Sunday, December 21, 2014

Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar

Harvest of Rubies (Harvest of Rubies, #1)


The prophet Nehemiah has a cousin who can speak several languages, keep complex accounts, write on rolls of parchment and tablets of clay, and solve mysteries. This cousin is catapulted into the center of the Persian court -- working long hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and completing high-level tasks as a scribe for the queen. Not bad, for a woman living in a man's world.

My Opinion:

This book started out somewhat slow. I didn't understand why Sarah felt so unloved throughout the book, and how far people had to go to show her that they cared. Also, I was bored with the work that she did under Queen Demaspia. It didn't intrigue me at all. I would say that I finally started getting into the book about a third of the way through when she went to live at her husbands estate.

I loved Bardia, Shushan, and Pari. The three main servants in the story, they all seemed like realistic friends and co-workers. They had formed a family like bond while living in Lord Darius's house, and to see how Bardia and Shushan brought Pari and Sarah in as their own from the beginning was heart-warming. Plus, I loved how we learned about Darius's loving side through his servants stories of him rather than by him first hand in the beginning. That way we knew he wasn't normally a brooding man, but one of honor and respect.

I love awkward scenes where the two main characters are forced to be in each others presence. Everything goes completely wrong at first in humorous ways, then we see their relationship settle into something serious that slowly develops into attraction. I believe those are the most romantic stories. Stories like: A Bride Most Begrudging by Deeanne Gist or A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman.

A little slow in the beginning but worth it in the long run!

Stars: 4

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Announcing The 2015 Jody Hedlund Challenge!!!

Announcing The 2015 Jody Hedlund Challenge!!! <<< Just click on this link!!!

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Wishing on Willows by Katie Ganshert

Wishing on Willows


A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa,  she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.
So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.
As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.
With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances. 

My Opinion:

When I saw the cover of this book I was expecting a historical romance, but it wasn't historical and turned out to be, for the most part, depressing. That's what I get for not reading the back. Don't get me wrong, it was a good book, but it wasn't what I was looking for to read at that moment.

Robin goes through so much heartbreak in the book and it is amazing how Katie got those emotions across. I felt the pain Robin had every time she pressed a key on her piano, every time she looked at her son, and every time she gave a customer free coffee at her cafe. She did everything with a loving heart and just wanted to help people smile, hoping it would help her smile more too. 

I don't really understand why Robin hated Ian so much though. Yes, he was trying to get her to close down her business, but he didn't want to! It was his job to come to the town and build condominiums, and if he failed, some of his employees would lose  their jobs. He was only trying to look out for the majority of people, and thought her business was in the way of others keeping their income! I understand that completely, so why didn't she?

Other than that, I can't think of anything else to critique. Good story, but keep the Kleenex's close. 

Stars: 4