for example, her role in legally blonde.

Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston Tom Hiddleston 😍 Oh, you know. Just Tom Hiddleston smiling like a rainbow god and showing bits of his tongue. It's nothing, really.
Tom is 6'2" which puts him at a perfect height as well. Even though he is not blonde I think he could pull it off, and he's brawny without being over the top huge. He has a winning smile and he just has the face for the part. I don't know how to put it but he has a good face for historical characters. Get what I'm saying? I would love to see these two going at it and sassing each other.

You can see my review on this book by clicking HERE!

So, have you read this book? What do you think of my choices? Or do you have any other comments?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

*A Hint of Passion* When the Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason

When the Smoke Clears (Deadly Reunions, #1)


As a member of the North Cascades Smokejumpers, Alexia Allen always takes care of the equipment that keeps her safe. So when she nearly dies in a fire due to equipment failure, she knows something is up. Ordered to take time off while the investigation continues, Alexia makes a last-minute decision to recuperate at her mother's home and attend her high school reunion. Yet trouble seems to be following her, and within hours of arriving home she's involved with murder, arson--and a handsome detective. But the conflicts ahead are nothing compared to the ghosts of her past. As she strives to remember and forgive her family history, she must also decide if the secret she's been guarding for the last ten years must finally come to light.

Chock-full of the suspense and romantic tension readers have come to expect from Lynette Eason, "When the Smoke Clears" is the explosive first book in the Deadly Reunions series.

My Opinion:

I don't read many Christian suspense novels because normally I find them pretty corny. Nothing really bad happens and it's like the authors are afraid of having anyone get hurt or even die in their book. It's just a book, and when it comes to crime scene investigations I expect stuff like that to happen! Thank the Lord this one did not disappoint on that level! Now, I don't want to sound like a freak but come on, "Crime Scene", "Suspense Novel". I thinks it's okay.
I wish the investigation would have prolonged a while longer. The whole book took place over a time of about a week, except for the Introduction. I practically knew what happened every single second of everyday.
Another thing I didn't like was that it seemed like everyone that worked Alexia's case: Cops, Forensic Scientists, Detectives... all went and graduated from the same High School as her. That was not realistic and it kind of got annoying that she knew everyone already from High School.
I liked the romance between Alexia and "the detective" but I wish that the time period in the book would have been prolonged also because of that. After not seeing each other for years and then all the sudden sorda dating after a couple days was also not realistic in my opinion.
I liked how Alexia came to know God through seeing how he worked in people's lives she would have never thought possible. She thought she was to far gone to be forgiven for anything, but once she saw some people after years of isolation from them and then saw their forgiveness and love. It just pushed her to her breaking point, and that I really liked! 
All in all, it was good but their were definitely things I would have changed.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fancy Friday- The Importance of being Earnest


A superb cast brings Oscar Wilde's classic comedy of manners to life in the third big-screen adaptation of this hilarious look at fun, games, and dubious ethics among the British upper crust. Algernon Moncrieff (Rupert Everett) is a slightly shady, but charming gentlemen from a wealthy family who has a bad habit of throwing his money away. Algernon has a close friend named Jack Worthing (Colin Firth), a self-made man who acts as a ward to his cousin, a beautiful young lady named Cecily (Reese Witherspoon). Algernon has created an alter ego to help him get out of tight spots brought on by his financial improprieties, and when he learns that Jack has created a false identity of his own -- Earnest, a brother living in London whose exploits have earned him no small amount of notoriety -- Algernon arrives for a weekend visit in the country posing as the mysterious Earnest. Having heard of Earnest's misadventures many times over the years, Cecily had developed something of an infatuation with the lovable rogue, and Algernon's impersonation of him works no small degree of magic on Cecily. Meanwhile, Algernon's cousin, Gwendolyn (Frances O'Connor), arrives for the weekend, and is startled to discover Jack is also there -- except that she knows him as bad-boy Earnest. So just who is in love with who? How will Lady Bracknell (Judi Dench) handle the matter of her daughter Gwendolyn's suitors? And what's the truth about Jack's mysterious heritage?

Summary from:

Rating: PG

I was vacation visiting family last week and I watched this at my Grandparents house for the first time. It was hilarious! My older sister and I were dying the whole way through it. No- the morals in the movie are not ones that I agree with, but I would still recommend it just for a laugh!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Frontiersman's Daughter by Laura Frantz

The Frontiersman's Daughter


Lovely but tough as nails, Lael Click is the daughter of a celebrated frontiersman. Haunted by her father's former captivity with the Shawnee Indians, as well as the secret sins of her family's past, Lael comes of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement her father founded. Though she faces the loss of a childhood love, a dangerous family feud, and the affection of a Shawnee warrior, Lael draws strength from the rugged land she calls home, and from Ma Horn, a distant relative who shows her the healing ways of herbs and roots found in the hills. But the arrival of an outlander doctor threatens her view of the world, God, and herself--and the power of grace and redemption.

