Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Match Made in Texas Review

There's a secret matchmaker at work in frontier Texas!

In the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas, a good-hearted busybody just can't keep herself from surreptitiously trying to match up women in dire straits with men of good character she hopes can help them. How is she to know she's also giving each couple a little nudge toward love?

A Cowboy Unmatched
Neill isn't sure who hired him to repair Clara's roof--he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?

A  Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer starts the  Match Made in Texas collection off perfectly. I fell in love with the Archer brothers from the moment I first met them all in The Short Straw Bride and was pleased Neill got his own moment in the lime light and found Clara. As with all the stories in this book this story didn't seem as rushed as I usually find most novellas to be. Even though the stories are short (which is the point of novellas) I was pleasantly surprised with the fact that I didn't find them overly rushed.

5 out of 5. 

An Unforeseen Match
Hoping to earn an honest wage on his way to the land rush, Clayton ends up on Grace's doorstep, lured by a classified ad. He may have signed on for more than he expected though--and he may have found the one woman who can keep him from moving on. 

An Unforeseen Match by Regina Jennings was so sweet! I instantly fell in love with Grace and loved how surprisingly well she handled the problems before her. As for Clayton the moment I read about what had happened to him my heart broke. His past was so sad. Out of all the stories in the book I felt like this one should have been much longer. The two main character have such important back story's that I would have loved to read more about them. But of course this is a novella and the point is to be short and sweet, which it was so mission accomplished! 

5 out of 5.

No Match for Love
Andrew can't fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?

No Match for Love by Carol Cox brought the touch of mystery needed in the collection. It also seemed to take the shortest time for me to read. Probably because I wanted to find out how it ended as quickly as possible. This was the first taste I've had of any of Carol's writing and I must say I have just added her books to my 'to read' list. I loved No Match for Love.

5 out of 5.

Meeting Her Match
When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker's son how much she cares for him?

As I'm pretty sure I'v said before I love Mary Connealy's writing so its no surprise that I loved Meeting Her Match. Equal parts romance and comedy it was definitely the story that brought on the most smiles from me. And I'm not just saying that because me and the heroine of this story share a name :) Meeting Her Match was the perfect end to the sweet collection of stories that make up A Match Made in Texas.

5 out of 5. 

All in all A Match Made in Texas was wonderful. 

5 out of 5. Or if I add up each story's rating 20 out of 5 :) This Afternoon Snack was a perfectly balanced four course meal! 

I got a free review copy of A Match Made in Texas from Bethany House Publishers in return for my honest review.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Claiming Mariah Review

After her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Frederick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.

With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he unearths more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal, and murder threatens the well-being of the ranch, endangering those who hold it dear. As the days dwindle until the rest of the Donovan clan arrives at the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed changes their futures forever.

Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman was so wonderfully full of romance and suspense. I loved every minute I spent reading Claiming Mariah and hated that it had to end. The characters Ms. Hillman crafted together were so very easy to fall in love with. Everything the main characters, Mariah and Slade, went through in the past and were going through in the present made them that much more real and believable. I loved her writing style and I'm hoping that we'll soon see more books by Pam Hillman. 

5 out of 5. An Afternoon Snack that I found very satisfying.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Destination Unknown Review

It's senior year, and Whitney Richards is tired of the constant pressures to be perfect. When she gets a D in Calculus, her mother immediately hires a tutor, worried Whitney won't get into the 'right' college---her alma mater---with imperfect grades. Her tutor, Taylor, is a quiet, mysterious boy who is unlike anyone Whitney has met before. But Taylor's rougher upbringing has her mother and friends discouraging any type of relationship. Tired of having to play a part for everyone else, Whitney quits the cheerleading squad that once defined her social identity, and begins spending more time with Taylor. Her mom and friends worry Whitney is making a huge mistake, and even Taylor begins to show concern for some of her choices. But for the first time, Whitney is in the driver's seat of her life. Will she be able to find her identity---and God's plan for her life---before she throws everything away?

First, before I say anything else, I have to comment on the cover. Isn't it gorgeous?! It made me fall in love with the book before I even read the first sentence. :)
Anyways on to the book itself.  Destination Unknown by Amy Clipston was a wonderful story about finding out who you truly are and want to be. I loved Whitney's story almost as much as I loved Emily's (Whitney's cousin in Roadside Assistance). The only problem I had was that the dialogue seemed a little too unreal. The characters seemed to share their feelings way to quickly and easily. I don't know many people who are that open so quickly. But other than that I loved the characters and I felt the book ended perfectly. 

4 out of 5. An Afternoon snack that was pretty good. 

I was provided a copy of  Destination Unknown by Zondervan and the author in exchange for my honest review. 

One Realm Beyond Review

Cantor D'Ahma waited his whole life for this day. Born with a gift to jump between worlds, the young realm walker is finally ready to leave his elderly mentor and accept his role as protector and defender of the realms. But mere hours after he steps through his first portal, Cantor discovers that his job will be more dangerous and difficult than he ever imagined. The realms are plagued with crime and cruelty, and even members of the once-noble Realm Walkers Guild can no longer be trusted. To make matters worse, his first assignment---finding a dragon to assist him on his quest---has led him to Bridger, who is clearly inept and won't leave him alone. With the help of his new friends Bixby and Dukmee, Cantor must uncover the secrets of the corrupt guild before they become too powerful to be stopped. But his skills aren't progressing as fast as he would like, and as he finds himself deeper and deeper in the guild's layers of deceit, Cantor struggles to determine where his true allegiance lies.

One Realm Beyond was hard for me to get into. It took me till maybe around half way through the book to get pulled fully into the story. But then it was the same way with the first book in Dragon Keepers Chronicles and that ended up being one of my favorite series. So if the past repeats itself then, by the second book in the Realm Walkers series, I will be adding this series to my favorites shelf. So right now I still have hope that I'll love this series but I can't say I love it just yet. 

3.5 out of 5. This Afternoon Snack needed a little bit more for me. 

I was provided a copy of One Realm Beyond by Zondervan and the author in exchange for my honest review. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Garden Gate Review

The Pomeroys pull together in the aftermath of the storm that shook West Edinton -- and Prissie's faith -- to its very foundations. Letting go proves difficult, and holding on takes all of her courage. With the encouragement of a brother who's in on her secret, Prissie finds her feet. With the help of the bane who's now a brother, she takes a stand. As spring comes to the orchard, a cryptic remark from Abner hints at West Edinton's long-kept secret. A beloved aunt returns from overseas. A faded angel takes up residence atop the Pomeroys' refrigerator. A treasured friend must say goodbye. While ranks of the Faithful rally to defend what's most precious, Prissie discovers that angels aren't the only ones who are Sent.

The Garden Gate is the fourth book in the Threshold series, the last and my favorite! Of course I said that about the first book, then the second one, and then the third one. But I can't help it the series just keeps getting better and better! I remember when I read the first books that I was slightly frustrated with the main character, Prissie, and her attitude towards some of the other characters. But now I feel proud of her and how far she's come since the beginning of the series. 

After reading that last sentence again it sounds a little weird to say that I'm proud of a fictional character. But after 'getting to know' Prissie Pomeroy through the books I really am proud of her. 
Being the last book in the Threshold series it was bittersweet reading it. I took much longer to read this book then the others in the series (which I read as fast as I could) because I didn't want Prissie's story to end. But it did and even though, as with all last books of series, I'm sad to see it end, it ended perfectly. 

5 out of 5. An Afternoon Snack that was heavenly!