Wednesday, June 29, 2016

One Paris Summer Review

Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren't betrayal enough, he's about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.
Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn't support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.
Still, no one is immune to Paris’s charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch—he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie. While the summer Sophie dreaded promises to become best summer of her life, one person could ruin it all.

One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank is a good clean teen summer read. I'm kinda on the fence right now about how I feel about this book. I didn't love it but I certainly didn't hate it. Its kind of your typical  teen read but with more angst than I wanted and a evil step-sister who was too cliche for me. Overall there was nothing wrong with how One Paris Summer was written, the descriptions were great and there were some cute scenes, but I never connected with Sophie. And when the whole book is in her point of view that's kind of an important thing to do. 

 4 out of 5.

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

Sunday, June 26, 2016

From This Moment Review

Award-Winning Historical Romance from a Noteworthy Talent

Romulus White has tried for years to hire illustrator Stella West for his renowned scientific magazine. She is the missing piece he needs to propel his magazine to the forefront of the industry.

But Stella abruptly quit the art world and moved to Boston with a single purpose: to solve the mysterious death of her beloved sister. Romulus, a man with connections to high society and every important power circle in the city, could be her most valuable ally.

Sparks fly the instant Stella and Romulus join forces, and Romulus soon realizes the strong-willed and charismatic Stella could disrupt his hard-won independence. Can they continue to help each other when their efforts draw the wrong kind of attention from the powers-that-be and put all they've worked for at risk?

From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden is a wonderfully crafted historical novel. It's a delightful blend of mystery and romance, full of colorful characters and a strong message. Both Stella and Romulus ( such a cool name, right?) are great characters. It was great to be able to see growth in both of them throughout the book but have it end in a way that showed they both still have some growing to do. Often books leave you with an ending that is wrapped all up in a pretty bow, the characters have learned whatever lesson they needed to and now they can live happily ever after. I loved that the end of From This Moment showed that while Stella and Romulus had grown and learned throughout the story they still had more growing to do.

5 out of 5.

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

Friday, June 10, 2016

Traces of Guilt Review

A Riveting Cold-Case Mystery from Dee Henderson
Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police detective . . . mostly. She's very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job. 

Gabriel Thane is a lifetime resident of Carin County and now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he's sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have.

When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it's to help launch a new task force dedicated to reexamining unsolved crimes across the state. Spearheading this trial run, Evie will work with the sheriff's department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she reexamines old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths a surprising connection . . . possibly to a third cold case. Evie's determined to solve the cases before she leaves Carin County, and Sheriff Thane, along with his family, will be key to those answers.

Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson is the first in what I hope is a long series of Evie Blackwell Cold Cases. I thoroughly enjoyed the new cast of characters Dee brought to life in her newest series and I can't wait to continue getting to know them in future books. Traces of Guilt is not your standard romantic suspense, despite what the description on the back cover would have you believe. The romance is very light, and the cold cases take center stage in this book, but they deserve it. Like always Dee constructs a page turning drama that has you engaged from the first page.

5 out of 5. 

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