Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Christmas Cat and Trading Secrets Reviews

After years abroad, Garrison Brown returns home to Vancouver to build a new life. When his beloved grandmother passes away a few weeks before Christmas, Garrison goes to her house to sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While Garrison hopes to dispense with the task quickly, his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left Garrison with some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends--plus a sizeable monetary gift for the new owners. Garrison's job is to match the cats with the right owners without disclosing the surprise gift. Along the way, he may just meet someone who can make him stay. 

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson is a purrfect way to start the Christmas season. (See what I did there?) :) But seriously, The Christmas Cat is a short read that is great for curling up with next to the fire. This is a heartwarming story that is not just for cat lovers, but for anyone who loves to get lost in a sweet Christmastime story. If you love Christmas (and of course you do if your looking to get this book!) then you are sure to like this book.

4 out of 5. A purrfect Afternoon Snack to go with a cup of hot chocolate. (I just had to do it one more time)

I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

The truth may set you free--but it might also land you in some uncomfortably hot water.

Back in fifth grade, Micah Knight got an Amish pen pal, and over the years, they've exchanged many letters--and many secrets. At age seventeen, Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. The only problem is that because of confusion about her name when the pen pals were assigned, her pen pal was a boy, Zack Miller. And all this time, Micah's never told Zack that she's actually a girl! While she wants nothing more than to experience life on Zack's Amish farm, she's afraid he'll hate her for deceiving him all these years. But she makes up her mind to face the music--and that's where the fun really begins. 

Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson has made me fall love with teen Amish stories!  I've never really liked YA Amish novels because they kind of all seem the same to me but Trading Secrets was a nice little surprise. I really liked the main character Micah, she seemed very real and, while at first she had trouble handling the position she was in, in the end she made it work. I also really liked the ending, it was sweet and I feel like it was a perfect way to end the story. All in all I think that Trading Secrets is a perfect read for both teen and adult fans (and non-fans) of Amish fiction. 

5 out of 5. A delightfully Amish Afternoon Snack.

I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Playing Saint Review

Yesterday, Parker Saint's only concern was his swiftly rising star power. 
Today, he's just trying to stay alive.

Rising mega-pastor Parker Saint was wrapped up in his ratings and his book deal. But that was before the cops and the serial killer, the Vatican operatives, and the centuries-old plot to conceal an ancient relic. Now he's just trying to stay alive.

Parker Saint is an up-and-coming superstar pastor on the verge of achieving everything he's wanted--including a national TV program and major book deal. His success seems all but guaranteed until an angry incident with a flight attendant. To keep his growing empire from collapsing, Parker cuts a deal and agrees to serve as a police consultant on the trail of a twisted serial killer who marks his victims with religious symbols. The problem is, Parker's anything but an expert, faking his way through the investigation by slipping away to consult his smart phone.

As he is drawn deeper into a web of intrigue involving an obsessive and demanding detective, a trio of relentless Vatican operatives, a string of botched exorcisms, and a centuries-old conspiracy to conceal a mysterious relic, Parker finds himself questioning everything he has been trying so hard to protect.

Playing Saint by Zachary Bartels was an intense read to say the least! I always love a good mystery/thriller/supernatural novel and this one didn't fail to hold up to my expectations. I mean, besides not liking the main character at first (I think everyone had that problem but not to worry, you'll love him by the end!) I can't think of one complaint. I loved the everything about Playing Saint, the characters, the page-turning aspect (I never wanted to put it down!), and most of all the end! Oh my it was SO good! I feel like I keep repeating myself by saying how I liked everything but people Playing Saint really is the best! Get it! You will not regret it at all! 

5 out of 5. This Afternoon Snack was so delicious I can't wait for second helpings! (i.e. I want another book by this author!) 

I received a copy of this book from BookLook in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Christmas at Rose Hill Farm Review

Bess Riehl is preparing Rose Hill Farm for her Christmas wedding, but her groom isn't who she thought it would be. Billy Lapp is far away from his Amish roots working as a rose rustler for Penn State and wants nothing to do with Stoney Ridge, his family, or Bess. And that suits Bess just fine. Why should she think twice about a man who left without a word, without any explanation? It's time she moved on with her life, and that meant saying yes to Amos Lapp, Billy's cousin and best friend. But as Bess and Amos's wedding day draws near, her emotions tangle into a tight knot. She loves Amos. Yet she can't forget Billy. 

When a "lost" rose is discovered at Rose Hill Farm, Billy is sent to track down its origins. Get in, identify the rose, and get out. That's his plan. The only catch is that he's having a hard time narrowing down the identity of the lost rose, and he can't get those tropical blue eyes of Bess Riehl out of his mind. 

As the history of the lost rose is pieced together, it reminds Bess and Billy--and Amos, too--that Christmas truly is the season of miracles.

Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a heartwarming Christmas read that definitely got me into the mood for Christmas. (Seriously, I had a hard time keeping myself from pulling out my Christmas records). But really Christmas at Rose Hill was a really sweet short read that certainly had its moments. The only thing I didn't really like was the whole love triangle thing, I've never been a fan of that. But other than that I loved the characters, they were all very likable and overall I enjoyed this read. 

4.5 out of 5. So grab you favorite hot beverage and settle in for a sweet Afternoon Snack. 

  I got a free review copy of Christmas at Rose Hill Farm from Revell Publishers in return for my honest review.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Surprised by Love Review

She can turn the head of the man who spurned her--but can she turn his heart?

When Megan McClare left San Francisco to study in Paris, no one would accuse her of being poised and pretty. But on the other side of the Atlantic, this wallflower blossomed into a beauty with big dreams. When she returns to California and accepts an internship at the district attorney's office, she's thrilled that her life is taking shape. But the exciting opportunity quickly loses its glow when she discovers she'll be working alongside Devin Caldwell, who mercilessly mocked her at school--and with whom she was hopelessly enamored. 

Bram Hughes is the best friend to whom Megan has always turned for support and advice. But when she seeks his counsel about working with Devin Caldwell, Bram's vision is clouded by his sudden unwelcome attraction to a girl he had always thought of as a little sister. He advises forgiveness, but can he forgive himself for pushing the woman he loves into the arms of another man? 

Surprised by Love is the third book in the Heart of San Francisco series by Julie Lessman. I always love how Julies characters love God and I love seeing them grow in their faith. I also love how Julie takes her characters and writes an amazing romance mixed with humor, sadness and real struggles. I love how inspiring Julies books always are. Pretty much I love everything about Julies writing! Surprised by Love is an amazing read and I think Meg and Bram are my favorite couple of Julies to date! Everyone needs to read this series! 

5 out of 5. An Afternoon Snack that I loved so much! 

I got a free review copy of Surprised by Love  from Revell Publishers in return for my honest review.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Buttermilk Sky Review

Weary of the expectations imposed on her by her strict upbringing, eighteen-year-old Mazy Pelfrey prepares to leave her home in the Kentucky mountains for the genteel city of Lexington, where she’ll attend secretarial school. She knows her life is about to change—and only for the better. Everything will be blue skies from now on.

But business school is harder than she thought it would be and the big city not as friendly, until she meets a charming young man from a wealthy family, Loyal Chambers. When Loyal sets his sights on her, Mazy begins to see that everything she’d ever wished to have is right before her eyes. The only hindrance to her budding romance is a former beau, Chanis Clay, the young sheriff she thought she’d left firmly behind.

Danger rumbles like thunder on a high mountain ridge when Mazy’s cosseted past collides with her clouded future and forces her to come to terms with what she really wants.

Okay first things first, I love the cover! Just one look at it was enough for me to want it! Look at it yourself, isn't it gorgeous!?! 
But, back to my review. 
Buttermilk Sky by Jan Watson was a beautifully written book. This author just has a way with words, let me tell you!  But throughout the whole book I had trouble connecting with these main characters. I didn't mind them but there was nothing that really truly grabbed at me with them. I don't know why but I just didn't feel them. If this book were written by anyone else I would have set it down and quickly forgotten about it. But its not written by just anyone, its written by Jan and she is amazing! And that was why I couldn't put this book down. Which says a lot about her writing because usually with me if I don't like the main characters I don't like the book no matter how good the plot is. 
So that said while I would like to give this book 5 stars (for the amazing writing talent!) I can't because of my dislike for the main characters.

3.8 out of 5 . A wonderfully crafted Afternoon Snack.

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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

At Bluebonnet Lake Review

Her life is set to warp speed. His is slowing to a crawl. But love has its own timing.

Marketing maven Kate Sherwood's world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is slow down to a crawl at Rainbow's End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country. But she cannot deny her ailing grandmother's request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week (albeit fifty years ago). There Kate meets Greg Vange, the resort's handyman. But there's more to Greg than meets the eye--billions more, in fact, as he recently sold his successful software company and is at the resort in search of what's next for his life.

Kate isn't looking for romance, but she can't deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. She even starts to see potential in the rundown resort. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate's long-sought promotion take her back to the big city?

Amanda Cabot invites readers to step away from the pressures of the daily grind. They might be surprised by what they find at Rainbow's End.

At Bluebonnet Lake is the first book in the new Texas Crossroads series by Amanda Cabot. While I enjoyed this story it is not my favorite of Amanda Cabot's. I found that this story is very slow going and it dragged a bit at parts but I loved each character and the story was really sweet. At Bluebonnet Lake really helped to remind me to slow down a little. But the thing that bothered me was that there was nothing huge that happened to make the story pick up the pace, and I think it needed a little of that excitement. 

3.5 out of 5. A snack for a nice lazy afternoon.

I got a free review copy of At Bluebonnet Lake from Revell Publishers in return for my honest review.