This epic novel gives readers a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman. Laura Frantz's debut novel offers a feast for readers of historical fiction and romance lovers alike.

My Opinion:

I had high hopes for this book because I had heard many good things about it and I like the author. But I was disappointed with this one.
It was sooo... slow for a pretty long time. I'm a person who likes dialogue, and in my opinion their wasn't enough. Lael's conversations would start and then within about the next page the person she was talking to was leaving. Then the same thing would happen with the next person. So, I didn't feel like I REALLY got to know anyone but her.
If you read the description above then you already know that Lael has/had feelings for a few men. SPOILER- At one point in the book one of the men promises to come back for her so they can be wed/be together, but he NEVER shows up again! AND it doesn't say what ends up of him. I feel like that was a loose end not tied up by the end of the book. Which really irritated me.
About half way through the book it got better and I read that pretty fast, and I was very happy with the guy she ended up with in the end. So, altogether it was okay but not my favorite from Laura Frantz. I most definitely enjoyed her book, Courting Morrow little, and I would highly recommend that one:)
Rating: 3 Stars

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin *Recommended!*

Candle in the Darkness (Refiners Fire, #1)


Book 1 in the Refiner's Fire series. The daughter of a wealthy slave-holding family from Richmond, Virginia, Caroline Fletcher is raised in a culture that believes slavery is God-ordained and biblically acceptable. But upon awakening to the cruelty and injustice it encompasses, Caroline's eyes are opened for the first time to the men and women who have cared tirelessly for her. Her journey of maturity and faith will draw her into the abolitionist movement, where she is confronted with the risks and sacrifices her beliefs entail.

My Opinion:

Thanks so MUCH Aerykah for recommending this! At first I was a little hesitant to read this book. The back of it didn't come with much of a description so I figured it would focus and drag on about Abolishing Slavery without giving me anything entertaining... Basically I thought reading it would be like a huge history lesson in school, instead of a story, and I would have to strive to stay awake.

Boy was I wrong! Yes- It did focus on Slavery. Yes- It definitely showed how BOTH Confederate and Union Soldiers thought. And Yes- It did have a lot of talk about the Civil War: Where camps may have been set up, army lines, defenses, dates of attacks...etc. BUT it was all done in an entertaining story which I very much enjoyed!

It was focused on Caroline and her growing relationship with her Father's slaves over the years, and how as she grew up she had to decide who SHE was going to fight for. Would she stand up for Slavery? Or would she, in some way, fight for Freedom?

Their was also where her Beau and "Wanna-Be-Beau" came in. Which would side with her? Which would she end up having to choose in the end? I'm writing these questions because it's hard to mention these things without giving away the answers. So instead, I will just have you thinking about them. ;)

Romance was another thing I was worried about. I didn't think this would be a book I could read for my blog, but I gave it a shot. There was plenty of romance to satisfy me and it was tied to one of the most important things in the book- Where your Loyalties lied.

I loved how Caroline's "Slave" Eli was a big role model in her life, for his behavior, character, and relationship/walk with God. Eli was one of my favorite people in the story. He always knew the right thing to say, whether it be for comfort or building Caroline up.

The one and ONLY thing I did not care for was the VERY end. It was too rushed for me and I thought it should have been explained/taken a little slower. I was so devastated at the end and then within about three pages everything is supposed to be fixed. I didn't have time to see how it was exactly fixed though, and that was a little disappointing.

However, Candle in the Darkness is still going on my all time favorites list. I can't wait to read the others:) Best book I've read in awhile!

Rating: 5 Stars

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fancy Friday- Jealously Cute

I read this book, The Healer's Apprentice, not to long ago and really enjoyed it. Their was this part in it that I absolutely loved. It's a part where Wilhelm and Rose are at a party and Wilhelm's younger brother goes up to Rose and asks her for the next dance. Wilhelm couldn't do anything about it because he was playing music with the band that was there. I love Wilhelm's reaction... he got so jealous and I couldn't help feeling bad for him. But I also loved this part because it's where his feelings truly started to show for Rose. Here's the part so you can read it for yourself...

Wilhelm glanced up just in time to see Rose walk in. His jaw fell. Her hair, her dress, her face… She made everyone else in the room look pale and lifeless.

He’d better close his mouth before someone saw him staring.

Her gaze turned in his direction and he smiled to let her know he approved.

He suddenly realized that he had stopped playing in the middle of the song. He looked down and tried to concentrate on his lute. But his mind was filled with her image.

A pang of guilt stabbed him. He must stop this nonsense. It was unwise to… well, to even look at her.

He tried to concentrate on the music, but when he glanced up again, Rupert was striding from the other side of the room toward Rose. He reached her, bowed, and placed his hand over his heart. He must be asking her to dance. A knot tightened around Wilhelm’s chest.

So this is how jealousy feels.   – From The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

Of course this would be the other way around- Two guys and one girl,
plus they would be a lot older, but you get the point.

Question Time!?

Have you ever had that feeling of being jealous? Or have you ever read a book with a jealousy scene that made your heart ache for say, "The Third Wheel"? If so, what book was it?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher

Betrayal (Where The Heart Lives, #2)


It's the turn of the twentieth century and drifter Hugh Brennan is a man well acquainted with betrayal. Hugh finds himself drawn to the attractive widow, Julia, yet when he looks into her eyes, he recognizes the same hurt that haunts him. Julia Grace has little reason to trust men, but she's going to have to trust someone if she's to keep her ranch from the clutches of her dead husband's half-brother. Is it possible God had a hand in bringing Hugh to her door? The latest historical romance from award-winning author Robin Lee Hatcher and the second book in the Where the Heart Lives series, Betrayal will take you to the high desert of western Wyoming, through the crags of the Rocky Mountains, and into the hearts of two seekers learning to trust God's love no matter the circumstances.

My Opinion:

This was the first book I read from this author. I know it is the second one of the series but I really only read it because my older sister asked me to. I don't really know why, but she wanted me to read it and write a review.
I'm actually really glad my sister asked me to because I really liked this book. The characters situations were really interesting in how they were put to use at the end of the story. It really teaches you to share your past hurts and secrets with the people you love so dearly, and that you need to believe that they will accept and love you back anyway. And that no matter what happens God will always be there for you when others aren't.
The only thing I did not like about this book was that I think the writing was a little choppy, and that it switched too much between Hugh and Julia's thoughts. Other than that it was a good and fast read. I finished it in one day:) Hope you all like it too.
My Rating: 3 Stars

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fancy Friday- Cheesy Pick Up Lines

I don't know about any of you, but I am in the mood to laugh. Cheesy pick up lines never fail to make me do just that and I thought I would share some that I have found and or have known for a long time. I hope these add a smile to your face... who knows... maybe sometime you can use one:)

haha cheesy pick up lines cheesy pick up lines
. Cheesy pick-up lines that would so work on me :)
pick up line ha this would work lolol Awww...I love cheesy pick up lines


•Are you religious? 'Cause you're the answer to all my prayers.
•Are you from Tennessee? 'Cause you're the only ten I see!!!
•If you were a library book, I would check you out.
•Is there an airport nearby or is that my heart taking off?
•Do your feet hurt? 'Cause you've been running through my mind all day!
•What are you doing for the rest of your life? Because I want to spend it with you.

What About You?

Comment and tell me your favorite out of these and or a pick up line that you like that I haven't posted. I would love to hear them:)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Madeline's Protector by Vanessa Riley

Madeline's Protector


If all the young men of England leapt off a cliff, Madeline St. James wouldn't care. Then she'd have peace. Her nightmares of courtship would end, and she'd cozy up with a Psalm in her aunt's quiet sculpture garden. Yet, a chance meeting and a bullet wound change everything, and Madeline must trust the Good Shepherd has led her to the altar to marry a dashing stranger, Lord Devonshire.
Death and pain are no strangers to Justain Delveaux, Lord Devonshire, and he vows his dutiful bride will be kept safe and in her place. Though this compromised marriage is in-name-only, his wife and her unwavering faith both intrigue and allure him. Perchance when he thwarts his brother's killer, Justain will tempt the unpredictable Madeline with the comfort of his arms.
 But can Madeline and the stubborn earl forge a true bond before the next disaster strikes?

My Opinion:

Madeline's Protector was really good for a first book. Granted, their were things I didn't care for and their were grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. But not so much that it makes the book unreadable.
Most Christian books that I have read from self published authors don't mention God  as much as I would like. This one however did a pretty good job. It focused on the fact that Madeline knew she could never be completely happy as Justain's wife unless he had a relationship with God like she did. The one thing that I didn't like about this was that Justain was bullheaded throughout the whole book on this topic until the VERY end. Probably the last few pages. I think his character should have started to sway in his beliefs throughout the book, not just all the sudden, BAM, I want Jesus.
It's obvious that Vanessa tried to have more conflict in the story than just Madeline and Justain butting heads, for example, Justain's issues with his brother's killer. And I like that she tried to do this because I do need more than just a romance story, but I didn't care for how she did it. Sure, theirs a little violence in the beginning, but then the rest of the book is pretty calm. Nothing else happened to get my heart pumping. Justain's issue is occurring "Off Camera" because the people who work for him are handling it, and by the end of the book his problem is not even resolved, only Madeline's is.
The romance was good, but I was extremely upset at the end. Neither of the two said, "I love you!" You know that they do love each other, but it would have been a whole lot better if they said the words.
Overall, it was good for a first book. Their were things I liked and things I was glad she tried to achieve in her writing. I was just disappointed with the outcomes.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars